Advertising has been evolving throughout the years, with new platforms on the rise and the continuous addition of new technologies and features to existing platforms. The common thread between all the innovations and trends in this field is automation. In fact, all advertising platforms are now moving away from manual options and settings to more automated solutions, letting machine learning take over previously time-consuming tasks. This is so advertisers can focus on more strategic tasks instead of making small tweaks to bids, search terms, and budgets every day.
In this article, we have compiled a list of practical applications of automation features in Google and Meta Ads and their benefits.
Google introduced Smart Bidding in May 2018 as a way for advertisers to automate bidding with machine learning based on their campaign goals. There are currently two automated bidding strategies that Google Ads offers, and they either optimise towards conversions or conversion value:
- Maximise conversions (with optional Target CPA)
- Maximise conversion value (with optional Target ROAS)
For both of the bidding strategies, an optional field is available (Target CPA, Target ROAS), which work the same way as with the previous Target CPA and Target ROAS optimisation strategies, which are no longer available.
Smart bidding has many pros and cons; whilst it can save lots of manual optimisation time and adjust bids quicker than any human can, you get out what you put in. You need to ensure you are feeding the algorithms with quality data, at a high enough quantity to enable the machine to learn. It can also be a long process, with some campaigns taking up to 30 days before performance stops fluctuating.
Google’s Dynamic Search Ads
When working with Google Search campaigns, the standard procedure for campaign creation usually starts with thorough keyword research, where a list of target keywords is created and added to ad groups based on the theme.
Google has launched a “Dynamic” type of search campaign that allows advertisers to input a landing page URL, and Google will crawl the site content and automatically target relevant keywords that it believes will perform well.
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) campaigns are another great example of automation to cover additional keywords that account managers might not have found through normal keyword research. This campaign type is great for mining new keywords & spotting emerging search trends quickly, and at GA Agency, we leverage it to further improve the performance for our clients.
Meta’s Catalogue Ads
When looking at examples of automation in Meta’s advertising platform, the most relevant case is that of Catalogue Ads. This is available for all e-commerce businesses that sell physical or digital products by connecting their website platform to Meta through a product feed.
Catalogue ads are available in four formats, to give different designs and looks to the products:
- Meta Advantage+ catalogue ads (formerly known as dynamic ads)
- Collection ads
- Carousel ads
- Ads with product tags
As the limit for manual carousel ads is 10 cards, the real advantage for the dynamically-created campaigns type is for businesses with multiple products, as it allows you to promote your entire collection within a single ad creative.
Google Ads Scripts
Below are some of our favourite scripts and tasks that we believe can help advertisers automate their work.
- Low CTR ad pausing: This script is useful when testing several ads in each ad group to find the best-performing messaging and copy. It will automatically pause the lowest-performing ad in each ad group, always leaving at least one ad active.
- Weather-based bids: Automating bids for specific locations or days based on weather conditions can be very profitable for some businesses. This type of script allows advertisers to automatically adjust bids based on the weather of their targeted locations. For instance, a breakfast cafe might be able to adjust their bidding on the “Brunch spot with outdoor seating” keyword by increasing it on a sunny day and decreasing it if the weather is windy or rainy.
- Keywords for shopping campaigns: This script fixes one of the “problems” of Shopping campaigns, which is the inability to target keywords, but only exclude search terms by adding negative keywords. By implementing this code snippet, the script automatically adds as negative keywords any terms other than those specifically written in a list provided by the advertiser, which contains the target keywords.
One of the key activities both for advertisers and e-commerce managers is data analysis and reporting. This process can be automated thanks to tools like Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) that connect to your website and the marketing platforms to pull data into easy-to-read and real-time updated reporting dashboards.
At GA Agency, we create tailored customisable dashboards & reports to provide frequent updates and insights into campaign and overall performance. By embracing automation, we spend less time creating reports and more time analysing them and providing valuable insights and recommendations to clients.