Discovering Discovery Campaigns

August 28, 2019

In Q4 2018 Google opened a new beta, introducing a new campaign type called “Discovery Campaigns.” Discovery campaigns are designed with the ever changing digital landscape in mind, allowing advertisers to “Create visually rich, personalized ads that drive engagement with their brand across YouTube, Gmail, Discover, and more.” This follows along my suspicions that Google will one day rely entirely on user data to serve ads to users instead of keywords.

Using Discovery Campaigns, Google’s machine learning capabilities can hypertarget customized ads to users based on their online activity on Google and its partner sites. As advertisers, it means we have less control over building campaigns and give more control to Google’s black box of algorithms. The benefit is that it gives account managers more time to ponder over other aspects of marketing strategy. In essence, Google wants to predict what you want, when you want it – and eventually, before you want it.

Four15 Digital was granted exclusive access to this beta and immediately began testing on some of our larger clients. So far, our results have been positive. 

Almost 2 weeks since launching Discovery campaigns,we have started to see potential in this new campaign. 

Creating a Discovery Campaign

Once you are in the beta, from the homescreen, discovery campaigns can be found under the 3 standard campaign types:

To create a new campaign, click on the “+” button. You’ll find the standard campaign and ad group settings just as you would trying to create other campaign types. Note, Discovery campaigns are only available for the following goal options: 

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website Traffic
  • Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance

Once you’ve created your campaign you will be prompted to create your ad – Discovery Carousel or Discovery. Both ad types require a headline, description, business name, and at least 1 card. A card consists of 2 images, a headline, a final card URL, and a call to action text. The difference between the 2 ad types is that the carousel can handle up to 10 cards. Below are some examples of ads.

At the time of writing this article, there’s a note in the UI stating, “Ads are currently only available on computers via Gmail until more support is added.” Therefore, you might want to skip out on this campaign type entirely if your mobile page isn’t up to snuff. And the results back that statement up as most views come from mobile and tablets.
So far, our performance has been good, but we need more time before we can decisively give an opinion on Discovery Ads. We’ve requested to be whitelisted for more of our accounts since our initial findings are promising. One thing to note is that we did notice volume drop off after the initial week – which is unfortunate because the initial week did very well in terms of conversions. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new findings. Stay up to date with any new findings by following Four15 Digital on LinkedIn.