What Are Smart Campaigns?

If you’re brand new to this digital marketing thing, you might not even know about smart campaigns. Let me give you some insight.

A smart campaign is a Google Ads campaign that promotes your business to people in your target market.

You can display your ad to people based on interests and demographics. You can also use the ad headline and body to promote the benefits of your business to specific groups of people.

Additionally, you can run different smart campaigns to promote your business to people in different market segments.

Smart ads appear in search results. You’ve probably seen more than a few of them at the top of the results list with the word “Ad” in a box next to the landing page URL.

Smart Ads + Promoted Pins

The freebie that Google now offers only applies to people who currently run smart campaigns. So if your marketing strategy doesn’t include Google Ads, you’re out of luck on this one.

However, if you’re running smart campaigns, you might be eligible. You’ll also need a Google My Business listing.

Why do you need a GMB listing? Because GMB identifies your business location. That’s how Google knows where to pinpoint your business on Maps.

Further, your business must be verified by Google. You’ll learn more about the whole verification process when you create your Google My Business listing.

A Primer on Promoted Pins

Another explainer if you’re new to this: promoted pins appear on Google Maps. They stand out in stark contrast to normal pins.

The normal pins appear in red. They identify places of interest such as landmarks and businesses.

If you’ve got competitors in town, your pin and your competitor’s pin will display in exactly the same size and color if neither of you invests any money in Google Maps advertising.

However, if you’d like your pin to stand out, you can opt for a promoted pin. Then, your pin will appear in purple.

That will make it easier for people in your target market to find you.

Further, promoted pins are accompanied by a relevant marketing message. That message will appear at the bottom of the map.

Typical marketing messages that display alongside promoted pins include coupons, discounts,  and announcements about new product lines.

Why is Google Offering Free Promoted Pins?

The company wants to assist businesses emerging from lockdowns — as simple as that.

It’s a big help if you took a hit during the pandemic. It’s an even bigger help if you’re currently running smart campaigns and your competitors aren’t. That means you qualify for the free pins and they don’t.

According to Google, more than a billion people use Google Maps to learn about businesses near where they live. They also use it to find directions.

You can stand out with promoted pins.

Wrapping It Up

Google already started rolling out promoted pins to smart campaign advertisers who also have a GMB profile. If you meet those criteria and you haven’t seen anything yet, look for a message in the coming weeks.

Then, spend the next few months promoting your business for free with pins. You might uncover a successful marketing strategy that you hadn’t thought about using in the past.