Hope you take great advantage of Google's curated lists related to paid search, viewing, and YouTube. If not, I recommend reading why it's important to get the most from your audience in search campaigns.

By adding affinity audiences to Google search campaigns, we now have the opportunity to further improve our top-of-funnel audience and better understand who our ultimate target customer is.

What are Affinity Audiences?

For those unfamiliar, Affinity Audiences are curated lists by Google that you can use to reach people based on their passion, lifestyle, or habits. These are purposely comprehensive but can be useful once you've created marketing personas. Below is a snapshot of the affinity groups in Google Ads.

According to Google, some brands have already received great success stories from affinity audiences, including these:

Volkswagen, one of the world's largest automakers, used the affinity audience to increase its conversion rate by 250% compared to non-public traffic.

Google Ads Support

You should first overlay these target groups in observation mode (see snapshot above). Once you have the CTR and Conv. When you evaluate the trends of these audiences, you can limit an existing campaign to ONLY targeting those affinity groups that have performed well. You can also duplicate an existing campaign, overlay the affinity groups, and exclude those audiences from the original campaign. This allows you to allocate specific budgets or increase the bids for those audiences on a specific set of keywords.

Use Affinity Audiences to target personas

Since these are broad lists, you should think critically about who your target customer is and what they're interested in, beyond what they're looking for.

Don't think of these as you would an in-market list. These are more comprehensive lists that you can use to target people's interests beyond the existing keywords.

Some examples:

  • Enthusiastic investors: An easy choice if you are a wealth management advisor. We can get creative by realizing that these people are likely to be high income people. If you're a luxury brand, these people likely fall into your customer pool. You can apply the same logic to lists like luxury travelers.
  • Business Travelers: I'm sure we can think of any industry from luggage to noise-canceling headphones that would be immediate candidates. But B2B companies are also likely to benefit from this targeting. With the intention of searching, you are more likely to reach a decision maker, as he is more likely to travel for a company.

I urge you to think creatively about who the person behind the keyboard is, much like you would on a social media platform. Combined with the intent of searching and automating, you may be able to uncover some tangential things that your audience is excited about.

Use these lists beyond the search

Research for Display / YouTube Efforts

If you're looking for growth opportunities, these lists will make great candidates to improve your display and YouTube targeting. You can use the data already collected in your search campaigns to put these expansion possibilities on a better foundation.

Offline Marketing Channels

Whether it's your first time expanding or looking to refine your efforts, these affinity lists can put data behind your choices. For magazines (hobbies), sports marketing (interests), or podcasts (most lists), your decision-making can be much more informed, especially with new additions.

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