What are they & how can you benefit from them?

Advertising online may just have got a whole lot easier, if you believe the stories around Gmail Sponsored Promotions, known as GSPs for short. But why?

GSPs are a highly-targeted online advertising option that can be seen on the Google platform. Your advert could find its way in front of the eyes of the right consumers, driven by background data crunching that notes recent email behaviour and online purchases.


Targeted advertising

Targeting adverts at the right people is not a new concept, either online or offline. Research has shown that spend part of your marketing budget on getting to know your customer demographic, where they are, what they use and so on, pays dividends in the long run.

Knowing your customer, their habits as well as noting their online behaviour all make for far more effective advertising. In the busy, crowded, fast-paced world online, this is muscle to advertisers and promoters everywhere.

You may have already noted this is happening on your Gmail account. With everything connected online and leading back to one profile, the snap-decision purchase you made on a well-known online auction site seems to generate adverts that are linked to that purchase. In other words, search for and buy men’s hiking socks and you will find adverts that are related to similar products.


The power of Gmail Sponsored Promotions

There is no doubting the power of a GSP. Imagine your product or service popping up in the eye line of a customer, and the right one at that.

Running a GSP campaign allows you three advertising options, all of which can reach your chosen, desired demographic:

  • Rich Promotion ads act as the adverts that generate initial engagement. They appear on the desktop version of Gmail, and you may or may not have spotted one already. They tend to be highlighted in pale yellow and sit above your top email.
  • Teaser ads create an initial engagement or interest from your prospective customer. On clicking this, the advert will expand fully and look just like an email.
  • Fully expanded ads pop up in front of your user when they have clicked on the teaser advert. This advert opens up, allowing your potential customer to watch a short video, click to call and so on.

Who and why should you use GSP?

Google Sponsored Promotions have been around for a few years but, as yet the advertising platform has not been heavily promoted by Google. It seems that they preferred to keep it hidden, a gem waiting to be discovered.

As big names and companies started to use it, however, interest began to grow. And no wonder with its targeting capabilities.

GSP is an impression-based medium. The user has not explicitly asked to see what you have on offer, merely shown an interest in something that is related.

The means by which your advert is placed before them depends on the targeting methods that you have set. GSP does have some unique targeting capabilities, but when it comes to ticking the boxes, excluding groups or including genders and so on, you need to bear in mind that people are not asking to see your advert. You are, in effect, placing it before ‘out of interest’, so to speak.

This may mean that who you target you GSP towards is slightly different to the person who has asked to see it, by using a keyword search.

It also depends on what you are offering. Many businesses who offer free trials in this way have noted a high click through rate. In the main, there is minimum fuss with these type of free trial adverts as the users have no need to fill forms and so on. In fact, advertising experts suggest that an ‘offer you can’t refuse’ is the best means by which to use GSP.

In summary

Used correctly, with the right parameters in place, Google Sponsored Promotions can give you a great return, whether you are driving for paying customers or catching leads.

The key phrase in the above sentence, however, is used correctly. True to say, global companies have probably wasted stacks of cash after clicking the ‘all clients’ box. GSP are not a catch-all advertising campaign; for it to work, it needs to be streamlined and targeted.

It works on a bidding basis too, like other pay per click advertising and options. There seems to be no hard and fast rule with bidding. Some days, setting your maximum bid at £1 will mean your only pay 15p per impression but other days, you can’t catch a break for 50p! Keep your budget low, as you can always step up your bidding if you need to.

And finally, nothing stays the same and with GSPs this means being consistently creative to continue performing. What worked six weeks ago may not be doing it today.

Mar, 13, 2016