Often times our task as digital marketers is to bring awareness to a new product or service our client has to offer. Questions then arise, like how should we build awareness or how can we capture existing searches? If the new product or service is already in the market with competitors, you might be in luck and have some keyword Search volume to attack. In many cases though, this is an entirely new product or service, so you will need to create the demand yourself through a full funnel approach.

I experienced a situation like this in one of my account teams recently, and the product just had so little Search volume that we couldn’t get any results from bidding on the specific term that already existed for the product. We had to start thinking less about how to target these specific keywords, and instead focus on how to target the users who fall into the target audience for this product. 

Working in PPC probably means you’re familiar with RLSA Strategy: narrowing a Search campaign targeting to a specific remarketing list. In our specific scenario, my team had the idea of limiting a Search campaign not by remarketing list, but by detailed demographic audience. This way we could open up the keyword targeting to get more volume and craft messaging that better aligned with that audience. My supervisor, Michael Knight, and I were talking about this new strategy idea, and he said, “It’s like RLSA with audiences, right? Like, ALSA?” – thus, the ALSA Strategy was born. 

The Scenario

The client is in the secondary education industry and had a new unique program offering coming out that was targeted at people in their final year of college. This program type is general enough that other universities were also offering it, so while some volume exists for the keywords, it was very limited. Conveniently enough, included in the detailed demographic audiences Google rolled out in late 2018, was an audience for current college students. In order to get the volume to this page, we adopted the ALSA Strategy to broaden our keywords and focus in on that target audience. 

The Test

We took a campaign of already existing generic product keywords in the account, duplicated it, and targeted the detailed demographic audience of ‘current college students’ with the ‘targeting’ setting to limit the new ALSA campaign to just this audience. We then excluded this audience from the existing campaign. New ad messaging was developed for the ALSA campaign that resonated with what these users were looking for, using phrasing such as “Welcoming All Undergrads” and “Secure Your Seat For Your Future Program”, along with the new program offering landing page. Here were the results:

Overall, the biggest win from this test came through the front-end metric improvements with CTR and Avg. CPC, even though conversion volume and CPL saw large improvements. We were able to drive high-quality traffic to the specific program page through generic keyword targeting. This relates back to the importance of aligning audience, ad messaging, and landing page.

There were a couple factors that make this data harder to analyze; First, location targeting differed slightly between the two campaigns, and we’re currently unable to pull location data by audience. Second, the conversion ‘lead’ actions between the two campaigns differed so it’s not a straight apples to apples comparison. Even with these differences, we were able to pull out learnings from the campaigns to continue testing and iterating. 

I’d recommend giving this strategy a test if you’re encountering either of the questions laid out at the beginning of this post. Already testing something similar and have thoughts? Give me a shout on twitter @kempthoughts!