What are the best marketers and affiliates doing to succeed on Google Ads in 2024?

CEOs and industry insiders Alex Micol, Swikrit Malik, Shahzeb Feroz, and Vipul Taneja shared what’s working in Google Ads during a recent Affiliate World panel discussion. Some of the hottest actionable tips included what’s coming for campaign bidding strategies in the very near future, as well as what’s working for video creators right now.

⚙️ Optimizing Smart Bidding Strategies

Most of the panelists still use a combination of automated and manual bidding for their campaigns. The typical strategy is to start with broad targeting and maximizing conversions before switching to an automated bidding strategy once you have collected enough data. But that’s beginning to change.

While manual bidding strategies still provide more control over ad campaigns, Google’s AI-driven smart bidding strategies have improved and expanded in scope so that advertisers can use them to optimize for end goals like leads and sales instead of just traffic.

Shahzeb Feroz, a Principal Account Manager at Google, is recommending that partners who use the ad platform test smart bidding for goals like target ROAS, which pushes the algorithm to maximize value more effectively than metrics like target CPA.

Shahzeb also tells advertisers switching from manual to smart bidding strategies to reduce budget by about 50% for the first three to five days. This gives the system time to stabilize and prevents overspending while the algorithm collects data. After that stabilization period, you can restore the intended budget and the algorithm will have enough data to operate effectively.

On YouTube, shorter VSLs — under eight minutes — are performing better than the longer videos that used to drive more conversions.

Text to video tools aren’t showroom-ready yet, but Midjourney can produce useful images for video ads, especially when combined with Runway to animate them. Midjourney is also useful for storyboarding, as well as for establishing designs and stylizing looks.

▶️ 8 Tips For Video Creation

  1. Start with a good script. You’ll need a storyline and compelling visuals and audio to convert potential customers.
  2. Create a shot list. Establish the shots that you’ll need to complete the ad.
  3. Use visual language in pre-production. When you write a script, include production notes for transitions, clips, and other visual cues to make the execution as seamless as possible.
  4. Shoot with your phone. Record vertical video with a smartphone to capture catchy hooks that look native to the platform you’re advertising on.
  5. Use b-roll and stock footage. Sometimes a ‘minimum viable product’ ad is necessary to test campaign performance for multiple affiliates. In these cases, the creative investment should be minimal, and stock footage can fill editing gaps between original footage.
  6. Test AI voiceover tools. AI voiceover tools like Play.ht can be useful for video creation, but be careful of Google’s AI detectors. If Google flags your narration as AI-generated, it may disapprove the whole video on those grounds.
  7. User-generated content still resonates. If you have the budget to invest in influencers or other creative video assets, focus on UGC content for the best results.
  8. Good editors aren’t found, they’re made. Editing videos to make them compelling is still tricky, and as Scalers founder and CEO Alex Micol said, “you don’t find good editors, you train them. All the good editors are taken.” In most video creators’ experience, the best possible ads come from working closely with your editors.