Get Set To Upgrade Your Google Discovery Ads To Demand Gen Campaigns

Google announced a new AI-powered campaign type called Demand Gen Campaigns at Google Marketing Live 2023. Upgrade your Google Discovery Ads to Demand Gen Campaigns for more AI-powered features to drive mid-funnel demand.

At Google Marketing Live 2023, Google announced a new campaign type called Demand Gen. This campaign type is designed to help businesses reach and engage potential customers on the most visually-focused channels, like YouTube, Discover, and Gmail. 

Demand Gen campaigns are a significant addition to Google Ads, and they represent a shift towards AI-powered marketing. This new campaign type is sure to have a major impact on the way businesses generate leads and sales in the coming years.

On June 14, 2023, Google wrote in its blog, “Today we’re announcing two new Google AI-powered campaigns, Demand Gen and Video View campaigns. They make it easier to connect with consumers and drive demand from the mid-funnel, all the way to purchase. Research already shows that 87% of consumers say YouTube helps them make purchase decisions faster. These ad solutions use relevant, immersive creatives to drive action and conversions in the moments that matter.”

What are Google Ads Demand Gen Campaigns?

In a world where consumers are bombarded with content, Demand Gen Campaigns cut through the noise with immersive, relevant, and visual creatives that grab attention and spur action.

Google Demand Gen campaigns are different from Search Ads because they are designed to reach people before they start searching for a brand. Instead, Demand Gen campaigns show ads on Google’s visual and entertaining platforms, such as Discovery, Gmail, and YouTube. 

Although Google already has a similar campaign type, called Discovery Ads, Demand Gen Campaigns offer powerful new features.

  • AI-Powered Creative Optimisation: Flex your storytelling with video and image ads in one campaign. Use AI to identify and deliver the most relevant creatives with a variety of ad formats – including short-form videos, carousels, portraits and square images – all within one single campaign.
  • Expanded Reach and Frequency: Find more potential customers with Lookalike segments. Bring your first-party data and match it with Google’s audience intent and interest signals to find new customers – using inputs like past purchases, website and app activity or YouTube engagement. 
  • Deeper Insights and Reporting: Get detailed insights into campaign performance, so you can see what’s working and what’s not, make necessary adjustments to maximise your ROI. What’s more, you can optimise your placements to find the perfect mix for your campaigns with A/B experimentation. 
  • Optimise for Conversions or Site Visits: Similar to Discovery ads, you can optimise Demand Gen for conversions or use value-based bidding strategies. Or, if you want to drive high-value customers to your website, you can optimise for site visits and actions with Maximise Clicks bidding. 

Why should you upgrade Discovery Ads to Demand Gen Campaigns?

There are several reasons why you should upgrade your Google Discovery Ads to Demand Gen Campaigns.

  • Improved performance: Demand Gen Campaigns are designed to help you achieve your demand generation goals, such as increasing leads, website visits, and brand awareness. They use Google’s AI to identify and reach the right people with the right message at the right time. 
  • New features: Demand Gen Campaigns offer a number of new features that can boost your results immediately:
  • Audience targeting: You can target your ads to people who have shown an interest in your products or services, similar audiences, or even specific customer lists.
  • Creative automation: Google’s AI can automatically generate ads for you based on your campaign goals and targeting.
  • Performance insights: Demand Gen Campaigns provide detailed insights into your campaign performance, so you can see what's working and what’s not.
  • Future-proof: Google is investing heavily in Demand Gen Campaigns, and they are the future of Discovery Ads. By upgrading now, you can ensure that you are taking advantage of the latest features and technologies.

Here is an example of how Demand Gen Campaigns can help you improve your results:

Let’s say you’re a SaaS company that sells CRM software. You’re running a Discovery Ads campaign to generate leads. You’re using automatic targeting, so Google is targeting your ads to people who have searched for “CRM software” or who have visited websites about CRM software.

You’re getting some leads from your campaign, but you’d like to improve your results. You upgrade to a Demand Gen Campaign. Create a custom audience of people who have visited your website and downloaded your CRM demo. You also create a similar audience of people who have visited websites of your competitors. Target your ads to the audience and also use Google’s AI to automatically generate ads for you.

Within a few weeks, you will see a significant improvement in your results. Not only will you generate more leads from your campaign, but your leads will be of higher quality.

