This post was originally published in 2019, and last updated in March 2022.
In 2019, Google released a Beta ad format, that allows you to share visual stories with potential customers interested in topics related to your content.
What is Google Discover?
Discover is a feed that appears on the home page of Google’s iOS and Android app, as well as the mobile Google.com homepage.
Users are able to personalize their feeds so they see content that pertains to them. Unlike Google Search Ads, people don’t need to enter a search query to have these ads appear. Google sorts users into audiences based on activity and serves ads relevant to that person.
What are Google Discovery Ads?
Discovery Ads are visually rich, mobile-optimized clickable image ads that use the power of user intent. These ads are based on Google’s signals from peoples’ website visits, app downloads, videos watched, and map searches.
Discovery Ads are targeted using audiences rather than keywords (similar to In-Market Audiences) and can be run across the mobile YouTube home feed and Gmail Social & Promotions tabs in addition to the Google Discover feed.
“Google is positioning Discovery Ads as an alternative to Facebook and Instagram. Discovery is a browseable, feed-based surface which gives advertisers an opportunity to extend their digital footprint to hundreds of millions of Google users globally with a single campaign. All while leveraging rich user intent signals to meet users' expectations when they're eager to learn more and ready to take action,"
- James Anthony, Google.
Why Invest in Discovery Ads
- Increases Brand Awareness & User Engagement
- Promotes products and services while building the brand’s image
- New inventory helps to expand reach and traffic
- Captures Audience Attention
- Visually impactful and seamless ad format
- Served only to the audiences who will find it relevant
- Simplifies Campaign Management
- Reach the right customers on Google at scale within just one campaign Assets Required to Set Up Google Discovery Ads
- Smart bidding allows you to optimize bids based on objectives
Assets Required to Set Up Google Discovery Ads
- Up to 5 Headlines (40 characters)
- Up to 4 Descriptions (90 characters)
- Business Name (25 characters)
You can find all specifications for running Discovery Ads from Google here.
Google Discovery Ads Results
Since the launch of Discovery a few years back, we've been running these campaigns across a lot of our Google accounts at Seer and seen big success!
Discovery has helped to drive incremental conversions at an efficient CPA (oftentimes lower than account average), while expanding our clients’ reach past the standard SERP.
Check out the results of two instances of Discovery below:
We had been seeing our Discovery campaign performance decline after running since Google first rolled this out, so we did a Discovery revamp in December 2021 and have seen great results when comparing Period Over Period (PoP).
We segmented audiences that were once combined, instead into two different campaigns in an effort to allow the smaller audiences the budget to perform without being taken over by the larger audience. We also refreshed creative and gave the engine more headlines, descriptions, and images to choose from and optimize toward. Lastly, we switched the bid strategy to Target CPA to improve efficiencies.
Since implementing these changes, Discovery Ads drove:
- +247% conversions
- CPA remained flat (+1%)
- +285% impressions and +298% clicks
This has proven to be an extremely effective tactic for us in building awareness and driving engagement.
In 2021, this client started a newsletter campaign and needed to generate a new email database. On Google, we ran Discovery alongside Display and YouTube to determine which was the most effective in driving email sign up conversions.
All campaign types utilized lead form extensions to generate leads directly from the ad placement rather than a separate landing page.
Ultimately, Discovery Ads drove:
- +26% CPL vs YouTube and +154% CVR vs Display
- +84% CVR vs YouTube and +120% CPL vs Display
- Over 58K new email sign-ups
As you can see, Seer has really been leaning into Discovery Ads! We recommend testing this format, and hope you'll let us know what you find / hit us up with questions on Twitter (@SeerInteractive).
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