Today’s Consumers and Search

Simply typing in a keyword or phrase into a search engine, and the ability of the search engines to return thousands of related results within seconds, has changed how people work, relax and control various aspects of their daily lives. Today’s consumers don’t simply go online anymore – they practically live there. They continually seek information – about friends, about trends, about deals, about news and about products. According to recent data, people conduct more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day.

What people want

Today’s consumers turn instinctively to search when they want to know something or need something – be it a family holiday, a good local restaurant, a new car review or a pair of shoes. Google use a term to describe these individual searches: they describe them as “micro-moments” within a person’s day – a moment when they “want to go”, “want to know”, “want to buy”. The challenge for a marketer is to be there to take advantage of these search “moments” when these consumers are actively seeking products/services – companies that meet these “micro moments” needs will be the winners.

Google uses its extensive knowledge database to keep track of what words and terms have been typed in as search queries. By tracking this data, Google can provide clients with valuable insight into what keywords or phrase were used to search for individual products. This enables advertisers to create more effective ads using keywords that will resonate for them.

When consumers search, they mostly want to find something that is located conveniently to their current location – a nearby shop or restaurant.

The result is that the majority of consumers say they want ads specifically designed for where they are: within their city or town, or in their immediate surroundings. The best way to take advantage of this “localised” preference is to use local “extensions” in your search ads, such as  your address, map/directions, store locator, call button and so on

“Local search” can be further enhanced within the AdWords  account set-up, by adjusting your bid to show more for a specific geographic area.

No longer just a tool for communicating via phone calls and texts, smartphones have become an increasingly essential tool in the lives of today’s busy consumers.

Recent stats published for Ireland show that over the past 2 years, the amount of time spent on the web using smart phones has more than doubled, as people move away from PC’s to the portable convenience of mobiles. So, mobile advertising is now a powerful way to reach your audience.

In today’s interconnected digital world, consumers expect brands to provide the right solution at the moment of searching. Whether it is a local, small business or a major international brand, you need to found consistently at those “micro-moments” when searches are happening for your product.

One effective way to achieve this is to think about how people may search for your brand/product and create an appropriate plan. Google offer some free tools (for example Google Trends) to help you find solutions and come up with a well formulated plan of action. If you can anticipate what consumers are searching for and answer that need there and then – with a compelling offer – you’ll start to build a preference for your brand.

How Consumers Use Display Advertising

Spanning over 2 million websites and reaching over 90% of people accessing the internet worldwide, the Google Display Network (GDN) offers advertisers the opportunity to connect with consumers through a wide variety of ad formats.

The GDN can deliver advertising across a wide variety of sources to online users when they are browsing through their favourite websites, looking at videos on YouTube or using their smartphones’ mobile apps.

How it Works

Google offers two primary advertising platforms – the Search Network and the Display Network. The search network (primarily AdWords) delivers messages when people are searching for products or services – almost at the purchase stage. Conversely, the Display Network can reach people much earlier in the purchase cycle, when they are browsing generally as opposed to doing specific searches.

Find the right audience On GDN

The Google Display Network is designed to help you find the right audience across millions of websites. It lets you be strategic and put your message in front of potential customers at the right place and the right time.

Reach users by keywords and topics: To find you an audience who’s interested in your business and more likely to take action, AdWords uses contextual targeting based on your keywords or your campaign’s specific topic area.
Select where your ads appear: Within the Display Network, you can select types of pages or specific websites for your ads, as well as audiences to show your ads to. With manual placements, you can show your ad on specific webpages, online videos, games, RSS feeds, and mobile sites and apps that you select. You can even block your ads from sites you don’t think are relevant.
Find users who are already interested in what you have to offer: Show your ads on Display Network websites to specific groups of people, e,g, those who have previously visited your site by creating a remarketing campaign. To reach TV-like audiences on a broad scale and drive brand awareness, you can use affinity audiences. To reach specific audiences ready to make a purchase in a specific product or service area, you can use in-market audiences.

Use a variety of ad formats

Display is your chance to engage users with appealing ad formats. Text, image, video, or rich media formats can appear on the Display Network. Color and motion attract attention. Animation or video can tell a story. The AdWords Display Network makes it possible.

Meet your goals

Display ads give you a chance to make a more lasting impression on people. Here are some common goals that you can achieve by advertising on the Display Network:

  • Sell more products or services
  •  Build customer loyalty
  • Engage with customers
  • Increase brand awareness

Measure your results

AdWords lets you measure how well you’re meeting your goals. See exactly on what webpages your ads ran, which ads deliver the most clicks, and which sites give you the most sales for the lowest cost. Based on your campaign reports, you can adjust your targeting and bidding strategy to get the most value out of your campaigns. When data shows that a click from a Google Network page is more (or less) likely to help you meet your specific goals—such as online sales, registrations, phone calls, or newsletter signups—the AdWords system may automatically reduce the adjust your bid helping you stay on budget, gain value, and reach your business goals.

About advertising on YouTube

Between the end of 2013 and the end of 2014, the amount of time that people spent watching video on the Internet grew 38.5%. Every month, more than 1 billion people watch more than 6 billion hours of YouTube video. In addition, more than half of YouTube video views come from mobile devices.

This represents a lot of potential customers, both at home and on the go. And you can decide where and when a video ad shows, and which potential customers see it.

