At the end of every Netflix binge, I'm flabbergasted by how spot-on the recommendations are for my next sitcom addiction. To this day, whatever drives these has never steered me wrong. How does Netflix know me so well? Seemingly, they have the same insights as Google does when reaching out to users with advertisements.
Understanding how Google uses their ad network may prove pivotal if you want to bring your advocacy campaign to the next level. Given the amount of noise online today, expanding your campaigns by putting your message directly in front of your target audience could be a powerful technique. While there's a whole slew of tips that could help you optimize your ad campaign, I suggest you just start at the beginning - keywords:
- Don't target broad keywords - If you're new to the advertising game, it could prove difficult to bid your way to the top spot for broad keywords such as "public policy" or "Hill campaign". Even if you do, you'll pay so much for the privilege that I doubt it will be worth the investment. Instead, start your campaign with some long-tail keywords that you already use in your website content quite often.
- Stick to a sane amount of keywords per ad group - There's probably one guy out there that has so much time on his hands, he can create a unique landing page and ad for every keyword he targets. That doesn't sound possible for the majority of us, so let's stick to what you can do for your advocacy campaign. Create ad groups of five to 10 keywords to start. This way, you won't force too many unrelated words or phrases.
- Include negative keywords - Seriously, we wouldn't want the negative keywords suffering from FOMO. They are definitely worth the investment of your time. Suppose you run a campaign for "women's advocacy on The Hill", but you find your ad appears for people searching for the female characters from MTV's The Hills. You could hit users not within your target audience and, unfortunately, you will waste money on those impressions. Add it to your negative keyword list to optimize your campaign's effectiveness and budget.
After monitoring your first Google ad campaign, you may feel a bit like Netflix yourself. Just remember - understanding more about your own target audience will allow you to get important messages to the right people. Google AdWords is just one tool to do that! To learn about other digital advocacy tools, check out the resources here.