By Susan Waldes
This was a huge year for AdWords changes. There has been ample attention given to many of the flashier new feature releases in 2014.
There have also been many small changes that barely got a mention; many of those smaller, under-hyped updates were related to Google Display Network (GDN) targeting.
Not a single change to GDN in 2014 was “game changing” in and of itself. Reflect on them all together, though, and something big emerges: in the last 12 months or so, GDN has evolved to become a serious display advertising platform with almost all the bells and whistles (or some slight variation of them) that the traditional display folks use.
With the myriad of new GDN features, there are powerful new ways to reach potential customers outside of just Remarketing. Some are narrowly targeted and can produce results as high-intent as search. Others are more top-funnel and can increase awareness.
Effective GDN targeting requires tossing out many of the practices and mindsets you apply to your search campaigns and instead embracing a display media buyer’s mindset.
GDN is no longer a keyword and sub-par placement network. If used properly, it’s an ad exchange and a demand-side platform (DSP) with multiple kinds of targeting, dynamic creative capabilities, and real-time buying dynamics.
With the right targets, the right creative, and utilization of new reporting and optimization tools, “search-like” performance can be achieved for almost any advertiser.
Focus On Personas
Personas are a key part of traditional display campaigns. A persona is comprised of demographic and behavioral qualities that define your target customer(s). Though Google has had age and gender targeting in GDN for many years, parental status targeting (a key demographic indicator) was released in 2014.
Additionally, a Q3 update to the GDN demographic reporting not only highlights demographic features in a much more attractive and readable way, it …read more