3 Things You Have to be Testing on AdWords Right Now

  • by Sandra Rand December 28, 2015
    December 28, 2015

    There’s no argument that advertising on Google can drive real results for businesses of all sizes.

    You pay only for positive performance, you know you’re reaching an interested audience, you can see results quickly, and the results you get through AdWords do a powerful job of informing your other advertising and marketing efforts.

    If you’re looking to take your Adwords campaigns to the next level, make sure you’re taking advantage of these three opportunities:

    1. Video, video… and more video

    Since appointing Susan Wojcicki as CEO of YouTube last year, Google has clearly made video advertising a priority. The importance they are placing on video is visible in the vast amount of new targeting and features that have made video advertising one of the best-performing ad types for many of our customers.

    Why is now the time to get in?

    Creating a video asset can be a high barrier to entry compared to ads that require only copy and images. Fewer advertisers means there’s plenty of available inventory, and for those brands getting in on the ground floor, this could lead to reduced CPAs and overall better performance. You also benefit from a significant lack of ad arbitrage competitors.

    Who should get in on this?

    Video advertisements work particularly well for newer markets and products where more user education is necessary. You should also strongly consider video ads when your value proposition could benefit from an explanation given through engaging visuals. Leveraging testimonials, how-to’s, and quick lessons from case studies could also be effective for advertisers looking to connect with audiences in a memorable or entertaining way.

    2. Advanced Targeting

    Ah, Google’s answer to Facebook’s powerful targeting. Google provides a deep level of advanced targeting opportunities, helping you ensure your offer reaches a high-quality audience.

    Why is now the time to get in?

    Because you want your paid search and display results to be shown to a relevant audience who is likely to be interested in your offer, right? Certainly advertisers seeking high volume and substantial reach can still benefit from Google’s advanced targeting, which includes:

    • Customer Match, which allows you to upload a list of email addresses to reach your existing customer base across Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail (rolling out in the next few weeks). This also enables Similar Audiences, which allow you to target people with similar interests and characteristics as the people on your Customer Match list.
    • Income targeting based on the income demographics of your audience’s geolocation. This could be especially powerful for luxury brands and aspirational products that target higher-income households.
    • Similar Audiences, which allows you to target users who resemble previously converted users in terms of demographics & shared interests, not unlike Facebook’s Lookalike audiences.

    Display Select Keywords is another way to extend your search campaigns as well. Your text, image, rich media, and video ads are shown through Google Display Network to select users that have been deemed as more likely to be interested in your offer or products based on their search history. Ads are targeted to the content based on audience behavior, rather than targeted strictly to the audience. While impressions may be limited, the audience for these types of ads are 35% more likely to convert, which should lead to higher conversion rates and lower CPAs.

    Who should get in on this?

    Anyone who might have previously dismissed advertising through Adwords, thinking that their only chances of reaching highly targeted audiences layered with demographics and psychographics could be found through social media advertising. Likewise, Display Select is for advertisers who want to expand their campaigns on Google Search and branch out to reach new customers as they browse the web.

    3. Gmail Sponsored Promotions

    Gmail Sponsored Promotions target users with rich media right in their inboxes based on the email lists they subscribe to (defined by the content of their last 300 emails in their inbox), interests, and other targeting offerings like geography, age and gender demographics, parent status, income segment, and so on.

    Gmail Sponsored Promotions also offer another layer of unique targeting through domain-level targeting, purchase history (based on emailed receipts and shipping confirmations), and job title.

    These ads appear alongside your other emails, but appear only in the Promotions tab of a user’s inbox:


    Why is now the time to get in?

    Gmail Sponsored Promotions are an intimate way to enrich a user’s experience within one of their most personal spaces on the internet – their inbox. Though the beta has been in the works since 2013, the wide rollout occurred recently, meaning there is still time to become an early adopter and reap the rewards of lower costs while targeting a high-quality user for your business.

    You also have a significant opportunity to out-create the competition. Gmail Sponsored Promotions leaves you with a lot of creative freedom to exercise different formats like form fields, video, and click-to-call promotions, so your opportunity to do more than just repurpose a display banner will serve you well.

    Who should get in on this?

    Advertisers looking to extend their reach beyond PPC advertising programs in search of diversification in their marketing mix, with a specific eye on filling the top funnel. If you’ve had great success on Google Display Network, the foundation of Gmail Sponsored Promotions is very much the same – hitting people with targeted ads at a time when they’re not necessarily proactively looking for what you offer.

    Gmail Sponsored Promotions can also be great if you’re looking to drive incremental revenue from current customers, but are having difficulty reaching them through organic email marketing efforts.

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