January 30, 2024

What is a Discovery Ad?

Google defines a discovery ad as "an in-feed ad that uses machine learning to identify your products and services, understand what users are searching for, and show them the most relevant ads across search, YouTube watch pages, and the Gmail promotions and social tab. With one campaign, you can reach up to 3 billion people monthly."

As with other Google ad types, you can create a discovery ad by choosing a sales objective like sales, leads, or website traffic. Once you've selected an objective, click the “New campaign” button and select Discovery campaign type.

Because Discovery Ads live in feeds, and not search (which is where Google typically displays ads that drive commercial intent), you'll need a different targeting strategy. In this case, you need to focus on in-market audiences that are in the discovery or research phase of the buying journey.

When creating ads for a discovery campaign, you can choose between a single image or a carousel format that showcases multiple products or features in one swipeable ad. Carousel ads are ideal for ecommerce brands looking to highlight multiple products or services at once.

For a discovery campaign, you'll need to provide creative assets and some copy ideas, and let Google take care of the optimization, delivery, and bidding through its machine learning algorithms. Once your ad goes live, it'll enter a period of learning, which means you should avoid making bid changes for two weeks while Google AI optimizes the ad for you.

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