One of the keys to successful PPC marketing is choosing the right audience. With billions of people on the internet, imprecise targeting can lead to a lot of ad dollars being wasted by showing content to the wrong kind of person. For advertisers who run large ad campaigns, keeping up with all of the different audiences they define can be a challenge. When running multiple campaigns, it’s easy to forget to add audiences that were used in previous campaigns. Google recently rolled out a plan that will help advertisers combine audiences.
Combined audiences is a targeting option that allows advertisers to combine various audience attributes, such as detailed demographics and affinities, to create “personas” that represent segments of your target audiences.
The introduction of combined audiences adds much needed Boolean logic to audience creation. Advertisers will have the ability to say they only want their ads to show when the target features multiple attributes. In essence, you can say ads should only be shown if the audience has characteristics A, B, and C. Similarly, ads can be limited to say that ads can be shown to audience members with attributes A, B, and C, but doesn’t have attribute D.
By mixing and matching the various attributes, Google says that users “can create any number of personas to represent different types of users that might use your products, services, or website. By creating personas based on your users’ backgrounds, needs, and goals, you can target the right customers at the right time.”
Despite the muted rollout from Google, there are a lot of ways that combined audiences can be used to help advertisers fine-tune their marketing and advertising campaigns. With combined audiences, you can intersect audience segments to express most advertiser personas. For example, let’s say you are targeting your ad to outdoor enthusiasts (affinity audience) or people looking to buy a car (in-market audience). With combined audiences, you can now intersect the affinity audience with the in-market audience and target the ad for your SUV to outdoor enthusiasts who are also looking to buy a car.
Using combined audiences can also help prevent wasting money on poorly defined audiences. In the example Google gave about car ads, without combined audiences, advertisers would also have their ad shown to people who are outdoor enthusiasts and not in-market for a car or people who are in-market for a vehicle and don’t like the outdoors. Properly segmenting the audiences using the combine audience feature can lead to more effective ads that get shown to the right target demographics.
Advertisers will be able to gauge the effect of combined audience campaigns thanks to the unique reporting options that Google has included. When looking at the Audience reports, there will be marketers to tell you how a specific audience has performed as part of a campaign. For example, reporting for combined audiences shows metrics such as impressions and views for that combined audience so that you can evaluate its performance.
For more recent news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on new speed reports on the Google Search Console.