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Evolving your strategy from keywords to audiences

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The key isn’t keywords

The industry is buzzing. Why? Because there’s been a seismic shift in paid search marketing from keywords to audiences. It’s true. While keywords are still important, it turns out that audiences are even more critical when it comes to fine tuning your marketing strategy.
Audience-centric marketing is all about gaining a deeper understanding of people and their behaviors. This allows you to better target personalized ads that unlock meaningful customer connections with messages tailored specifically for each audience. Now you can create a strategy that takes someone through a consumer decision journey based on their actions and mapping to keywords they search for.
To shift gears and focus on audiences, you can begin with a simple strategy. Or, to take it a step further, you can add more layers of specificity. Either way, you’ll deliver more personalized experiences that help you capture the exact audience you want.

Get in with the right crowd

Don’t panic. Keywords still play a part. But it’s vital for you to understand that they’re the result of something far more essential: the person choosing them. If you don’t know specifics about your audience, you can’t know which keywords will help you create experiences that speak directly to an individual and the actions they’re taking. With audience-specific data you can choose the right keywords, improve user experiences, and optimize campaign performance.
There are many types of audiences. Each one is a different lever you can pull to adjust keywords, messaging and more, to help you get up close and personal with the audience you want. Knowing your audience adds a level of specificity that helps you understand their potential intent and create more powerful marketing campaigns. Those who have embraced audience targeting are reaping the benefits. You can, too.

4 ways to tune in to your audience today

Take advantage of the new data available to quickly connect with the audiences you want. Below are some targeting options that work together to create much more in-depth and holistic marketing strategies.
  1. Microsoft Search Audience Network (MSAN) This is the easiest way to add audience into your marketing mix. It uses AI to target native ads to specific audiences based on insights from their online actions. If MSAN isn’t available in your market, it will be very soon. Understanding the value of audience is critical, so you can take advantage of it when it becomes available. Learn more by viewing the Art and Science of the Microsoft Audience Network webcast today.
  1. In-market audiences* This targeting option is easy to use. The audience is made up of people actively searching online for a product or service like yours. The process takes under 10 minutes, your in-market list is created for you, and there are over 220+ different types of curated lists segmented by vertical, industry, intent and more.
  1. Remarketing In Paid Search, Remarketing helps improve your ROI by optimizing campaigns for the people who have visited your website.
    1. First, create a remarketing list defining the audience based on actions people take on your website
    2. Then create an association between your list and an ad group. There are two types of associations:
      1. Want to show your ads to people in the audience? Create a targeting association, then optimize the ad group by adjusting bids, targeting ads, or broadening keywords.
      2. Trying to prevent ads from displaying to certain audiences? Create an exclude association.
  1. Custom Audiences This is an incredible additional layer of data for targeting, a custom audience is a type of remarketing list that is generated by using first-party data to create richer user segments. When your data management platform (DMP) connects into our Custom Audiences feature, you can import the Custom Audience segments you’ve already created into Bing Ads to boost your search marketing performance.
* This feature is available only in the United States or for those markets targeting the US.

Take the leap

Yes, the times, they are a-changin’. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, (and you really should) is to search for the audience who uses keywords, not just keywords themselves. So, take the leap. This new era of search means putting the audience first. This will lead to higher-value customer relationships and savings on campaign spend.