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Google Rolls Out Discovery Ads. Goes After Paid Social Advertising.

The demand for e-commerce has skyrocketed with millions of Americans, and billions worldwide, working and spending more time at home than ever before amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The lock down has forced companies to adjust their business models, alter their supply chain, and offer more digital accommodations for the exponential increase in online shopping. With our lives propelling into the future of a more virtual world, Google has adjusted its online marketing platform as well. First introduced last year, Discovery ads have now been rolled out to all advertisers within Google Ads. Interestingly, the expanded marketing opportunity appears to be Google's attempt to offer a counter option to social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram. As described by Google Ads when creating a Discovery ad campaign, Discovery allows you to "get clicks to your website from customers most likely to make a purchase with visually rich personalized ads that show across YouTube, Gmail, Discover, and more." The new option allows advertisers to get their ads in front of their audiences based on user intent as identified by Google, much like the ads marketers run on Facebook and Instagram. The reach of Discover ads, shown below, extends to YouTube, Google's Discover app, and Gmail based on online user behavior.

Historically, Facebook has had a leg up on Google for non-search digital campaigns in that it shows visual ad creative to targeted audiences in-stream (i.e. in your Facebook and Instagram feeds where your customers' eyes and attention are). Google has offered visually creative display ads for quite some time, but ad placement is largely limited to being above or to the side of where online consumer attention really is. The new Discover ads give marketers a new platform to place visually stimulating ad creative in-stream- a great option for multifamily marketing campaigns given that real estate is so visual and product dependent. The direct comparison to social media ad campaigns can be seen in Google's own announcement of Discover ads by quoting digital marketing agency IProspect. In the blog post, IProspect claims Discover ads "deliver positive performance further down the funnel with up to 48 percent lower cost-per-action compared to social ads."As the digital marketing landscape continues to get more competitive, resulting in increased CPCs and CPMs for PPC and Facebook ads, Discover ads could prove to be a welcomed addition to the online marketing options multifamily marketers have at their fingertips. Testing and evaluation are soon to come as the summer leasing season gets underway.


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