5 Visual Google Ad Formats Every Marketer Should Check Out

Ad Innovation Creativity August 27, 2019

5 Visual Google Ad Formats Every Marketer Should Check Out

These days, consumers aren’t just opening a general browser to search for what they want to buy. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have had a big impact on the way consumers “discover” and get inspired via images. Now Google too is bringing to market visual experiences for shoppers — opening the door to a variety of new ad formats for marketers. 

According to Google, 50 percent of online shoppers have found that product images have inspired them to purchase, and increasingly, they’re turning to Google Images so it should come as no surprise that the Googles of the world are making big investments in visual shopping solutions.  

To learn more about the advancements in visual ad formats, specifically from Google, we turned to expert Brent Ramos of Adswerve, a leading Google Marketing and Cloud partner and provider. Brent explains that the vast majority of information within our brain is processed visually and therefore, it is important that marketers look at ways to expand and take a chance with new ad formats. 

So what does this mean for marketers? A lot. Let’s explore five ad formats that marketers should check out: 

Shoppable Ads

#1 – Shoppable Ads 

This year, Google introduced Shoppable ads on Google Images as another way brands can connect with consumers. Advertisers can tag multiple products in a single, lifestyle image. This makes it possible for a shopper to search on a mobile device or desktop for ideas on how to organize a room or home office in the case of the example here. These ads appear in Google Images, and give shoppers the ability to hover over any sponsored ad for more information, including the items for sale, prices and the brand.

“Humans are visual creatures. So much so, in fact, that 90 percent of all information within our brain is processed visually. What does this mean for us as marketers? It means authentic and inspiring images will always resonate and be powered by how and when you can invoke that beauty to the beholder,” commented Ramos. 

Showcase Shopping Ads

#2 – Showcase Shopping Ads

In addition to Shoppable Ads, Google is bringing Showcase Shopping ads to image search. Showcase Shopping ads show relevant products together with lifestyle images that you choose to represent your brand or business. Google will expand Showcase Shopping ads to the image search results, the feed on Discover, and YouTube — making it possible for brands to deliver discovery-based shopping experiences at a broader range of high-funnel touchpoints.

“We are all used to PLAs or product listing ads and shopping ads within search. These ad types are generally response-oriented images that bring users to a specific product to purchase. Boldly shifting from this methodology, visual browsing experiences tend to be much more discovery-based – even within the lower funnel of search,” says Ramos.

#3 – Google Lens

Google also introduced Lens which is not only real-time but real-world search. People have already asked Google Lens more than a billion questions about things they see. Lens taps into machine learning (ML), computer vision and tens of billions of facts in the Knowledge Graph to answer these questions. 

Google Lens

Ramos adds, “Have you ever wanted to search for something “like this” as opposed to “exactly this”? Trying to transcribe something you visually experienced into a restricted text box? Lens can now style search decor or fashion images that spark your inspiration and then show you similar items in real time all by pointing the camera on your phone at what you desire or tapping just a part of a greater image. Lens takes visual search to the next level by utilizing your phone to capture any image as a browsable query.”

Galley Ads

#4 Gallery Ads 

Gallery ads are swipeable, image-based ads that allow you to showcase your products or services using a carousel of images at the top of the search results page. By combining search intent with a more interactive visual format, advertisers can feature up to eight images. Early testing shows a 25 percent uplift in Gallery formats over standard search and text formats. 

Gallery ads are immersive, swipeable ad formats residing at the top of your search engine results page. Think of these as similar formats like carousel ads in social environments with the huge advantage of being within Google search results. One item that is often overlooked within this format is the immersive (swipeable) nature. Any instance of user immersion will generally garner stronger intent or action,” added Ramos

#5 – Discovery Ads

In a recent Google / Ipsos study, 76 percent of consumers said they enjoyed making unexpected discoveries when shopping with 85 percent making a product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a product — such as reading reviews, comparing prices or purchasing the product. The insight led to the rollout of Discovery ads which will roll out to all advertisers globally later this year, Discovery ads allow brands to reach people across Google properties (the homepage, across YouTube and Gmail products). Google’s VP of Product Management Brad Bender has said that Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the ‘power of intent’”  which takes into account consumers’ past site visits, app downloads, videos watched and searches.  The result: opted in, user-specific discovery moments – now available to your marketing tactics.

Discovery Ads

Asked how Discovery ads worked, Ramos commented that, “Capitalizing on intent is a consistent tactic for marketers. Now we’re seeing the rise of capitalizing on open discovery. If inspiration is sparked in the mind of a user, why not start the funnel at that spark to find something new?”

Ramos believes “We are seeing the intersection of search, native, display, and shopping start to align in a unified channel. The formats are increasingly visual, mobile, and steeped in the immersive horizon with emerging tech, like AR. E-commerce then becomes an experience that is full-funnel, yet within a single channel, taking on an Amazon-esque attack from the full spectrum.”

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