Google’s Responsive Display Ads have been available for several months now, and marketers have embraced the ad type with open arms, namely because they make creating a host of ads so darn easy. Just by adding a queue of text and some images, marketing experts and newbies can rely on the power of Google’s algorithms to automatically create effective ads and serve them up across Google’s Display Network. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to incorporate Responsive Display Ads into your own marketing mix and are liking the numbers you’re seeing.
Since releasing RDS into the wild, Google is quickly adding new capabilities to the ads, an indication that they’re going to be around for a long, long time. Below, check out the three newest features and our advice for applying them to your next campaign.
Review: Responsive Display Ads
If you know Responsive Display Ads so well you feel like you could write the book on them, keep scrolling to the second half of this post. If you want a refresher or –ohmygod– somehow missed RDA altogether, read on.
When Responsive Display Ads were introduced in mid-2018, no one was that surprised since in 2016 Google had debuted responsive ads for display that automatically resized. RDA replaced responsive ads and became the default ad type for GDN. Instead of creating individual ads, marketers could now upload images and variations of text and Google would use the elements to automatically generate ads to be shown on the Google Display Network.
After years of serving up little text-filled blocks that consumers had learned to train their eyes to ignore, this image-based ad was Google’s answer to draw attention back to what advertisers had to say.
Today, marketers look to Google’s Responsive Display Ads as a nearly effortless way to get their message out across Google’s Display Network, including Native, Text, and Banner ad spaces.
How to use the 3 new features
At the end of February, Google announced three new features for Responsive Display Ads that are designed to improve functionality, reach, and reporting.
According to Google, 60% of shoppers say online videos have given them ideas or inspiration for their purchase, so the company added 30-second video capabilities, with each video scaling beautifully to match any and all screen sizes. To add a video to a campaign, you will have to upload it to YouTube first since the RDA will only all you to choose videos from your YouTube page.
How To Use in a Campaign: Create some killer videos! We recently did a roundup of 7 Resources to Improve Your Video Strategy in 2019 that is chock-full of tips. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of cranking out videos, head to this post which includes advice on getting started with what you already have – webinars and webcasts, downloadables, and services, products, and tools.
Ad Strength Scorecard
Before you even click the big scary button that makes your ads go live, the Ad Strength Scorecard will let you know if you’ve created something worthy. Google will double check your work, making sure you have the optimal number of unique headlines, images, and descriptions. If you’re off the mark, Google will even provide suggestions to make improvements, and give you a score that helps you determine how you’re doing compared to other marketers.
How To Use in a Campaign: The answer to this is pretty straightforward—just use the heck out of the scorecard. It’s like a teacher handing you the hints to a test that's worth 80% of your grade. Scorecard lets you polish up your ads before spending a penny,
One of the most important, but toughest questions marketers are always trying to answer is “what’s working, and why?” The Combinations Report provides insights into the performance of specific creative asset combinations. The report digs pretty deep, too, showing you separate sections for combinations based on your images, text, dynamic feeds, and videos.
How To Use in a Campaign: The Combinations Report is basically the data you’d get from a detailed A/B test. Once you’ve identified your top performers, test them even further, or if you’re happy with the results already, make them the leading ad components in your next campaign.
Just when you thought Google couldn’t have made it easier to create impressive ads with a far reach, the company added three new features that are super useful and helpful. We’re excited to see what the next round of features includes, and how we can use them to continue to beat down CPC, and CPM, and drive up CTR. If you’re looking for data to benchmark your own numbers, check out our most recent report.
BONUS: For more tips on jazzing up the images you upload to RDA, check out our post 17 Free Photoshop Templates for Google Display Ads. In addition to the templates, you’ll find super helpful suggestions like using the “Z-Pattern” in your layout design. In other words, place your value proposition on the top left side of the ad, and your call-to-action on the bottom right.