Showcase Shopping Ads came to Google Shopping back in 2017, but there is still a lot of speculation on how best to utilize them. Showcase ads are designed to serve based on broader search queries, primarily on mobile devices, which makes for a great tactic for upper-funnel initiatives.
Tip #1 – Simply create a Showcase Ad
It seems easy enough, but you would be surprised how many advertisers have no showcase ads live at all. Think of it this way, certain search terms that Google deems eligible for showcase ads will ONLY serve Showcase Ads. This means if you have no showcase ads live, you don’t get to partake in the fun. Pay to play.
To put things into further perspective, showcase ads primarily serve on mobile devices which make up roughly 60% of all searches. On top of that, for the terms showcase ads are eligible to serve are typically broad search terms, and we all know the broader the query, the more search volume there is. So if you are not running any showcase ads at all, you could be missing out on a bigger portion of the pie than you even realize.
Tip #2 – Find out what terms trigger showcase ads
If you are already running showcase ads, then this should be as easy as downloading a search query report. This will give you an idea of how to get more granular with your targeting (see tip# 5).
But if you’re currently not running showcase ads, there’s still hope. Simply go to your nearest mobile device, open Google within an incognito or private browser and start searching by broad terms that relate to your brand. Examples of this can include “summer dresses”, “mens pants” & even some brand terms like “[insert brand] shirts”.
This will give you a sense of what search terms you’re missing out on and will hopefully inspire you to launch showcase ads of your own.
Tip #3 – Get seasonal
It doesn’t hurt to get into the holiday spirit with your Showcase Ads. Or any spirit for that matter. Showcase ads allow for lifestyle images to *ahem* showcase your brand. This is something that hasn’t really been possible with Google Shopping since images have primarily been product-based.
You’ll want to Include Header images & Headlines that relate to the appropriate season. If spring is in the air, make sure your header images show off the latest in spring fashion. Or when the holidays creep up on us like they always do, show off your holiday spirit with images of snow, gifts, x-mas trees or anything that will really resonate with your consumers. We see all too often advertisers running generic showcase ads all year long. Don’t be basic, be better.
Tip #4 – Include promotions in your headlines
It seems like a no-brainer to run promotional copy on showcase headlines, but anyone who’s tried to do so has probably experienced issues with getting ads approved in a timely manner.
Launching a new showcase ad the day of the promotion can be problematic since it can take up to 3 business days to get approved. And it can be even worse if you ended up pausing your evergreen showcase ads.
The trick here is to create showcase ads for promotions that occur frequently throughout the year. These ads will only need to be approved once, then you can schedule them to go live for whatever the upcoming promotion is without experiencing any lag time with ad approvals.
Not only will these headlines be more enticing to consumers, but it will also help you stand out against the competition. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of improved CTRs & Engagement Rates
Tip #5 – Never stop expanding
Once you create showcase ads, your work isn’t done. In fact, it’s only just beginning. With showcase ads live, you are able to get an idea of not only which terms are likely to trigger a showcase ad, but also which ones are converting for you.
Most showcase ads start out with generic categories like Apparel or Living Room Furniture, but you’ll start to notice that you’ll get converting search queries relating to something more specific like “Sherpas” or “Nightstands”. Take these as little golden nuggets that you will guide your showcase expansion.
Now you can create dedicated showcase ad groups for these specific categories. We’ve seen a generous increase in CTRs, conversion rates, a higher Search Impression Share, all at a lower average CPC & CPE.
Don’t be rooted in optimizing showcase campaigns with just bid changes. While showcase ads are a type of PLA, they require a lot more attention to achieve growth. Be sure to highlight promotions, change out ads based on seasonality, and finally, pay attention to search trends that you can expand on.