Just three years ago, if you did a Google search on your mobile phone for “red sweater,” you likely would’ve been presented with a text ad or two and then 10 text results. Just 10 titles, URLs, and descriptions.
If you do a quick search for “red sweater” on your mobile phone right now, you’ll see that the search results now include product suggestions, image results, local results, text results, and videos. My how the times have changed.
Point being, times and consumers have changed, and rapidly at that. In just three short years, video and image-based social platforms have grown exponentially and completely transformed the way we engage with the world around us. Not surprisingly, advertising platforms, like Google, are having to quickly expand their ad formats to appeal to today’s media-hungry consumer.
Google’s Newest Ad Formats
Last year, Google unveiled Showcase Ads, a new ad format which allows advertisers to gain more exposure for their products simply by displaying them in a catalog format when users search up a generic term. This year, hot on the heels of Showcase Ads’ success and just in time for the Holiday shopping season, Google has introduced two new ad formats: videos and shoppable image ads.
Let’s take a brief look into what these new ad formats are and how advertisers can use them to their advantage to capitalize on the power of visuals to close out Q4 strong.
Showcase Ads: A Recap
Rather than presenting a potential customer with a single image of what they could be purchasing,
Google’s Showcase feature gives advertisers the opportunity to advertise products in a collage format.
This small collage, consisting of one main image that relates to the search term and two smaller images that display actual products sold by the advertiser, pops up at the top of the Google search page when someone types in a generic search term that relates to certain products they could purchase.
If a user clicks on a collage, it expands into a catalog that could feature up to 10 products offered by a brand.
Overall, the Google Showcase Ads feature has proven to be an extremely successful branding and lead generation tool and has translated into higher conversion rates for our customers.
However, consumer’s media preferences are constantly evolving, and it was only a matter of time before Google began to experiment with new media formats in ads. Queue the Addition of Video to Google’s Showcase Ads and the Release of Shoppable Image Ads.
Video Showcase Ads
According to Google, “When it comes to finding new products and narrowing down their choices, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas for their next purchases, and over 90 percent of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube.”
Not surprisingly, with the uptick in video consumption, Google is now allowing advertisers already running Showcase Shopping campaigns to place videos in the featured image section of the ad.
When a potential customer clicks the ad, they are still brought to a landing page featuring products, however, a video will play in place of the featured images. This gives users a better idea of what your brand is and what type of products they can expect to see when they visit your company’s website.
Shoppable Image Ads
Shoppable image ads are a newer addition to Google, and leverage consumer’s growing preference for image search. According to Google, last year, more than one-third of holiday shoppers searched for images before shopping in a store, and Shoppable Image Ads are the perfect way to capitalize on this engaged, ready-to-buy audience.
Similar to the model above, certain images will feature a white shopping tag in the lower left-hand corner and the word “sponsored”. Clicking on the tag icon will produce a huge list of related product offerings that relate to the image in question.
Although this hasn’t been heavily implemented yet, expect to see these shoppable images featured on third-party sites relatively quickly as the Holiday season ramps up.
Why Video And Image Ads?
To get a better grasp on why these advertisement methods are so necessary for ad campaigns, here are some interesting statistics to better understand the reason behind their development.
- Google has stated that more than one-third of consumers will look for images of products before shopping for the holidays.
- Approximately 61 percent of consumers said that they are likely to shop from new retailers during the holiday season and 46 percent actually did.
- According to Google, Showcase Ads can drive CTR 3.6 times higher and also receive 20 percent more conversion credit when measured in the first-click attribution model.
- In addition to providing shoppable image ads on third-party websites, Google also plans on making this system available on their image search page so that customers can access these image advertisements easily.
With so many media-rich ad formats, Ecommerce advertisers should set aside budget to experiment with each ad format to determine which one works best for your business and audience this holiday season.
Get started with our Guide To Google Shopping Showcase Ads. We cover everything from how to set them up, how they work, and how to keep your creative assets on-point.