Google Discovery ads are designed to provide users with answers before they even ask a question.

discovery ads

How do you engage browsers who aren’t looking for your product online and don’t have a search intent? It’s the digital equivalent of capturing the attention of window shoppers with high potential to become actual customers.

To attract these passive consumers, digital marketers are shifting to targeting and away from keywords. Since its launch in 2020, Google Discovery ads help marketers attract qualified traffic through their expansive reach, precise audience targeting and compelling visuals. More specifically, they let marketers tailor engaging ads that resonate with a target audience and make sure the right people see them.

How is this possible? Here’s everything you need to know.

First, a quick word about Google Discover

Google Discovery ads live on Google Discover, which replaces Google Feed, the tech giant’s personalized news streaming app. Google Discover presents users with relevant news and evergreen content even when they’re not searching. It does this by making recommendations based on individual users’ search histories.

People can tap on an icon to indicate whether they want to see more or less similar content. Google uses this information and machine learning to further customize content for users.

The big difference between Google Discover and Google Search is that Discover is making the most of predictive artificial intelligence to anticipate questions and give answers before the user types in a search query. The more a user engages with Google Discover, the more Google learns and the better it tailors the user’s newsfeed.

More than 800 million people use Google Discover each month to stay on top of the topics they’re interested in. For marketers, Google Discover is a rapidly growing source of traffic and potential customers to target.

What are Google Discovery ads?

Discovery ads are fully automated, native, highly visual and inspiring ad formats designed for mobile devices. They can feature single images or carousels users swipe through, making them an interactive experience.

Google says they “deliver rich, personalized experiences.” For marketers, they are a simple way to reach high-potential targets. Google uses machine learning to target ads on all its properties — Discover, YouTube and Gmail — which means your Discovery campaigns can reach up to 3 billion people before they search but also those who are ready to discover and engage.

Discovery ads generate demand by showing potential customers what they want before they know they want it.

Fast fact: 85 per cent of people will act within 24 hours of discovering a product.

The difference between display ads and Discovery ads

Display ads are a way to build awareness and attract people to your website or any of your online channels. Banner ads are the best known form of display ads. They are considered a form of “push” advertising and will show up in Gmail inboxes, mobile apps and ad networks based on your targeting requirements.

Discovery ads are directed at people who are ready to discover and engage. This means they have a higher intent to buy. These ads will only show up on Google’s Discover feed, Youtube and Gmail.

How Discovery ads can help you achieve your marketing objectives

Here are some of the key benefits of using Discovery ads:

  • You can reach your ideal customer with a single campaign.
  • Using its customer intent signals, Google will show your ads to highly interested customers on Google Discover, Gmail and YouTube.
  • You can use Maximize conversions bidding or target cost-per-action to optimize your campaign bids.
  • You can target your ads to specific audiences, including: remarketing audiences; people who fall into a specific demographic; in-market audiences; people who are about to reach a life milestone; and people have previously searched for specific topics/interests.
  • Google uses machine learning to build visually rich ads and showcase the best combinations of your creative seamlessly across its properties.
  • Discovery ad campaigns can be used to drive sales, boost interest, reach new customers and reconnect with high-value customers.

Google’s best practices to optimize Discovery ads

  • Reuse high-performing visuals from existing social and video campaigns. This will save time and ensure a consistent brand story.
  • Invest in high-quality, high-resolution images to build engagement and inspire people to act on what they see with your brand.
  • Use the “website scan” feature in Discovery ads to find and upload images directly from your website and social channels.
  • Maximize reach and impact by using multiple layouts and headlines, descriptions, images and formats.
  • Target your high-intent audiences that respond well on search, video and display campaigns.
  • Enable the audience expansion feature and use it before moving on to other target audiences. This can help you find people like your current customers. Advertisers who use audience expansion enjoy 52 per cent more conversions at a comparable cost-per-acquisition to their originally selected audience.
  • Give Google two to three weeks to gather data. This will give its machine learning enough information to fully optimize your campaign. Set an average daily budget of 10 times the value of your target cost per action and wait for at least 40 conversions before making changes.
  • Review audience and asset level reports. This will give you a more accurate picture of your customers and the creative assets that work best for them.
  • Measure conversions by enabling sitewide tagging. This will show you what action people take on your website after they engage with your ad.

With the move away from keywords to targeting, Google Discovery ads are the future of digital advertising. They are designed to reach potential customers while they’re browsing their feed, YouTube or checking email, and before they even know they want your product. It’s a smart way to reach specific audiences on a fast-growing platform.