Our 5 Top Predictions for the Secret Announcements at Google Marketing Live
Every year, Google holds its annual Google Marketing Live event to announce their newest ad products, features, innovations, and plans for the coming year. And every year, both the event and the hype keep growing! The WordStream crew will be live in the front row of the event in San Francisco, but it’s hard to contain our excitement. Only a select few at Google truly know what they’ll announce at Google Marketing Live, but while we’ve been preparing for GML 2019, we reviewed Google’s biggest announcements every year—and we’ve made our predictions for what Google will likely announce this year.
These are our five big predictions, but I’m sure even we’ll be surprised by some of the news when it’s announced. If you want to be among the first to know how Google plans to change for advertisers, register for our upcoming webinar covering the big announcement on Wednesday, May 15!
1. New ad types
A common headliner of Google Marketing Live is the announcement of at least one new, exciting ad type. In 2016, Google took the stage and announced its largest change to its search ads to date: 90-character standard text ads would be replaced by 160-character expanded text ads. Then just two years later, Google took the same stage again to introduce the 300-character responsive search ads. Outside of Search, Google has used this event every year to introduce new display and video ad formats, such as responsive display ads in 2016, TrueView for action, and lead ads for YouTube.
A few trends have emerged from Google that we can likely expect to continue with the announcements next week:
- New ads are getting bigger—meaning more room and flexibility for advertisers to convey their messages.
- New ads are now driven by assets, rather than a static experience.
- New ads are becoming more visual by integrating text, images, and video across networks.
- New ads are more interactive, providing new ways to engage your audience than just a click a simple click through.
2. More campaign types
The Google SERP is an exciting place, certainly. But Google is more than just its own search engine. Google’s reach expands to Display, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Chat, Voice Search, Assistant, and soon Stadia. All this reach means more opportunities for advertisers.
Every year, Google has announced new campaign types and innovations to help advertisers manage their campaigns beyond the SERP. In 2016, Google introduced local search ads and map ads within Search campaigns. In 2017, Google surprised us by integrating voice search and Google Assistant into the Shopping Actions within our Shopping campaigns. And last year, Hotel Ads and Smart campaigns paved the way for advertisers to easily launch and manage their campaigns across multiple networks at once.
We can expect this year for Google to introduce more campaigns that:
- Reach beyond the Google SERP.
- Show your ads across more screens and devices.
- Automatically adjust your ads bids and targeting to reach your goals.
3. New ways to target your audience
Keywords don’t buy your products—people do! Although keywords aren’t going away anytime soon, the rise of targeting audiences within our campaigns is growing every year, and Google is not too shy to use its annual event to flaunt it. In years past, we’ve seen Google announce the additions of demographics targeting, in-market audiences, and life event targeting to our campaigns on Google Ads.
This trend is likely to continue, and Google may announce more audience solutions, such as:
- Expanding the targeting of current methods to new networks.
- Introducing new demographic segments to target.
- Adding ways to leverage your first-party data to reach your customers online.
4. Additional success metrics
Even the most result-driven advertisers know that there’s more to measure than just conversions. Regardless how you attribute your campaign’s success, we know conversions are often influenced by dozens different ad interactions online. In years past, Google has used other signals of a user’s path to conversions and introduced new ways for advertisers to measure the success of their ads—such as store visits, surveys 360, and brand lift studies.
With more signals than ever, Google has more insight into a users’ actions than ever and could potentially share new ways to understand how our ads impact and influence our audiences. Maybe we’ll even hear about what happened to that free Google Attribution platform they announced in 2017.
5. The Loss of a Favorite Feature
Alas, Google giveth and Google taketh away. Although never the intended headliner, Google has often announced plans to kill a beloved feature at these events. In 2013, advertisers lamented the (albeit temporary) loss of their campaign device targeting with enhanced campaigns. The introduction of expanded text ads also saw the end of standard text ads too early for some. And even last year, the rebranded Google Ads and the new interface meant the end of the Google AdWords brand and the beloved old interface that advertisers had grown accustomed to over five years.
It’ll be hard to predict what feature Google plans to “enhance” (read: remove) this year, but power users should worry the most. In its efforts to make its platform easier and more accessible to more advertisers, Google often tries to streamline its new workflows and remove the less used that power users rely on the most.
While these predictions will help us get ready for the excitement, we all know that Google can be unpredictable! As we begin to plan for all of Google’s changes in 2019 and beyond, we’ll be hosting an exciting webinar covering all the new announcements, reactions, and insider knowledge that we can’t share in advance! You don’t want to miss this once-a-year event, so be sure to register for our webinar on Wednesday, May 15 here.