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Get More Targeted With Your PPC Marketing

You invested in PPC marketing to connect with more members of your target audience. You’re getting more clicks, which is evident by the dollars you’re dishing out, but these audience members aren’t converting in the way you’d hoped. Sound familiar?

It may be that you’re not effectively targeting the proper audience. You’re probably already using best practices, choosing relevant keywords, and splitting your campaigns into ad groups, but there’s so much more you can do to reach your core audience. Target personas are more than a place, name, common search term. They have likes, dislikes, habits, histories, and you can target them based on what you know about their unique qualities through PPC marketing. Here are seven ways to get more targeted with your PPC marketing.

1. Use Hyper-Specific, Long-Tail Keywords

Keywords are arguably the most essential element in a PPC marketing campaign. While you may be tempted to use popular keywords to get more clicks, the key is to head in the opposite direction. Choose uncommon keywords. Use long-tail keywords that are highly specific and more descriptive than just one or two words. You need to select keywords that only your personas would type into a search bar. A deep understanding of your personas and how they think, act, and click, will help you select these keywords. While you may get fewer clicks overall, you’ll avoid paying for clicks from audience members who wouldn’t be interested in your product or service. Including negative keywords can also help you accomplish that goal. Negative keywords will not lead to your ad when searched. Choose words that’ll appeal to members outside of your core audience and you can avoid paying for more irrelevant clicks.

2. Make Every Character Count

Not only should you take great care in selecting targeted keywords, you should do the same with every word within your ads. PPC ad copy is limited, so the key is to use every word, every piece of punctuation, to target your audience. Your 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines should work together to appeal to the personality and habits of your personas. Are they more serious or fun? Ask yourself if they would respond better to an exclamation point or a period. Do they need to be enticed or motivated? Use targeted adjectives to describe your product or service so it will be most appealing to them, and use targeted verbs to get them to click. Include a benefit statement so your personas understand exactly what your product or service can do for them. A quality benefit statement prompts your target audience to click so you don’t need to use your limited characters telling them to do so. Understanding where your personas are in the buying cycle is a top example for how to go about this. If they already know who your brand is, you can focus on a powerful CTA to get them to click instead of a quick summary of what you offer. No matter what your ad copy says, be sure to make every word count.

3. Target based on Interests

Your targeted copy will only be effective if it appears to the right audience. Targeting an audience based on interests is a very specific way to reach personas with distinct personality traits. With Google AdWords you can target interest categories, meaning your ad will appear to people who have browsed websites or watched videos within categories as broad as arts and entertainment or as specific as movie memorabilia. Interest targeting on Facebook is similar, in that you’re targeting based on what users are sharing, what pages they like, and even where they browse outside of Facebook. Using these methods is slightly less of a guessing game than simply targeting through ad copy, because the user is telling you through their actions who they are, what they like, and what they’re most likely to click on.

4. Use Remarketing Lists

Another way to target a very specific audience is to use a remarketing list. These hone in on personas at a set stage within the buying cycle, using past interactions with your brand as an indicators. A remarketing list of those who have already visited your website targets those who already passed the awareness phase. These personas know who you are, there’s already a chance they’re interested in your product or service, so now you can refresh their memory with a PPC ad. Using this method in tandem with targeting your ad copy puts you at an even stronger advantage. Use those precious characters to get them to take action this time around. Focus on a strong CTA since you don’t have to use characters to explain who you are or what you do.

5. Exclude Past Converters

This tip is based off of a simple premise. If you’re looking for new leads, then exclude your existing customers. If you’re using Google AdWords, use Customer Match to create and exclude a remarketing list by simply uploading your customers’ email addresses. Going this route prevents you from having to pay for clicks from people who are already connected with your brand.

6. Target Using Data Insights

PPC marketing data can tell you about audience habits in relation to search marketing and even guide you to a deeper understanding of your personas. An ideal first step to using data to boost your search marketing is to run A/B testing on your ads. Vary the ad copy or vary the target audience and discover which ad provides the most conversions. From those insights, you can tweak future ads. You don’t have to use A/B testing to collect PPC data. Simply look at conversions from previous ads and observe common connections between those people. Then, target a similar group with your next ad. Outside of PPC marketing data, you should always look at brand data from any sector and use that information to have a deeper understanding of your current and ideal audiences. From there, you can make changes to accommodate and reach them.

While PPC marketing campaigns begin and end, your targeting methods should consistently evolve. As your personas change, your PPC marketing should evolve with them. Continue to tweak your methods, create varied ads, study the results, and adjust your marketing accordingly. As your personas inform your PPC marketing and drive your targeting efforts, you may find that your PPC marketing can provide valuable information about your target audience and their habits.

Katie Yohn

Forever a student of marketing and the written word, Katie is always on the lookout for new ways to connect with audiences. She enjoys learning about emerging trends and sharing what she's learned. She also has an affinity for alliteration.