How to Use the Performance Max Campaign Type in Google Ads

a standalone amplifier with wires hooked up to it

A New Tool to Amp Up Your Digital Marketing Strategy

There’s a piece of equipment in the car and home audio world called an amplifier. It doesn’t play anything. In fact, on its own, an amplifier is a perfectly useless piece of equipment.

That’s because an amp’s purpose is to amplify the performance of the composition of components around it, such as the stereo, speaker, and subwoofers. An amp is that extra bit of muscle that brings out the full potential of your pre-existing products.

So, when we talk about Google’s new ad product – aptly named Performance Max – it helps if you think of it as an amplifier. It should not be run by itself. The entire point of Performance Max is to maximize the performance of the digital marketing strategy you have in place for your paid media ads. It’s that extra little boost that will bring your campaigns to their full potential.

Let’s dig into the particulars of Performance Max.

What is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a way to supplement your marketing efforts using advanced automation, machine learning, and hyper-specific audience targeting. It utilizes dynamic ad formats based upon the assets it’s provided. That includes text-based ads, display ads, and video.

Because Performance Max is a Google product, this means your ads will get exposure across a wide array of platforms such as Display, Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Discovery. This ensures your ads get more attention than ever before. Additionally, advertisers will have complete access to the entirety of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign, which keeps things nice and streamlined.

Keeping your specific conversion goals in mind, Performance Max is designed to help drive performance by continuously optimizing in real-time. It greatly reduces the manual labor aspect of running digital marketing campaigns.

The Basics of Setting Up a Performance Max Campaign

So far you know that Performance Max is intended to boost your current marketing campaigns, but you’ll need to set up a campaign to see it in action. Here are the basics of doing that:

First, you’ll set your budget and bidding strategy. You have a few options when it comes to bidding strategy, which include:

  • Max conversions
  • Max value
  • Max CPA
  • Target value

After that, you’ll select your target locations. As an agency that does digital marketing in Kansas City with a lot of local clients, we would select cities like Kansas City, Overland Park, Leawood, Shawnee, and so forth. These locations can be wherever is relevant to your business, and you can always fine-tune them later if certain places are underperforming.

After your locations are locked in, you’ll select your languages, ad schedule, and the run dates of your campaign.

The next step is picking your URL options. This step is really important because you’re selecting where you want your traffic to go. By default, it’s set for Google to send traffic to the most relevant URL on your site. However, what’s most relevant to Google might not be most relevant to your campaign. We suggest telling Google exactly where you want to drive your traffic.

Next, you’ll set up your asset groups. This is where things really start to take shape, because you’re effectively creating the ads that Google will share across its platforms. Performance Max asset groups include:

  • Images (up to 15)
  • Logos (up to 5)
  • Videos (up to 5)
  • Standard headlines (up to 5)
  • Long headlines (up to 5)

a hand interacts with a cloud of various digital images

Sidenote: This is probably a good time to mention that iFocus can arrange all those materials for you. We’ve got a full team of designers, copywriters, and creatives that can get all that stuff in order. Get in touch with us today for more info.

Next, you’ll need to give Performance Max an idea of what audiences you’re targeting. However, these aren’t groups. Performance Max uses something called audience signals, which is more like a suggestion than a clearly-defined group. This is you telling Google, “I think these people would be interested in my business or product.”

There are a lot of ways you can go about this, depending on your goals and your digital marketing strategy. For instance, you can optimize your audience signals based upon demographic information or by using custom segments and keywords. Ultimately, Google will start with what it’s given and continually optimize using machine learning.

The last step to setting up a campaign is ad extensions. Some examples of extensions include lead form extensions, promotion extensions, and call extensions. When you complete this part, your ads will begin appearing on Search, Gmail, YouTube, Display, and Discovery.

Keep in mind, this is just the basics of getting started. For a more personalized approach that’s aligned with your business goals and digital marketing strategy, it’s best to reach out to a marketing agency near you like iFocus so we can walk you through the process.

What Are the Benefits of Performance Max?

Okay, so you know that Performance Max is going to increase the number of eyeballs exposed to your brand, but what are the core benefits?

Some of the top ones include:

  • Unlocking new segments of customers by combining Google’s real-machine learning combined with the insights you’ve provided
  • Being able to wield the power of Google’s machine learning with more accurate predictions about which ads work best with certain audiences at certain times and locations; the manual labor of “figuring it out” will decrease significantly
  • Detailed reporting that clearly illustrates how your campaign is performing and which channels drive the best return on investment
  • Being able to see real-time insights about what your audience is searching and what they’re responding to most; not only do you learn from this, but Google does, too
  • Maximizing your conversions and your conversion value; Performance Max allows you to get the most out of your marketing budget

How Does it Perform? Is There Proof of Concept?

Google provided a case study in which a company called MoneyMe used Performance Max. The goal was to drive new funded loans for personal loans, which is MoneyMe’s marquis product.

They ran a Performance Max campaign for six weeks using a combination of tactics. They started off by maximizing conversions using an automated bidding strategy, then switched to a target CPA bidding strategy, and then used offline conversion imports for optimization.

The end result was that MoneyMe saw a 22 percent increase in conversions and a 20 percent decrease in overall CPA.

Looking for Digital Marketing in Kansas City? Contact iFocus Marketing Today!

Hopefully, you now understand the broad strokes of what Performance Max is and what it can do for your campaign. Remember, Performance Max isn’t the centerpiece for your digital marketing strategy. It’s an amplifier. You need to use it with keyword-based Google Search campaigns and other methods to get the most out of it.

If you’re new to using Google tools or to digital marketing in general, there’s one surefire way to avoid the growing pains of learning this stuff on your own.

You can contact iFocus Marketing, voted the best digital marketing agency in Kansas City by The Pitch. Not only can we get your Performance Max campaign all squared away, we also provide the most in-demand marketing services that drive traffic and conversions, including search engine optimization, social media marketing, website maintenance and design, and a suite of creative services.

As one of the fastest-growing ad agencies in Kansas City, we welcome the opportunity to work with you on your upcoming campaign. The best way to get started is by requesting a discovery call and analysis.

Basically, you tell us a little about yourself, your business, and your goals. We then use that info and our marketing expertise to come up with custom marketing solutions for you. If you like our plan, we can rally our team of marketers and creatives and put them to work for you.

Sound good so far? Cool! Let’s chat!

Call us at (913) 708-8567, or email us directly using the contact form on our site. One of our business development professionals will get back with you ASAP.

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