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Google Ads trends and tips in 2021

Google Ads trends and tips in 2021

Google is constantly expanding and upgrading its products, which makes it hard for the typical advertiser to keep up the pace.

In this article,  we’ve rounded up the five biggest Google Ads trends for 2021 to help you  create the right marketing strategy for your business this year. There are a couple of trends within the Google Ads world that keep catching our attention.

1. Video ads

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. According to Statista: «The video giant is now a leading online destination for millions of users from around the world. In the United States, YouTube saw a market reach of around 90 percent in 2018, and its mobile versions are enjoying similar success globally.»

Video ads are effective for a simple reason: you have a captive audience. Video ads are displayed while people are already looking at the screen watching their favourite videos, naturally driving more impressions and engagement. With Google Ads, you currently have five options for video ads:

  • Skippable in-stream
  • Bumper
  • Non-skippable in-stream
  • Outstream
  • Ad sequence

According to Hubspot: «Our respondents tell us they’re more likely to pay attention to video content, followed by news articles and in-depth multimedia articles. As long as the content is timely and engaging, people will focus and pay attention to both video and text-based content. There is a clear indication that people tend to skim most written and audio content. If you want someone’s full attention, video is a great bet. Not only do consumers pay attention to video content the most, they want to see more video content in the future. Consumer preference for video is real, whether you’re on board or not.»

Video ads won’t just be something to think about going forward. Video ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network should form a critical part of your overall brand strategy.

2. AI Automation - Machine learning and Smart Campaigns 

Automation leads to getting your ads live faster, seeing the results of your efforts faster, and making optimisations to increase your ROI faster. Who wouldn’t want that?

Automation frees up PPC managers and business owners to think more about strategy rather than repeating the same tasks. 

AI has been shown to more accurately target audiences and reach them when they’re most ready to buy. New automation technologies can predict CTR and conversions. Today, most of that magic is built right into your Google Ads platform. 

Smart Campaigns are ad campaigns that run based on some simple setup options. A fully automated, simplified tool that applies machine learning to create image and text ads. Google picks, via their AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms, what keywords to use based on the category of your business and the products and services you want to promote.

One of the biggest benefits of Smart Campaigns for time-poor business owners is that they target and optimise themselves. Google fully automates the experience, creating ads based on your website and your Google My Business profile. 

In 2021, we expect Google will continue to emphasize the evolution of its smart campaigns and ad types that enable all of the Google surfaces.

3. Smart biding

Again, AI takes the control over your ads optimization. One of the central developments that many PPC marketers are using to make their campaigns more effective is Google Smart Bidding. Smart Bidding is Google’s way of helping marketers get more out of their ad spend through automated «bid strategies» powered by machine learning.

With Smart Bidding, you get 4 key benefits that can help you save time and improve performance.

  • Advanced machine learning
  • Wide range of contextual signals
  • Flexible performance controls
  • Transparent performance reporting 

Smart Bidding works for:

  • Target CPA: Generate new leads and customers for your desired cost per purchase.
  • Target ROAS: Get the best return on investment (ROI) on your spend.
  • Maximize Conversions: Increase your conversion rate.

4 . Advanced audience targeting 

One of the main differences between advertising on Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads until recently was the targeting methods used. Google used to be solely focused on keywords, and then, serving relevant creative to people who searched for those keywords.

Alternatively, Facebook targeting used audiences based on people’s behaviour as a group.
So you could reasonably expect that people with the same behaviour would respond similarly to your ads. Two different methods, both with their own merits.

But in recent years Google made the leap into audience targeting too. With so much data being collected through YouTube, Gmail, and Google accounts, this has enabled to grow more targeting methods based on user behaviour too.

Two new ways to reach your ideal customer on Google Search: affinity audiences and seasonal event segments for in-market audiences

With affinity audiences, you can reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions, and habits.  Currently, all Google advertisers can access affinity audiences in Search, Display, and Video campaigns, as well as Gmail and Display & Video 360.

Select from in-market audiences to find customers who are in the market, which means that they're researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like yours. These audiences are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from likely buyers. In-market audiences can help drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase.

5. Google discovery ads

Google introduced Discovery Ads, which are native ads that show up in multiple Google feed environments. Discover’s content is arranged as cards under topics to explore and, depending on a user’s interests, includes different types like video, recipes, news articles and blog posts.

Similar to Display Ads or YouTube ads, Discovery Ads must be visually engaging and mobile-friendly so that they feel native to the feeds they are displayed on. Google uses machine learning to optimize ad placement based on users’ search history, feed engagement and other factors to deliver them to the most interested potential customers.

Google's new Discovery Ads open up new opportunities for marketers to reach potential customers not just in the Discover feed, but also in the YouTube home feed and Gmail as well.

We can’t be sure what to expect in the new year, what we do know is the future success of businesses advertising on Google will require a nimble and diversified strategy. So let’s keep an eye on trends!