In a world of digital advertising clutter, brands are always looking for new ways to set their messaging apart from the competition. One exciting possibility lies in a Google feature called Engagement Ads, a range of creative ad formats that captivate consumers with rich, creative messages, says Michael Walker.
These formats have been around for a while and have started to gain traction in the market. They’re not necessarily right for every campaign or brand, but offer marketers yet another tool they can use to get their messages out into the market.
Defining Engagement Ads
So what are these Engagement Ads? Put simply, they’re new creative ad formats that fit in standard display units across the Google Display Network. One factor makes an Engagement Ad different from most expandable rich formats is that the user must two second-hover across the ad before it expands.
This delay means it is rarer for a user that isn’t interested in the ad to interact with it by accident. One exciting aspect of Engagement Ads is that anyone can buy placements, create their own ads and manage them using Google’s self-service tools in the Ad Words interface. Have a quick look at this demo to see examples of what you could create yourself using Google’s self-service tools.
Of course, Engagement Ads support even richer creative and more complex interactions for advertisers who are able to get support from Google or DoubleClick agency. Check out this gallery to see some examples of advanced Engagement Ad creative.
What are the benefits of Engagement Ads?
Because they are about user engagement instead of clicks and conversions, Engagement Ads enable advertisers to avoid annoying users with intrusive ads and to also get more accurate reports about user engagement.
Furthermore, Google sells these ads on a cost per engagement (CPE) basis, so brands don’t need to pay for impressions from users who weren’t interested in interacting with the content. And Google’s algorithm increases engagement rates by showing ads to the users most likely to interact with the message.
That all translates into less wastage and more efficiency for display campaigns.
Engagement Ads offer much the same flexible targeting types as on YouTube and the Google Display Network, so they’re easy enough to plug into an existing campaign. They also offer multiple creative formats, including Lightbox Ads, and use the reporting capabilities of AdWords and DoubleClick Rich Media.
Google’s Engagement Ads are an exciting and flexible format. The company claims that users are over 10 times more likely to engage with these ads than to click on a standard display unit. It’s a great strategic option for most advertisers.
Be aware, however, that some businesses might find it hard to gauge how much value they get for each engagement and that getting the most from Engagement Ads may require some access to design resources. Those drawbacks aside, I’d recommend experimenting with the format to see what it can do for you.
Michael Walker is search and analytics director at 25AM
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