On October 14, 2019, Google announced two new ways to target users through Google Search Ads – affinity audiences and seasonal event segments for in-market audiences.
An affinity audience is made up of shoppers who have expressed a strong interest in a given topic, while an in-market audience is made up of shoppers who are already in the “buyer’s journey” and are expressing interest in making the purchase.
In Google’s announcement, they give the example:
For instance, let’s say you sell camping gear. To reach avid campers, you can pair an affinity audience like “Outdoor Enthusiast” with generic camping keywords. By adding this additional audience layer, you can reach people who are not only searching for camping products, but are also passionate about the great outdoors.
Affinity audiences are one of the great audience targeting features available in Facebook advertising. It allows companies to microtarget to the exact customer that they want to reach and that is most likely to make a purchase. This cuts down on advertising costs and increases conversion rates. With affinity audiences working hand in hand with keyword targeting, Google Search is going to be a great way for businesses to advertise year-round.
Seasonal event segments for in-market audiences come in perfect timing for the holiday season because companies can target shoppers at the right times – like Black Friday and Christmas. Toyota used both of these event segments to target shoppers who are in the market for a new car and were able to reduce cost per conversion by 34% and increase their conversion rate by 67%.
So social media advertising or search advertising, which is better? There are pros and cons to each. While e-commerce truly thrives on social media due to impulse purchasers and the use of product photos and user generated content, Google Search advertising has always been a top advertising choice for businesses due to its ability to get a site to the top of the first page of the search engine results page (which is tough to get organically).
These targeting improvements really give Google the leg up in the ecommerce advertising game this holiday season.