By now, I would hope you’re making ample use of Google’s curated lists across paid search, Display, & YouTube. If not, I recommend reading why it’s important to be taking full advantage of layering audiences on search campaigns.
With the addition of affinity audiences to Google search campaigns, we now have the ability to continue to hone our top-of-funnel audiences and get a better understanding of who is ultimately our target customer.
What Are Affinity Audiences?
For those that aren’t familiar, affinity audiences are Google-curated lists that help you reach people based on what they’re passionate about, their lifestyles, or habits. These are purposefully broad but can be useful if you’ve created marketing personas. Below is a snapshot of the affinity audiences in Google Ads.
According to Google, a number of brands have already had major success stories from affinity audiences, including this one:
Volkswagen, one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers, used affinity audiences to achieve a 250% increase in conversion rate when compared to its non-audience traffic.
Google Ads Support
You should start by layering these audiences in “Observation” mode (shown in the above snapshot). Once you’ve observed the CTR and conv. rate trends of these audiences, you can limit an existing campaign to ONLY targeting those affinity audiences that performed well. You could also duplicate an existing campaign, layer the affinity audiences, and exclude those audiences from the original campaign. This would allow you to allocate specific budgets or increase bids on those audiences, for a specific set of keywords.
Use Affinity Audiences to Target Personas
With these being broad lists, you’ll want to think critically about who your target customer is and what they’re interested in beyond just what they’re searching for.
Don’t think about these as you would an in-market list. These are broader lists and you can use them to target people’s interests beyond the keywords at hand.
A couple of examples:
- Avid Investors: An easy choice if you’re a wealth management advisor. We can get creative by realizing these individuals are likely high-income earners. If you are a luxury brand, these people likely fall into your pool of customers. You can also apply the same logic to lists like Luxury Travelers.
- Business Travelers: I’m sure we can all think of industries from luggage to noise-canceling headphones that would be instant candidates. But B2B companies will likely benefit from this targeting too. With the intent of search, you’re more likely to be reaching a decision-maker because they’re the ones more likely to be traveling on behalf of a company.
I urge you to think creatively about who the person is behind the keyboard, much like you would on a social media platform. Combined with the intent of search & automation, you may be able to uncover some tangential things your audience is passionate about.
How to Use these Lists Beyond Search
Research for Display/YouTube efforts
As you look for growth opportunities, these lists become great candidates to enhance your Display & YouTube targeting. You can use the data already accumulated through your search campaigns to put these expansion opportunities on a better foundation.
Offline Marketing Channels
Whether you’re expanding for the first time or looking to refine your efforts, these affinity lists can put data behind your choices. From Magazines (hobby topics), sports marketing (interests), or podcasts (most lists), your decision making can be much more sound, especially for new expansions.