October 18, 2018

What Marketers Need to Know About Google's Smart Display Campaigns

Smart Display CampaignsSource: Instapage

The Google Smart display campaign network currently boasts over 3 million active apps and websites. Thankfully, due to today’s climate, this also includes Google Home and Voice. To reach these users, Google rolled out a new system that helps businesses and marketers produce quality content and reach audiences at scale with the power of AI.

In other words, Smart display campaigns are what every digital marketing agency and marketer has dreamed about for years, because everything, from ad creation to bidding, is automated. Thanks to the power of technology and AI, marketers can now set up a complex campaign that reaches new audiences within minutes. It’s the solution that empowers marketers to work smart — not hard — for their brand.

What are Smart Display Campaigns?

Google’s Smart display campaigns are advertising solutions that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. With the power of these technologies, Google sifts through your history to understand your brand’s performance alongside user behavior, and predicts which users will respond best to specific products and services your business offers.

The system matches your products with user intent, and then finds the highest quality leads using filters like age and gender to determine relevance. Likewise, your products are then filtered based on how relevant and popular they are — among other factors — to show consumers items they are more likely to be interested in. This whole matchmaking process is the magic fueled by AI and machine learning, which helps drive conversions for advertisers and marketers alike.

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What Can Smart Display Campaigns Do?

Google’s Smart display campaign capabilities are vast. It can handle practically everything, from the creation to execution and tracking of a campaign. Some management aspects will even allow your brand to create ads with voice search optimization in mind through responsive design capabilities, just like a digital marketing agency might do.

Let’s look at some of the features this system has to offer, and how your business can use them:

  • Bidding: Smart display targets CPA and focuses on conversions. In reference to your business’ performance data, Smart display will bid more aggressively when there is a higher likelihood for conversions, and less aggressively when there is a lower likelihood. After two weeks, or after your brand has seen 50 conversions (whichever one occurs first), Smart display should begin to optimize your campaign.
  • Targeting: The two keys to the kingdom for Smart display targeting are remarketing and automatic targeting. Google remarkets your content to users who have already visited your website, and to users who are in the middle of your sales funnel.
  • Dynamic Prospecting: This capability helps marketers extend their reach by using machine learning to target relevant users who have a high chance of being interested in specific items in your feed.
  • Ad Creation and Optimization: You can begin your campaign with just a couple assets if you don’t know what imagery or even headline to use. Smart display will then automatically combine individual assets and create a responsive ad with the information at hand. Your ads will then be shown to the millions of people active across the Google Display Network and, once the campaign has generated enough data, you can adjust your content to create a more effective campaign.
  • Performance Data: As your campaign rolls out, Smart display collects data based on each asset and how well it has yielded conversions.

Above are the five major capabilities for Smart display campaigns. As you can see, from beginning to end, machine learning and AI are able to handle it all. By leveraging your brand’s history and your users' behavior, you can create a seamless and effective marketing campaign with only a couple of pieces of information — all thanks to Smart display.

Examples of Google Smart Display Ads

Google Smart Display AdSource: Google  

Do we know of anyone who has made Google Smart display ads? Of course! Brands that have used these ads include Credit Karma, Hulu and Trivago.

For Trivago’s marketing campaign, they decided to go with the headline, “Find Great Hotel Deals,” with a stunning image of the Colosseum to attract users. Compared to its other display campaigns across Google, Trivago saw a 36% increase in conversions with Smart display. Thanks to artificial intelligence, Smart display created 25,000 versions of Trivago’s ad, and showed it across 55 countries to users who were looking for hotel deals. The text and responsive design could even be integrated into a voice search optimization strategy for Google Home or Amazon Echo. Given how successful their campaign was, Trivago now uses Smart display ads across North America, Europe and Asia.

Tip Recap 

Machine learning, AI and automation are the future of the digital world. With Google Smart display campaigns, marketers can leverage this kind of technology to help their brand. Let’s go over what you need to know about Google Smart display campaigns one more time:

  • Smart display uses machine learning technology to examine your brand’s history and previous user behavior to find the perfect match between interest and relevance to drive conversions.
  • Smart display’s capabilities extend from the beginning of ad creation to execution and data collection. 
  • Major brands have seen impactful positive results and are now using Smart display ads regularly.


Therese Palmere

Therese is a Content Writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in New York City.


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