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How to Leverage Google Smart Bidding Strategies With Event PPC Marketing

Digital marketing continues to change at a rapid pace. We recently covered Google’s new Discovery and Gallery Ads – with some Gallery Ads already becoming available and the rest set to roll out fully later this year.

But these weren’t the only new items announced at Google Marketing Live 2019. Google also announced Smart Bidding updates and improvements.

Let’s take a closer look at Google Smart Bidding and how event organisers can leverage the strategy for better event PPC campaign performance. 

An Intro to Google Smart Bidding

Google has been moving forward with more and more automation for Google Ads. One of the biggest, and potentially most exciting changes especially for event organisers and marketers – is Smart Bidding.

Google defines Smart Bidding “as a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to optimise for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction.”

Simply put, Smart Bidding uses automation to optimise data across all campaigns in order to achieve a higher return on investment, lower cost-per-lead (CPL) and better overall performance.

In addition to the machine learning algorithms, Smart Bidding leverages user-level signals — such as time of day, location, device and more — to predict performance and set bids at the time of auction. As Google states, “automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals.”

Campaign-level conversion actions were introduced as a new way to guide Smart Bidding. As of June 6th, campaign-level conversions were live for Google Search and Display campaigns, and are due to launch for video later this year. 

With this new introduction, conversion actions can be set at the campaign level, something that previously was only able to set for an entire account. 

Smart Bidding Implications for Event Organisers

Before this update, it wasn’t possible to optimise more than one conversion action at the campaign level. Conversion actions are a specific action you’ve defined as valuable to your organisation, such as an event registration or exhibitor lead submission. Tracking conversion actions helps determine how a particular campaign leads to those valuable actions, which in turn provides insight into overall campaign performance.

Now with the Smart Bidding update, marketers can select a conversion action to optimise for a particular campaign. This provides more control over specific campaign conversion actions as well as the ability to choose which conversions display in each campaign’s “Conversions” column. 

Smart Bidding is significant for event organisers, especially those planning multiple events with separate marketing budgets and different conversion goals for each. Before the update, tracking different budgets required organisers, marketers or agencies to create and manage multiple separate Google accounts. Now, the launch of campaign-level conversion means it’s no longer necessary to set-up numerous accounts.

This new announcement is also useful for event organisers running campaigns focused on measuring other conversion types, such as brochure downloads, visitor registrations and/or ticket sales. Now, each corresponding conversion action(s) can be selected for each event, giving organisers the ability to review specific ad budgets and performance to ensure the expected valuable actions are in line with actual delivered results.

One Last Note About Smart Bidding

While machine learning makes it easier to identify and uncover new trends or opportunities, Smart Bidding won’t eliminate the critical role of expert event PPC campaign professionals. 

Many other elements contribute to PPC campaign success, including writing and designing ad creative, measuring and interpreting Smart Bidding results and much more. 

Smart Bidding just makes it easier for event PPC campaign specialists to focus on defining and implementing the overall campaign strategy, optimising bids and keyword lists, and utilising available data to make informed decisions about improving future event PPC campaigns.

For more information on utilising campaign-level conversions to make the most of your event marketing PPC campaign, talk to the Tag Digital team.