How to upgrade your Google Discovery Ads to Demand Gen Campaigns?

Google will upgrade any active Discovery campaigns to Demand Gen campaigns once you enrol for a smooth transition and sign up for the beta version here. Starting in October, Discovery ads will be eligible to upgrade to Demand Gen. And by January 2024, all remaining Discovery campaigns will be automatically upgraded to Demand Gen campaigns.

No action is required from advertisers during this transition. Campaigns will continue to serve, and historical data and learnings will be preserved.

Here are the steps you can take to prepare for the sunset of Discovery campaigns.

Step 1: Review your current Google Discovery Ads campaigns

  • Identify your target audience
  • Analyse your campaign performance
  • Identify areas for improvement

Step 2: Set up your Demand Gen campaign

  • Create a new Demand Gen campaign
  • Select your target audience
  • Set your campaign goals and budget

Step 3: Create effective Demand Gen ad creatives

  • Use strong headlines and descriptions
  • Include relevant images and videos
  • Use clear and concise calls to action

Step 4: Launch and monitor your Demand Gen Campaign

  • Track your campaign performance
  • Make adjustments as needed

Top 6 Benefits of Demand Gen Campaigns

Demand Gen campaigns offer a set of unique features designed especially for the needs of today’s social marketer. Research shows that 91% of consumers took action immediately after discovering new products or brands on Google feeds, like Discover or Gmail.

“With Demand Gen, your best-performing video and image assets are integrated across our most visual, entertainment-focused touchpoints — YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Discover and Gmail. These products reach over 3 billion monthly users as they stream, scroll and connect,” Google said.

Expanded reach on YouTube: Demand Gen campaigns reach users across all of YouTube, including In-Stream and Shorts, in addition to the Discovery Feed and Gmail. This gives advertisers a much larger reach on YouTube, which is the most popular video platform in the world.

More video ad formats: Demand Gen campaigns allow advertisers to include up to five videos in their campaigns, in addition to multiple images, headlines, descriptions, logos, and calls to action. This gives advertisers more flexibility to create engaging and informative video ads.

New ad creative experiments and tools: Demand Gen campaigns include a new ad preview tool that allows advertisers to see how their creatives will look across different screens and placements. This helps advertisers to ensure that their ads are looking their best before they launch their campaigns. Advertisers can also create A/B experiments to test different image and video creatives in their Demand Gen campaigns.

Additional bidding options: Demand Gen campaigns offer the same smart-bidding options as Discovery Ads, but they also allow advertisers to use "maximise clicks" as a bid strategy. This is more appropriate for advertisers who might have longer or more complicated conversion paths, aim to drive offline sales, or simply just promote more traffic to their website.

More reporting options: Demand Gen campaigns offer new reporting options that provide insights into the impact of campaigns on brand lift, search lift, and conversion lift. This helps advertisers to understand the full impact of their campaigns.

New audience targeting: Demand Gen campaigns give advertisers access to a special lookalike audience segment. This allows advertisers to reach users who are similar to their existing first-party audience segments.

Demand Gen’s new construction flow and AI-powered insights make it easier than ever to create and measure effective campaigns. With these tools, you can save time and effort, reach new audiences, and drive better results.

What are brands saying about Demand Gen Campaigns?

Top brands have already partnered with Google to try Demand Gen campaigns and here’s what they have to say.

Laura Thissen, Head of Marketing Communication at Samsung, said, “Gen Z’s media consumption behaviour is very diverse, which is why a mix of ad formats were used in combination with YouTube Shorts. This mix was the decisive point for us to use Video View campaigns in the Christmas holiday period.”

Anselme Langle, Media Consultant at Arcane, Labelium Group, said, “We’re excited to be among the first Demand Gen advertisers and have found the campaign set up to be seamless, efficient and effective as it opens up more inventory. Demand Gen has given us an entirely new perspective on Google campaigns as we’re now looking beyond performance from format to format and instead comparing it to all social players.”

Migrate early to Demand Gen and take advantage of the new video ad inventory to boost your demand generation efforts. Not sure where to start? Our solutions can help you make the most of key campaign types and placements. 

At 360 OM, we specialise in helping businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level. Our team stays on top of industry trends, uses data-informed optimisations to maximise your ROI, and provides full transparency through comprehensive reports.

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