Discovery Ad on phone of youtube

Adding Google Discovery Ads To Your Digital Marketing Efforts

How To Use Google’s New Ad Type To Increase Traffic, Grow Brand Equity And Drive Leads. 

The Basics

Introduced in May 2019, Google Discovery Ads are a relatively new ad format that allows marketers to get in front of their target audience in a different way—across various Google properties such as YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Gmail’s Promotions, and Social tabs, and the aptly named Google Discover feed—all in one centralized campaign. 

Helping ensure you get in front of your desired audience, Google Discovery ads utilize the following targeting options—helping you to get in front of your audience further down the funnel as they are more likely to convert/take a specific action you desire. 

  • Remarketing + Similar Audiences: targeting individuals based on how they’ve previously interacted with your organization (e.g. website visitors, converting leads, etc.) or those who are ‘Similar To’ those core audiences; similar to Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences: 
  • Detailed Demographics: homing in on specific age groups, genders, household incomes, etc. 
  • In-Market: tailoring campaigns based on Google’s pre-defined audience buckets
  • Life Events: targeting your audience based on major life milestones that they’ve had
  • Affinity + Custom Intent: leveraging previous searches and browsing behaviors

Types Of Discovery Ads

Similar to the visually appealing and highly adaptive Responsive Display Ads, Google Discovery Ads use a combination of headlines, descriptions, and branded imagery to render natively across Google properties. This versatility helps your ads fit unobtrusively into the user’s daily routine. 

To better leverage the visual appeal of Google Discovery Ads and achieve specific goals, there are currently two types of Discovery Ads—single-image ads and multi-image carousel ads. 

Single-Image Ads allow you to combine a stable of strong images with content combinations to create the biggest impact for a single goal, such as a petition signature, request for information, or downloading collateral directly from your site. 

Multi-Image Carousel Ads allow an organization to showcase multiple products, programs, and services—each with its own unique link. These ads are great if your nonprofit offers several services and you want to provide a clear path to learn more and engage with these services.

How We Leveraged Discovery Ads For AFS-USA’s Fall 2021 Host Family Recruitment Campaign

AFS-USA, a student exchange program that empowers people to become globally engaged citizens by delivering meaningful intercultural experiences, worked with Media Cause for their Fall 2021 Host Family Recruitment campaign. 

The campaign was focused on interest form submissions and applications from potential host parents during the 9-week flight. This campaign spanned Google Search, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Discovery. For the Discovery campaigns, we actively targeted parents ages 35-65+ with affinity audience targeting, keyword targeting—based on high-performing keywords from their search campaigns—website visitors, and an audience similar to those who completed the interest form. 

Fall 2021 Recruitment Campaign Discovery Ad Performance:

  • During the first week, we saw 139 conversions with a CPL of $7.70
  • During the second week, we saw 90 conversions with a CPL of $6.87
  • During the third week, we saw 67 conversions with a CPL of $8.98
  • During the fourth week, we saw 155 conversions with a CPL of $3.15

The campaign ended with a total of 1,168 conversions and a CPL of $4.84. 

Should Your Nonprofit Consider Discovery Ads?

Discovery Ads are a great way to get in front of an audience by engaging with various Google properties without worrying about managing which placements the ads should and should not show up on. The ease and efficiency of running one campaign that spans all these platforms allow you to maximize impact with fewer resources. 

If you are considering utilizing Discovery Ads for your next campaign, keep in mind that these ads can scale lead volume and traffic to your site, but may not be ideal for all conversion actions (e.g. donations, event registrations). 

Additionally, Discovery Ads can have a shorter ramp-up period than other platforms, so it can be a great solution for a multi-channel approach with a short campaign window.