Almost every marketer knows the famous John Wanamaker quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.

Advertising took a new turn when Facebook introduced targeted advertising, or the use of people’s demographic, behavioral, and psychographic (values, lifestyle, interests, personality, attitudes) data. Although this meant advertising to a smaller group, these targeting tools help deliver the message to a more receptive audience, eliminating wasted spending on non-prospects while increasing conversion rates.

Many other social media sites that gather consumer data, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, have also leveraged their data by offering targeted advertising tools. Google AdWords, which previously relied on this concept solely in terms of target keywords, recently started following suit by introducing Adwords Life Events Targeting options.

As of recently, Google made the Adwords Life Event Targeting feature available to everyone.

What is AdWords Life Events Targeting?

Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising platform that allows advertisers to bid on keywords so that their ads will appear on relevant Google search results. AdWords runs on a pay-per-click (PPC) platform, which means that if you’re an advertiser, you pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad.

Although the keywords you choose to bid for may give you an idea of where the customer is at in your sales funnel, you don’t get any information regarding exactly how far along they are, who they are, and most importantly, why they clicked on your ad.

This results in a wider, more diverse audience, which can result in lower conversion rates (and wasted spend!).

This fundamentally changed with the rollout of AdWords Life Events Targeting, which is a first for the platform in terms of allowing you to target specific demographic behaviors.

Currently, you can use Adwords Life Events targeting with three options for events: graduation, marriage and moving.

What AdWords Life Events Targeting Means for Advertisers

Although Google is only offering these three specific events with the initial rollout of Adwords Life Events Targeting, businesses that cater to these events have a lot to gain.

The question is, is targeting these life events effective?

Luckily, we’re not going in blind. Although the feature is new, there’s some data available to guide your investment in learning more about Adwords Life Events Targeting. According to Google tests with Sonos, there was a 37.2% increase in purchase intent, 424.8% increase in branded searches, and a 52.9% increase in ad recall, all from Adwords Life Events Targeting.

By using life events and avoiding these common Google AdWords mistakes, you can achieve the same success with Google AdWords.

How to Set up AdWords Life Events Targeting

Adwords Life Events Targeting is currently available for two ad formats: Video/YouTube and Gmail campaigns.

To get started, create a new campaign using either of the two campaign types.

In your AdWords account, go to Campaigns, and click on the blue (+) button to create a new campaign.

Under “Select a Campaign Type”, choose “Video” for video or “Display > Gmail Campaign” for Gmail campaigns.

With a Gmail campaign, you have access to two additional custom options, namely:

  • Using life events to exclude people from targeting (ex/ excluding new college graduates from targeting options)
  • Using life events for observation, which you can use to adjust bids based on findings

After creating your campaign, go to the Audiences tab within the ad group.

There are three options you can choose from. To set up AdWords Life Events Targeting, select “Intent and life events (consumers actively researching)”, then choose “Life events”.

Under the “Life Events” option, there is a drop down menu showcasing the three life events.

When you click on each option, there are some sub-categories you can choose from, which refer to people who are either preparing for the event (about to move, about to get married, or about to graduate) or people who have already completed the life event. If appropriate, you can select multiple life events, and even mix it up with other lists (such as affinity audiences or remarketing lists).

Once you’ve selected a relevant audience, save it, and you’re done! You’ll know you’ve successfully added your desired audience when you see it on your dashboard.

Final Thoughts: Everything You Need to Know About Adwords Life Events Targeting

The new Google AdWords Life Events Targeting feature is a step towards helping businesses target more specific audiences, especially when combined with the right keywords and demographic data.

If you need help making the most out of this new feature, or your PPC in general, get in touch with the experts at GainTap.

Here at GainTap, we find and fix serious issues with your website and marketing
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