Coming up with new and creative ways to outline what to do in destinations across the globe has maximized testing, communication, and collaboration now more than ever. 

Introducing the latest Google buzzword: Performance Max. Performance Max is a one-stop-shop for paid media, allowing artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in mixing and matching search, display, and YouTube assets uploaded into one campaign. 

These campaigns have elevated the performance that Simpleview and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have been able to achieve through well-positioned advertisement placements. Our analysts now recommend Performance Max as a standard best practice for all accounts.

After rolling out several of these campaigns, we’ve seen that DMOs have many of the same questions about Performance Max, so we developed a primer to answer them.


Listicle 1 - UpdateAssess Your DMO’s What do I need to create a Performance Max campaign? 

Each Performance Max campaign requires 10 images, at least one 10-second YouTube URL (up to five if you have them), a logo, and a landing page that you’re looking to target. Based on the assets provided, Simpleview’s analysts will create a combination of headlines, short descriptions, and long descriptions that combine keyword and interest targeting to best reach your target audience.

Listicle 2 - UpdateIs there a minimum budget to run one of these types of campaigns?  

The short answer is: no. 

The long answer is: we’re seeing higher performance when we can set daily budgets a little bit higher. That said, we advise being realistic and responsible with the DMO’s current budget and understanding that reach and performance are slightly different for all DMOs.

Listicle 3 - UpdateHow will Performance Max impact my onsite engagement and conversions?  

One of the most exciting things we’ve noticed is this campaign type’s impact on the onsite engagement and conversions of other campaigns in an account — we’ve happily seen Performance Max campaigns increase engagement and conversions for related search campaigns. A Performance Max campaign promoting a destination’s meeting planning services will increase onsite engagement for the meeting-related search campaign, while a Performance Max campaign promoting the home page increases engagement for all leisure search campaigns, especially those targeting general branded and things-to-do related terms. 

This benefit happens because Performance Max campaigns are particularly good at gathering engagement and conversion optimization data. Other related campaigns in the account can then use this data. This positive synchronicity has led our analysts to recommend Performance Max as a standard best practice for all accounts.

The onsite engagement for the Performance Max campaign itself will depend on exactly which combination of channels the ads serve. Campaigns serving more often on top-of-funnel channels such as YouTube and the Google Display Network will have lower engagement, and campaigns serving more often on a lower funnel channel such as Google Search will have higher engagement. 

The good news is that engagement steadily increases as these campaigns continue gathering data over time. The same is true for the Performance Max campaigns’ positive impact on other campaigns in the account. 

Listicle 4 - UpdateHave you seen a big difference in cost per click (CPC) and click-through rate (CTR) from Performance Max vs. standard search campaigns? 

Like any campaign, many variables help a Performance Max campaign perform well. While Google always takes time to calibrate for optimal performance, the key components affecting CTR will be the ad copy and ad creative. Unlike standard search campaigns, there are fewer areas for analysts to optimize performance for Performance Max due to the functions AI performs. However, we have been able to download performance reviews of all components to see what is performing low, average, good, and best to allow us to rotate assets effectively. Because of AI-driven optimization, we tend to see CTR improve over time. 

Performance Max breaks all the rules when it comes to CPC. For those who remember running YouTube or display campaigns, you know that these awareness channels tend to come with high CPCs. When combining all paid media efforts into one campaign, Simpleview analysts have noticed an extremely low CPC in combination with an extremely high impression count. Simply put, these campaigns get in front of a lot of people — for not a lot of money.

5I don’t currently run paid search through Simpleview, but I’m interested in trying one of these campaigns. How can I get started? 

There are a few ways to get the ball rolling regarding Performance Max. See which applies to you, and we can get you started. 

  • If you’re currently running paid media efforts through Simpleview and have a dedicated analyst, ask your analyst to start a Performance Max campaign
  • If you’re about to launch a new site or microsite and want to push significant traffic over a shorter period of time, reach out to your contact in Customer Success and ask for a quick call with a paid media expert
  • If you’re debating whether to start running paid media through Simpleview but want to test the waters first, this is a great opportunity

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