Click Through Reads #30: Google Ads Business Verification and YouTube Audio Ads

Johanna Gumbrill
December 3, 2020

Welcome back to the news Click-Through-Readers! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate all the foods. This week we cover some larger updates including Google Ads Business Verifications which could lead to accounts being paused (better be safe than sorry and check your account!), a new ad format that has a limited promotional offer from Google (spoiler alert - it’s for YouTube Audio ads), some simple campaign design strategies, enhancements to Google’s Smart bidding projections, updates for Google Discovery ads, and finally Facebook adding Calls as a lead generation option. We have the details for you! Let’s get to the news.

Google Ads Business Verification

Starting January 25th, 2021, Google ad accounts might be paused if businesses aren’t verified in the platform. This will only affect accounts where they determine the business model is unclear and they suspect the advertising to be harmful to users. This may not affect all advertisers, but it’s better to be safe and make sure all ad accounts are verified. 

Audio ads on YouTube expand reach and grow brand awareness

As more people are at home enjoying media, YouTube is responding with a new way for marketers to create ads on their platform. In November YouTube introduced audio ads, the first ad format designed to connect brands with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube. Audio ads are currently in Beta. They are designed to help marketers efficiently expand their reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative that still has the power of YouTube’s measurement, and safety net of their brand safety features. 

In our months of alpha testing, YouTube found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.

A whole new ad type, audio ads are characterized by creatives where the audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering your message. The visual component is typically a still image or simple animation. 

When creating these ads, marketers should keep in mind that audio should play the leading role. “Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about. Be clear and specific with your message and pick a friendly, authentic voice to deliver it.” Audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the same audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns. 

JDM has been told by our Google reps that there is a limited time promotional offer for running these ads. Be sure to reach out to your Google rep asap if you are interested in testing these.

Think Simple About Campaign Design

Complexity in our accounts is expected and unavoidable but there are some ways of thinking that can keep us sane. As an example we can look to four of industrial designer Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design:

  1. Useful - Each campaign should have a clearly defined purpose toward a goal, whether it be leads, sales or signups.

  2. Understandable - Someone beyond the designer should be able to understand what is going on and how to manage it.

  3. Long lasting - Have your core performing campaigns set up to do their job with minimal changes or updates required

  4. Little design as possible - Create campaigns with as little as needed to achieve stated goal.

Facebook Adds Calls as a Lead Generation Option

At the end of last month, Facebook introduced calls for lead gen ads. Previously the only option for lead generation on Facebook was forms. It is recommended to schedule ads to run during your business hours to ensure calls are answered.

Google Ads’ Smart Bidding Enhances Predictions & Insights

Google Ads has announced enhancements in reporting for their Smart Bidding algorithm -- they are focusing on deeper reporting insights and predictive technology. 

Up until now, predictive data was based on the past 7 days of data which would show what would have happened in the past. Smart Bidding has now been upgraded with the ability to forecast up to 90 days out, accounting for upcoming influencers like seasonality.

Advertisers can now also see recommendations to improve their Smart Bidding results for things like keywords and budgets. Google notes there will be future expansion of these recommendations into other factors.

New Updates for Google Discovery Ads

Throughout this holiday season, users are discovering new businesses and products as they shop for their loved ones. Google states that “91% of Google feed users say they took some kind of shopping or product-related action immediately after discovering new products, services, or brands on their feeds.” Due to the increasing popularity of the feed, Google has rolled out new updates for Discovery campaigns to allow advertisers to better connect with their audience.

  1. 4:5 image ratio: Advertisers are now able to launch campaigns with a 4:5 portrait aspect ratio, allowing them to better display their products as users scroll through their feeds.

  2. Lead form extensions: Advertisers can use the Lead Form Extension to drive users to share lead information directly from Discovery ads in Gmail.