How to start a PPC campaign without any previous audience data?
During a pitch to a Singapore client, I was asked a very interesting question by the prospect. I was presenting my performance marketing plan and explained him our strategy on Google search, display and video ads. I added some screenshots of in-market and affinity audiences which were related to his business.
Then he asked how could we determine and choose those segments. My regular answer was “we will study your current campaigns, Google Analytics data, Facebook insights and make a persona based on that insights. Afterwards, that particular data insights and knowledge can be used when campaigns are being set up. That is the standard procedure we follow.”
Then he asked, what if it is a fresh business that somebody starts from the scratch? Then he would not have anything of these set up in first place.?
In that case, how could we take on the game?
I was bit excited with this concern and thought a little about figuring out this. And listed down few points. Let’s see how it would be figured out.
Let’s start from the basics
Whose problems does your product/ service solve?
Think about your product or service in depth.
· Who will benefit from your services? Doctors, engineers, technicians?
· People in which area do you serve?
· What is the age group you are ideally looking for?
Further, get on to the shoes of your customer and think what they have been really going through? Common challenges, frustrations, motivations can be gathered. It will help you to create a persona and understand the most common behaviors of the audience.
Analyze competitors thoroughly
You may not find competitors inside your market. But you will definitely find their profiles in the online space. Analyzing their social profiles will make you aware about the audiences they target.
· Analyze the behaviors of their creatives (figures used, tone in the text etc.)
· Check the profiles of the people who engaged (liked, followed, commented etc.)
Leverage Google tools to understand the industry behaviors
In addition to identifying the ideal customer, it should be taken care of the behaviors of the industry. Google trends and Google keywords planner are best tools for this research. First, type some relevant keywords and identify the search terms and their volumes. It will provide you a clear picture about how people search for the products or services. Then, add the keywords into Google Trends and analyze the search patterns and Geo locations.
In this scenario, demand for Sri Lanka has been fallen between April to June. Someone who is into the tourism business, should investigate this and be prepared. Further you can see how certain Geo markets responded to the keywords.
These figures indicate how certain keywords performed in different Geo-markets.
P.S — if you require more advanced insights, platforms like Hootsuite, Similarweb and Semrush will assist. But the investment would be a concern.
Start with what you have
From the point of zero to up-to now, you have something to begin. So, its time to kick off the campaign. First, just collect what you have learned so far (better to list in an Excel so you can improve it time to time). Summarize your learning like this.
Women, 20–35 years old, living in Colombo, with a degree, monthly income of LKR 40,000–60,000, and passionate about fashion and dresses.
Now you can map this data with the features of the portal.
In the first stages of campaigns, defining a target audience would be a challenge. However, I would say it is a gradual and consistent process that should continue until the business lasts. If you setup initial things in a correct way, there are optimized methodologies to reach more audiences later.
Lookalike audiences in Facebook
Similar audiences in Google
Detailed targeting expansion in Facebook
In my previous article, I explained a method to track the growth. Read from here. Those methodologies will help to identify the most effective audience segments and assist you further to test new elements and combinations also.