As the world’s number one search engine, Google is constantly evolving to offer advertisers new innovative ways to get in front of consumers. Search Companion Marketing (SCM) is a new method for targeting users on the Google Display Network. Further, SCM is based on the search query of the user to determine which ad to show. Search Companion Ads (SCA) is a new campaign type available to advertisers within Google AdWords that allows for Search Companion Marketing to occur.
Search Companion Ads allow advertisers the ability to reach searchers based on intent across the Google Display Network (GDN). SCA combines the efficiency of traditional search with the reach of typical Display Advertising. You can choose to target highly relevant, targeted keywords yet reach the masses on the Google Display Network. For advertisers that are weary of Display Advertising, Search Companion Ads allow for a great segue in to a more expansive Display advertising campaign.
Search Companion Marketing is similar to contextual keyword targeting in that you create tightly themed keywords and ad groups to target on the Display Network. Google can analyze the keyword, or your product/service offerings to ‘match’ your ad with the user’s intent.
As one can expect, Display Advertising is not typically the most efficient use of marketing dollars for e-commerce clients. From my personal experience SCA is much more applicable to lead generation based advertisers. Lead gen tends to have favorable conversion metrics on the GDN and the same can be said for SCA. In order to get started with Search Companion Ads you will need to create a campaign with keywords targeting the Display Network. From there, reach out to your Google Rep to have the SCM feature enabled.
As with any new Google advertising feature, I would highly encourage all advertisers to test. Google is constantly evolving and providing new ways to get in front of customers whether it is online or offline. As service providers it is our responsibility to adapt and provide our clients with new opportunities. If you’re not testing new releases, your competitors may be! If SCM is aligned with your business model, go for it! You may find a new successful way to reach consumers.