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Your Guide to Everything Announced At Google Marketing Live 2018

The main theme at Google Marketing Live was ‘value in advertising’(something we’ve been preaching for a long time). How can advertisers offer more value and relevance, and a better overall experience? Naturally, Google had some awesome solutions to announce, and we’ll go over each of them (and what it means for digital marketers) below.  


Changes to TrueView

91% of smartphone owners bought or plan to buy something after seeing an ad that was relevant

Video advertising is incredibly effective. Google reports that people pay 3x more attention to relevant video ads, and of the most effective places for video advertising, YouTube still reigns supreme. Youtube users consume over 1 billion hours of video a day.

Youtube advertising is getting an update. Google is intent on providing better advertising experiences, and that means driving the kinds of results that businesses are looking for. They observed advertisers and marketers using Trueview ads for a few different type of campaigns, so they’re breaking them out into types that will enhance the efficacy of video advertising.

The first is ‘TrueView for Reach’: video advertising that is optimized for, you guessed it, reach.

Reach is all about brand recognition that helps you raise awareness for your business among large audiences. These video ads draw attention to your branding and business and are optimized to increase user interest and engagement. Want to increase buzz around your brand or business? This is a great option.

The second is TrueView for Action. This is a cool new ad unit, like Trueview for Reach, optimized to drive clicks and conversions. These ads have highlighted and prominent branded calls-to-action with specific goals.

For businesses and brands looking to utilize video to drive desired actions, TrueView for Action is a really exciting change.

As an example, Google told the story of Masterclass, and online program where you can sign up for classes from actual masters (like Steph Curry), who boosted their class sign ups by 140% using these TrueView ads. They also told us about Dick’s Sporting Goods, who utilized full-funnel video advertising strategy and saw a 10:1 return on advertising spend. Interested in results like these? Ask your advertiser about these new TrueView options.


Awesome New Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads are an incredibly interesting innovation in ad relevance, customization, and delivery. At Google Marketing Live 2018, the search engine giant announced their plans to change search ads to Responsive Search Ads.

Here’s how these new ads will work:

The advertiser creates 15 headlines and 4 descriptions to be used in Google search ads.

Google can display up to three 30 character headlines and two 90 character description lines. (That’s a 90% increase in text over what we currently have.)

Google’s machine learning then chooses from combinations of these ads to deliver the most relevant and useful advertisement for that specific shopper.

Google’s goal is to make advertising better for everyone. With responsive search ads, businesses and advertisers get to offer a wider range or product explanations or benefits, and these are more effectively and efficiently displayed across their marketing. Shoppers get a more personal experience, and businesses get a more effective advertisement. Win-win. We like those.

This is a huge change, and will have almost certainly have a measurable and positive impact on your advertising. The main advantage: offering more information to shoppers. We are really excited to see how these improve digital advertising across the board.

Google has let us know these will be available in English over the next few months, and rolling out in beta for other languages throughout 2018.


Landing Page Speed Score

As Google warns us, even the best ads won’t work well if your landing pages aren’t up to bar — particularly on mobile. They report that 50% of smartphone users wouldn’t make a purchase on a mobile site because it takes too long to load.

Want to improve your online user experience? Google recommends improving the speed of your mobile landing pages first.

This new column on the “landing pages” page will show you the speed of your site based on a 10-point scale. This score is based on multiple factors, and is intended to give you a good idea of your landing page speed and how customers in general are experiencing your page.

Using this, you can pinpoint pages that are delivering a less than ideal customer experience and focus your improvement efforts on these pages first.


Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s answer to slow mobile pages. These stripped-down mobile device-only pages display content in a standardized format with minimal branding and no advertising.

In return for paring down the amount of stuff on the page, these fast-loading pages get top placement in mobile search results.

Pictured: AMP results in practice for pumpkin pie recipes.

These have been around for a while, but improvements and optimization are making them better every day, and they are Google’s recommended solution for faster, better mobile experiences. While reviewing your overall mobile site speed, look into AMP versions of your most mobile-dominant pages.  

We already implement this for many of our clients and have seen real digital marketing success from AMP pages.


Cross-Device Reporting & Remarketing in Analytics

One of the most exciting announcements at Google Marketing Live 2018 is the creation of cross-device reporting. Cross-device reporting means that businesses and advertisers can now see how people behave on their site regardless of device.

By combining data from people who visit your website on different devices at different times, you can get insights that inform your advertising and marketing, and help you refine the tactics you use.

With this technology, you can also identify and target audiences better. For example, Google says, if you want to look at the behavior of high-value shoppers on your site (people who purchased more than $600 worth of merchandise), cross-device reporting will recognize that a shopper who spent $300 on desktop and $300 on mobile is the same as one who spent $600 using a desktop.  

Google also stresses that this data is only shown from users who agree to share it, and no individual data is available. This tool is to show you cross-device behavior and link audience across their shopping tools, not show the exact shopping path a single shopper takes.

This sweet technology is already available, and we have been having a blast learning all about it. If you have a moment, we highly recommend you check it out for yourself.


Smart Campaigns

Google realized there is a huge untapped market of small businesses in the digital advertising world. These businesses usually don’t need the sophistication of a full-service agency yet, and so they often have minimal online advertising.

These are newly created campaigns to help new and small businesses get their digital advertising off the ground. With highly automated processes and incredibly simplified ad-creation and bidding procedures, these are a fantastic option for small businesses that don’t have the need (or budget) for an agency.


Auto-Optimized Landing Pages

In the course of the keynote, Google mentioned that a large share of small businesses in the United States don’t have websites. That was surprising, even to us, and we help small businesses with websites every day.

