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5 min read

What’s new in PPC: December 2023 industry updates

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the latest blog from Impression on Paid Search Industry Updates over November and December, where we uncover the latest PPC trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Keep reading to discover:

As usual, traffic light imagery is featured throughout to indicate the importance of each new update – red denoting a priority update, green representing a less important update and amber lying somewhere in the middle.

New multi-format ads for video reach campaigns

The latest update from Google Ads in December starts with the announcement of new multi-format ads, offering advertisers a broader scope with YouTube in-stream, in-feed and Shorts in Video Reach Campaigns (VRC). 

This most recent update to VRC, increases marketers’ flexibility, giving them the ability to choose from bumper or skippable in-stream ads, in-feed ads and Shorts. These updates help VRC to continue optimising campaigns to reach the maximum number of viewers.

Advertisers will be given a set of straightforward options such as:

  • Efficient reach utilises bumper and skippable in-stream ads for broader reach 
  • Non-skippable in-stream helps ensure the audience views ads in full
  • Target frequency offers repeated exposure to the same set of viewers whilst utilising a mix of ad formats

What does this mean for me?

This update to VRC will help streamline the process of setting up campaigns as it allows advertisers to create multiple campaigns, with different ad formats, from one single campaign, whilst highlighting how Google is continuously looking to help marketers achieve their marketing goals with efficiency. 

These announcements will allow for a cost-effective strategy to increase brand awareness, whilst exposing ads to more targeted audiences across YouTube.

Microsoft is rolling out new bidding strategies for audience ads

Microsoft announced in November, that they are expanding the bidding strategies that you can apply to campaigns for audience ads. This is a welcome addition to campaigns utilising audience ads. 

The two new bidding strategies include; Maximise Conversions & Target CPA, which is perfect for accounts who are optimising towards conversions & CPA. 

As always, Microsoft recommends you have 30+ conversions through the campaign, before you change over to this strategy, otherwise, if you change with less than 30 conversions, you may see higher volatility through the campaigns.

What does this mean for me?

Going forward, if you run audience ads, you can now update the bidding strategy to finally match the others through Search and Shopping. Additionally, it means that if you optimise for conversions and or use a CPA, you can now apply this to your campaigns, to allow the algorithm  to work towards meeting the bidding strategy. Which in turn, helps your campaigns perform better, and in theory, maximise your conversions, pardon the pun.

A new way to buy reserved media placements on YouTube

Google has recently launched an easier way to buy reservation media directly in Google Ads or through Display and Video 360 Instant Reserve, in a bid to make YouTube ads products available for self-service buying. 

Reservation ads allow advertisers to buy specific placements on a reservation basis based on the number of impressions (CPM), with these campaigns allowing you to buy impressions at a fixed rate. 

If marketers are looking to promote brand awareness, advertising on a reservation basis is an ideal way of also ensuring high visibility through guaranteed placements as well as premier inventory to target premier content on YouTube. 

The launch means that advertisers have easy access to self-service set up for:

  • YouTube Select line-ups*
  • YouTube Select Shorts line-ups*
  • YouTube TV line-ups*
  • Cost-per-impression Masthead*
  • Standard run of YouTube reservation (Instant reserve)

*Dependent on the availability in your market

What does this mean for me?

This new feature enables Google Ads to help advertisers plan, buy and measure across auction and reservation campaigns in one place, with reservations also offering advanced audiences and fixed CPMs. This new experience makes it easier for advertisers to find the reservation portfolio on a self-service basis, in addition to the features that were available in the previous experience.

Google has noted that reservation products should still be bought through your Google Representative.

Google rolls out more features for performance, with new brand & custom label segmentation

Google, whilst slow to bring out updates within Performance Max & also whilst being slow to give us a better picture on the data within the campaigns, have quietly been rolling out a new way that we can use the data through the campaigns to make better and smarter decisions. 

Within the products tab in your selected Performance Max campaign, we can now see new tabs, holding within them a plethora of data. Google has allowed us to see brand performance & even performance by your created custom labels. 

Now, this was possible using custom reports, but for advertisers who either didn’t know, or didn’t utilise this information, it’s now more readily available, to all who would like to see.

What does this mean for me?

Going forward, this will make life a little bit easier, in an ever changing PPC environment. We will now be able to check performance specifically based upon our custom labels, which can be important, if you are segmenting by margin or product type for that matter. 

We can now make informed decisions based upon actual data through the campaigns and can see specifically the products within our customer labels, that might mean that we would then exclude a custom label from our targeting as it’s unprofitable for example. 

Furthermore, with the inclusion of being able to see brand data, just like in smart shopping I must add, it again means that we are starting to be given more data in our performance max campaigns and we can make decisions based on the performances of such brands, allowing for us to increase profitability through these campaigns.

Look out for our next blog in January for more paid search industry updates to inspire your PPC strategy. If you want to talk about your business’ aspirations, get in touch!