Google recently launched Discovery Ads worldwide. Previously, Discovery was mainly found in the Yankee market in beta format. There has still been very little advertising in Finland, so now more than ever it is worth it to be fast – before your competitors get involved and advertising becomes much more expensive.

In the Finnish market, we have been able to drive Discover Ads for a couple of weeks with a few customers, and the first comments have been very interesting. Before we go straight to the results, I will first tell you what is going on.

What is Discovery Ads?

Discover new information and inspiration with Search, no query required (Google)

Discovery Ads is Google’s backlash against native ads and the ads on the feed of Facebook and Instagram. Like native ads, ads are displayed on Google’s Discover platform among news articles, so users do not drown in banners in the same way as in a traditional online magazines, for example. Instead, the ads come in very moderately and are based on the user’s interest.

Google’s Discover platform is reported on Google’s on help pages as follows:

Discover displays content based on the users’ actions on Google products, or whose source they have started tracking. It is not limited to same-day content, but previous content can also be displayed on Discover if we believe it is of interest to the user.

Discover also includes videos, sports scores, entertainment announcements (such as the release of a new movie), stock prices, event details (such as nominees for an important awards ceremony or a program for an upcoming music festival), and more. Discover view brings together content from all of your interests.

Google’s Discover platform is fully aimed at mobile users and is quite visible especially on Android phones, where it is integrated directly into the Google app. Discover reaches 800 million people worldwide. In addition, Discovery Ads allows you to reach a total of 2.8 billion users on Google’s other feeds on YouTube and Gmail. These figures are already talking about a channel for advertising, which is definitely worth considering when planning digital marketing.

Discovery Ads ad formats

Google uses responsive ads like Display Network for Discovery Ads. There are two ad styles, more traditional ads in one image, or a carousel ad familiar from Facebook, where you can use the images to build a small story or present e.g. more than one product in the same ad.

The structure of the ad is as follows:

  • 5 different headings with a maximum length of 40 characters
    (Note! 10 more characters than in responsive ads on the Google Display network!)
  • 5 different descriptions with a maximum length of 90 characters
  • Real 15 horizontal (1.91:1 ratios) and square (1:1 ratio) images.
  • company name and logos
  • address of the ad landing page, i.e. the wester
  • Business Call, or CTA.

So, as with Google’s Display network advertising, you can use a single ad to test hundreds of different combinations with AI, and you do not have to waste hours building hundreds of different banners for A/B testing. The more you come up with different ad angles for an ad, the more likely all options are to find the most interesting combination of your customers.

Top 9 Things Why You Should Try Discovery Ads Advertising

  1. A new advertising channel with very little competition in Finland.
  2. Due to the low competition, the ads receive good attention and the clicks are affordable.
  3. With remarketing, you can reach your potential customers from a new channel as well. The more widely you appear on the online services that your customer uses, the better your brand will stay in their minds.
  4. Discovery Ads campaigns helps you capture potential customers when they are inclined to try new brands.
  5. Fast to build and experiment with different advertising angles as an A/B test. You can test several hundred variations with a single ad.
  6. Creating an ad utilizes Google’s machine learning, allowing content to scale seamlessly across devices. On mobile, the appearance of ads natively takes advantage of the size of the mobile screen, making ads always look good regardless of the devices.
  7. You can create native ad-like advertising on Google’s network where the content is displayed according to the appearance of the media platform. Ads look like normal articles, and the user does not know how to automatically skip ads in the same way as with banner ads.
  8. The customer does not drown in advertisements like the traditional pages of online magazines, where the article itself is already starting to be difficult to read in the midst of dozens of ads. You can see this challenge in concrete terms by visiting popular Finnish websites of online magazines, where your screen has been wallpapered with numerous advertisements.
  9. You can take advantage of the same audiences that you have with Google Display Advertising. For example, In-Market audiences also work very well in Discovery campaigns, allowing you to get off to a good start. According to the tests, Facebook’s feed-based carousel ads also bite well in Google’s Discovery Ads, so if you are already doing social media advertising, you should try the same advertising angles on Google.

What challenges can you face in Discovery Ads advertising?

  • It is challenging to manage advertising yourself, AI handles most of the targeting and biding. You cannot influence the look of your ad either, but Google creates the ad natively by using the images and texts you provide.
  • You cannot use manual bidding strategies, and Google has full control over the price of a click.
  • You cannot influence the placement, as the ads appear in all locations decided by Google. You also do not know how many ads are running e.g. on YouTube compared to Gmail or Discover.
  • You cannot control how often your ad is shown to an individual.
  • Google recommends that you set a daily budget of at least 10 times your CPA target and wait at least 40 conversions before making any changes to your campaign. This may be a challenging goal for small B2B businesses, although tests show that even with a smaller budget, you can get good results right from the start.
  • Although the Discover platform is well integrated, especially on many Android phones, there may not yet be enough active Finnish users if you want to reach everyone who visits your site with remarketing. As a result, you should continue to advertise on the Display Network as well as on social media.

Consider these things in Discovery Ads advertising

  • As with efficient digital marketing in general, you need to have conversion tracking in a very good condition. Google’s AI is the key to improving conversions on your site’s conversion data, so make sure that conversion tracking, especially in your online store is at its peak.
  • Discovery campaigns must comply with Google’s policies. e.g. the images must not contain any prompts or buttons.
  • Images must be of high quality , so do not oversize your images, but let Google do the post-processing of your images. Images should be at least 1.200 pixels wide.
  • Ty to use at least five different images in your carousel ad. Make 2 different versions of the test, one in 1.19:1 format and the other in 1:1 format.
  • While results have also been obtained for large conversions at the end of the sales pipeline, Discovery ads are, as the name implies, designed for the beginning of the funnel. In other words, from an advertising angle, it is a good idea to highlight your customers’ pain points and provide useful educational content, and leave campaigns based on purchase (/request for quotation) directly to other formats of advertising. The main goal of Discovery ads is not to sell the product, but to pique the public interest in your business and products.
  • Get the most out of remarketing and then start scaling your advertising with Google’s AI-based In-Market and Custom Intent targets.
  • Try to make your ad text and images to look as native as possible, such as news articles.

Experiences with Discovery Ads advertising

Here are some picks from foreign online publications:

“Compared to average display campaigns, Discovery Ads have better click and conversion rates. The CPL is much cheaper than conventional display and search ads.” –

“Over the try-out period (a few weeks) Discovery Campaigns offered a better clickthrough rate, a higher conversion rate and ROAS, and a lower cost per click, than our standard display ads.” –

“… The Discovery Campaign had more clicks attributed to it than the Display Campaign, driven by its relatively high clickthrough rate. This lines up pretty closely to my prior beliefs about the two campaign types, given that a native ad format on a high-engagement stream should induce more clicks than an ad on the display network.” – PPC Hero

In our own tests in the Finnish market, we have come up with similar results: Discovery is clearly cheaper, ads are more noticeable, and they also have a higher clickthrough rate.

Here is a screenshot of one of our client’s accounts, where the Display ad was piloted with the same targeting for the Discovery Ads network.

The situation may change as soon as more advertisers enter the same ad workshops with their network. For the time being, Discovery Ads seems to be one of the most important digital advertising reforms of 2020, both for brand advertising such as native advertising and for campaign advertising leading to a store.

So do not worry anymore, just start testing Discovery Ads today!