Google Ads
January 18, 2024

Google Demand Gen Campaigns: Changes, Updates and Key Information for Advertisers

Google Ads
January 18, 2024

Google Demand Gen Campaigns: Changes, Updates and Key Information for Advertisers

Google Demand Gen Campaigns: Changes, Updates and Key Information for Advertisers

It’s January 2024 and Google isn’t wasting any time with changes to their ads platform, the key update being Google Discovery campaigns are upgrading to the new and improved Demand Gen.

Before we get into the details, here’s the exec sum for advertisers:

  • Your Discovery campaigns will automatically be upgraded by the end of January 2024.
  • There is nothing you need to action to migrate your campaigns.
  • Campaign settings, targeting, budget and most importantly campaign data will all migrate over to the new system.
  • Demand Gen adds new features, placements and creative combinations to advertisers.

What is the Difference Between Discovery & Demand Gen?

The following table from Google highlights all the key additions to the new Demand Gen campaign type.

The biggest and most prominent feature of Demand Gen is the inclusion of video alongside the static ads we’ve been used to on the old Discovery platform. This alongside the inclusion of YouTube Shorts (!!!!!) and In-Stream ad options highlight Demand Gen as a potentially powerful tool in an advertisers tool kit.

One thing I personally am excited for is the mention of Lookalike Segments and increased reporting and measurement capabilities that Google mentions will be coming to the platform. 

Discovery was always touted as Google's answer to social media ads however could sometimes feel fragmented without the inclusion of video which had to be implemented with a YouTube campaign in addition to Discovery. Often leading to more budget management, complex targeting and all round more work and decreased efficiency.

What’s the opportunity for Advertisers?

It’s been pretty clear that the last 3 years have been dominated by short form vertical video, particularly when it comes to PPC across Google and Meta. At Bang we’ve seen performance from short form video continue to outperform other “traditional” creative options and we don’t see that going anywhere anytime soon.

The key point here for Google advertisers is that we now have access to an integrated campaign type in Demand Gen that combines static creative with vertical video to create a holistic campaign to target the middle funnel. Or in other words: We can more clearly tell the story we want to tell across our Google ads.

If short form vertical video content is something you’re yet to implement, we highly recommend experimenting with this platform to amplify your message and reach new audiences. Whether this is organic or paid across Google, Meta or Tik Tok; we haven’t seen an opportunity like this in a long time and is definitely worth testing for your organisation.

How Can You Implement Demand Gen Into Your Campaign Structure?

When it comes to Google ads, I generally like to categorise campaign types into two categories:

  • Intent based: Google Search.
  • Interruptive based: YouTube, Display, Discovery and now Demand Gen.

Demand Gen still falls into that interruptive category as it targets users who aren’t actively searching for a solution however blurs the lines as we can leverage targeting across YouTube (the second largest search engine in the world), displaying ads in places where consumers might be actively searching for a solution to their problem.

Demand Gen sits firmly in that position where a consumer might be problem aware, however may not be actively searching for a solution. Marketing theory calls this problem recognition or the information search phase of the decision making process, or in layman's terms the upper to middle funnel.

This makes Demand Gen perfect for businesses with a product or service that may have a longer consideration time or higher ticket price. Essentially it’s in the name, Demand Gen can be used to generate demand for your target audience who knows they have a problem but may not be aware of your solution. 

When it comes to creative and messaging this helps us to define the direction; we may not be looking to drive the sale in the first click, but instead to introduce the audience to your offering and drive further engagement. Think angles like highlighting pain points, aspirational messaging and introducing your key points of difference as powerful levers for this audience.

Key Takeaways

Google’s new Demand Gen campaign is another step in the direction of a Google based “social” style of campaign and capitalises on the shift to short form vertical video. Advertisers now have more options and control when looking to expand and engage with audiences who are problem aware but may not be aware of their product offering. 

At Bang we know that by introducing supporting channels such as Demand Gen or YouTube into clients account structures, that we drive an overall lower cost per conversion and at a higher rate compared to accounts with pure Search campaigns. 

When planning your marketing activity, consider Demand Gen or other supporting channels to help drive engagement at all stages of the customer journey. 

Oliver Tinley
Article written by:
Oliver Tinley
Search Manager

I work closely with our clients on all things Google; from paid search and display advertising to achieving the highest possible organic search results through SEO. I am there from initial strategy analysis and campaign development to technical implementation and in-depth reporting and every step in between.