Predictions 2023: Google
Rise Interactive is proud to be a certified Google Premier Partner, meaning we’re among the top 3% of Google partners in the United States. As a performance marketing agency with this designation, Rise has advanced access to innovative products, testing and exclusive events that help brands succeed.
With all of this collaboration, it was critical to hear Google’s insights and predictions to help clients connect the dots and best prioritize their digital marketing efforts in 2023 and beyond. Mina Salami (Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rise Interactive) and Rachel Turco (Senior Agency Development Manager, Google) sat down, in their virtual living rooms, to discuss the full picture of what Google learned in 2022 — and what they predict for 2023 — in our 2023 Predictions Series.
Want to know more? Read our recap below, or watch the full interview here!
Google Automation and Video Reigned Supreme in 2022
2022 brought two major areas of growth for Google in their ad space: Automation and TV Screen Video.
“We know that there’s a lot of opportunity to drive efficiency and effectiveness with our machine learning capabilities,” stated Turco.
2022 saw the release of Performance Max, which was designed to automatically maximize performance across the Google ecosystem. This tool helps advertisers to locate their most valuable customers anywhere in the funnel. A recent study showed that using Performance Max led to a 13% average increase in total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action. In 2022, Rise fully leaned into Google’s platform automation to drive early adoption of Performance Max.
According to Turco, YouTube content on TV screens was another trend that increased during the pandemic, and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.
“We saw that consumers are viewing their media completely differently,” said Turco. “TV Screens is YouTube’s fastest growing surface for organic watch time. On average, users watch a daily average of over 700m hours of YouTube content on TV devices — which is pretty shocking!”
YouTube on TV is a unique streaming platform that can offer the reach, co-viewing and big screen impact that TV provides, with made-for-digital innovations that only Google offers. Simply put, YouTube on TV provides better measurement capabilities that lead to better results.
Part of Rise’s core client types include lead generation, eCommerce and B2B brands, and Salami was interested to know about how the intersection of watch trends and automation was key to success in 2022 for these verticals.
“How can YouTube CTV and your automation products, like Performance Max, help them essentially reach their audiences more effectively and be better marketers?”
“Audience strategy is really key, and it seems like today we have really endless entertainment options, the media environment and consumers’ attention is a lot more fragmented than it ever has been,” responded Turco.
For example, when it comes to YouTube Connected TV, Google reaches 100m+ U.S. users on their TV every month. This reach means Google can put together a winning strategy for any target audience. However, there are three Turco highlighted specifically:
Three major target audiences a YouTube CTV strategy can reach include:
Broad and hard to reach audiences
Highly engaged audiences
Audiences with a younger skew
Turco added that using Performance Max was key to driving action (like powering online sales, generating leads, or connecting the dots with offline sales), which allows marketers to not only see where in the funnel potential customers are, but also lets them speed up the campaign learning process.
Finally, Salami noted the perceived creative lift for YouTube might be daunting for some advertisers — and that Google has a number of product offerings for creative that advertisers can utilize quickly and easily to get their YouTube campaigns going. Turco emphasized the need to be present on YouTube over having a perfectly produced asset. The most turnkey tool to make activating on YouTube part of your current approach is video creation in Google Ads.
Video Create in Google Ads is an advertising tool that allows you to create video ads efficiently using one of 14 different templates. These templates can be used to elicit certain actions or types of engagement, like highlighting products or triggering app downloads.
Google also has exclusive offerings for top partners like Rise Interactive, such as their in-house production team, or their ability to connect you with a verified creative partner.
2023: Privacy-First Automation, Content & Measurement
“Sounds like Google had a big year with automation and video— so let’s chat about 2023,” said Salami. “What are some of your biggest bets?”
“There’s three key areas I’d consider Google’s big bets for next year: Automation, privacy and video,” stated Turco.
- AUTOMATION: Google is continuing to uplevel automated bid strategies to drive towards business outcomes, instead of only media KPIs. They pair machine learning with strategic input based on in-depth knowledge of your brand. This allows Google to optimize towards key metrics (like volume, efficiency, profit or lifetime value) that are most relevant to achieving goals that are central to your business.
- PRIVACY-FIRST STRATEGIES: Google has their own privacy strategy that rests on three pillars:
- First-party data solutions and infrastructure
- Machine learning
- Creating new privacy-preserving technologies, such as enhanced conversion
- VIDEO AT THE FOREFRONT: Video will be a main focus for Google in 2023, in three specific ways:
- With increased appetite for short-form content, Google is investing more in their YouTube Shorts product. This micro-video platform was launched in 2020, and now enables creators to monetize the content they post to Shorts. It also provides a fresh avenue for advertisers to reach new audiences on YouTube.
- Additionally, Google will innovate new solutions for shoppable YouTube experiences to continue making the traditionally viewing focused platform into a one stop shop for consumers.
- Given the rise and results of CTV on YouTube, this will remain where Google places their growth emphasis in 2023.
Salami wanted to specifically call out how marketers can handle shifting privacy measures and demands, which has been a key element in digital marketing as of late. Given that Google has delayed the depreciation of cookies, we as an agency push for being proactive with future–proofing strategies while keeping consumers’ privacy top of mind. So, what does Google recommend advertisers do now to prepare for the planned sunset of the cookie in 2024?
“There’s a lot you can do today before that even happens,” stated Turco. “We created a three-step framework to help advertisers build an actual plan. Think of it as build, measure, and activate.”
- Build. Build a direct customer relationship based on responsibly-gathered, first-party data. Link the data you’ve collected within Google’s ad and measurement tools to optimize your performance.
- Measure. Use sitewide tagging solutions that can set first-party cookies for measuring conversions. Google also encourages advertisers to get started with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties. Keep in mind that the switch to GA4 will be mandatory as of July 1, 2023. It’s built to automatically uncover insights from data that you can leverage to improve your marketing. And, by starting now, you’ll have ample historical data once you’re ready to make a full, permanent shift over to GA4.
- Activate. Drive customer objectives by keeping your ads relevant with automation. Google’s various machine learning solutions allow you to best utilize the data for impactful results.
Finally, advertisers need to consider Google’s influencer marketing solution, YouTube BrandConnect, which brings YouTube audience insights, measurement and industry expertise to the influencer marketing landscape, and seamlessly connects to brands, creators and fans. BrandConnect, along with other Google products, allow you to manage any full-funnel marketing strategy while driving awareness consideration, measuring impact and driving action.
Looking Ahead with Google
Your 2023 journey with Google will be focused on automated and innovative approaches to privacy-first, audience-centric advertising strategies, and personalized video content along the way. Knowing how to tap into the powerful insights and data that Google provides will not only future-proof your strategies, but also maximize your budget and incremental growth.
Ready to refine your approach to Google in 2023 and beyond? Contact us today!