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Leveraging AI in Digital Marketing: Insights from Google Marketing Live 2024

In late May, the marketing professionals at Lever attended Google’s 2024 Marketing Live event, an annual showcase of the platform’s latest ad advancements and innovations, especially in the realm of AI-driven projects. As AI continues to evolve, its integration into marketing strategies has become indispensable in reaching new heights in the digital marketing field.

At Lever, we don’t compete against AI; we leverage AI to enhance our ability to meet clients’ digital marketing needs, target the right audiences, and hit the mark for optimal engagement. While AI is undoubtedly a powerful tool for marketers, it still requires a human touch, making our greatest advantage the creativity, strategic insights, and expertise of our digital marketing professionals.

As part of our broader effort to share new digital marketing insights and emerging trends, we wanted to consolidate the most important takeaways into a single article. If you’re interested in learning more about what the digital marketing landscape will look like, read on.

Key Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

While there was plenty of information to digest in this year’s keynote event, there were several key takeaways that were especially indicative of the current and future state of AI-assisted search.

  • 15% of Searches are New Every Day: One of the most astonishing revelations from the event was that 15% of the searches conducted on Google daily are entirely new. This staggering metric highlights the dynamic nature of user queries and underscores the critical role of AI in understanding and responding to each and every one of these novel inquiries. Google’s AI algorithms are now more adept at deciphering user intent, providing more accurate and relevant search results. This capability not only enhances the user experience but also presents new opportunities for advertisers to engage with a constantly evolving audience and target niche keywords and queries with ease.
  • Say Hello to AI Overviews: Google’s recent rollout of Generative AI Overviews was another significant highlight, showcasing how AI can provide a more comprehensive understanding of search queries. These AI Overviews offer advertisers new result options, enabling them to target users more effectively without diverting attention or resources away from their existing campaigns. As the accuracy of these AI Overviews continues to improve and evolve, marketers can gain deeper insights into user behavior, preferences, and search patterns, allowing for more personalized and impactful advertising campaigns.
  • Generate Higher Quality Clicks: The emphasis on higher quality clicks through better ad targeting was a recurring theme throughout the keynote. Google’s advancements in AI-driven targeting have led to improved engagement and conversion rates, giving advertisers the opportunity to create more relevant and compelling ads through AI-assisted audience analysis.

 

Emerging Trends

So what else did we learn about the future of AI-assisted search technology? As it turns out, plenty. While generative AI continues to evolve year over year, there are myriad strategies for marketers to study and adopt that make use of existing algorithms.

  • “Exactly What I Want” Search: Users are increasingly looking for precise answers to specific questions, and Google’s AI-powered search algorithms are proficient at handling these detailed queries. Volume for searches with five or more words has grown 1.5x faster than shorter queries, cementing the growing prominence of long-tail search queries as a key topic of conversation during the event. This shift towards more granular searches presents unique opportunities for marketers to more effectively tailor their content and SEO strategies to meet the exact needs of their target audience.
  • Search Beyond Words: The use of images and videos in search is rapidly gaining traction across user demographics (with 12 billion searches each month), prompting Google to introduce several new features catering to this text-free experience. The “Circle to Search” feature, for instance, allows users to highlight specific parts of an image to conduct a search, providing more precise and relevant results. This innovation opens up new avenues for visual search optimization, enabling marketers to reach users through engaging visual content.
  • AI Overviews and Shopping Ads Integration: Google’s integration of AI overviews with shopping ads promises to enhance the search experience further. By combining these seemingly disparate elements, users can receive more comprehensive and relevant product information, while advertisers can leverage this integration to create more effective shopping ads. This is one of many, many reasons that the synergy between AI and shopping ads is set to transform the way users discover and interact with products online.

 

Expanding PMAX. Demand Gen and Video

In addition to these AI-assisted innovations, Google had plenty to share regarding changes to more common types of ad campaigns.

  • PMAX Campaign Enhancements: Google highlighted enhanced reporting, controls, and profit-focused bid strategies for PMAX campaigns, providing advertisers with deeper insights and greater control over their campaigns while enabling them to optimize their strategies for maximum profitability. A new profit-focused bid strategy was also shown to attendees that demonstrated a 15% increase in profit, giving brands even more tools to maximize their profit on the cost of goods sold. By leveraging these enhancements, brands and marketers can achieve better results and drive more goal-based results and meaningful engagement with their audience.
  • Demand Gen Rollout: The expanded capabilities in Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360 for demand generation were a significant highlight of the event. This updated toolkit provides advertisers with more robust and versatile options for generating demand and reaching their target audience. More focused changes were also shown, including lowering the lookalike audience threshold from 1,000 users to 100 users in order to make targeted campaign creation even easier.
  • Combining Search and PMAX Campaigns: The introduction of Power Pair Campaigns, which combine Search and PMAX campaigns, allows advertisers to leverage the strengths of both campaign types to implement more holistic and impactful marketing strategies. By integrating these campaigns, brands can achieve better targeting, higher engagement, and improved ROI. According to Google, combining Search and PMAX campaigns leads to a 27% increase in conversions alongside an average 15% increase in profit.
  • Vertical Video and YouTube Shorts: The increasing engagement through vertical video and YouTube Shorts was another key trend discussed at the event. These innovative video formats offer brands new ways to connect with their audience, creating more engaging and interactive content. By Google’s estimates, vertical video increases view-through rates by 40%, while interactive features on YouTube Shorts like stickers and swiping left increases landing pages engagement.
  • YouTube Shopping and Product Studio: Google’s seamless integration with Shopify through YouTube Shopping and Product Studio was a noteworthy development, as this integration allows brands to enhance their e-commerce capabilities through a variety of data measurement tools. From the Google Ads Data Manager to the Meridian Marketing Mix Model (which provides accurate insights across multiple channels), brands can leverage these tools to create more compelling product showcases and drive higher levels of conversions.

 

Conclusion

The insights and innovations unveiled at Google Marketing Live 2024 underscore the ever-changing nature of digital marketing and the transformative power of AI in digital marketing. As AI undoubtedly continues to evolve and improve, its integration into marketing strategies is becoming increasingly crucial for staying competitive in a dynamic landscape. The key takeaways above highlight the importance of embracing these new technologies and leveraging them to elevate digital marketing and marketing outcomes.

Brands and marketers stand to create more effective, engaging, and impactful marketing campaigns with this expanded toolkit, ultimately driving better results and reaching new heights as innovation continues to take hold. Advertising audiences are a moving target, but brands that take advantage of these new technologies will have no problem hitting their marks.

To learn how we’re already implementing these insights to gain success for our current clients and how we can do the same for you, reach out to us at leverinteractive.com/contact and our marketing professionals will help amplify your brand messaging with the latest in AI-infused digital solutions.

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