The holiday shopping season can be a blessing and a curse for online advertisers. There are more people who are searching for things to buy online, but the influx of potential customers makes it harder to run a traditional PPC ad campaign. To get the most out of an ad campaign during the holidays, advertisers need to a better job of fine-tuning their targeting. Last week, Google announced two new targeting strategies that businesses should consider using this holiday season. 

Successful PPC ad campaigns require advertisers to target people who are passionate about a brand, and who want the product that’s being offered in the advertisement. Google is rolling out two targeting strategies that will help marketers find customers who are passionate about a brand and who are likely to be interested in a particular kind of product. 

In a Google Ads Help post from Oct. 14th, the company stated, “People turn to Google Search for inspiration, to explore interests, and find the things they care about. To show up and be useful in moments when they need help, it’s important to understand what matters most to them. Over the coming weeks, we're rolling out two new ways to reach your ideal customer on Google Search: affinity audiences and seasonal event segments for in-market audiences.” 

The affinity audiences will help advertisers target people who are passionate about certain kinds of products. This targeting option helps to raise awareness and motivate people who have a strong interest in the products featured in ads to make a purchase. It’s not unusual for people to become interested in an item only once they learn it’s being made by one of their favorite brands. 

By using the affinity audience option, can increase the reach of their ads and the resulting sales. Google gave the example of a business that sells camping gear. Besides using generic camping terms to find outdoor enthusiasts, using the affinity audience will let the advertisers target people who are not only searching for camping products, but are also passionate about the great outdoors. 

According to Google, the early results for companies in the beta had positive effects. When Volkswagen used affinity audiences, they were able to achieve a 250 percent increase in conversion rate when compared to its non-audience traffic. 

The other new option is for in-market audiences. Google describes in-market audiences as,  “a great way to reach consumers who are actively researching or comparing products and services.”

The goal of the in-market targeting is to help brands achieve more sales and conversions with their current audiences. The system uses “new seasonal event segments for in-market audiences on Search and YouTube are ideal for reaching people with timely offers.” 

Just like with affinity audiences, the companies that beta-tested in-market targeting saw good results. Toyota used the Black Friday and Christmas segments to focus on shoppers actively looking for their next car. By using these segments the brand saw a 67 percent increase in conversion rate and a 34 percent reduction in cost per conversion. By targeting customers at the right point in the sales funnel, this new targeting option can increase conversions and save money.

Google says the options would become available over the coming weeks, so keep checking the Google Ads UI to see if the new options have been added. For news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on the recent redesign of Google Shopping.