The past few years have been full of twists and turns, and customers are changing their behavior at unprecedented rates. There has been a continued trend of shoppers no longer limiting themselves to one channel when they shop. Instead, shoppers are interacting with businesses through several different touchpoints before making a purchase. Listening to the Google Marketing Live 2022 presentation confirms that advertisers need to shift to an omni-channel marketing strategy and ensure a seamless consumer experience across channels.
(Source: Google Marketing Live Presentation, June 2022)
Google has been working to create an ad product that helps companies build a consistent brand presence across all Google properties. Its new product, Performance Max, became available to all advertisers in late 2021.
What Is Performance Max?
Performance Max, Google’s newest ad product, gives advertisers a way to buy Google ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps in a single campaign. This product allows advertisers to send a reliable message to users wherever they are online and to reach them at multiple touch points within Google’s network.
Performance Max campaigns are focused on goals and use automation to find the customers in their purchase journey who are most likely to convert.
Optimizing Your Campaign
(Image Source: https://youtu.be/otvqWUzqxl4)
Google uses machine learning and automation to optimize Performance Max campaigns. Therefore, it is extremely important to give Google the strongest signals when creating your campaign.
Campaign Goals: Most importantly, these campaigns are optimized based on your campaign goals. Conversion tracking MUST be set up for your campaign to start running. It is highly recommended to prioritize your conversions to what matters most to your business. Your business’s website may have several actions that push customers further along in the purchase journey, but what is the main objective? Lead? Purchase? Set the primary conversion signal to the main objective and allow for secondary conversions to learn the steps customers take to get to the main goal.
Creative Assets: Performance Max campaigns have asset groups, which consist of headlines, long headlines, descriptions, images, company logos, and videos. For the best results, Google recommends using as many versions as possible to allow for Google’s machine learning to deliver the most efficient conversion-driving creative.
- Headline: Three to five headlines
- Long headline: One to five long headlines
- Description: Two to five descriptions
- Images: At least one square and one landscape image—up to 15 images
- Logo: At least one square logo—others are optional
- Video: Up to five videos—not required but recommended
- Call to action: Predefined menu
- The business name
Merchant Center Feed: You can target all your products in your Merchant Center listings, or you can create a subset of products to use in your Performance Max campaigns. (Note: A Merchant Feed is not required to run ads on Performance Max.)
Targeting Signals: Google does not require advertisers to provide targeting signals on Performance Max campaigns. If you are looking to “cast a wide net,” you can allow for Google’s automation and machine learning to find new customers without guidance. However, this would put your campaign into a longer initial learning phase (six weeks or more), which may take up unnecessary marketing dollars. We highly recommend giving Google some targeting signals to start. This is one of the most important features of Performance Max campaigns. These signals allow advertisers to inform Google who they think their ads would be best suited for. Below are signals you can give to Google:
- Keywords can be added to create custom segments. Google defines this as, “People who search for any of these terms on Google.”
- Website targets are “People who browse types of websites.” This is a great opportunity to target people who are visiting competitors’ websites.
- Your data can be uploaded to create retargeting opportunities.
- Interests and detailed demographics can be added to target people based on in-market segments, life events, and more. Demographics can include household income, gender, parental status, and age.
Location: As with all Google Ads campaigns, you can target locations for your ads to run. Often overlooked, it is extremely important to have a strong location strategy.
With the campaign inputs in place, it is time for Google to start delivering ads across all Google properties to learn the customer journey to purchase or lead. Performance Max campaigns allow you to deliver a strong, consistent message with conversions as the end goal. Performance Max requires a longer learning time than we are accustomed to with other Google products. We recommended letting these campaigns run for at least four to six weeks to get out of the learning phase. Advertisers should use this product as a supplement to their current marketing campaigns to see how they compare.
As marketers, we know the customer journey has been evolving. We need to be agile and take note of the changing landscape. Testing new ad products like Google’s Performance Max allows us to take our marketing campaigns to the next level. There are always unknowns and improvements that can be made to new campaign products. There have already been several updates to Performance Max campaigns (stay tuned) as Google learns what advertisers need from these campaigns to be successful. We recommend starting small, learning, and growing when you see success from these campaigns. If you need help with your Performance Max strategy or setup, Vizion is here to help.
At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our status as a Google Partner, along with our PPC Management, Google Shopping Ads, Social Media Advertising, Amazon Advertising, and other Paid Media services can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.