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Enhancing YouTube Ad Campaigns with Google Discovery Ads

Enhancing YouTube Ad Campaigns with Google Discovery Ads

Want to elevate the performance of your YouTube ad campaigns? 

Google Discovery ads campaigns can supercharge the effectiveness of your YouTube ad campaigns.

Why Discovery Ads Matter for Targeting YouTube Ads

Focusing solely on video campaigns is common when creating a YouTube advertising strategy. Google Ads supports video campaigns at all funnel stages, from building awareness and expanding reach to driving conversions and sales. The introduction of video reach and video action campaigns within the YouTube Shorts feed has made video campaigns more potent than ever.

However, Discovery ads often go overlooked amid the prominence of video ad campaigns. Neglecting these ads could mean missing out on opportunities to scale your campaigns beyond YouTube.

Google reports that Discovery campaigns have the potential to reach up to 3 billion customers by allowing access to inventory across various Google platforms, including:

  • YouTube home screens
  • YouTube Watch Next feeds
  • Gmail Promotions tabs
  • Gmail Social tabs
  • Discover feeds

How Businesses Can Leverage Discovery Campaigns

Discovery ads are engineered to save your team time by displaying across Google placements automatically. With this campaign type, there's no need to create and optimize campaigns for various placements individually. Instead, you can establish a single campaign that automatically delivers across YouTube, Gmail, and Discover.

Leveraging Google's machine learning technology, Discovery campaigns allow you to entrust the platform with automatically optimizing your creative assets. This means you can spend less time resizing creative elements or fine-tuning headlines, focusing instead on the bigger picture.

Discovery campaigns enable access to Google's intent data. This capability enables you to deliver ads across placements to prospects with a heightened likelihood of showing interest in your brand, product, or service. Discovery campaigns also harness Google's machine learning-powered optimized targeting, automatically helping you reach interested audiences.

Despite the name "discovery" implying top-of-funnel targeting, these campaigns align better with middle and bottom-of-the-funnel objectives. You can create Discovery campaigns for website traffic, leads, or sales objectives within Google Ads, allowing you to drive consideration, capture leads, and secure conversions.

The Significance of Discovery Ads in 2023

Discovery ads were first introduced in 2019, making them far from a novel concept. However, Google's updates in March 2023 gave Discovery ads new capabilities, especially beneficial for eCommerce advertisers and bottom-of-the-funnel objectives. These updated campaigns now support:

  1. Product feeds, permitting the linkage of Google Merchant Center (GMC) items to campaigns across all supported objectives.
  2. Product-level reporting, providing data-driven insights to inform campaign decisions.
  3. Conversion lift tests, measuring the impact of campaigns on conversions and quantifying their value.

eCommerce businesses using GMC can extract particular value from Discovery ads featuring product feeds. A Google study revealed that advertisers integrating a product feed into a Discovery ad with sales or leads objectives achieved 45% more conversions at a comparable cost per acquisition.

Leveraging New Tools for Google Discovery Ads

Curious about how these new tools could benefit your business? Let's take a step-by-step walkthrough of setting up, measuring, and testing a Discovery campaign.

#1: Choose a Supported Objective

Commence by opening your Google Ads account and creating a new campaign. Opt for one of the three objectives compatible with Discovery ads: sales, leads, or website traffic. All three objectives permit product feeds for this campaign type. In this example, we will craft a campaign with the sales objective.

#2: Select or Add Conversions

Regardless of the chosen objective, you will be prompted to review your account's conversion goals. If the listed conversions align with your campaign's objectives, proceed by clicking the Continue button.

If the listed conversions are irrelevant to your goals, eliminate them by clicking "Remove" or add new goals by selecting "Add Goal."

#3: Connect a Product Feed

In the campaign type panel, opt for "Discovery." The Google Ads interface will automatically designate Standard Discovery as the campaign subtype. Select "Discovery Campaign With Product Feeds" and set the appropriate GMC feed from the auto-generated list to conduct an eCommerce campaign. Subsequently, input your company's website URL and assign a suitable name to the campaign.

#4: Configure Campaign-Level Settings

Next, fine-tune the campaign-level settings. Confirm the conversion goals, select your target locations and languages, and review the bidding options. Remember that Discovery campaigns offer limited bidding options, often restricting changes to the default option. "Maximize Conversions" may be the only available bidding choice in certain instances.

#5: Set Your Target Audience

Discovery campaigns are designed to reach interested audiences at scale, leveraging campaign landing pages and assets to construct relevant audiences automatically.

However, enhancing results may necessitate the addition of your targeting signals. Adding an audience provides you with more control over who views your ads. Depending on your campaign's objectives, you can select from owned data, custom segments, interests, detailed demographics, or exclusions.

#6: Add Relevant Products

Discovery campaigns automatically include all items from the linked GMC product feed. At the ad level, you can select specific products or groups. Use filters to associate the right products with the ad.

#7: Set Up Discovery Ads

Create the first ad for your campaign by adding up to 20 images from your Google Ads asset library, uploading new creative assets, or selecting from Google's stock image library, website, or social media channels. Write up to five headlines and five descriptions, and customize the call to action (CTA).

#8: Consider a Carousel Ad for Non-Product Feed Campaigns

While a standard ad is the only option for Discovery campaigns with product feeds, campaigns without product feeds can utilize the carousel ad format. The carousel ad format allows for up to 10 carousel cards with unique images, headlines, URLs, and CTAs.

#9: Review Campaign Analytics

Once your Discovery campaign is live, monitor results on the Google Ads dashboard or reporting interface. You can access product-level reporting if you've attached a product feed to your Discovery campaign. Review product-related conversions, clicks, and impressions to gauge campaign performance.

#10: Analyze Conversion Lift

Consider enabling this measurement analysis if your Google Ads account supports Conversion Lift. Conversion Lift allows you to measure a campaign's contribution to conversions more accurately. However, you may need to contact your Google Ads account representative to enable this feature, as not all accounts support it.

Tips to Align Discovery Campaigns With Video Campaigns

In many cases, running Discovery campaigns in conjunction with complementary campaign types can yield superior results. Consider these two scenarios:

Reach-Focused Discovery Campaign

Create a Discovery campaign with a middle-of-the-funnel objective like website traffic. Utilize optimized targeting with broad signals to maximize delivery across YouTube and other placements. Subsequently, build a retargeting audience from website visitors who clicked on your Discovery ad and use it in a video action campaign.

Retargeting-Focused Discovery Campaign

Implement a video reach campaign to maximize exposure to YouTube viewers. Employ video assets compatible with both in-stream and Shorts feed placements. Create a Discovery campaign to reengage viewers through YouTube, Gmail, and Discover, optimizing for conversions. Include a product feed to encourage direct browsing and purchases from the ad.

YouTube Ads and Google Discovery Ads

Google Ads-enhanced Discovery campaign tools empower advertisers to reach interested audiences across vital placements, including YouTube.

Advertisers can seamlessly incorporate this refined campaign type into their YouTube advertising strategy by capitalizing on product feeds and aligning Discovery ads with video campaigns.

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