Discovery ads can help you drive interest and action with consumers as they enjoy personalized content on Google's most popular feeds: YouTube (Home, Watch Next), Discover, and Gmail. Whether they're watching videos, catching up on their favorite interests, or checking for the latest offers, 91% of Google feed users say they took some kind of shopping or product-related action immediately after discovering new products, services, or brands on their feeds.1
To connect immediately with these audiences, it's important to create high-quality visual experiences that delight the eye while offering authentic, meaningful messages. Be sure to follow the Discovery ad format requirements and editorial guidelines, and apply these creative best practices to help you create more compelling and impactful ads:
- Reuse imagery from other platforms to drive inspiration and action.
Why: Google's feeds offer richly personal and highly visual consumer experiences. Reusing high-performing, inspirational imagery from existing campaigns can help you save time and showcase your brand at its best.
If you’re already running ads for social or video, be sure to include your best-performing assets from these campaigns in your Discovery ads. For example, you can reuse existing assets from social campaigns or create image assets from your video campaigns. Focus on editorial, highly relevant assets that are authentic to your brand and avoid generic stock photography. If using stock images, make sure it connects with your brand and story.
- Use high-quality images (1200x628, 960x1200 and 1200x1200) that tell a story.
Why: Your images will be the first thing people notice when they come across your Discovery ads. Use the highest-possible image resolution, and highlight your product or service to help people instantly understand what you’re showcasing. To give a better idea of how your products or services work, consider uploading imagery that shows someone using them.
If you own a flower shop, consider featuring a person offering or receiving a bouquet.
Use the Asset Library to manage all your images and logos for your ads in one place. You can easily store, curate, and search for the perfect content for your next campaign.
- Provide distinct and personalized call-to-action in your creatives (in headlines, description, or image overlays) to prompt desired action.
Why: Without a strong CTA, your audience may not realize what you have to offer and how to take action. Personalized headlines can perform up to 1.3X better based on the campaign goal vs. non-personalized headlines.2
Adjust your CTA according to your conversion goal, and include clear benefits related to your audience's interests or the landing page where you’re directing them. For example, if you're looking to drive sales, include “Shop Now” as a call-to-action to purchase your product.
Example image assets:
- Optimize your reach across every property by using both the single-image and multi-image carousel layouts—and be sure to include every aspect ratio possible (portrait, square and landscape).
Why: To ensure ads feel both visually authentic and appear at their best across every available property, include portrait, square, and landscape formats to give your campaign the opportunity to serve ads more often across more ad slots in Google's feeds.
- Single images: Practice the "rule of three"—add at least three assets, headlines, and descriptions for each aspect ratio within the same ad.
- Carousel images: When using carousels, add at least five images, and be sure to add square, portrait and landscape formats for each card. Also consider telling a story rather than simply showing a mix of products and note that the images will be shown in the order you upload them.
Vertical and square images drive nearly 2X better performance than horizontal images.3
If you own a car dealership, you can use carousels to promote a vehicle you’re selling by showing a person driving it in different places throughout their day, like commuting on the freeway, driving down the coast, or up to a mountaintop.
Why: Compelling visuals and short titles can help your potential consumers easily and quickly identify the products you’re selling in a visually immersive environment before they scroll on.
Keep your short title to 65 characters max to ensure it isn't truncated and consumers see the most important information immediately. Use snappy titles that highlight the key benefits of each product for your unique audience, and avoid specifying attributes like sizes or colors to stay attention-grabbing in content-rich feeds.
Tell your product stories in an authentic way by using images that showcase your product in use; think about how to grab consumers’ attention with images that are distinctive and authentic.
By pairing social assets alongside their product catalog, Puma successfully drove a +46% increase in return-on-ad-spend while lowering their costs by 19% in 2022.
- Include authentic imagery that features one or more people using your products.
Why: Including images of people using your products can help add real-life context and relatability for your audience.
Over half of consumers say that they are more likely to click on ads in their feed that feature people using a product,4 and 43% say that they are more likely to click on ads featuring people from a variety of backgrounds.5
- Highlight information about your product and offerings (like promotions) within your headlines and descriptions.
Why: Promotions and discounts (ex. free shipping, X% off, etc.) increase interest and help motivate customers to complete purchases. By highlighting them within your headlines and descriptions you can encourage people to engage with your brand.
“Enjoy up to 40% off and free shipping”
“Use coupon — EXAMPLECODE & get extra 50% off.”
“Widgets now with 0% interest”
“Shop online and receive free shipping on orders over $50”
“Enjoy a free sandwich today”
“Show military ID at the door and receive 10% off”
- If you’re showing a single product, showcase it from meaningfully different angles to convey more information, and explore using close up shots with bright, high-contrast colors.
Why: Doing so can proactively address frequently asked questions and help drive more engagement with your brand.
If you sell vacuums, consider uploading images to your Discovery campaign which feature your vacuum from different angles: an overview image, a close-up image of the debris-removal system, an image of someone using it, etc.
- Ensure your campaign is set to use the same language as your creative.
Why: You can increase the likelihood of qualified clicks by making sure your campaign’s language setting matches the language of your creative—after all you wouldn’t want ads in Spanish appearing for non-Spanish speakers. Learn how language targeting works.
Download our in-depth creative guide for more visual examples and insights to help you build stunning ads and drive better performance.
1. Google/Ipsos, Google Feed Consumer Insights, April 2022, Online survey, US. Americans 18+ who made a discovery on at least one Google feed (feeds defined as Google app, Chrome app, YouTube, Gmail) on a mobile device. Base: Feed users n=1,365
2. Google internal data based on an aggregate study of median performance of campaign goals for Responsive display ads (CVR), Discovery ads (CTR, CVR), App campaigns for installs (IPM), App campaigns for engagement (EPM) and Video action campaigns (VTR) across 78K assets for Media & Entertainment, Retail, and Finance verticals. Global. January 2020 - June 2021.
3. Google Internal Data in an aggregate study of 78K assets across verticals: M&E, Retail, Finance verticals. Global., January 2020 - June 2021
4. Google/Ipsos, Consumer Feed Behavior Research, August 2022, Online survey, US consumers aged 18+ who browse feeds (feeds defined as: Google, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest) monthly or more often. Base: Consumers n=2,000
5. Google/Ipsos, Consumer Feed Behavior Research, August 2022, Online survey, US consumers aged 18+ who browse feeds (feeds defined as: Google, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest) monthly or more often. Base: Consumers n=2,000