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Insights Google Discovery: why is it important and should you include it in your campaigns?

Michael Slabbert
Michael Slabbert
Digital Marketing Specialist

03 Aug 2022

5 minute read

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Before we get stuck into the question of whether or not you should include Google Discovery campaigns in your digital marketing, let’s first clear up the question of what exactly Google Discovery is.

What is Google Discovery and how is it different from classic display campaigns? 

It’s often been said that the value of a picture is worth more than a thousand words. This old adage generally runs true when it comes to the digital ecosystem that is Google. The search engine giant has in the past offered marketers the opportunity to paint a picture of their brand through the use of traditional and responsive display ads. 

These initial efforts generally consisted of allowing advertisers to use the Google Display Network to showcase their products on related articles and websites. Additionally these initial efforts were often very creative heavy and required for marketers to upload the same creative in various sizes to reach their targeted audiences. This was adjusted with the rise of responsive display ads, which as the name implies adjusted the sizing of your images to display ads across the Google Display Network. 

Given how creative heavy these past efforts were for marketers looking to utilise Google’s Discovery Network, the search engine giant introduced Google Discovery ads. These ad types are generally visually rich, mobile clickable images that are optimised to drive user actions based on their intent. This intent is derived by Google based on the activity of how the target audience acts within the digital ecosystem. These signals include the targeting of website visits, apps downloaded, videos watched, map searches and specific keywords. It is also worth mentioning that due to the responsive nature of these types of ads that they can run across Gmail social and promotions tabs, the YouTube home feed, and the Google Discovery tab. 

In essence Google Discovery ads are more robust than traditional display ads in that they are more responsive to the needs of your targeted audience. Additionally these ads have a wider reach and can reach audiences where they spend the most time within Google’s ecosystem. 

Now that we have successfully defined what Google Discovery ads are and how they differ from traditional display marketing, the next question is to determine why all modern marketers need to consider using them in their future marketing campaigns

Why YOU should include Discovery Ads in your digital marketing plan: 

The reasons to consider utilising this campaign type in your future marketing campaigns include some of the following benefits: 

  • Increase brand consideration and awareness 
  • Refined audience targeting and reach
  • Simplified campaign management 

Each of the benefits offered by Discovery campaigns will be broken down to better highlight the value that they offer digital marketers in their future campaigns. Starting us off with the benefits of the Discovery campaigns is: 

Increased brand consideration and awareness: 
Oftentimes marketers will run into issues when running campaigns. This is generally the case when marketers look at running new products or services that have little or no value through channels such as Google Search, or there may be a disconnect between a chosen platform and your ideal audience. It is in these cases that Discovery ads show off their true value. This is in part due to the fact that these ad types work in similar way as social ads, with an additional caveat in that they have a wider reach than traditional marketing. 

The wider reach across Google’s Display Network along with the placements across Gmail and Youtube can assist in showcasing your product or service to potential audiences who may have an interest in your service offering. Along with this wider reach this ad type can help marketers build and showcase their brand to their targeted audience. Furthermore the rich visual nature of these ads can additionally help ensure that your target audience is more likely to engage with your brand across Google’s digital ecosystem. 

It is with this in mind that any marketers looking to build consideration and showcase promotions should consider using this ad type in their future campaigns. 

Refined audience targeting and reach: 
Along with the value of building audience consideration and awareness with your brand. The robust nature of Discovery ad targeting allows for marketers to inform Google of the intent of the audience that they wish to target. This robust targeting allows for marketers to create custom segments that could include targeting specific websites where their targeted audience may interact. This includes  what keywords audiences might be searching, what videos they might be watching on Youtube and what apps they download. 

Additionally the robust nature of these placements will also ensure that these ads are less likely to appear on problematic placements or irrelevant websites. 

The use of this robust targeting is perfect for marketers who may be restricted in running search campaigns around specific keywords. Examples of this refined targeting may include the running of campaigns related to industries such as Pharmaceuticals, CBD or alcohol. 

In essence the refined targeting and reach make this ad type perfect for marketers who may be looking to target audiences within a specific niche. Additionally it is ideal in helping to showcase thought leadership to these audiences. 

Simplified campaign management:
Discovery ads offer marketers more than the ability to reach a niche audience or simply showcase a brand’s new product or service. These campaigns also offer marketers the chance to simplify their marketing efforts. This is due to the fact that the wider reach and increased responsive nature of these campaign types allows for marketers to reach the right customers at scale at the right time. 

This combination  of placements within a single Discovery campaign can allow for marketers to have more control on the performance of these campaigns. This allows for marketers to spend less time on optimisations that would be spent on traditional Discovery campaigns. This includes less concerns around where these ads are shown across Google’s Discovery Network. However, it is advised that marketers need to keep a close eye on how the campaign is performing for their custom audience segment. 

A perfect example of how these campaign types can be utilised would be for marketers who may be spending excessive amounts of time optimising traditional and responsive display campaigns. This can essentially help marketers cut down on their optimisation costs and can reduce the costs of your bottom line. 

These are essentially only a few benefits that these campaigns can offer your marketing efforts in future.. There are a few considerations though to consider when running these campaigns. 

So you’ve chosen to use Discovery campaigns… what’s next? 
Now that you have made up your mind to run Discovery campaigns for your future marketing efforts, you are probably asking what are the next steps that need to be taken. These considerations are mainly around the technical set up required to run these campaigns. 

The main technical consideration that marketers need to take into account when setting up a Discovery campaign mainly comprises the specifications of images needed. It is advised that all marketers utilise between a minimum of 12 images and a maximum of 20 of differing sizes. Additionally, marketers will need to supply a minimum of a single logo of their business and a maximum of 5 images. 

These images should include enticing lifestyle images that do not contain any text. Along with these considerations marketers will be required to supply up to 5 headlines of no longer than 40 characters along with 5 descriptions of no longer than 90 characters. The last bit of text that marketers will need to include in their marketing will include the name of their business.

The final step for marketers to include will need to be a website url. Once this is done you will be ready to start running your Discovery campaigns today. 

If this feels a little complicated and you’d like some more guidance, feel free to talk to one of our team members today. 

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