Digital marketing – finding the right audience

Torkel Öhman - Sept. 10, 2020

Unless you are selling very niche products or don’t have that much competition it can be hard to find keywords with large search volumes that have low competition.

A few years ago, you could still run profitable Google Ads campaigns without working that much with demographics and audiences, but over the year the medium have become increasingly more expensive. Partly due to increased competition, and partly due to increased prices.

So how do you run a successful campaign, on high competition keywords?

You find your audience as cheaply as possible. If you have a large eCommerce site you can probably build lookalikes & similar audiences, but at the same time if you have a large site you might have different demographics for different products.

Let’s simplify this with an example.

You run a company that sells high end headphones for athletes and runners. Quality products in the higher price range.

Most of the searches are going to be on highly competitive keywords, such as “headphones”, “headphones for iphone”, or even “running headphones for iphone” (which still is quite expensive).

If you are going to pay a couple of dollars per click you need to have a as high probability of conversion as possible, and the best way to increase that possibility is to make sure you are targeting, or at least focusing on the right audience.

Allocate 10% of your budget on a banner, YouTube, Facebook or similar campaign where you can target your audience based on interests and demographics.

You can look at your audiences in Google Analytics and filter out what in-market interests your best audiences have, and you can do the same for gender, age, location and on a few other metrics.

Get as specific as you can, while reaching as many users as possible, in this hypothetical example we are only going to create one audience for simplicity, but ideally you want to create a few different audiences.

  • Ages 18-35
  • Interests in marathons, triathlons, cycling and exercise-enthusiast
  • Geographical locations is big cities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway & Finland

This is the audience that is targeted in our display campaign, and that means that it is only going to be shown for users in those geographical locations, with those interests that are within that age group.

The goal for this campaign is only to get the session, so that we can get that users on an audience-list that can be used to modify (increase) the CPCs in a medium that is closer to a purchase, such as Google Search or Google Shopping. There is no downside with a high bounce-rate, and mobile-miss clicks are as useful as any other visit. You are running a data-gathering campaign where the only goal is to identify users who are within your target demographics.

If you have a larger eCommerce site, with different demographics, you need to create an audience in Google Analytics which is built from sessions coming from these campaigns. If you think you have a homogenous audience, there is no need for that.

The next step is to create your Google Search and/or Google Shopping campaign, and there you will either only target the audience created from your display campaign or you will use a bid-modifier to increase the CPCs for users on your list. I recommend the latter, but if it’s keywords with high search volume remember to set a low base-CPC with a high modifier so you don’t spend your budget on the wrong audience.

And there are many more advantages to building a big audience list with relevant users, one of them being that Googles own automating/smart bidding uses audience lists as one major factor when setting CPCs, the bigger your audience list is the better your lookalike/similar audience lists can get to name a few.

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