Introduced in February 2018, we’ve had access to the detailed demographic lists for about a year (as of this writing). That should mean more than enough data has been collected if you’ve layered them across your search accounts and we can really start digging into some detailed strategy moves to leverage that data.
If you’re unfamiliar with the detailed demographic lists, I suggest reading my earlier post and getting to work layering these onto your campaigns. You can keep these strategies in your back pocket once you’ve accumulated a good amount of data.
These lists are pretty basic, just focusing on education level, parental, marriage, and homeownership status. None of them are particularly descriptive in their own right but can be used to further your marketing initiatives. These next four tips will go beyond basic bid modifiers and think more strategically in how you can harness these lists.
Targeted Ad Copy:
Making targeted ad copy is something that we strive for every day, right? Testing the perfect headlines, description lines, to work towards the best CTR, CVR, or whatever metric you’re aiming for. What if we take this a step further and micro-target a subsection of our audience?
Say for instance you’re selling box springs. Not exactly the world’s most exciting thing so ad copy will likely be focused on your normal selling points. As you looked through your detailed demographic lists you see about a third of your traffic is categorized as a renter and they convert at a lower rate than the campaign average. How can you better speak those people? Advertising split box springs, delivery up and down a lot of stairs? That’s up for you to decide but what you can do is create an ad that specifically speaks to their unique needs.
Google is getting better at matching ad copy to people as they search. The ultimate hope here is for the system to recognize this copy works well with this type of people and you’ll start to see improvement among that group.
While very hard to get firm cause and effect data points on, I’ve anecdotally seen success here. It may not resonate with everyone searching, but it may resonate with a group of people at a much higher rate leading to better performance. Besides, you’ll have other general ads in the ad group that can handle the other people.
The Display Network can be a bit of a Pandora’s box when it comes to the number of places ads can show. We also all know that every display placement is not created equally. By looking at your detailed demographic lists, you should have a pretty good idea of who your audience generally is. From there, you can use some simple stereotypes to layer on or exclude different topics to test out.
If your converters skew heavily towards the homeownership side, test out DIY topics. If your target skews heavily towards people with young children, be doubly sure to exclude content that young children would be watching to avoid unnecessary clicks.
Expansion into/of Facebook:
At the end of the day, Facebook is basically targeting demographics. If you’ve never advertised on the platform, utilizing these detailed demographics as a starting point can be a nice jumping off point. Alternately, if you feel like you’ve exhausted things like lookalike audiences, you can use detailed demographic data to help guide the creation of a broader group of people to target.
Neither of these are going to be exact sciences but you’ll have some hard numbers to pair with your intuition of how your target audience is and what they’re interested in online (remember that topic targeting stuff?).
Not only is this handy for audience creation but when thinking about creative. If you have audience sets that really resonate with your ads on search, feature them within an image. While hard to do education level, there are broader ways to signify someone’s marital or homeownership status in a subtle way.
If you have multiple brands playing in the same space, you likely have some bit of differentiation between them already. Use these lists to your advantage to highlight specific sets of people who more broadly match what you’re advertising for.
For an extreme example, pretend you run two resorts in Jamaica. One skews younger while the other is very oriented towards families. For people looking broadly at Jamaican Vacations, we likely know which one they would be interested in by who they are, rather than what they’re searching for. Use these lists to heavily favor or pull yourself out of the auction based on who that person is. While a pretty cut and dry example, this sort of thinking can be used for everything from restaurants, cars, furniture, etc.
You can take it a step further (and combine this with our first tip) to create whole campaigns that specifically target a certain user. Speak to that group’s unique needs, rather than to the broader audience. Minimize the overlap while focusing in on the specificity of the message.
At the end of the day, the best thing about these lists is the fact that we can learn more about the person behind the keyboard rather than simply what they’re searching. We know not every search for the same term is created equal. The next step is thinking about how to refine that message based on the person searching and getting the best information out in front of them.
Google is getting smarter and that means that we need to get smarter in how we message potential customers.