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Google Gears Up For Black Friday With New Ad Tools

Google Expands Local & Shopping Campaigns Ahead Of Holiday Rush

The first day of spring has barely sprung, and already the end-of-year squeeze begins, with Goggle announcing a series of new features to help marketers prep for the holiday season.

Whilst Christmas is a good 113 days, 9 hours, 9 minutes,11 seconds away (at the point of writing), Black Friday looms larger; with campaigns now beginning as early as the second week of November.

Insert Psycho scream clip…

One of the significant growth areas for Google at the moment is Local campaigns, as it looks to begin monetising Google Maps more meaningfully.

With Local campaigns, you can connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing for businesses like yours across Maps, Search, YouTube and Display.

Offline-to-Online Finally Begins To Come Good

Not only is Google Maps an untapped gem, but it also plays an even bigger role, due to COVID, in ROPO and BOPIS online behaviours.

  • ROPO = Research Online Purchase Offline
  • BOPIS = Buy Online Pick-up In-Store

Who doesn't love a needless acronym.

With digital transformation accelerating, Google is exceptionally well placed to capitalise on the online to offline shift. After all, eCommerce is good and snowballing, but offline still dominates by a sizeable margin, even allowing for COVID consumer shifts.

Reena Nadkarni, Group Product Manager, Local Ads

“In an effort to stay safe and shop comfortably, consumers want to verify hours, confirm inventory, and check for options like curbside pickup before making a visit.

In a recent survey, 67% of holiday shoppers said they will confirm online that an item is in stock before going to the store to buy it.”

According to Google, searches for “clothing store open” have grown by 900% since last year and searches for “restaurants open for” are up 1000% year-over-year.

Top searches also include “local restaurants open for delivery” and “restaurants open for carryout near me.”

Campaign Optimisation For Store Visits

Now you can optimise Local campaigns for store visit indicators like clicks on “directions” and “calls,” not just store visit conversions.

Although store visit conversions have broad appeal, i.e. paying to drive people to a physical place or store, in practice most organisations are ineligible, due to extensive requirements.

As of yesterday, Google’s latest updates make it possible for even more businesses to access Local campaigns. Provide your store locations, campaign budget, and creative assets and Google’s machine learning technology will automatically optimise your campaign to meet your store-centric business goals.

You can easily update your goals as local conditions change, and select which locations to promote as your stores open and close.

Location, Location, Location Ad Extensions

For both Search and display campaigns, Location ad extensions are a must, especially for those wishing to push audiences from online to offline.

Location extensions can help people find your locations by showing your ads with your address, a map to your location or the distance to your business.

People can then click or tap your extension to get further details about your location on your location page, which includes the most relevant business information all in one place. Location extensions may also include a phone number or call button so that users can quickly call your business.

Location extensions can show your business information in various formats, including:

  • Google search sites, like Google Maps: Your location extensions can appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Maps, including the Maps app
  • YouTube Video Ads: Your location extensions may show on YouTube TrueView in-stream and bumper ads when people are near or have demonstrated an interest in, your local area
  • Google Display Network: Your location extensions may show on sites and apps on the Display Network when people are near, or have demonstrated an interest in, your local area

Now it’s easier for major retailers and chains to set up location extensions by selecting their store locations from a curated list from Google.

In just a few clicks, choose the chain you want to promote to quickly create a location extension. Google will review to make sure the chain is a good match for your business using signals like its website domain and country.

Later, you can use location groups to filter for specific locations within that chain. Google’s curated location lists allow you to use the same location information that powers Google Maps.

And to think, they’ve only just taken the hot cross buns off the shelves.

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