Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising refers to an online marketing strategy where advertisers pay a fee every time a person clicks or engages with their ads. It’s an important strategy to consider since PPC ads rank higher than many other types of digital marketing. However, it should be supported by other marketing strategies such as combining the use of PPC and SEO to reach the highest result of attract more users to a website.
As PPC ads may require a significant budget, ensuring every click is efficient and cost-effective is essential. That’s why ad providers offer targeting options to help business owners reach the best audience and attract qualified leads.
This article will show you targeting options available on PPC platforms, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon Ads. We’ll also share our best choice for building brand awareness.
Targeting Options in PPC Advertising
The number of targeting options depends on the site and the campaign type you choose. In this section, let’s look at different types of audience targeting and the PPC platforms offering them.
With demographic targeting, you can choose the target audience based on:
- Age range
- Job title
- Parental status
- Household income
Facebook’s ad targeting also enables businesses to advertise based on cities, communities, and countries.
Meanwhile, Google Ads provide several demographic targeting methods to suit your brand awareness campaign:
- Targeting. Combine demographic targeting with other strategies.
- Exclusions. Exclude specific demographic categories. For example, choose not to show ads to men when you run a women-only gym.
- Customize your bids. Place higher or lower bids for a specific demographic group while still displaying ads to everyone.
Topic targeting lets you choose websites with a similar niche to your brand. This strategy aims to display the ads on relevant websites to target specific audiences.
Google Display Network offers various topics with multiple subcategories. For instance, the Auto & Vehicles category is divided into Trucks & SUVs, Commercial Vehicles, and Motorcycles.
Google recommends choosing the subtopics instead of top-level topics for precise bidding and reporting control.
In-market targeting identifies users actively looking at services or products similar to yours. Ad providers consider these consumers as being “in the market” for a particular service or product.
For example, Google will display ads for running shoes when a customer has browsed many sites selling running shoes or watched reviews about them. With this targeting strategy, you can focus on a niche audience.
In-market targeting examples include apparel and accessories, autos and vehicles, and arts and crafts supplies.
Google Ads offers custom segments to display advertisements based on specific keywords, URLs, and apps you choose.
Let’s say you own a hotel in Los Angeles. Define the target audience by:
- Typing keywords like “hotel in Los Angeles” and “Los Angeles destinations.”
- Entering websites’ URLs with content about traveling and lifestyle.
- Choosing apps under the Travel category, like Tripadvisor and Trip.com.
With this approach, people will see your ads when searching the keywords or visiting apps and websites you have chosen as a custom segment.
Use remarketing targeting to re-engage with people who have had interactions with your brand, like visiting your website or social media.
About 49% of consumers usually browse a site two to four times before making a purchase. In this case, remarketing helps speed up the process by reminding them about the brand or products they wanted to buy in previous visits. More than 40% of companies also use this strategy to increase brand awareness.
In Facebook Ads, it’s possible to set up a Custom Audience from a list of your website visitors or app users. Alternatively, choose dynamic ads to automatically display relevant messages based on user behavior across Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger.
Some ad providers also offer lookalike audience lists. They help brands reach new users with similar interests or behaviors to people on your remarketing list.
Another type of remarketing list is customer list imports. To do this, upload a customer email list to the ad platforms, then they will match and send the ads to your customers’ email addresses.
Life events targeting help business owners reach users when they are experiencing important life milestones, such as retirement, marriage, and college graduation.
This is an excellent option for businesses that sell products and services for such milestones. For example, florists, event planners, and designers can target consumers who are getting married.
In Google Ads, you can further segment this audience into whether they’re preparing for the life event or if they’ve just experienced it. It’s also possible to layer this targeting option with others to specify your target market.
Besides life milestones, Google Ads offers seasonal event segments, like Black Friday and Christmas. This is an ideal strategy for reaching people with timely offers and targeting those researching exciting deals during the season.
Understand user search behaviors to maximize this targeting approach. Tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner are useful to find valuable and popular keywords on specific topics. The right keywords help increase brand awareness and online visibility.
The Best Targeting Option for PPC Advertising
Affinity marketing is considered one of the best options for PPC advertising compared to other targeting options.
It offers more advanced features through predefined group lists segmented by interests, lifestyles, and habits. Some group examples on Google Ads are Fashionistas, Social Media Enthusiasts, and Sports Fans.
If your desired group isn’t on the list, choose Custom Affinity to create your own audience.
There are several strategies to make the most of custom affinity groups:
- Top-performing placements. If you’ve run multiple PPC advertising campaigns, you may notice placements that give the best results. Use this data for the next campaign by displaying the ads on top placements only.
- Event attendees. Event participants are more likely to engage with relevant products or services. For example, target a marathon’s website if you sell running shoes.
- Competitor targeting. Enter competitors’ URLs and their brand keywords to reach competitors’ audiences.
PPC advertising is an excellent strategy to quickly generate brand awareness. However, you need to choose the right targeting option since PPC can cost a lot of money.
Here are eight targeting options in PPC advertising we’ve discussed in this article:
- Demographics. Target people based on demographic data, like age and occupation.
- Topics. Display ads on sites with similar topics to yours.
- In-market advertising. Find customers who are considering purchasing items like yours.
- Custom segments. Reach the ideal audience by entering relevant URLs, keywords, and apps.
- Remarketing. Attract returning visitors.
- Life events. Engage with consumers around important life milestones, such as getting married or buying a home.
- Seasonal events. Advertise products around certain seasons, like Christmas and summer holidays.
- Affinity marketing. Specify target audiences based on their interests and lifestyles.
Our recommendation is to choose affinity marketing because it provides advanced features and qualified leads.
Whatever option you choose, a rule of thumb is to ensure the PPC platform you pick offers your desired targeting approaches. Then, regularly check reports to improve your next targeted ad campaigns.