Competitors targeting is one of the favorite digital strategy of digital marketers to give an uplift to a brand by diverting the traffic from well-known competitors to their own website. However, there are some precautions that I would advise to have before we try to engage ourselves in it.
- Make sure your offerings are better to the competitors offer, otherwise there will be no point in bringing in the traffic because ultimately they are not going to convert since they have a better deal at their loyal websites i.e. the competitors’ websites
- Even if you are offerings are better and are of better quality, make sure you provide a seamless customer journey from the ad copy to the landing page to the checkout process.
Assuming that the above points will be taken care of. Let us explore competitors targeting across different channels.
1. Competitors Targeting Using Google Search Ads (Target Outranking share)
For the branding purpose, Target outranking share is one of the bidding strategies that we employ to target the competitors.
What Target outranking share does?
- Google Ads automatically raises or lowers your bids to help your ads outrank ads from another domain
- When your ad outranks another ad, it’s displayed above the other domain’s ad on Google Search results pages or shows when the other ad does not.
- If your campaign has enough data, Google will display a list of domains that have recently bid in the same auctions as your ads. You can also manually enter a domain if you don’t see one listed.
- Enter the percentage of auctions that you would like to outrank the selected domain. Keep in mind that the higher your target to outrank, the more budget you’ll likely need to support the strategy.
- The highest max. CPC bid that you want Google Ads to set for any keywords, ad groups, or campaigns using Target outranking share.
- Automated bids give Google Ads the ability to raise and lower bids as needed to outrank the selected domain. With this setting, there is no need to set bids manually.
- Manual bids allow you to set bids yourself, while adjusts bids so that they are at least as high as needed to outrank the selected domain.
- If two domains are both using a Target outranking share bid strategy, the strategies will increase each domain’s bid until one of them reaches their maximum bid limit. The participant with the best bid and quality score will earn the higher ad rank.
- Here is the complete post on Competitive advertising strategies using Google Search Ads
Though targeting the competitors brand name in the search term can help you drive traffic to your website but you would want to know and remarket to the really interested audience. In that case, RLSA might be handy for you.
- You can target users who have previously visited your website and are searching for your competitors’ keywords.
- You can further narrow down those audience based on their activity on the landing page and during the checkout process.
2. Competitors Targeting Using Google Display Ads (Custom Audience)
There is another way to target your competitors through Google display networks ads and that is by creating a custom intent and custom affinity audience.
Custom affinity & Intent audience
Custom affinity audience allows you to target the competitors’ loyal customers who are loyal to them for a long time. Here is an example:
Let us say you have recently come into the market and want to sell sports cam like those of GoPro then instead of going for the custom-intent audience, you should focus more on the custom-affinity audience. Rather than reaching the sports camera users affinity audience, the new company may want to reach Adventure sports camera users instead. With custom affinity audiences, the new company can further define this audience by:
- Entering interests like adventure sports, biking, skydiving, skiing etc.
- Using URLs of websites with content about adventure sports, hiking, skiing, biking etc.
Custom intent audience
Custom intent audience allows you to target the audience who are actively looking for a product in the market. You can apply keywords, URLs, apps, or YouTube content to Display campaigns to reach an online audience that’s actively researching a related product or service.
To help Google Ads understand your ideal audience, it’s a best practice to add keywords and URLs (ideally 15 total) that fit a common theme. Avoid entering URLs that require people to sign in, such as social media, or email services.
3. Competitors Targeting Using Facebook
Facebook has been a great social media marketing tool to the competitors targeting due to its audience-based targeting capabilities. One of the best ways to target your competitors’ through paid Facebook ads is to create an ad specifically for the target audience of your competitors us to target them based on their interests. Though you cannot target the competitors’ fan page’s audience, you can target by the brand name.
You want to hyper-target then you do need to do some research about the audience persona of the people who like and engage with the fan page of your competitors.
4. Competitors Targeting Using LinkedIn Custom Audience
Similar to Facebook and Twitter ads, you can also target your competitors using LinkedIn but that is more for the B2B market. You can create LinkedIn custom audiences to target individuals on LinkedIn who are already interested, have skills in, or belong to groups relevant to your competitors’ products/services. Some of the targeting options that you can utilize are:
- job location
- job title
- job level
- age etc.
5. Competitors Targeting Using YouTube
If your competitors’ channel allows monetization on Youtube then you can place non-skippable pre-roll video on their channels to let the target customers know that something more awesome also exists in the market.
6. Competitors Targeting Using Twitter
Though twitter works better for the viral and announcement type of content you can still leverage this platform to target your competitors using some of the techniques mentioned below:
- Target the audience based on their bio and the accounts that they are following and keywords. Twitter ads provide username based targeting called tailored audience targeting.
- You can also use a tool like Twitonomy, Audience, or Followerwonk to download your competitors’ account followers.
- Just like you create a similar audience and look-alike audience on other platforms such as Google display networks or on Facebook, similarly, upload the username list into the tailored audience targeting section and create the ad.
I hope these competitors targeting strategies help you gain brand reach and awareness. If you have some ideas as well. Do share with us in the comment below.