Any business faces growth challenges over time. Standard promotion channels are already being used to the maximum: in the case of Internet channels, the context hardly holds the ROI and the average cost per click, and all audiences are worked out on social networks.
The problem of scaling is especially strong for e-commerce projects: it is not easy to find new ways to promote. Usually they try contextual advertising, display advertising, connect social networks, lead generation and mobile. Even so, advertisers rarely see video as an opportunity for additional traffic and consider it an image channel.
It is important for companies to sell more, increase profits, increase their target audience and, more importantly, reduce costs. It is important not just to sell a lot, but to do it at an adequate price for the market. Better yet, below the market. The competition is especially high in the e-commerce segment, it is growing: in Russia in 2017 alone, goods worth 945 billion rubles were sold on the Internet, and in total online sales grew by 18% over the past year. According to the latest research from Data Insight, the e-commerce market continues to grow in comparison with other sectors of the economy. In the segment of selling digital technology, which will be discussed further in the article, it is still more interesting, and the competition is higher. The latest Nielsen Connected Commerce survey found that a third of those surveyed buy electronics and mobile devices online.
Citylink brand objectives and choice of approach
Our client, Citylink, also faced the problem of growing and expanding the audience, when all channels are involved and work perfectly. After discussing all the options with the client, at the first stage we decided to try the video and chose YouTube. Throughout the year, we have been actively instilling knowledge of the brand and its capabilities in the target audience. Thanks to powerful advertising campaigns and support on YouTube, a fairly large and loyal audience was formed, with which we began to work: translate these users into conversions on the site.
In addition to the usual advertising channels, such as context, in August 2018, we added smart Google banner campaigns to advertising channels. First of all, the decision is due to the fact that the new Google smart campaigns received an advanced optimization system. In other words, “the Google robot has grown a lot smarter,” has learned to quickly find audiences who may be interested in an advertising offer, and less and less missed. There was what was needed to solve the client’s current tasks – generating orders and purchases through smart banner campaigns that can be quickly scaled and that require minimal management.
To solve the Citylink problem – attracting the target audience to purchase – we decided to test two types of campaigns in the Display Network:
- Standard Smart Display campaigns. They are generated based on images and headers uploaded to the frontend and mainly target the client’s current audience.
- DPA campaign (DPA – Dynamic Prospecting Ads). Campaigns that dynamically generate creatives and automatically search for target audiences based on customer data. The format is already out of beta.
Both types of advertising campaigns are classified as automated campaigns in Google Ads. Let’s talk about them in more detail.
DPA and Smart Display: Campaign Benefits and Differences
The main advantage of DPA and Smart Display campaigns is in a fully automated audience search scheme, in which the system itself searches for users based on customer data and the established cost of conversion. This allows such campaigns to be easily scaled and less distracted by the moments associated with their micromanagement.
The second important advantage of both campaigns is that both campaign options – DPA and Smart Display – can generate creatives themselves. Both campaigns are capable of creating creatives from both pre-loaded images and text, and generating them based on Google Merchant Center product feeds.
At the same time, campaigns are very different in the logic of working with audiences: the Smart Display campaign works only with the current audience of the client, that is, in our case, it was actually engaged in active remarketing to those who were already Citylink clients before. This approach is more profitable in terms of conversions, since it’s always easier to work with a warm audience. At the same time, Smart Display does not expand the client’s audience at all. This is an important point. The DPA campaign, on the contrary, purposefully works to find a new audience, which is naturally much more difficult, more expensive, but leads to an increase in the potential audience of buyers
Smart Display campaign
From a two-week test, it became apparent that Smart Display campaigns work well for direct and impression conversions. We got about 18,000 impressions conversions, 660 associated conversions and over 72 direct conversions. At the same time, the total average SRO for direct and associated conversions was only 139 rubles. This met the client’s expectations in terms of cost per targeted action.
It should be borne in mind that the Smart Display campaign resulted in only 0.72% of new sessions and began to strongly influence the client’s usual retargeting campaigns. That is, in fact, the campaign did not work with a new audience, but simply aggressively sold the product to the client’s current audience.
The client’s DPA campaign worked a little differently, bringing in more new audiences – new sessions over 56%. In fact, the campaign worked in a smart look-alike mode, finding an audience similar to the user segments collected by Google Analytics.
The results of this campaign are much more modest – only 2,148 impressions conversions, about 65 associated conversions, and only two direct conversions. The SRO was 1,569 rubles. On the other hand, this campaign brought in a new unique audience that had never interacted with our client at the purchase level before, and was able to get a fairly acceptable number of conversions from this audience.
Based on the results of the test, which lasted nine days, we saw the following: if you need tough remarketing and study the entire customer’s audience for repeated conversions, then the Smart Display campaign is the best solution within Google. It will quickly bring the required number of conversions at a fairly low cost. In our case, in nine days, this is 18,000 conversions per impressions, 660 associated conversions and about 72 direct conversions with an impressive low CPO of 139 rubles.
There are two important points to keep in mind when working with a Smart Display campaign. First, such campaigns quickly select the entire available audience due to the aggressiveness of their work. Secondly, they do not coexist well with other campaigns that are configured for remarketing (in the latter, the number of orders decreases and, as a result, SRO grows).
If, within the framework of an advertising campaign, a completely new audience is more interesting than conversions, and you want to get additional targeted traffic to the site, then DPA campaigns will be the best solution.
As our practice shows, even in a very short period of time (nine days), the DPA campaign was able to effectively collect a new conversion audience, albeit more expensive, and also get a certain number of conversions from it. Of course, 2000 impressions conversions and only 65 associated conversions is a more modest result than Smart campaigns, but at the same time these are completely new customers.
One thing to keep in mind is that the product feed must be correct, without any special claims from Google moderation.
And most importantly, where we started this material – both approaches are suitable as a solution to growth problems for ecommerce projects.