Industry Updates, Paid Media, SEM

Google Discovery Ads – First Impressions

‘Discovery Campaigns’ – an all-new ad format may still be in Beta over here in Australia –

However, this won’t stop Australian advertisers from continuing to working closely with Google, and test the new format through their reps.

As a Google Premium Partner, Indago Digital have access to this and other beta products. We have been running Discovery campaigns for over a month as of yet and the first results are in.
The verdict? impressive!
Check out what our thoughts are as of yet from testing the new campaign type.

The All-New Discovery Campaign Ad Format

For those new to this ad format, Discovery Campaigns are native ads that run across YouTube’s home feed, Gmail’s social/promotional tabs, as well as Google Discover feeds.

According to Google, Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services. This is done through rich and relevant creative enhancements.

In other words, when they are navigating through “discovery” sessions as they are more likely to engage with ads to therefore – become a lead/purchase.

Having performance as the goal for this new format, the only bid strategies available to choose from are Maximise Conversions and Target CPA. This fact – coupled with other changes Google has made spanning the year like broader close variants and machine learning improvements – we might not be able to choose our bids anymore in the foreseeable future.

A change very likely to become realised within 2020.

There are two ad formats within Discovery Campaigns: single-image ad and carousel ad.


Right: An explanatory video of the concept behind the new campaign type.

Single-Image Ad

Very similar to Responsive Display Ads – you may basically provide assets including up to 6 headlines, 5 descriptions, a business name, call-to-action, up to 15 marketing images and a logo.

Google will then test the variations using machine learning and factorise your conversion goals.

By doing so, Google can find and use the best-performing ads in the right auctions to effectively drive impressions.

Carousel Ad

Similar to Gallery Ads (also in Beta) – you can provide up to 10 images and mix them with a single headline, description, logo and a call-to-action. However, Gallery Ads differentiate themselves from Single-Image Ads as Google respects the order you set-up the images here.

Or – at least for now, so you can put your creative sides to use and tell a story across the carousel.

Find the full ad specs for Discovery Ads here.

Before making any change to your ad-assets, Google suggests advertisers to collect at least 40 conversions through the campaign using a daily budget 10x higher than your target CPA. This is so there are no limitations to the learning process and bid strategy using machine learning.

Beta Testing & Performance (so far .. )

The new ad format – whilst still in Beta – having premium placements, being susceptible to higher user-engagement levels deservedly entitles the innovation to an applause.

Furthermore, it’s the concept itself that sparks the fireworks for us.

Simply the overarching idea for specifically showcasing just the relevant ads to correct audiences by way of a completely automated bid strategy which sounds promising!

Based on our initial tests, even though Discovery Ads are in Beta and competition is still low, CPCs ended up 2x higher than Display Ads (GDN). However, Discovery Ads also produced 3-6x higher conversion rates for these same audiences – offsetting those high CPCs.

When Google makes those ads available for all advertisers, we believe Discovery Ads will prove to be as competitive as Display as CPCs are likely to considerably increase.

Additionally, having just 3 premium placements to deliver ads (as compared to thousands within Display Network) makes finding the best auctions for each case that much easier!

Let’s see how it goes from here on out – we’ll be sure to keep you posted from our end!

In the meantime, you can check out more on Paid Media from the Indago Digital blog and by following us on LinkedIn today!

Do you have any initial perceptions? If so – feel free to leave a comment below!

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