Google Ads vs Display and Video 360

If you’re looking to run a display advertising campaign online through Google, you’ve probably already come across these two internet ad giants.

While both of these platforms offer powerful tools to help marketers and advertisers create stunning visual ad campaigns, Google Ads and Display and Video 360 both offer significantly different features that can benefit digital marketers in different ways.

So, which of these two platforms is right for your newest ad campaign? Let’s take a look at Google Ads vs Display and Video 360 in detail.

Google Ads: The Basics

Google Ads, also known as AdWords, is the largest advertising platform on the internet as it covers Google and its advertising network. Google Ads supports text, image, and video campaigns, so you can vary how your campaign looks depending on your intended audience.

Google Ads notably uses the CPC model for advertising costs, meaning that you only pay when a user clicks on the ad. In addition, Google Ads lets you set a budget for your ad campaign, so you always know exactly what you’re spending.

Display and Video 360: The Basics

Display and Video 360, also referred to as DV360, is Google’s demand-side platform (DSP). Through this platform, you have a single tool for planning and optimizing campaigns, managing your creative team, analyzing audience data, and managing inventory.

Similar to Google Ads, DV360 offers keyword targeting. However, instead of targeting specific keywords, DV360 targets keywords on a contextual basis.


Reach and Targeting

Google Ads

Google Ads can feature on any part of the Google Display Network.

Through Google Ads, you have a range of targeting options, such as through location, language, demographic markers, device, and keyword search. You can also remarket to users who have previously visited your website.

Display and Video 360

DV360 is part of over 90 different ad exchanges, and its reach includes approximately 1 billion unique websites.

This platform has a wider variety of targeting options that allow you to not only narrow down your target audience but also cap how many times they see an advertisement based on their engagement. Like with Google Ads, you can target based on demographic data, device, and website visits, but their list of devices includes connected and smart TVs.

You can also use ad pixels and cookies to track how your target audiences behave over the Google Marketing Platform, giving you greater insight into their activity.


Creative Features

Google Ads

You can create ads using text, images, video, and Dynamic Creatives in Google Ads as standard. However, if you spend more than $1000 on ads, you can send an application to Google Ads to be able to use HTML5.

You can also manage your creatives directly through the platform.

Display and Video 360

DV360 lets you use an image, video, HTML5, and Native as standard. If you have Campaign Manager and a Google Merchant Center account linked to your Google Ads account, you can also use Dynamic Creatives and Rich Media.

Like Google Ads, you can also manage your creatives directly through DV360, but it also gives you access to a format library that explains how each format works with examples.

You can also use data-driven creatives to create ad campaigns that are personalized towards audience preferences.


Data Management

Google Ads

Google Ads only lets you use data collected through the Google Display Network. While this is one of the largest advertising platforms on the internet, this may limit what third-party data you can use.

However, the data you do have access to covers language, location, keywords, devices, and whether a user has visited your website before.

Display and Video 360

DV360 gives you access to 35 third-party data providers, giving you all the information you might need about your target audience and what they’re looking for. Unlike Google Ads, you can use this data to find new target audiences that are similar to your current website visitors and specific demographics that might be interested in your product or service.

You can also use this data to find the target audiences that are most likely to have the best purchase or conversion rates, which will improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.


Bidding and Payment

Google Ads

With Google Ads, you only get one bidding option. However, the platform gives you a lot of control over how you bid and how much money you spend on your advertising.

Once you’ve given the platform your marketing goals, you can tell Google Ads to automatically bid on advertising space that will help you achieve those goals. On the other hand, you can also bid manually based on keywords, markets, and target audience.

No matter how you bid, at any time, you can increase or decrease your bids depending on how well your ad campaign is doing.

Display and Video 360

DV360 gives you a lot more options for bidding which gives you more control over how much you spend per click or user action.

Fixed Bid
Similar to manual bidding in Google Ads, you can use the Fixed Bid setting, which will tell the Bid Manager to place the same bid on every user impression, regardless of its value.

Viewability
This Bid Manager setting allows you to maximize the number of impressions by automatically adjusting your bid based on the probability of your advertising campaign being viewed by your target audience.

Minimize CPC/CPA
If you’re spending your full advertising budget, you can tell the Bid Manager to change your line bid to the most efficient CPC or CPA possible until that budget has been exhausted.

Meet or Beat a Goal of CPC/CPA
Your Bid Manager will automatically change your line bid to meet the marketing performance goal you set in DV360. However, if it can’t both spend all of your budget and meet the target you’ve set, it will opt not to spend your budget.


Campaign Optimization

Google Ads

Google Ads allows you to see the results of your ad campaigns in real-time, so you don’t have to wait for an extensive report to be compiled. You can also compile these results into pie charts and graphs, and save them for later use. Through these reports, you can make sure you’re reaching the audiences you want, and if you’re not, you’re able to adjust your bidding accordingly.

Google Ads Reports cover post-click actions and user metrics following the Acquisition-Behaviour-Conversion (ABC) cycle. This means you’ll be able to monitor your targeted users through every step of the buyers’ journey, allowing you to make adjustments to your marketing strategy and advertising campaigns based on these three key stages.

These reports also feature data from Google Analytics, so you’ll be able to monitor your ad’s bounce rate.

Display and Video 360

Similar to Google Ads, you can see the results of your DV360 campaigns in real-time, save snapshots, and use that data to adjust your ad spending.

However, DV360’s reporting covers significantly more metrics and points of user data, allowing you to see specifically how targeted users are behaving in response to your advertisement. This platform also lets you make manual adjustments to your bids for each individual ad in response to this reporting, allowing you to optimize your ad spending.

Google Ads vs Display and Video 360: The Verdict

When it comes to online advertising, it’s our experience that digital marketers like you should be using both Google Ads and Display and Video 360 for optimum advertising performance.

After all, many of you have likely seen a positive ROI from your Google Ads campaigns, and we all know that this staple of CPC advertising is a must-have for any business. However, we can safely say that to improve on that ROI, you need to be adding Display and Video 360 to your Google Ads account.

Not only does DV360 allow you to access more advertising networks and third-party data providers, but it gives you more versatility in the advertising campaigns you create. Its powerful creative tools can help you craft stunning ads that you can put in front of your exact target audience, given that it allows you to target more metrics than Google Ads.

In addition, DV360 gives you more control over your advertising budget. You can customize all of your bidding based on your goals, and the ability to input a budget and have the Bid Manager stop when that budget is reached means you’ll always know what you’re spending on your ad campaigns.

However, it would be unrealistic for us to say that DV360 is the perfect solution for every business.

As with any new part of your marketing strategy, we recommend that you test DV360 in parallel to your other advertising campaigns, and in particular to Google Ads, to determine each platform’s ability to deliver a positive ROI. Only then will you be able to determine which advertising platform is the best for your business.