Google Marketing Live otherwise known as Google I O 2023 took place on 23rd May 2023, and as you can imagine, AI featured heavily. Let’s break down some of the most significant announcements made, firstly looking at the changes being made to Google Ads then Product Studio and then Bard (and finishing off with a couple of tech updates).
In this blog we will cover:
- Google Ads will allow you to create campaigns using conversational AI
- Performance Max
- Search Generative Ads (SGE) & Ads experience for users
- New ad campaign types: video views and demand generation
- Merchant Center
- Product Studio
- Google Bard
- Tech you may have missed
1. Google Ads will allow you to create campaigns using conversational AI
Coming in July 2023, conversational AI will help businesses create ads for their target audience. Businesses need to tell AI about their product or service and from there it generates headlines, descriptions, site links, and callouts. The more information that you provide, the more refined the ads will be. Google will give prompts on improving the ad; however, you will still have complete control over whether you choose to follow Google’s ideas or use your own.
2. Performance Max
Performance Max is the new goal-based campaign that allows performance advertisers to access all their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Performance Max will help drive performance based on your conversion goals and optimise real-time performance.
3. Search Generative Ads (SGE) & Ads experience for users
Google’s will soon be bringing users AI-powered search results. Machine learning will give users more personalised results, based on their previous search journey and contextual clues.
From the search below, you can see the user is interested in which park would suit their family’s needs. Search Generative Experience (SGE) will also prompt users to ask follow-up questions related to their search, turning search more conversational than transactional.
Image credit – Google
Expanding further on the Search Generative Experience, ads will integrate shopping and search into one. From the example below, you can see that the search was for “hiking backpacks for kids”.AI provides some context on the subject and lists some suggestions, with the sponsored ad at the top of the list. Continuing with its conversational theme, users have suggested follow-up questions they may be interested in.
Image Credit – Search Engine Land
4. New ad campaign types: video views and demand generation
Video views campaigns are aimed at maximising views. These campaigns include a variety of formats:
- Skippable in-stream ads
- In-feed ads
- Shorts ads
Demand-gen ads leverage AI to help engage and garner action with consumers. These ads will run across a multitude of Google products including:
- YouTube Shorts
- YouTube in-stream
- YouTube in-feed
- Gmail placements
With Demand Gen, you can create campaigns that are AI-powered look-a-like audiences. You can choose from narrow, balanced, and broad campaigns.
5. Merchant Center
Merchant Center will be receiving an update in 2024, with simplicity being the key change. Retailers will be able to easily connect product information from their websites and have control over how those products appear on Google without manually updating a feed.
6. Product Studio
Product Studio will allow merchants to easily create product imagery using generative AI. This is an excellent tool for creating new imagery as well as enhancing the images you already have. For example, if you had an image of a skincare item you can change the background; perhaps you want a seasonal background? You can enter some text highlighting what you want the scene to be.
Image credit – Google – Image of exfoliating scrub with different AI-generated backgrounds.
If you want more control over your photos, another great photography tool will be the Magic Editor (used in Google Photos) where you can use AI for photo editing (such as changing the colour of the sky), or even remove people completely. Another excellent tool is the content aware fill which will allow you to remove a certain part of the photo (for example a bag strap) and Google will fill in the missing bit.
7. Google Bard is here and free to use
Google Bard was limited to a few subscribers (in beta testing). Now that it’s available in over 180 countries and free to use, Google Bard will rival ChatGPT.
We tested it ourselves and have to say it performed well in testing, answering the questions we asked it with accuracy.
Google users will be able to benefit from the experience of other users. Google will be including a perspectives filter at the top of search results which will show long and short-form videos, images and written posts, which users have shared on discussion boards, Q&A sites and social media platforms.
Image credit – Google
9. Tech you may have missed
For some marketers, travel is part of their jobs, and if you need maps to get around, then Google Maps has made a huge update with an immersive view of the routes you need to take. Google has combined Street View and aerial images to create a digital model of your route.
Owners of Google Pixel phones can enrol now for a beta version of Android 14. And if you want a bigger screen than the new Pixel 7a phone, consider the Pixel Tablet which has Google AI built-in and can be used as a smart home controller.
As we said at the start, Google is making strides and featuring AI heavily in all of its updates, and some of these will invariably change the way we use Google search. For businesses, the changes thus far appear to help streamline processes with ad performance and measurement.
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