Over the last few years Google has continued to leverage its automatic campaign features. One of the most recent changes has been the evolution of the performance max campaign type.
What is performance max?
The performance max or pMAX campaign strategy uses Google’s machine learning to drive performance based on specific goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding. Using automatic bids, budget optimization, audience targeting, creatives and more, Google uses this goal-based strategy to complement the keyword-based search campaigns to help find more customers across other Google channels.
What makes it different from other campaign types?
Traditional campaigns function independently of each other. But with performance max your ads can run on Google Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, Discovery, and Maps. This opens the door for more people to find your business and engage with your products and services.
Performance Max Pros and Cons
Pro – Gives advertisers more exposure across Google’s channels. Greater accessibility means that anyone can run ads on multiple platforms with little budget or time to optimize various campaign types.
Con – Just because it’s more accessible, doesn’t make it the one-size fits all campaign type. pMAX should first be used to supplement pre-existing advertising efforts. Because this is a goal-based strategy, you want to make sure you have the conversion data that will help the account optimize for your ideal customer.
Easy to Manage
Pro – It doesn’t take a long time to setup. When you opt to run this campaign type, the system walks you through the steps. So there isn’t a huge learning curve. When building out creative, you supply the headlines, descriptions, and visuals, then Google can generate many variations and use different ad types to test your messaging.
Con – You have less control. Because the placements are automated, you have less control over how often your ads show up on specific platforms, the particular searches triggering your ads and the targeting of your ads.
Pro – When you use existing customer lists and proven audience segments that have worked for you before, these lists can help set the stage for your campaign. But the caveat here is that they need to be setup correctly. Then Google’s AI can rely on your existing customer engagement data to find new audience signals to optimize against.
Con – Not every audience will be relevant. Relying too much on machine learning with minimal effort at adjusting any of your targeting and creative can be a mistake. You can find that your budget gets used inefficiently or the quality of leads isn’t as good if the campaign is optimizing against irrelevant targets.
These 4 tips can help your performance max campaigns work effectively:
- Identify the goals that matter most for your business, then optimize your campaign to achieve them. Goals can include increasing website traffic, generating leads, or acquiring more sales.
- Use the right bidding strategy. Maximize conversion and maximize conversion value.
- Maximize conversion – get as many conversions as possible.
- Maximize conversion value – drive as much conversation value as possible within your budget.
- Upload a variety of creative assets. You can use text, image, and video. Add a variation of calls to actions, unique value propositions, image sizes, and messages to test what people will engage with. You can view asset reports to see what variations and combinations Google uses and make decisions to revise new copy for poor performance assets.
- Add Audience signals – Use your first-party provided data. This includes customer match, website visitor lists, and custom segments.
Interested in learning more about performance max campaigns? Contact us! Our digital account specialists can help answer your questions and find the right strategy for your digital marketing needs.