Google’s new local campaigns

We take a look at Google’s new ‘local campaign’ feature, how it works, and whether it’s right for your business.

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Last week Emma McErlean and Niall Dennehy, Agency Account Manager and Agency Account Strategist at Google, hosted an Elevenses livestream named ‘Going Local with Google’, all about the new local campaigns. The new campaigns, amongst many other things, were announced at Google Marketing Live last month, and the Elevenses video gave an insight into what they are, how they work, and what you need to do in order to use them.

Niall started by describing the new campaigns as, in his opinion, one of the “most exciting and innovative products” they have available on the market at the moment, before Emma divulged some stats about people’s habits online:

These stats reveal that an enormous 90% of sales happen in store, which is kind of surprising with everyone worrying about the future of the high street, but with Google’s technologies it is able to track these store visits, and even when cross-device.

Emma then went through the stats to prove how important digital is along the customer journey to purchase, explaining that 81% of people perform a search online before visiting a store (to investigate opening hours etc), 76% visit a website / app (to investigate stock levels etc) and 44% watch a video online.

They then revealed that Google is able to measure over 10 billion store visits across the world:

Niall then explained that Google uses a variety of signals to track these store visits, that are triangulated to your exact store location, which is known from your Google My Business account. Google then uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to find out when people enter your shop and can use offline conversion metrics to determine the value of that store visit.

The presenters then went through all the reasons why you would want to use local campaigns and different reasons why advertisers would want to drive footfall into their stores and showcased where the local ads will appear; Search, Maps, Google My Business profile, Google Display Network, and YouTube. Also the range of things Google looks at when optimising these campaigns for store visits; distance to location, query, channel and device, likelihood that person in going visit etc, and then the steps needed to set up a campaign:

So in order to create a local campaign an advertiser has to have their Google My Business account connected to Google Ads, so Google knows its physical locations, set a budget for the campaign and provide ad creative. The advertiser can also choose to let Google know the value of a store visit, to ultimately give an ROI figure at the end of the campaign, and then Google automatically optimises the campaign to drive footfall into your store locations.

However they then went on to explain the requirements for these local campaigns:

  1. The store visits have to be recording in a campaign that is already live
  2. The campaign has to run for a minimum of 30 days
  3. You must have at least 10 business locations
  4. You must spend at least £30k on the campaign (at least £1k per day for 30 days)

At the beginning of the video I was extremely intrigued and excited to set up this type of campaign for a few of our clients, until I saw these minimum requirements. It’s such a shame that there is often such a big price tag on these new features, once again excluding the smaller businesses from being able to use them.

For more information on the new features coming to Google, check out Victoria’s post from last month, but again a lot are only for the big spenders.

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