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Using segmentation by enthusiasms in search advertising

Google Ads users will be interested to know that what the company calls ‘affinity audiences‘ are being added as an option in search campaigns. These have been available on the display network for a long time. Affinity audiences segment users “based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions and habits; affinity audiences have demonstrated a qualified passion in a given topic”. There are dozens of these audiences, and although they are largely hobby- or general-interest-based, they still present some possibilities for technical business marketing, because any segmentation is worth experimenting with.

Current examples of affinity audiences include business travellers, auto enthusiasts and green living enthusiasts. While these are not groups that many of us would want to target in isolation, don’t forget we’re now talking about combining the audience with the search keyword, which could offer the chance to present a more targeted advert.

Start by using the ‘observation’ setting to see if there’s a difference between people who are in a particular affinity audience and everyone else making the same searches. There may not be, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t then move on to testing different advert copy for them, if that makes sense. Obviously, you’ll need to be testing on fairly high-volume keywords to get any meaningful data.