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25 May 2019 / News

Audiences, ad formats and Shopping: The latest updates from Google Marketing Live 2019

Sean Healy / Head of PPC

Epiphany is one of just a handful of UK Premier Partners to be invited to Google Marketing Live 2019, taking place in San Francisco this week.

Last month, we joined 5000 marketers from around the world to hear more about Google's product roadmap first-hand and in person.

The event kicked off with a huge focus on user privacy and trust alongside a plethora of updates to Google's Ad products.

There was a real focus on creating opportunities for advertisers to reach customers with helpful content and assisted experiences across all of Google's surfaces, including search, YouTube, Shopping, Images and Discover.


Here’s our short guide to the announcements made yesterday… warning, there were quite a few so we’re keeping it brief! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to know more.

Discovery Ads

One of the biggest announcements made was Google's Discovery Ads.

These ads provide a new way to reach customers across multiple Google properties with native style ads, that combine the power of search intent and audiences with a more engaging visual ad format, powered through feeds.

Showcase Shopping Ads

Despite this product already being available for many months, Showcase Shopping Ads have been a focus due to recent success stories (Google claiming 25% more interactions).

This format allows advertisers to display multiple images for users to swipe through in a carousel, with a static headline and text under the image. You're likely to see these ads in Google's Discover feed on Android phones as well as in Google's mobile app.

Updates to smart bidding

Maximise conversion value

This new smart bidding strategy will allow advertisers to set a budget and Google Ads will automatically optimise towards maximising revenue (conversion value), which follows on from the previously launched 'maximise conversions' helping to drive as many conversions as possible for the set budget.

Google introduced three new ways to guide smart bidding models:

Advertisers can now choose the conversion actions they want to use at campaign level, including optimising for store visits

'Conversion action sets' (grouped campaign actions) can now be shared across campaigns in order to share the same goal

Seasonality adjustments can now be flagged in advance of a seasonal sale starting, and given a start and end date so that fluctuations don't impact campaign performance and this will be factored into the bidding model

Updates to YouTube

Bumper Machine

Bumper Machine is a new tool that allows advertisers to create six-second bumper ads without additional creative costs.

Simply upload an existing asset and let the machines take over - they'll come back with a number of options that can be edited further before pushing live.

Updates to Audiences

Google has introduced an audience expansion tool, which allows advertisers to toggle reach through a visual sider tool, to see the impact on reach and conversions.

Google have introduced an audience expansion tool, which allows advertisers to toggle reach through a visual slider tool, to see the impact on reach and conversions.

Custom Audiences were also announced, allowing users to merge customer affinity and intent audiences into one audience type.

Updates to DV360

Network and local TV stations will be addressable through Display and Video 360. A new space dedicated to video and TV in Display and Video 360 is being rolled out in the Autumn 2019.

An audio ad inventory feature has also been added to Display and Video 360 and connected TV campaigns will be manageable in Display and Video 360 too.

Making all properties shoppable

Google made three announcements around this:

1. Helping users to decide what to buy and where to buy it

In the latest update, the Shopping tab will be a new space to purchase directly from retailers on Google. This will feature a new homepage for users with personalised recommendations with all of the information needed in one place to make purchase decisions, such as videos and product reviews.

A Google guarantee protects the shopper. The Google Express and Google Shopping combined feature is already available in France and will be rolled out to the US in coming months.

This will also extend beyond Shopping, into all properties across Google such as Assistant and Search. Users will have the ability to buy directly from SERP, Google Images and, on YouTube, users can buy products in the video while the video continues playing.

Google live blog 1

2. Showcase Shopping ads

This is a more visual heavy ad format and is a good tool for new visitors. Extended Showcase Shopping ads are being launched on Google Images, YouTube and Discover on Google Search.

3. Shopping Campaigns with Partners

This feature will enable a closer collaboration between retailers and Google. Retailers can accept budget from partners to promote a certain product.

Google live blog 2

Local campaigns drive local actions

Product inventory is being expanded across Google Maps meaning that businesses will soon be able to display specific product lines ahead of the user’s visit to store. Maps content will include relevant promoted locations for users based on their previous searches, rolling out promoted pins more broadly.

This will also appear in navigation tools and route planning tools, helping to open up local campaigns to everyone.

Deep linking capabilities coming to Google Ads

The feature will direct users straight to a business’ app if they have it installed on their phone, where their payment and shipping details are stored, rather than the website, which can have a positive effect on conversion rates and provides a frictionless customer journey.

Measurement comes in the form of the Firebase product which can send conversion events back into Google Ads.

Launch of the travel planning tool

Google is creating a destination website for users to plan their holidays and travel, track prices, watch for updates, get recommendations and save their options from other Google properties such as Maps and Search. Starting today, this has been rolled out on Desktop (it was already available on mobile) and is a great chance for travel brands to connect with users in moments of intent. It’s a very cohesive feature and organises all trip information, meaning that it creates more leads but, more importantly, more qualified leads.