Using Video & Display To Drive Scalable Results With Google’s Custom Intent Targeting

Recently, I went back to school. Google school to be precise. As part of their Expert Series, I soaked up all things display and video and, more importantly, how the two mediums are becoming more accurate, performance-driven tactics, as opposed to branding plays or mere media plan filler.

For some time, display has been losing steam as a viable standalone driver for action and acquisition. In fact, Hanapin’s State of PPC Report released last month reports a continued and significant year-over-year decrease in display investment and effectiveness, compared to other more targeted, intent-based channels (see: Search and Social).

But the resounding theme of the two-day training session at Google was that of custom intent—something that’s being used more for display and video through Google’s intent signal capabilities.

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But what exactly does this buzzword mean? Custom intent effectively allows you to target users based on their search intent—but extrapolates the intent data to serve ads outside of just text-based Search.

With custom intent targeting, you can build display and video campaigns using custom keywords—just like a Search campaign—that capture users who are searching for your products on Google and serve video and display ads to them via the Google Display Network and YouTube.

During training, we learned that custom intent targets users based on their search queries and has a seven-day serving window—meaning the user can see your ad for up to seven days after searching the query that triggered your ad (that you built into your custom keywords).
While it allows you to build your own keywords and ad groups, I should mention that custom intent targeting only uses the broad match search type. So you can’t target users with more granular or specific search types like exact or phrase match.

That said, custom intent targeting is definitely one of the strongest and most effective ways to target your ideal users with scale. The below screenshot (taken from one of our clients’ Google Discovery campaigns) illustrates both the power and volume of this targeting option—driving the most conversions among the ad groups/targeting tactics, as well as one of the most cost-efficient CPAs, the top CTR, and one of the top conversion rates.
Along with custom intent, another key takeaway absorbed during the Google Expert Series was the general sentiment that display and video aren’t just for branding anymore.
One of the instructors said it best:

“There doesn’t have to be a tradeoff between performance and branding—we can [now] combine the precision of search with the power of video.”

From dynamic display prospecting to TrueView ads with CTA buttons, the message is clear: Gone are the days of intent-based targeting being pertinent only to Search. And no longer is remarketing the only home for display and video (though, yes, we standby the fact that this is a great place to start with these mediums).

Lastly, a major takeaway for me from the two-day training sessions was about “the pitch”. That is, how to effectively pitch a new idea to a client. Say, video ads for something besides awareness, for example.

The instructor played some of a TED Talk that focused on how most people communicate versus how most people should communicate—the crux being that most of us answer three things, but always in the same order: what we are doing, how we are doing it, and finally the hardest part, why we are doing it.

The speaker then went on to say that the people—and brands—we find most compelling (and thus want to buy into) answer those same questions, but in the reverse order.

For illustrative purposes, let’s look at the below examples:

Example 1:

Outshine is a digital marketing consultancy that focuses on utilizing paid search and social advertising to drive valuable leads and closed-loop analytics for B2B companies so that they can scale revenue growth and build a high-value customer base.

Example 2:

We’re passionate about driving value through craftsmanship and focus on digital advertising as an effective and invaluable way to generate revenue for B2B companies who are relentless when it comes to scalable growth.
The first focuses on communicating the way we typically all tend to communicate—from the outside in (what/how/why). The second focused on addressing the why first, followed by the how, and then finally, the what.

The crux? People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

So seize the public yearning for motivation and go get that ‘yes’—whether it be from a client on a new platform pitch, a manager on an innovative tech tool, or yourself if you’re being your own biggest block to testing imaginative strategies. Part of our job at Outshine is to push the boundaries and go beyond the status quo—and these past few days at Google served as a solid reminder of just how important it is to strive for above-average results.
By Hillary Gillis, Associate

Don’t wonder how advertising helps you achieve your goals—prove it.

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