Optimize Google Responsive Display Ads with the Shutterstock API Integration (2018)
Google Ads expands partnership with Shutterstock API to deliver more high-quality, licensable images for advertisers in platform.
Google Ads is an undisputed leader in the digital advertising space with a strong track record for delivering tangible results for businesses of all sizes. On June 27, 2018, Google revealed their upgraded suite of advertising products designed to make it even easier for businesses to connect with customers online.
As part of this upgrade, Google has also expanded their partnership with Shutterstock. Now, advertisers can enjoy direct access to over 200 million Shutterstock images within the Google Ads interface to create impactful campaigns with more options for flexible A/B testing.
With proper planning, responsive display ads can be an effective way to boost business growth. In the following guide, we’ll go through the entire process along with optimization tips for creating ads that stand out and drive results.
Creating a Responsive Display Ads Campaign
You can create a new campaign by going to the “Campaigns” tag on the panel to the left.
When you create a new display campaign, Google will ask you for your goal at the start before walking you through the different elements of the campaign setup. We recommend advertisers make use of Google’s goal guidance because it allows Google to optimize your campaign according to your primary business objectives.
Option to select Gmail campaigns as responsive display campaign subtype
For responsive display ads, you have the option of picking a standard display campaign or a Gmail campaign. Gmail campaigns will be delivered exclusively to people’s inboxes as opposed to a standard display campaign which is distributed across Google’s entire display network including websites, mobile apps, and Youtube.
Gmail ad campaigns serve your ad in a format that feels organic and blends in with your user’s email inbox where they already spend a lot of time. Similar to standard responsive display ads, Gmail ad campaigns allow you to target audiences based on Customer Match (people who have given their emails to your company), similar audience targeting, remarketing, in-market, affinity, keywords, and demographics.
The choice between the two rests on your marketing strategy. Some businesses choose to utilize both. Keep in mind that, once you make your selection for the campaign subtype, you won’t be able to switch it to the other subtype later. However, you’ll still be able to access Shutterstock’s royalty-free images regardless of the campaign subtype you choose.
For this guide, we’re going to be creating a responsive display ad with a standard display campaign subtype. Responsive display ads, including standard and Gmail campaigns, are the default ad type and provides automatic ad optimization to fit different display sizes and requirements.
Designing an Ad
Step 1: Add images
Once you’re done selecting your target location, goals, budget, timeline, and audience segmentation, you’ll see a section called “Create your ads”. Click on “New Ad” and select “Responsive display ad,” and click on add “Images and Logos.”
Select the Stock Images tab and search over 200 million existing Shutterstock images and more than one million fresh assets added weekly.
Step 2: Choose the images that fit your business
Google requires advertisers to select at least one landscape image and one square image — and recommends a logo image. However, you can select up to 15 images for optimization.
We recommend that you select multiple images for A/B testing because it may yield interesting insights about your target audience. It also allows Google to perform automatic campaign optimization to help you get the most out of your ad spend. Moreover, when your campaign is complete you can use the data gathered on your ad variations to inform future image selection.
Step 3: Preview ads across platforms on mobile and desktop
After your image selection, Google automatically populates mobile and desktop previews of your ad as they would display on various platforms. Use the arrow buttons to scroll through the various options and make sure the text and images convey a clear and cohesive message.
Step 4: Create your campaign!
When you’re satisfied with the ad design, click “create campaign” to submit your ad. This does not mean your ad goes live immediately. To make sure ads are relevant and credible, Google reviews all content in your ad, including headline, description, keywords, destination, images, and video.
The process is generally completed within 24 hours. Once an ad is approved, it will run automatically.
Tracking and Optimizing Ad Performance
A campaign isn’t over once your ad goes live — Google helps advertisers take the guesswork out of ad creation by monitoring the clicks, impressions, engagement rate, views, conversions, viewability, and more. With the wealth of data that Google Ads offers, you can make informed decisions when creating ad campaigns that resonate with your audience and provide positive returns on your ad spend.
As Google launches the newest iteration of its ad creation platform, reducing friction in advertiser workflow by integrating the Shutterstock API is a natural progression of our partnership.
With captivating and fully licensable images in hand, advertisers can create high-performing Google ads in less time and have more options for continuous A/B testing and optimization.
Cover image by Ekaphon maneechot
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