Google is copying two features advertisers love about Facebook
The new products are quite similar to a service and a format already available from Facebook. And they're two of the advertising products marketers love most about the social network.
First up, Google has announced a new product called "Customer Match." It works in a similar way to Facebook's popular "Custom Audiences" product, which the social network rolled out to all advertisers back in 2013.
Custom Match allows advertisers to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google. They can then target ad campaigns at that specific audience.
Google explains in the blog post how Custom Match works and why it's useful for marketers:
Let's say you're a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for "non-stop flights to new york" on Google.com, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they're looking to fly to New York. And when those members are watching their favorite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.
Google's Customer Match will also let marketers create "Similar Audiences" to reach new customers. These are the users that share interests and characteristics with an advertiser's existing customers. Both the new products will be rolling out "in the next few weeks," according to Google.
App install ads
From Sunday Google also announced had switched on "Universal App Campaigns," which allow advertisers to run app install ads across Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. As the name suggests, mobile app install ads are those ads that encourage you to click in order to download an app to your phone.
App install ads are growing in popularity. EMarketer predicts spending on mobile app install ads will grow 80% year-on-year to reach $3 billion (10.4% of total mobile ad spending) by the end of this year. EMarketer doesn't provide market share data but says "most parties familiar with app marketing agree Facebook is far and away the most important app install channel."
Google wants to change that with Universal App Campaigns. Here's how they work:
Let's say you've built an adventure game. With Universal App Campaigns, you have unparalleled reach: you can drive installs on YouTube, the platform with 1B+ users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of content everyday. Your ads can also reach specific audiences across 650K apps and 2M+ websites in the GDN. And importantly, Universal App Campaigns tap into intent-rich searches like "adventure games" and "puzzle games" that are happening throughout the day on Google Search and Google Play so your app can be seen when people are looking to download something new.
Most of the mobile app install ads you see tend to take place in other apps. And Google's in a good position here: Google owns four of the 12 sites that have more mobile app traffic than browser traffic in the US, according to Morgan Stanley Research.
But Google is also performing well in the browser space too, thanks to the strength of its search product. Morgan Stanley says traffic in three of Google's key advertising categories (retail, finance, and travel) over-indexes towards mobile browsing.
Mobile advertising spend is growing at a phenomenal clip, and increasing its share of the total money spent worldwide on digital advertising. EMarketer predicts mobile advertising will represent 26.8% of total ad spend worldwide by 2019, up from an 11.9% share this year.
Google will be hoping the two new products announced Sunday (and which will be presented to Madison Avenue during the annual Advertising Week New York trade event on Monday) will increase its share of that growing market even further.
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