Using Competitor Domains in Gmail Ads: The Correct Way To Do Competitor Targeting

Using Competitor Domains in Gmail Ads: The Correct Way To Do Competitor Targeting

Gmail Sponsored Promotions Strategy: Using Competitor Domains

Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP’s), also known as ‘Gmail ads’ are interactive ads that appear in Gmail inboxes and that form part of Google Adwords Ad Gallery in the Display Network.

In my introductory article I discussed some benefits of using GSP’s. I would like to elaborate further on one of them and show you how GSP’s can be used to acquire more potential clients using competitor brands as part of display keywords to draw an even larger user base in the market you are trying to reach and in turn drive more results.

There are a few smart strategies that one can take advantage of to maximise the performance of GSP’s as they use managed placements and targeting. One particular strategy I like to use is targeting users by keywords (better known as Domain targeting) and what better way than using not only common keywords and branding based on you and the industry but also targeting by using competitor brands?

For example, if you were handling a GSP campaign for Nike and wanted to promote a new line of shoes, imagine what greater possibilities of reach if you could target not only your market or usual customers but your competitors: Adidas, Reebok or Puma as well; tapping into new client bases entirely.

How would you go about this?

Thanks to GSP’s targeting options you have the ability to add competitors names (and even their domains) to your keyword list as part of Domain targeting. The GSP’s handle the rest by targeting Gmail users who have searched for (or receive mail from) those brands and Gmail users who actively mention those brand names in their mail.

Begin by compiling a list of as many top-performing competitors in organic searches, and their domains if possible, then add them to your display keyword list during or even after setting up your GSP campaign under the “Display Keywords” section which you can find under the “Display Network” tab (as shown in the example below

This is just one of a few ways to effectively maximise your GSP’s ad reach and performance. Give it it a try and share your thoughts and results.

Below are further reading resources by Google Adwords on Domain Targeting: 

*Please note: Google has announced that as of 28 September 2017, Gmail ads will no longer be using consumer Gmail content for ad personalization and as a result you may see a change in your campaign reach, clicks and conversions. Gmail campaigns using domain targeting are advised to replace domains with keyword targeting to ensure ads continue to show.

About the Author

Zee Mthimkhulu
I studied I.T. at Monash South Africa and went on to be part of the second cohort to graduate from Digify (an initiative by Google South Africa and Livity Africa). I was then recruited by Casson Media in 2015.

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