When you ask people what Google Ads is good for, most reply, “Generating leads and sales.”
And yes, we can all agree that Google Ads is good for that.
But that’s not ALL Google Ads is good for.
Over the years, we’ve found some cool “off-label” uses for Google Ads that aren’t strictly about leads and sales.
In fact, they’re a great, inventive way to solve other business and marketing problems.
Here are our top three off-label ways to use Google Ads:
1. Defining messaging
What better way is there to test your messaging than release it out into the world and measure the response?
That’s exactly what you can do with Google Ads.
We’ve been using Google Ads as a testing ground for messaging for one of our clients in particular. This client is in the life science space and has frequent internal debates about messaging.
The scientists of the group want messaging that’s straightforward, fact-based and (to a marketer’s eye) a little flat.
The marketers of the group want messaging that’s a bit more promotional.
So which is the best choice for the target audience?
To settle the debate, we put both types of messaging into different ads, and then watched to see which performed the best.
The messaging preferred by the scientists usually came out on top, and now the client is using that finding to guide all of its messaging.
So stop fighting over your messaging! Put it to the test with Google Ads and let your audience guide you.
2. Building brand with video
Are you launching a new business, product or service and need to get your brand name out there?
Once again, Google Ads can come to the rescue.
YouTube is an unparalleled platform for its reach. It’s the most popular online platform in America, with 74% of adults in the U.S. using it (which is even more than Facebook).
So the potential to grow awareness of a business, product or service with YouTube is huge.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge budget to create a video that introduces your business/product/service to the world, especially with YouTube’s video builder.
Simply create an explainer video using this tool and push it out to the world with your advertising.
3. Driving new site visitors
You might be getting lots of organic web traffic, but what portion is visitors who are new to your brand?
If most of your organic traffic is coming from people who Google your name or follow links in your email newsletter, that’s a problem. It means you’re not extending your reach to people who don’t already know you.
This is a vulnerability because you need new visitors to feed leads and sales down the road.
So how do you drive visitors to your site who DON’T know your brand?
Here again, Google Ads is a great solution. You can use Google Ads to increase brand awareness, which will, in turn, drive more non-branded organic web traffic and increase your email subscribers—which will ultimately drive more sales.
Before You Launch…
I hope these ideas have inspired you to use Google Ads for off-label purposes. But a couple words of warning before you launch:
First, make sure to set up tracking. Without tracking, you have no way of knowing if messaging is working, if your YouTube video ads are getting any traction, and if your non-branded organic traffic is growing.
So you need to set up Google Analytics and conversion tracking.
You can either add the Google Ads conversion tracking tag via Google Tag Manager or update the current global site tag on your site with the conversion ID specific to your Google Ads account.
Second, continue to refine your targeting.
As with any Google Ads campaign, you can’t just set up off-label campaigns and leave them be. You have to continue to refine whom you’re targeting.
Advertisers have a ton of levers to target ads to different audiences, and this is the key to finding good opportunities—particularly for smaller advertisers.
Refine who sees your ads, and when they see them, with some or all of the following targeting options:
- Locations: Consider which country, state, region, city, etc. to target.
- Schedule: Are your stores open 24/7? If not, assign some scheduling parameters.
- Language: Make sure that your English-language ad is only displaying to English-language speakers.
- Devices: Test to see which devices perform the best for you.
- Keywords: Keywords are still an important way parse and find your audience.
- Demographics: Is your product or service designed for everyone? If not, assign some parameters here as well.
Google Ads Can Do a Lot More Than Generate Leads and Sales
Google Ads is a fantastic platform for generating leads and sales. But it can also do a whole lot more than that.
So the next time you have a complex business or marketing problem you need solved, consider whether Google Ads might help—even if it means stepping outside of its normal use set.