It’s likely that if you’re reading this, you’re not among the website-less, but regardless, Google has taken steps to help out small businesses with little online presence. Now, Google provides automatically generated landing pages created from their Google My Business listing and advertisements.

This is another great innovation for very small and just-starting businesses — not so much for any truly established business.


Grow with Google

Yes, Google isn’t done with offering help to small businesses. As you can tell, there’s been a major push this year to partner better with businesses that are new to digital. To that end, they’re offering Grow with Google.  

Grow With Google offers free training for small businesses, educational and insightful materials to help keep even the tiniest businesses competitive online. Like we said above, if you are a new business (or a business that is new to digital advertising), Grow with Google is something to check out.


Smart Shopping and Automated Feeds

Moving away from the small-business specific, we get Smart Shopping campaigns. We are incredibly excited about this change. We’ve always done shopping campaigns, and they have always been tedious.

Smart Shopping campaigns automatically optimize your shopping ad deliver across Google’s various properties and networks to get you to your goal — like increased revenue or return on ad spend.

At Google Marketing Live 2018, they announced that advertisers can now use “store visits” or “new customers” as shopping campaign goals — another change we are incredibly excited to start leveraging for our own clients.

To make it even better, bids and ad delivery will be automatically adjusted based on the likelihood of that interaction resulting in the business’s goal.

Automated feeds will assist these efforts by crawling your website for online inventory and automatically building a shopping feed, meaning less time wasted on constantly managing inventory availability or display.

But that’s not all, Google is also teaming up with popular third-party shopping platforms, namely Shopify, meaning Smart Shopping campaigns can be directly linked.

Needless to say, we are thrilled about all of these Smart Shopping changes. Efficiency in advertising is a beautiful thing, and we will take it anywhere we can find it. That leads us straight to our favorite announcement from Google Marketing Live 2018:


Local Campaigns

People do business within their communities. The rise of “near me” searches is all the evidence one needs. Highly aware of that as they are, Google’s digital marketing innovations in this sphere are particularly awesome in 2018. At Google Marketing Live 2018, we got to hear all about Local Campaigns.

Local campaigns will be delivered across Google’s empire of ad inventory, including Search, YouTube, Display, Maps, and the Google App store — all with the specific goal of driving foot traffic into your local business.

Here’s how it works:

Advertisers set budgets and oversee the automatic generation of ads based off pre-selected assets and location extension from the business. Google then automatically optimizes the ad deliver across their broad swath of ad inventory: Search, YouTube, Display, Apps, Maps and so on.

Sound familiar? It should. This is the same type of machine learning that Google is using to optimize the campaigns for Smart Campaigns (see above).

We couldn’t be more excited about this. Local digital advertising is a tricky business, even when you’re an expert, and this just made it that much easier to deliver targeted, local, and highly successful campaigns to our clients.


Google Marketing Platform:

The Google Marketing Platform announcement isn’t brand-new (we’ve known it was coming for a while), but it does mean some pretty HUGE changes.

The most important is the formal retiring of DoubleClick. This original digital advertising platform first debuted in 1996 — the same year Space Jam came out. 22 years later, it is being absorbed into the new Google Marketing Platform.

The Google Marketing Platform is intended to merge advertising and analytics into a single marketing solution. This will combine Google Analytics, Optimize, Surveys, Data Studio, Tag Manager, DoubleClick, and likely a few other apps and tools.

Honestly, this will likely have a profound effect on digital advertising for agencies (and businesses that manage their own advertising) everywhere. But we are never ones to turn down a better and streamlined experience — we’re already exploring the capabilities of this new tool.


Display & Video 360

Streamlining a once-tedious process is incredibly satisfying, and that’s why we love Display and Video 360. Get faster turnaround on your digital creative and ad placement with Google’s new Display and Video 360. All teams and customers can collaborate together to get work done faster and more efficiently than ever before.

This is one change we are really excited about. Instead, dealing with endless back-and-forth emails, everyone can work directly with one another in the same platform.

Display and Video 360 brings together tons of features to help manage all your video and visual display.

New capabilities:

  • Better understand customers
  • Manage the Creative Workflow
  • Enjoy awesome mobile-first formats
  • Bid within a marketplace that prioritizes the best inventory for your brand

With this, Google is making traditional tedious advertising processes easier, meaning more time for innovation, optimization, and creative problem-solving.


Integration Center

Who doesn’t love more audience insights when planning an ad campaign?

This is another one of the excellent tools Google is offering to help streamline advertising.

The integration center allows advertisers to connect Analytics 360 and Display and Video 360 (the new tool we just talked about), and streamline all things audience-related between your analytics and digital advertising tools.

We can use audiences across these platforms to perfectly target the right people for the right ad, helping boost relevance and CX. Yet another tool we are going to have a blast with.


Instant Reporting

Instant reporting was a little bit of a footnote, but it is an incredibly helpful one. This involved streamlined reporting that deliver awesome and useful insights almost instantly. This adds up to less time fiddling around with reporting, more time analyzing and looking for optimization, and an overall better understanding of the immediate impact of ads and digital marketing efforts.


Google Measurement Partners

Google wants marketers to have confidence in their reporting and be able to pursue their advertising goals armed with accurate insights. They’ve announced partnerships with impressive and respected names like Nielsen, IRI, Oracle, comScore, and many more to provide the best and more accurate data to their customers (that means us — and you!).

Over at 10TH DEGREE, we couldn’t be more excited about these changes. If you’ve got questions that you want answered, or just want to nerd out with us about these updates, please feel free to shoot us an email at INSERT EMAIL FOR 10TH