Paid Media (SEM) / Digital Marketing

Discovery Ads: What are they? Where should they be used?

Dominika Kleinova

16 Mar 2021

There are several different ad formats that can be implemented across Google. But which one is the right one for your business? In this article we will dissect Discovery Ads and their unique assets and formats, and how they can complement your existing digital marketing activity.

What are Discovery Ads?

Discovery Ads belong to the Google Display Network promoted on Google Discovery. It’s a Google News Feed that shows users personalised stories on topics they might be interested in. Unlike Google Search Ads, no search query is needed to have these ads/topics appear. More than 800 million people worldwide use the feature each month to stay up to date, which allows advertisers to reach a large segment of users through Google discovery.

There are two formats:

  1. Standard Ads (Single Image) 

You can provide up to five headlines, each with 40 characters (10 characters more than other ad types). Descriptions are an opportunity to provide more information about the product. You can also upload five descriptions, each with 90 characters. You can choose your own call to action or allow Google to test and optimise the call to action. Machine learning mixes and matches headlines and descriptions to create the best ad experience possible. You can test the square and landscape images

  1. Discovery Carousel Ads

Discovery carousel ads allow users to scroll through all the images that are provided in a carousel format. There can be 2-10 images uploaded with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1, square or landscape. You can’t mix square and landscape as the ads may be disallowed. Google will display them in the order you upload them. There is only one headline and description.

Why should you use Discovery Ads?

  1. It’s convenient

At the very bare minimum, advertisers can set up one campaign with one creative to kick start a discovery campaign. The same creative will be used on all three placements across News Feeds, YouTube and Gmail. Thus, this saves you time in creating three different ad specs for three different channels.

  1. It’s the only way to target Life Events audience is through GDN

Detailed demographics, affinity and in-market are the standard audience types that both Google Search and Google Display campaigns can tap into. Discovery Ads belong to the Google Display Network, which can help you target Life Events audiences, such as just married, new business creation, just bought a house, about to graduate, retire and more. This provides great scope to unlock lifestage audience data as prospecting. We can retarget via Search Ads to someone who has interacted with the Discovery Ads.

  1. Brand awareness and sales, why not both?

Standard Display banner ads are generally designed to raise brand awareness (CPM, CTR, Impressions and clicks). However, with Target CPA and Maximise Conversion bidding strategies available, measure for success for Discovery ads is in fact, conversions and cost-per-lead. This proves that Discovery is a great tool for not only to raise brand awareness, but also drive sales.

We’ve tried Discovery and it worked 

Late last year, we were tasked by one of our clients, ABB, to drive conversions on a niche product. As product awareness was low at the time of the project, it would have been very costly to drive conversions without any brand awareness activities.

We opted to test run Discovery Ad alongside with Paid Search. After the first month, we saw a 10% improvement in CPC and 15% increase in CTR.

By the end of month 2, Discovery Ads outperformed Paid Search in clicks, conversions and CTR. And in the 3rd month, we saw a 7,388% spike in impressions, 67.4% increase in CPA and 18.1x in Clicks proving the power Discovery Ads truly can have.

There is great power in correctly using Discovery ads. Get in touch with GrowthOps Digital to learn more!

By Dominika Kleinova, Marketing Executive at GrowthOps Digital.

GrowthOps Digital is a full-service digital agency that offers end to end digital marketing services such as Google Ads, Social Media, Partnership Marketing, and more. Speak to us about your growth needs today.