You don’t want to waste ad dollars on customers that don’t convert.
Because no matter how much money you throw at it, you won’t see results if you can’t reach your target audience.
But Google’s Performance Max Campaigns aims to fix that.
According to Google, this new ad format will help marketers and businesses drive better results across multiple ad channels.
That’s a bold claim. So we spoke to our Google representatives about it. Turns out, these campaigns are the real deal.
Read on to see how you can leverage this new feature to improve results in your own campaigns.
What Are Performance Max Campaigns?
Performance Max Campaigns began rolling out to all advertisers in November 2021, after strong results in beta testing. Google is moving forward with the release of Performance Max campaigns.
So what does this mean, exactly?
Google Ads Help Center puts it this way: “Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.”
Put simply, Google’s Performance Max campaigns are the next generation of smart shopping and local ad campaigns. Performance Max allows users to promote and drive business across all Google ads inventory.
As a result of the latest changes, ads now show up for more customers and drive more conversions.
In fact, we’ve reported that advertisers who take advantage of Performance Max campaigns see an average increase of 13% total percentage of incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.
Whether you’re focused on online sales, generating leads, or growing offline sales, Performance Max can help you achieve your goals. New automation features mean these results come with a less direct effort by the campaign manager.
How Do These New Ads Work?
In the Performance Max model, Google relies on machine learning features to build successful campaigns.
Machine learning delivers optimized ads to the most relevant users while optimizing the actual bidding process for advertisers.
According to Google, the Performance Max model also uses “creative assets, audience signals, and optimal data feeds.”
Advertisers provide these elements during setup.
Conversion Goals to Choose From
With Performance Max, part of the setup process involves choosing a designated conversion goal.
This puts control directly into the hands of the advertiser, who gets to design and build campaigns suited for specific goals.
Within the campaign setup features, you’ll have the option to choose from four specific conversion goals. We’ve briefly summarized each one to help you understand the options that Google provides and to make a more informed choice for your own optimization and growth.
Increasing Conversions and Value
First, advertisers have the option to increase conversions and value.
Google’s unique automation process optimizes budgets and bids across channels to help you capture new conversion opportunities in real-time.
Finding New Customers
With Performance Max, you can now unlock new audience segments by using Google’s real-time understanding of user intent, behavior, and context.
This data helps your ads appear in the right moments with more relevant copy and creative elements.
One real-world example of this conversion goal is Deezer, a global music streaming service that is constantly experimenting with new features.
By allocating budgets to different marketing strategies using Performance Max, marketers at Deezer aim to generate subscription growth by reaching an untapped market of new and highly engaged customers.
Gain Richer Insights
Performance Max campaigns are part of a Google advertiser’s Insights page. Now, these insights help you understand how automation is working and how you can improve both new and existing campaigns.
By using the ‘Combinations’ report, you can also see how your top-performing assets are used to combine creatives. This data is extremely helpful as you analyze performance to find what’s working and what’s not.
As always, richer insights contribute to better optimization, cost analysis, and future performance.
Working Together With Automations
Performance Max lets you steer automation by providing high-quality creative assets and sharing your expertise about which audiences are more likely to convert.
Marketers are in more control and have access to brand new ad inventory. Performance Max campaigns allow retailers, mobile marketers, and local marketers to use new formats that are not currently available with Smart Shopping and mobile campaigns. This expansion is designed to provide an increased number of options that drive results.
Performance Max also includes channels like YouTube, Search, and Discover. Expanded access to these platforms and channels helps businesses increase sales with viewers who may not have otherwise seen new ad campaigns.
What Are Marketers Saying About Performance Max
After allowing time for honest feedback, it appears that the consensus is highly positive.
Take it from Eric Tsai, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Joybird:
“Not only did Performance Max campaigns outperform our previous Smart Shopping campaigns, but it also took our efficiency to the next level, and allowed us to grow our revenue in a more profitable way.”
So far, the positive opinions on performance max from upper-level executives are a good sign for everyday advertisers looking to streamline and optimize new campaigns.
Although Performance Max is a fairly recent release, the features and lingo are probably familiar to Google marketers and advertisers. The most important features to be aware of include:
- Campaign objective – Users can select from objectives like sales, leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, brand awareness and reach, and local store visits
- Conversion actions – Actions can improve lead quality and include tasks like phone calls or form fills
- Goal-based – Performance Max campaigns are always goal-based, so users are in the driver’s seat when it comes to desired results
- Extensions – Add these to your Performance Max ads to give users additional information or links for your business
How to Create a Performance Max Campaign
To learn how to create a new Performance Max campaign, head over to the Google Ad Help Center. There are detailed instructions for different setup scenarios. These include:
- Advertisers who don’t have a Merchant Center feed or store visits goal
- Advertisers with a Merchant Center feed
- Advertisers with a Store Visits goal (in beta)
These different scenarios determine how and when you should set up your new Performance Max campaigns. Generally speaking, however, you’ll set up the campaign similarly to other types. For Performance Max, they will still expect you to:
- Select an advertising objective
- Confirm conversion goals (if known)
- Select ‘Performance Max’ as the type
- Name your campaign
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve rounded up a few of the top questions that Ignite Visibility clients may want to know before applying Performance Max campaigns.
1. Is this solution right for me?
If you’re an experienced Google advertiser looking to optimize your campaigns across all platforms, then yes! The new features can help you achieve better visibility and conversion.
Performance Max campaigns may not be the best fit if you are only activating campaigns on a single platform or if you don’t require any automations.
2. Should I stop running my other campaigns?
No, we do not recommend stopping all other campaigns for Performance Max.
This is because your core campaigns are focused and built from keyword research through Search. Performance Max does not necessarily make use of keywords to generate results.
As you get started, it’s a good idea to run Performance Max alongside other campaign types and have a test or comparison. This way, you can adjust your campaigns over time to the type that are most efficient for your business.
3. What features is Google using to run Performance Max?
In their public Help Center, Google states that Performance Max campaigns use Machine Learning tools. These tools optimize bids and ad placements that can bring better results in terms of customer acquisition and conversion.
Takeaways and Reminders
If you’re interested in starting Performance Max campaigns for your business, be sure to reach out to Ignite Visibility today.
As always, we’re committed to staying on top of new marketing and advertising trends so you can have access to the latest features that platforms provide. We’ll help you optimize cost to get the most return on your investment. Ready to run your best Google campaigns? Let’s chat!