Google continues to rule the internet in terms of its advertising offerings for brands of all sizes, but keeping up with its products and changes in ad terms can be challenging. For those who aren't sure how to juggle the demands of creating ad content for individual Google channels, Performance Max offers a simplified campaign option with the potential to reach a larger audience on YouTube, Display Ads, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.
Here are the most notable perks of using the new advertising tool, which was rolled out to all users last November. Be prepared: If you haven’t already upgraded to Performance Max by the end of September 2022, you will be automatically upgraded and will no longer be able to create new Smart Shopping and Local campaigns once your existing campaigns are automatically upgraded.
1. Get ad formats and inventory
First, Google really wants brands to use its Performance Max campaigns, so much so that it’s pulling out all the stops with exclusive ad tools and formats you can’t access with a standard Smart Shopping or Local Ads campaign. These are put together for you in the way Google sees as best for the audience viewing each ad at the time, so expect some exciting new formats and designs to come out of this enhancement.
2. Optimize existing ad budget
It can be tricky to figure out the ad spend needed to achieve your goals, and for the novice marketer, that money can run out long before you crack the code. Performance Max intends to take a lot of that guesswork out of the equation for brands, continually pulling content assets, creating ads for each audience type, and showing them at the right time to make the most out of your budget.
Because ad creation is so fluid here, the ad spend needs to match the circumstances; Google uses its Smart Bidding technology to compete for ads at the price it deems necessary to secure your spot and meet your campaign goals -- hopefully at a lower cost than what you would have come up with on your own.
3. Discover new audience segments
Another differentiating feature of Performance Max is that you don’t create audience targets in the same way you would with traditional ads. Yes, you can feed Google customer data and lookalike signals, but it will really do all the heavy lifting in defining, finding, and even redefining who your target customer really is. This is a really useful tool for new brands who aren't sure yet who their ideal market will be or for companies who have "tapped out" existing markets and are hoping to expand reach to unique, new markets.
4. Access richer analytics
Much has been said about the lack of reporting transparency in Performance Max, and that it works like a black box, and while some of that is true, Google has been updating reporting to provide useful information on the Insights tab.
Once a campaign is running, you'll have access to more data than before, telling you how your ads are being served, what's working, what you're spending, and any new markets you're reaching. It's a marketer's dream to have all this data available, and – as usual – Google serves it up in a user-friendly and visually-appealing dashboard that even novice marketers will find insightful.
5. Harness automation
Finally, while you do need to have all of your assets created and ready to go, once that’s done, it can be a somewhat set-and-forget campaign. You’ll need static images, headlines, descriptions, YouTube videos, logos, and brand assets grouped together for Google to pull from as needed.
From there, however, the advertising giant will mix and match the pieces it has learned will be best based on its incredible pool of data and a continually evolving algorithm. The best audience for your assets will be shown the right message at the right time to increase engagement and drive those sales, without you having to figure that all out manually.
Google’s early data shows that advertisers making the switch to Performance Max from Smart Shopper are seeing a 12% increase in conversion value, and we do know that technologies working off of well-built Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models tend to do better as they go.
For brands willing to put in the work to create a full library of assets ahead of time, the rewards could be significant. To get started, simply create a new campaign from your Ads dashboard or convert existing Smart Shopping ads to the new format with Google’s one-click tool, and start seeing the Performance Max difference today. To make things even easier, see how we can help you scale your Performance Max campaigns.