June 30, 2020
How to Use Portfolio Smart Bidding Strategies in Google Ads
Google unveiled their newest ad format, Discovery ads, back in May 2019 at Google Marketing Live. This new ad format combines the power of machine learning with a new placement option, Google Discover, that allows you to find users with higher intent to market to.
Here are five things you should know about Discovery ads before they come out of beta:
Discovery ads show on Google Discover, Gmail, and the YouTube Home Feed. Google Discover now has 800 million users a month, providing you with a great new pool for prospecting users. Discover finds content for users based on their interests. It is currently only an experience available on mobile and tablets.
Discovery ads consist of a static image, a brand logo, five headlines, five description lines, and a call-to-action button. Machine learning mixes and matches headlines and description lines to create the best ad experience for each user, similar to responsive display ads. These ads provide a more visually stimulating layout than responsive display ads, however, and are a mobile-first format. Plus, Discovery ads allow you to use 40 characters for each headline, instead of the standard 30 character limit for other ad types.
Within the Discovery ads beta, there is also a new ad format called Discovery carousel ads. These ads are likely designed to compete with Facebook’s carousel ads, allowing users to interact with the ads and swipe through a variety of images or products. They also allow the advertiser to take users to different product pages. It may be worth testing if you have a variety of products to showcase.
There are currently only two bidding options for Discovery campaigns, both of which leverage Google’s smart bidding and machine learning capabilities — maximize conversions or target CPA. Maximize conversions bidding sets your bids automatically to help you get the most conversions within your budget. It will work to spend the full daily budget that you have set. Target CPA sets bids to help generate as many conversions as possible at or below the target cost-per-action you have set.
Targeting options for Discovery campaigns are similar to those of standard display campaigns. You can choose from in-market, life events, affinity audiences lists, and more. You can also create custom intent audiences to show ads to a more granular audience. While it is heavily referenced as a new way to find prospecting users, we have also seen strong success with running remarketing audiences on Discover.
For prospecting, we would recommend testing out custom intent audience targeting. Custom intent audiences on Discovery are created differently than they are in standard Display campaigns; similar to YouTube custom intent audiences, the audiences are based more directly on actual user search behavior. This allows you to stay targeted with your audience as you begin testing out this new ad type.
With few advertisers currently running Discovery ads, cost per click is generally cheaper than on the Google Display Network, making now a great time to test advertising in this new format. More performance details and testing structure on Discovery Ads to come!