The Google Marketing Livestream keynote event saw numerous new features launched across the digital marketing ecosystem as we head into the key summer months. Multiple subjects were addressed by a host of guest speakers, from ‘future of’ industry sessions to best practise and new additions in areas such as data and measurement, automation, Google and marketing best practise. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the key announcements and news emerging from the virtual event, many of which were focused on new Google Ads initiatives.

Local Ads Expanded

Visibility at a local level has become more important throughout the pandemic. Advertisers can now tap into this opportunity with expanded capability for Local Ads set to come on stream shortly.

Amongst the new options and features introduced at Google Marketing Livestream were:

Pickup Later tags

Advertisers in the US will be able to add a ‘pickup later’ tag to their local inventory adverts, giving local shoppers the option to buy online then collect in store at a later time. Initially launching in beta, this addition should  not be too much of a surprise, since research carried out during the height of the pandemic last year confirmed that demand for curbside collection and pick up in store orders had soared.  According to data released in the report “The New Store Shopper in High Touch Retail” 85% of US shoppers significantly increased the number of orders they placed for curbside pickup during COVID-19.

Navigational Ads

It’s well known that more than half of Google searches take place on mobile devices, with ‘near me’ searches especially popular when on the go. The new Navigational Ads format gives advertisers an opportunity to connect with the shopper during their search by offering driving directions to take the search user directly to the advertiser’s place of business.

Auto Suggest Ads

Another option for advertisers keen to increase their local business is to opt in to Auto Suggest Ads. With this new format, Google will display ads based on the user’s location. When searching for a local product or service, ads will be served which suggest the advertiser’s nearby location.

New Travel Ads Formats

Google also took the opportunity to debut a series of new ad formats created specifically for travel businesses. Citing the pandemic and the difficulties faced by the industry, the search engine has made some changes to help the travel industry capitalise on an expected increase in demand as restrictions on international getaways slowly start to lift.

Holiday Rentals Eligible for Hotels Page

Smaller holiday homes and rentals will now appear on the Hotels page – giving home owners the opportunity to capitalise on the 100% increase in ‘beach rental’ and ‘staycation’ searches which has taken place in the last 12 months.

Commission Updates

Google amended its policy last year so that advertisers only paid for completed reservations, not cancelled ones. This feature has now been given an additional update, in the form of a per-booking report, which makes it easier to indicate which reservations were cancelled, bid adjustments for commissions and additional payment and billing options.

Additional Product Development

A number of existing features and functionality have also been updated, with Google announcing:

Demand Forecasts: The Ads Insights area will now also show demand forecasts predicting search behaviour for the coming 90 days.

Performance Max: A new automated ad campaign available now in beta and open to advertisers from around the world.

Customer Match Opened: The spend limit on Customer Match has now been removed, so smaller advertisers can now access the feature to aid in remarketing campaigns.

Automation and the Future of Marketing

Marketing automation was a key focus of Google Marketing Live, with the search engine espousing a better together mindset. It recommends that marketers embrace automation as a means of overcoming the challenges posed by increasingly complicated consumer journeys. 

Embracing automation tools and features will also help marketers to offer consumers more relevant experiences and better engage with them, the VP of Global Business Solutions, Jason Spiro announced.

  • Google is working to make automation more transparent with new insights and testing features.
  • 15% of search queries made daily are brand new searches. Automation can be used to adjust and refine campaigns to immediately tap into those new opportunities.
  • Human expertise combined with automation can deliver improved experiences and lift performance, with the right message delivered at the right time.
  • Combining responsive search ads, broad match and smart bidding delivers the best Google Ads results.
  • Google will launch a new version of its Insights page in the coming months which will give users a deeper insight into ad performance, customers and the overall market sector.

You can also watch all of the keynote presentations and view all sessions here.

Author Rebecca

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