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How to Avoid Targeting Paid Search to the Masses in 6 Steps

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It’s the norm for consumer packaged goods (CPG) traditional media marketers to create campaigns and initiatives specifically targeting their desired demographic within traditional media. Whether it’s a sporty advertisement for a product in Sports Illustrated or emphasis on the health of a product in SELF magazine, the personalized effort is there.

However, in paid search, this approach is much harder to target in the same way. Reason being: Google and Bing aren’t privy to just one type of user demographic.

Despite the ability to target specifically at the engine level, there are several ways that savvy CPG marketers, and digital marketers altogether, can target their paid search campaigns for a specific demographic to boost their overall brand and online performance.

Most consumers are lumped into several different niche markets – from technology buffs and the technologically impaired, to health nuts and runners, to new parents and empty nesters. These are the exact demographics search marketers need to identify in order to deliver the best online experience for consumers. While the niche markets are an important growing sector of consumers, in order for search marketers to further capitalize on the personalization of their brand they need to remember key demographic variables such as ethnicity, income, and age.

Currently, most search marketers are targeting the masses with their paid search campaigns. The focus is more on a call to action or trying to best differentiate a product within the character limit.

While a call to action is important, a savvy search marketer should seek out more unique opportunities to directly speak to their consumers. By incorporating consumer’s interests and values, they will not only improve the click-through rate (CTR) and more actively engage the target demographic with the brand, but this integration of brand and culture will end up being the differentiator amongst competitors.

If search marketers don’t necessarily think they need to target specific niche markets or appeal to their consumers by engaging them in a message they already believe in, the bottom line will only begin to suffer. In an age when Facebook serves personalized advertisements and iTunes technology chooses music based on individual music taste, brands are likely to be left behind in the consumer’s mindset if they stick to the one-size fits all mentality of paid search advertising.

For example, Brand X, a hairstyling products company, has just completed the Spanish version of their U.S. website and wants to begin driving traffic as soon as possible. They ran paid search campaigns in the past by translating their English ad copy directly to Spanish but had very little user engagement. To solve this issue, Brand X began doing some research:

  • What is the Hispanic market looking for?
  • What’s important to them?
  • What type of content are they reading online?

By asking these crucial questions, Brand X was able to determine that the Hispanic demographic they were trying to reach holds their family as number one priority. To capitalize on this, Brand X developed ad copy for their hairstyles with using family as a call to action. “Find a New Hairstyle and Impress Your Family!” and “Need a New Look for the Family Party? Get Tips from Brand X Today!” By incorporating the message of family into the ad copy, Brand X was able to increase their CTR and on-site user engagement metrics dramatically.

To help begin the process of targeting paid search campaigns with a specific demographic or niche market in mind, below are a few steps to get the ball rolling to personalize a brand.

Identify

Identify the niche markets and demographics that are likely to have an interest in your brand. Start by asking yourself which sectors you could play in. Are you an eco-friendly company? Do you have a killer iPhone app? These could be great ways to edge your way into the environmentally conscious and technology markets.

Research

Once you’ve identified the demographics that are aligned with your brand or products, research the values, interests, or pain points that these consumers struggle with. You can use this in your messaging to persuade them to learn more how your brand can relate.

Message

Ad copy is the first avenue where you can insert your personalized message for the targeted demographic. In just a few words, you can portray your brand as knowledgeable on what is important to them and how your brand can make a difference. 

  • In the example above, the Hispanic market’s biggest interest is with their family. Using family references in ad copy will help you relate and connect to the Hispanic consumer.

Content is King

Once the visitor has landed on your site from your targeted ad copy, they will expect to see content relevant to the ad copy that enticed them to click on your ad. Building out website content that is directly correlated with the values and interest of your demographic will ensure the visitor will more actively engage with your site, brand, and product. 

Networking

Create a content network campaign to specifically seek out websites with content related to your targeted demographic. For example, a baby food company that wants to target new parents should check out baby blogs, new parents forums, or diaper websites.

Socialize

Social media sites are here to stay. Whether your brand is on Twitter or Facebook, the easiest way to relate to your targeted consumer is by interacting with them on their favorite social media networking sites. By participating in conversation or sending out news updates that the consumers will find interesting, you will establish yourself as a credible brand that cares about its consumers.

Summary

By engaging niche markets by using creative messaging and developing website content around their interests and values, digital marketers are creating a relationship with the consumer that will pay off in a conversion later down the road.

Image Credit: Matthew Field 


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