Google releases new Smart Campaigns features for small businesses

Google Smart Campaigns designed to help small businesses get online fast.

Google has released a new tool to help businesses quickly get online and start selling their products amidst pandemic conditions which have forced many lockdowns across cities.

In a post on the official Google Ads blog, the company said they ahve rolled out several new features specifically designed to make advertising on Google simple and easy for small businesses.

So what are these new features?

1. Mobile Signup

It is now easier than ever to sign up for smart campaigns and get ads running on Google through the Google Ads mobile app, available on both Android and iOS.

In-app signup is now available in the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Japan, while more countries are expected to follow.

For a small business, not so tech-savvy business owner, the ability to get ads up and running in minutes on Google Ads is a strong incentive.

Source: Google Ads

2. Google Maps ads

Step by step, Google has been monetizing one of the last pieces of online real estate that has remained largely ad free over the years: Google Maps.

With over one billion users that visit each month, and the strong appeal of local ads, Google Maps is especially appealing for small business with a hyper-local client basis. Think restaurants, cafes, dry cleaners etc.

Businesses can use promoted pins on Google Maps to have their business appear when users search for directions or enter in a zip code for a nearby area.

The prominent, square-shaped pin then appears, which can include the different services a business offers, operating hours and more.

Usually Promoted Pins cost money for businesses, but Google has scrapped those charges until September 2020. Small businesses that focus on local customers therefore have an easy way to get their business name out there, without being charged for any clicks, calls or sales using Promoted pins.

To use Promoted pins in Smart campaigns, you will need a Google My Business profile, but it still isn't fully available yet.

Easily track ad performance

Google has simplified its reporting features to make them more accessible in their latest changes to the system. These updates include a quick search to instantly see the status of your ads, a snapshot of their performance and key metrics, as well as previews to see how the ads are appearing for customers.

All you have to do is sign into your Google account and search for 'my ads' or 'google ads' directly in and all your ads will appear.

This feature plans to be released to Smart campaign advertisers in the next few weeks.

4. Keyword themes

Google has rebranded its previous 'products and services' tab bar to 'keyword themes' in a bid to make it more sleek and comprehensible.

With keyword themes, a business simply ads in the phrases that they would like their ad to appear for, and Google will take care of the rest, by combining those phrases with similar search terms and showing your ads to a wider audience while remaining relevant.

Keyword themes can always be removed, so that a business is in full control over the keywords that ads are shown for. Like the other features, they aren't all available yet, but will go live in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

Google has been critized by marketers in the past for changing match type definitions and making it harder for advertisers to ensure that their ad only appears on a specific search term and not others so as not to overspend budgets.

5. YouTube Product Feeds

Google is not just encouraging small businesses to advertiser on search. Last week the company also announced a slew of updates to YouTube and video ads.

Most importantly, YouTube ads will now have an option to add multiple product links in videos while they play.

As Google put it: "All you need to do is sync your Google Merchant Center feed to your video ads, and you can visually expand your call-to-action button with the best-sellers you want to feature and drive traffic to the product pages that matter."

6. Video Action Campaigns

Google has also announced video action campaigns designed to drive more conversions across YouTube.

While traditionally, advertising on YouTube meant creating video ads, now you businesses will be able to launch a video action campaign and have their best-performing ads shown across the YouTueb home feed, watch pages and Google video partners.

7. Lead generation forms for videos

Businesses can now add lead forms to their video campaigns on YouTube. Advertisers will now be able to capture leads without interrupting the viewing experience for the potential customer.

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