Regardless of your business or goals, there are several out-of-the-box ideas for targeting and ads that can be applied to your advertising plan if you think more creatively about how to apply them.
1. Google & Microsoft Ads Sitelinks
Let’s start with an old favorite that is easy to set-up and packs a nice little punch when executed with more creativity.
The purpose of sitelinks is to drive to deeper content on the site. But, as an industry, we have been quite boring in what website content we land searchers on.
We can do better than the typical “About us” and “Contact us” pages.
Here are some examples of using sitelinks to link to more interesting website content:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Project galleries
An example of an architect showcasing the results of their designs and renovations from individual project pages.
An advertiser with a narrow scoped ad, such as “family law attorney”, they could mix and match from category sections to individual pieces as long as they are closely linked in theme.
Whatever type of content you choose, be sure that it is consistent so the same type of content/media is showing up together.
2. Countdown Ad Customizer Timer
This ad customizer inserts a countdown timer in Google Ads.
It is a nifty little feature that can increase the visibility of your ads and while communicating a sense of urgency to your call-to-action.
While it is a small feature, it could be used to design and boost any campaign.
The countdown function can be placed in any text ad and literally counts down by day, hour, then minute as the event time draws near.
This can be used in many creative ways, here are a few ideas:
- Sales events
- Grand openings
- Product launch
- New content/blog post released
- Live Twitter chats
- Live webinars/Video streams
- News announcements
For implementation, there is a template widget that pops up and makes it easy to set up:
3. Twitter Follower Campaigns
Is your company’s Twitter presence underwhelming and not fully utilized?
Gaining Twitter followers organically by promoting your account through your website and social media channels, is a great place to start.
However, the Twitter Ads platform has a “followers” campaign that can also help with boosting your follower base. Promote your account based on various tailored audiences and demographics.
The tailored audiences offer an amazing amount of options such as user-specific lists (emails or @handles), retargeting, behavioral, keywords and more.
In this campaign type, you pay per follower. You can enter any bid amount, but Twitter will suggest a range they calculate will yield the best exposure.
There are several different campaign types to test on Twitter for awareness, video, website traffic, and apps. Explore the options and find one that complements other advertising efforts.
4. Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP)
Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) is similar to the Google Display Network – ads are served on Amazon and partner sites and link directly back to your website, not Amazon.
This platform offers audience targeting in retargeting, in-market, and lifestyle segments.
Fellow writer, Elizabeth Marsten has outlined the basics in her recent article, I highly recommend checking it out: What Search Marketers Should Know About Amazon DSP.
5. Price Extensions
Available in both Microsoft Ads and Google Ads, price extensions show a product or service and associated unit price.
This can be a great way to promote good and services that don’t fit into the standard ecommerce mold. Having the price qualifier and ability to select “from”, “up to” or ”average”, makes opportunities more flexible.
For example, a service company, insurance, wedding planner, software company – any business with a price point that can be advertised like “packages from $99.99” or “monthly subscription from $39.99” etc.
6. Custom Intent Audiences in Search
While there are hundreds of audiences to target on Google Display Network, you can laser focus your efforts by creating your own custom intent audience.
Be creative and use keywords, video, apps, URLs that uniquely fit your business.
Keep in mind that for setup, custom audiences are applied at the ad group level where you can define in-market audiences, demographics, keywords, topics, and placements.
You can also use negative keywords to exclude placements. Consider excluding games here if you think that is appropriate.
7. Microsoft Ads Local Inventory Ads
Microsoft Ads offers one of the few tactics to drive traffic to physical locations with local inventory ads.
This feature allows retailers to bridge the gap between online and in-store inventory availability to customers nearby.
Inventory information is submitted by the retainers.
When a customer is near a store location, and searches for a product carried in the store, the customer is directed to find a store location and more information.
Microsoft Ads has posted a step-by-step guide on local inventory ads outlining how to get started on their blog.
Many of these PPC advertising ideas can be and should be layered with one another.
Here are a few other ways to layer in more relevancy and reach:
Target Search Page Location Bidding
In Google Ads, you can opt for your ad to be served at the top of the search results page by letting Google automatically adjust your bids to reach this position.
This can be set up by creating a portfolio bidding strategy that targets impression share and selecting top of the results page as the ad location.
Add a new portfolio bid strategy from the shared library.
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
RLSA is a way to reach your website visitors while they are searching on Google.
It is easy to add to existing keyword search campaigns, and you can use a bid modifier to increase visibility with those who are already familiar with your business.
Think retargeting in the search engine text ads rather than in display ads.
Many of the most common ad features can be used in unique ways to support your advertising goals.
Some, like the countdown timer and audiences, can be inspirations for overall campaign direction if you invest the time to brainstorm and think out of the box.
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Price Extensions screenshot: Microsoft Ads
All other screenshots taken by author, September 2019