My parents always told me that actions speak louder than words. Our activities say a lot about us and with the Facebook data scandal of late, our personal information that is owned online has been all over the news. Google has had their own run-ins with bad press due to all of the data they collect about their users. They even removed organic keyword data from analytics a few years ago, partly because of a big social outcry around privacy. I will be the first one to agree that it is kind of creepy what Google seems to know about us and serve us with ads. But at the same time, if you use it to your advantage, it can be a very effective way to target potential clients, customers, or patients.
Some of the targeting methods available in Adwords, I often see unused and have shown to be very effective for large budget businesses. These methods may be ways to mimic some of the remarketing or email list targeting that larger companies do without actually having the traffic or the list size to pull those methods off.
Of course, the act of searching for a specific keyword automatically puts you into a type of audience. It is somewhat of a self-selection, but with all of the data Google has about our search history, they know from our prior actions and recent actions, what we are interested in, and even what our intent appears to be based on our activities and activities of similar people over time. It is the beauty of machine learning and can be used to even more closely target your prospects.
Google has created defined audiences based on these activities they collect about each user. Without specifically publicizing individual identities, they are able to group people based on certain activities and create targetable audiences from them. Two ways of using audience targeting are below.
It makes sense that Google would develop an interest profile about users from their online activity. Some of us may search for health-related topics or sports on a regular basis, while others may be into cars or botany, or whatever you can think of. We are all very different and that is what makes the world fun. However, if you are interested in advertising to “theater people” and you can further divide your potential paid advertising market to target those interested in the arts and theater specifically in the geographic area that you serve, this information can come in very handy and can help your targeting be even more precise. In these days where every cent counts with your marketing budget, this is a great way to target even more specifically. With a large number of audiences to pick from, it is worth taking a look to see if your target market is there. It is worth noting that you can pick several audiences, or try to create a custom audience based on a number of interests that you type in.
Potentially even more interesting to use or combine with interest audiences is intent audiences. If you can actually target people that are showing that they are prepared to purchase what you are trying to sell, that would be great right? Well, intent audiences have been developed that group people that show that they have an intent to buy certain types of things. Though the number of options is somewhat limited, it is worth taking a look. For example, if I wanted to target people that are actively researching advertising and marketing services, that option is available to me. Though it can bother people to not know the “secret sauce” that determines how a user fits into these categories, they have been shown to be effective by trusted sources in the industry, and if you can “trust” Google’s info a bit and apply it properly, this can be another great way to be sure you are using every cent in as targeted of a manner as possible.
We do this stuff every day so if this sounds interesting to you but you are afraid to try to apply it yourself, give us a call. That is probably the smart thing to do. I have seen so many people set up Adwords campaigns for themselves that ended up wasting a big portion of their budget because there are so many amazing targeting options available to people, but if you don’t know which bells and whistles to have turned on or off, you can waste a lot of money. Google tends to start you out with the widest targeting, which is often the most inefficient. We know the tricks of the trade to make your targeting work as efficiently as possible. At least get things built the right way and learn how to turn things on and off and then you can run with it.