Search ads are becoming more competitive and expensive these days. Perhaps, it’s because more businesses suddenly realized it’s a great strategy to get more exposure for their brands. But if you don’t have the budget for search ads, what should you do? Don’t worry; We will teach you three unique strategies for targeting your competitor’s audience without search ads.
There are several ways to expose your brand to your competitor’s audience without search ads. I know this sounds like magic, but it works perfectly. The best part? It’s affordable and perfect for businesses with a limited ads budget.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
#1. Use Your Competitor’s Keywords to Build Custom Audiences
One of the best strategies for targeting your competitor’s audience without search ads is to build custom audiences with competitor keywords.
Most times, Google ads combine custom intent and custom affinity audiences into one unique audience. With this, you can easily expose your brand to audiences who fit into your persona. It makes your campaign more competitive.
But how does it work?
It’s easy; the strategy is designed to set your campaigns (both video and discovery) to appear in front of people who frequently search for your competitor’s terms.
So, to create your unique audience, go to tools and settings, click on shared library, and then audience manager.
After that, different options will display. So, select the option that allows you to target “people who searched for any of these terms on Google.”
And this is what Google would say:
“Enter search terms your ideal customer is using on Google. Your ads will reach people who search for those and similar terms only on campaigns running on Google properties. On other campaigns, the terms will be used as interests or purchase intentions.”
By now you should have your list of competitor terms, if you do, add them to your new custom audience.
Let’s assume you are a digital marketing company, and Tycoono is one of your competitors. You can include terms like Tycoono SEO services, Tycoono Content Writing, Tycoono Social Media Marketing, Tycoono Website Design, and Website Development, etc.
#2. Create Custom Audiences with Competitor URLs
Creating custom audiences with competitor URLs is one of the most effective strategies for targeting your competitor’s audience without search ads. Although this strategy was popular during the custom affinity days, it’s available in custom audiences.
How does it work?
Compile a list of your competitors’ URLs and use them to create an audience. It’s easy; create a new custom audience and choose the option “include people with the following interests or behaviors.”
The next option that will come up will be “expand the audience by also including:” then click on “people who browse types of websites.”
Furthermore, select “people who browse websites similar to”, a new area will pop up. That is where to add as many competitors’ URLs as you want.
Let’s use the digital marketing example we earlier sighted again. Get as many URLs of competitors in the digital marketing niche as possible. Remember, the more URLs you include, the more expanded your audience will become.
Of course, this strategy is not historical search term targeting. But it focuses on the specific behavior of your audience, especially if your competitors have similar websites.
If you decide to create custom audiences with your competitors’ URLs, here’s what you should note. The targeting works differently.
Unlike adding search terms, you can’t target users who visited the URLs you entered. Also, you can’t do remarketing without including your tag on the URLs.
What this strategy does, is to tell Google to direct your campaign at users who visit websites that are in the same niche as you.
#3. Place YouTube Ads on Competitor Videos
Placing YouTube ads on your competitor’s videos is one of the best performing strategies for targeting your competitors’ audiences without search ads.
The strategy involves placement targeting for YouTube. it directly puts you in front of your competitor’s audience.
You can get placement reports for ad groups using this strategy. And the report shows you the awareness, views, and conversions you are getting from your competitor’s YouTube Channel. How cool!
How do you do it?
Navigate to your YouTube Ad placement options. Let’s still use the digital marketing niche for this. Start by typing one of your competitors in your niche.
Afterwhich you target specific YouTube videos or the entire channel of your competitor.
But here’s what you need to know about this strategy. If you use it to run a managed placement ad group on YouTube, you need to know the fine print.
And if you are targeting only placements on YouTube or the Display Network, your ads can run on both (YouTube and Display Networks). That is why it’s crucial to monitor where your ads appear in the placement reports. It helps you to check if the ads are appearing on the competitor placements you want.
These strategies for targeting your competitor’s audience without search ads are very effective. They can help you build awareness for your brand and attract the right people who are interested in your products or services.
You can pair them with creative landing pages to give a great impression of your brand.