Benefits of advertising on YouTube

Here are some benefits of running video ads on YouTube:

  • Connect with your audience. Video ads can help you connect with potential customers in a unique and memorable way. You can be personal, share your expertise with the world, or put the camera on yourself and explain how your product or service can benefit your audience. Show people why they should care about your product or brand.
  • Reach just the right audience. Reach your customers on YouTube by topics, keywords, or demographics, like “women under 35.”
  • Create a video campaign in only a few minutes. Create your account, create or upload your video ad, reach your audience, and you’re on your way to telling your story to the world.
  • Measure your success. Figure out if you’re reaching the right audience. Check your AdWords account to track views, costs, and budget details. Visit the “Analytics” tab in your YouTube account to learn more about your viewers. For example, you can tell which videos your customers are watching and for how long.

On YouTube, viewers can discover videos in various ways, for example, by searching on the YouTube search page, clicking suggested videos on the watch page, or choosing a video from the homepage feed. This means you can more effectively find people who are searching for you and your brand across YouTube.

YouTube and audience engagement

YouTube’s unique combination of video access, sharing, and community creates an unmatched opportunity for audience engagement. Sight, sound, and motion can elicit emotional involvement with content that you don’t get with other forms of media.

You can facilitate discovery of and engagement (shares, comments, and likes) with your video ads by promoting them via YouTube advertising and hosting them in a YouTube curated profile page.

Video creators can learn an enormous amount about their viewers through a sophisticated set of measurement tools, including YouTube Analytics. Audience demographics, levels of engagement, and performance compared to similar videos are just some of the data available. Video creators can use this data to drive larger and deeper viewership among a target audience.

About TrueView video ad formats

TrueView video ads give viewers control over which advertisers’ messages they want to see and when.

Each TrueView ad format appears in a different context, so viewers can interact with each format in a different way. Here’s what you need to know:

TrueView in-stream ads

  • When to use this ad format: Use this format when you want your video ad to appear before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and the Display Network.
  • How you’re charged: You pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages in other video interactions, such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners.
  • Where the ads appear: TrueView in-stream ads can appear on videos across YouTube and on video publisher sites, games, and apps on the Display Network.

TrueView in-display ads

  • When to use this ad format: For an ad (of any length) when people are searching on YouTube or browsing videos on YouTube and across the web.
  • How you’re charged: You’ll be charged when a viewer clicks your ad and begins watching your video.
  • Where the ads appear: TrueView in-display ads can appear next to YouTube videos, on YouTube search results, on video plays on YouTube channels and Watch pages, and on publisher sites across the Display Network.

Reaching potential customers

YouTube and the Display Network offer a variety of ways to reach particular audiences:

  • Keyword contextual targeting: You can use keywords that will help match your ads to web content. This works just like contextual targeting on the Display Network, and applies to both the Display Network and YouTube.
  • Demographic: Reach people by age, gender, or parental status.
  • Topics: Reach people based on certain topics.
  • Affinity audiences: Select from interest-based groups to reach potential customers at scale and make them aware of your business. These audiences were built for businesses running a TV ad that want to extend the campaign to an online context at an efficient price.
  • Custom affinity audiences: Advertisers can create audiences that are more tailored to their brands, compared with broad, TV-like audiences. For example, rather than reaching sports fans, a running shoe company might target avid marathon runners.
  • In-market audiences: Find customers who are researching products or services and actively considering buying something like what you offer.
  • Remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos or YouTube channel. If you’ve linked a YouTube account to an AdWords account already, we’ll create custom ones for you automatically.

Consumer behavior and the impact of mobile

The mobile consumer

More people than ever are living their lives on multiple screens. Smartphone ownership continues to expand as more affordable devices and data plans hit the market. From 2011 to 2013, smartphone adoption in the U.S. grew from 36% to 61%. And tablet owners, typically associated with high disposable income, represent an increasingly mainstream demographic as manufacturers introduce a slew of more economically priced models.

As a result, consumers can now use smartphones, tablets, and computers to interact with businesses 24/7, from anywhere–at home, at work, on a bus. Powered especially by the rise in smartphone adoption, this continual connectivity has created many more opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers.

Companies have taken notice and begun embracing this always-on behavior, building businesses that lead with mobile and disrupt entire industries.

Serving the mobile consumerIn addition to these mobile-first upstarts, all brands need to think deeply about what it means to serve mobile customers. The temptation to adapt a desktop strategy to fit mobile can be strong but should be avoided.

The local mobile consumer

Your future customers are literally around the corner, and mobile can get them in your door. In fact, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find products, services, or experiences nearby. They conduct local searches wherever they happen to be; 84% use search engines on their computer or tablet and even more (88%) do so on their smartphone.

Retailers are waking up to the power of capturing mobile demand. A 2013 Digby analysis indicated that 70% of top retailers now offer mobile apps. Further research indicates that 78% of fast food chains, 75% of casual dining brands, 77% of big box retailers, 59% of specialty stores, and 58% of grocery stores have mobile apps.

By understanding the mobile consumer and the challenges and opportunities that the new mobile landscape provides advertisers, you can better prepare your company’s mobile strategy. As we continue this mobile training, we’ll guide you through how to create a mobile strategy in order to best fulfill your advertising objectives.