Digital Marketing

The Google Discovery Feed and Advertising

Word on the street is that the Google Discovery feed will become its new advertising cash flow in 2020.  It hasn’t attracted much attention since its beta launch last year, but Google is certainly excited about it. In 2020, it is expected that ads in the personalized mobile news feed will reach 800,000 users. The company paid attention to Facebook’s news feed ads growing as Google+ faded away. Tests have been conducted in the mobile feed and they are excited by the current results. We do not know what exactly is impressive but it’s certainly something to watch. Not everyone has seen ads yet, even though testing initially began in late 2018. Google officially introduced the Discovery campaigns at their Google Marketing Live last May.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is a personalized service that shows news articles, stories, and topics that are based on the individual user’s search history. Browsing, app behaviors, location history and settings, and stated interests come into play as well. Discovery ads are centered around images and are similar to social creatives.

Visibility is Still a Concern

The biggest downfall we can see is that advertisers cannot target ads to only the feed. The campaigns are a part of Google’s electronic-powered campaign types that are run across multiple platforms automatically. Discovery ads will serve users on Gmail and the homepage on YouTube. With the combination, these ads can reach hundreds of millions of users. While the ads cannot be targeted solely to the news feed, the campaign results do compensate for lack of control and visibility.  Many advertisers are willing to accept Discovery campaigns as they are for the sake of improved sales.

Which Advertisers Should Test Discovery?

Advertisers are starting to test Discovery campaigns with clients who represent a variety of businesses. It isn’t so much the product or service that is important, the goals are what matter. Brand awareness, increased sales, and acquisitions are some goals that have been reached with major success. Even something as simple as increased site traffic will notice new activity after a Discovery campaign. The point is, Discovery is a high volume and low CPC channel that will have the extra benefit of boosting brand awareness.

Targeting the Right Audience

Remarketing is an important step for businesses who want to attract previous clients and sales back to their website for the sake of brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is perfect for building stability and maintaining relationships with the target audience. It will eventually lead to new connections as users talk about the business.  Can it be possible with Discovery campaigns? One would initially think not since there is little control over visibility. Yet many advertisers have been using Discovery campaigns for remarketing and have found them to be successful.

The reason for this is that Google Analytics allows one to target tag-based audiences that become a part of the Discovery campaign. It does create a sense of control over who is seeing your ads. The best part is that tag-based audiences are more targeted and result in a lower CPA. The downside is that the volume is lower than general audiences, but that is to be expected with tag-based audiences.

Repurpose Your Creatives

You may have noticed carousel and single image ads on Facebook. These are so successful on Facebook that Discovery campaigns are designed to support the same things. This gives you more flexibility with your past and current creatives while designing new creatives. One thing about this support is that you can reuse your old creatives in new ways. Many advertisers have tested the carousel and single image ads on Discovery that were originally used on Facebook. Having the ability to take creatives from other social channels and repurpose them for Discovery campaigns adds freedom to the creative process. The repurposing also helps maintain a consistent brand all over the internet.  It is recommended that you use multiple images in landscape and square settings. Your ad should look organic to the Discovery feed.

Want To See How Successful It Is?

The only way to truly see how successful your Discovery campaign is, is by reviewing key performance indicators (KPI’s). They should be tied to your client’s goals but you can also look at the impact of the Discovery campaigns on your broader customer base.

If you are an advertiser doing a remarketing campaign, CPA and ROAS will be the most reliable numbers to review. If the focus is on top of funnel, impression vs sales and the customers path in Google Analytics will be more helpful. Increased sales and traffic numbers will have a focus on numbers visiting, lurkers, purchases completed, and interaction with consumers on social media platforms.

What Does the Future Hold?

For now, those with a Google account manager can get into the beta run. You can start small, think $50 per day, and scale from there to see it’s effectiveness. Setup can be tricky since it is still in beta and there are some frustrations with having to re-upload assets.

We are still waiting to see if Discover will be another successful path for the Google corporation. This time around, they are working slowly. We know this because of the relatively little chatter since the ads were launched. Until numbers are released, we really don’t know the weight the news feed is pulling. We have heard success stories with many advertisers and yet it can still vary. Advertisers do have the ability to see channel data in Google Analytics source/medium reporting. Some advertisers have done this and see situations where half the campaign traffic shifted to another platform, like Youtube. On Youtube, there is volume and success awaiting.

For some of you, it may be better to wait a little longer before doing a test run. Allow Google to take the time to work out some kinks and improve the system. Be mindful that cost could rise with improvements to the site and once it is released to the advertising public. Now is a good time to set aside some budget money to use when it is released.

Digital Marketing

When to Use Google vs. Facebook PPC Ads

Both Google pay-per-click ads (PPC) and Facebook Ads are powerful advertising platforms. When executed well, they can cater to nearly every type of business. In terms of paid channels, these two are the main contenders. Whether one platform is better than the other in delivering a solid return on investment continues to be a question many people are asking.

