The world of advertising is constantly evolving, and artificial intelligence is beginning to dominate it. Google often rolls out significant changes in its features, and automated advertising is one of them. What is a smart shopping campaign? How are they different from standard campaigns? Here’s all you need to know!
What is a Standard Campaign?
Google has a shopping service that allows consumers to buy products online from advertisers that market their products on Google. If you are a business, this feature allows you to promote your products to a wide range of people when they are actively looking for you.
Standard shopping campaigns are the original form of PPC advertising on Google. In these ads, you’re in full control of the entire marketing campaign, and you get to set the targeting options, set the budget, pick the products you want to promote, and set your bidding strategy.
Once you settle on the products to promote, you have to create and upload a product list to Google and then wait for them to review it. Any additional changes to the products mean you have to file the changes and that they’ll only be implemented once Google reviews them.
What is a Smart Shopping Campaign?
Almost all aspects of people’s lives are getting automated daily. Think about it; need a ride? There’s an app for that! Want to shop? You can do so in the comfort of your home. Want to transfer money? You don’t have to visit the bank. Why not automate advertising as well?
This is exactly what Google did. In 2018, they did more than rebrand Google AdWords into Google Ads; they released the smart shopping campaigns.
Smart shopping campaigns are a fully automated version of Google shopping campaigns. Their main aim is to simplify the running of ads and to maximize conversions without having a huge impact on the set budget.
Simply put, Google takes standard campaigns and then uses AI and machine learning to improve them.
How Do Smart Shopping Campaigns Work?
Google smart campaigns are an improved version of the standard shopping campaigns. They require near-zero maintenance, and everything, including bidding and targeting, is automated. You only have to provide Google with a product sheet and different text and image variation, and they will use this information to test out different combinations and show the most relevant ads.
Here’s the best part though, your ads are shown not only in the SERPs but also on Google’s partner sites, including YouTube, Google display, and Gmail.
You can create multiple smart shopping ads, with a limit of 100 ads.
To be able to run smart shopping campaigns you need to meet the following stipulations;
- Meet all the set requirements by Google
- Add a global site tag and have a remarketing list of at least 100 users.
- Set up convection tracking and make at least 20 conversions within 45 days in other ads.
Pros of Smart Campaigns
- They are easy to set up and launch – since most aspects of the ads are automated, you can have your campaigns up and running in a few clicks. This makes them the best option for advertisers who aren’t fully versant with running ads across Google.
- They are low maintenance – standard campaigns can be tedious. You have to conduct keyword research, develop a bidding strategy, find and eliminate negative keywords, etc. All this is eliminated when it comes to smart campaigns.
- Conversion rates are high – smart shopping ads have been optimized to make sure they reach customers who are likely to help your business achieve the set goals.
- Smart shopping campaigns can reach a wider audience since they are shown on multiple networks.
Cons of Smart Campaigns
One of the major drawbacks of running these campaigns is that automation comes with a lack of control over the campaign. You don’t get to decide where your ad is shown, who it is shown to or how your money is spent.
Other disadvantages include;
- Inability to include negative keywords
- You cannot adjust your bid amount
- You cannot alter scheduling.
Main Differences Between Smart Shopping Campaigns and Standard Campaigns
The major difference between smart shopping campaigns is, and standard campaigns is the automation feature. Other differences include:
- Smart campaigns are easy to set up while standard campaigns have a complex, time-consuming procedure and have to be set up manually.
- Standard shopping gives you full control over your location targeting while in smart shopping, the location targeting is limited.
- Smart shopping requires you to have historical data for it to run efficiently while you can easily create a standard shopping ad from scratch.
- Standard shopping allows you to add negative keywords and gives you control of the networks you’d like your ads to be shown while in smart shopping, it is out of your hand.
- Smart shopping campaigns test different image-text combinations to find the most effective one for your audience while standard shopping lacks this feature.
- You can have multiple landing pages for standard shopping ads while smart shopping requires you to use your catalog page as your landing page.
Even with these profound differences, it’s difficult to ignore the benefits that come with running a smart shopping campaign. Yes, you will have limited control over your ads, but they will be optimized to increase conversions, and your budget will stretch a bit further.
Smart Shopping Campaign vs. Standard Campaigns: Which One Fits Your Business?
How do you know which type of ad to run for your business? This is all dependent on a variety of factors, including your set budget, how much control you want over the campaign, and whether you’re remarketing or advertising to new customers. All factors considered, smart shopping campaigns are easy to run and are highly effective. Standard ads may give you control over your ads by they are incredibly difficult to master.
Not sure which type of ad fits your business? Get in touch with our team to find out if your brand can benefit from using smart shopping campaigns.