Google announced that it is updating its offerings for retailers by launching ads in Google Images and introducing local inventory features. In what ways could brands take advantage of this new feature to target new customers?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Be Consistent With Your Photography
The best brands have a consistent look for their photography. This can be achieved by working with the same photographer for all of your content images and providing him or her with the specific tone you would like for your product images.
2. Have a Mobile-First Strategy
Google’s recently updated offering is for one primary purpose: to keep up with the influx of people shopping on their smartphones. This change is a sign of things to come by Google and requires retailers to apply a mobile-first strategy with all development and marketing initiatives moving forward.
3. Produce Tons of New Visual Marketing Assets
Start publishing tons of new images of your products to try to get more organic placements alongside Google’s latest ad units. Ultimately, the most engaging and highest quality images win, so invest in photos that highlight the best aspects of your product.
4. Get Consistently High Rankings
If your company consistently ranks high in Google’s new inventory ads, people will see your brand more often and associate it with having what they want. And since more and more people are choosing to use their mobile phones to shop, showing up in local inventory ads through Google makes it more convenient for new customers to click through to your online store.
5. Optimize Your Data for Search Engines
The key to leveraging Google’s new image ads and local inventory features is to provide Google with more data through optimization. Optimize your images so that they include ALT image tags with relevant information. Make sure all of your e-commerce data and products feeds are strategically optimized for local inventory. Make no assumptions, and remember Google is not a person but a machine.
6. Use Up-To-Date POS Systems
Every local retail business needs to take advantage of local inventory ads with real-time inventory. Syncing up real-time inventory offers omnichannel retailers a big opportunity to influence store sales, as the majority of purchases still take place at the store. Consumers want to know where to go to buy stuff, and retailers must use up-to-date POS systems to leverage real-time inventory data.
7. Take Advantage of Supply and Demand Mismatch
When Google first launched Adwords, you could bid on head keywords like “wine,” “car” and “shirts” for literal pennies. Today, as the market has become saturated with advertisers, these keywords go for 100x, i.e. several dollars. When a new advertising platform is created, it’s always the early adopters that can benefit from cheap cost per clicks before everyone else catches on.
8. Gather More Audience Data
How the audience uses Google Images, including what they are searching for, can provide more insights on what they are interested in and what they respond positively to. The local inventory features help a company to better target their local customer base and provide custom offers based on available inventory in certain areas that might appeal to those specific new customers.
9. Use Stock Images as Lead Generation for B2B
I see a few companies doing this to varying levels of success now, even without ads. If you’d like to reach the business, marketing, design department of a company, stock photos or graphics are a great way to get in front of them in a highly relevant work context while providing them with concrete value.