The reality is choosing between the two tools depends on your business goals. So, let’s take a closer look at when to use Google’s PPC ads and when to use Facebook Ads.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social

Google Ads, or paid search, is basically paying to have your listing featured on a search engine results page to get found more easily. The end goal is to create conversions and earn revenue for your business.

Using paid search, your ad is placed based on a keyword phrase or a natural long-tailed keyword phrase instead of targeting a certain audience. That said however, I advise you to adjust the settings of any paid search campaign to target specific audiences based on location and other factors.

Paid social, or Facebook Ads, is advertising your product or service on Facebook and/or Instagram. Because of Facebook algorithm changes, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to be seen by their potential customers organically. Since the company went public, it’s pay to play for most businesses.

Facebook offers a variety of options as to where your ads will be placed. In addition to your Facebook news feed, you can use Facebook ads to advertise on Instagram, the Audience Network, and Facebook Messenger.

It’s worth mentioning that paid social also includes running ads on other social media networks such as Pinterest or Twitter.

Benefits of Using Google Ads

Google has now become a verb for the act of searching for something on the Internet. Because of this, it’s no real surprise that Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Google fields more than 3.5 billion search queries everyday which offers advertisers access to an unprecedented potential audience of users who are actively searching for goods and services.

One of the largest misconceptions is that whoever has the biggest advertising budget will somehow automatically win when it comes to Google Ads. Fortunately for those of us with smaller marketing budgets, this is not the case. The focus is primarily on the relevance and quality of ads rather than how much advertisers spend.

Google is about user experience. The more relevant an ad is to the user, the better experience that user is likely to have. When Google’s users are happy, Google is happy. Because of that good user experience, it is more likely that the user will continue to use Google as their primary search engine. Part of Google’s algorithm has these factors come into play to determine and ads quality score. The higher your ads quality score, the more they will serve your ad to users. Quality score is determined by a mixture of keywords, relevance, ad, and URL. You can check your quality score at any time while running a campaign.

Benefits of Using Facebook Ads

Both Google and Facebook ads give you options for targeting and retargeting specific audiences. Both platforms allow you to Target by age, location, gender, income level, and other things. However, Facebook is the winner when it comes to advanced targeting options, especially in the B2C space.

Beyond the variety of targeting options, Facebook enables you to create audiences based on a list of interests, behaviors, and demographics. Facebook will remember these lists if you ever want to target the same audience in the future.

You can target parents, parents of children between the ages of 9 and 11, and even vegan parents with children between the ages of 9 and 11. You can take it one step further to Target those vegan parents with children between the ages of 9 and 11 and a household income ranging between $50,000 and $75,000 and to follow health and fitness pages. You can get highly specific and granular with your targeting here.

A big misconception about Facebook ads is that they will generate immediate conversions. Facebook ads are less effective for getting leads to convert quickly. The reality is people typically go to Facebook to socialize and relax not shop. However, this isn’t a downside if you have other goals in mind with a bit of patience.

The Facebook platform is incredibly useful for building your audience. It’s unique retargeting capabilities are designed to create conversions from interested people who may have clicked on an ad and not brought or added to a card or even who spend time and read the ad or watch the video. Facebook’s algorithms are great for getting results. If you can create recognition with a sense of community around your brand on social media, people will be more likely to buy when they need your service or product. If this is part of your business is Kohl’s, then Facebook is your best choice.

Which Should You Use?

If you’re new to the word of PPC, it can be intimidating to get started. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads promote themselves as being easy to get started with, but the variety of targeting options and advanced features are a bit difficult to digest at first. It takes a lot of time and energy to reach expert status for either platform.

That means when it comes to choosing the right platform it is important to match your goals with the unique features from each platform.

Facebook ads gives you deeper demographic targeting to match ads to the interest and progress of different audiences across your funnel. You’ll also get better conversions for a B2C company or brand. You’ll get better branding opportunities with creatives on Facebook to help build awareness over the long-term. You’ll have a platform to run your campaigns when looking for a long-term conversions and the opportunity to build a relationship with your customers since you’re interacting with them as they perform other actions on Facebook. You also have the ability to retarget an existing customer with messaging that directly matches their interests and shopping habits.

Google Ads provides text contextual targeting to reach your customers closer to the end of the sales funnel when they are looking for your products or services. You’ll get a faster return on investment, especially within the B2B space. A lot of people will convert with their first interaction with a PPC ad because they have a stronger purchase intent. You’ll also get better coordination with your SEO efforts and drive increased visibility of your organization and its offerings.

If all of this makes sense to you but sounds too complicated, the team here at Sachs Marketing Group can help. We work with both Google and Facebook ads on a regular basis and can help build the right campaign for you.