Get Free Ads in Google Maps Using Smart Campaigns

July 22, 2020
Posted in Paid Search
July 22, 2020 Jen Lopez

Get Free Ads in Google Maps Using Smart Campaigns

If you have been following the shifts in Google Ads over the last year, you probably know that Google AdWords Express has now been re-labeled and re-engineered as Smart Campaigns (or “Smart Mode” as opposed to traditional Google Ads, now called “Expert Mode”). Smart Campaigns, unlike the historical AdWords Express product, now live within the regular Google Ads dashboard and can even be leveraged alongside a more robust PPC strategy if you are using ads in Expert Mode. Many PPC marketers have been testing Google’s Smart Campaigns as a way to top-off their existing PPC strategy, and now the reason to test it out is all the more enticing: From now until September 2020, Google will be giving businesses the opportunity to get free promoted pins in Google Maps.

While AdWords Express was recognized as the low maintenance (but often ineffective) solution for local businesses without a marketing department or significant budget to hire a digital agency, Smart Campaigns are getting a much better reputation especially when run in Expert mode along with a more complete strategy. Smart Campaigns are nearly entirely run from Google’s AI features, which make the campaign development process easier for businesses who cannot afford to have a more robust strategy in place. With Smart Campaigns you can create ads quickly and easily, focus on a set of keywords to help inform Google’s targeting of those ads, and then using different assets you provide the ads are then eligible to show to potential customers across Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google Partner websites.

All of that isn’t new – it’s been around since early 2019. But, what is new is Google Ads is now rolling out promoted pins to advertisers using Smart Campaigns and making them free until September 2020. All you need to have set up is a Google My Business listing and a Smart Campaign. Google claims they will do the rest in a matter of weeks where they will then start to show your promoted pins on Google Maps to help highlight specific services you offer, like delivery, pickup, and more. As these pins show, advertisers will not be charged for clicks, calls or sales generated from them. 

Don’t get it too excited though – remember, as Smart Campaigns can run across many networks (not just Maps) all at one time, advertisers will still be charged for other clicks when the ads show in different networks or a different format.

Have you tried running any Smart Campaigns recently? If you are an advertiser or a business using only Smart Campaigns in Smart Mode – we’d love to tell you about how much more we can do for you in Expert Mode.