Whether it’s TV, radio, or magazine ads, conquesting is not a new phenomenon in the advertising world. Using Google Ads for conquesting can be just as effective, if not more, than traditional advertising methods.

Targeting the people who are searching for your competitors is an excellent strategy to reach customers who are in the market for your product. They are low funnel users and are nearly ready to make a purchase. Your job is to convince them you are a better match for them than your competitor. 

The most obvious method of conquesting is by using Search campaigns to target your competitor’s keywords. We did a blog post about this method which goes into more detail about the topic.

A lesser-known way of conquesting in Google Ads is by using Discovery and YouTube campaigns to target your competitor’s customers. In this article, we will learn more about how to leverage these two campaign types for conquesting.

We use two methods for conquesting on Discovery and YouTube ads:

  1. Using Custom Segments
  1. Using Managed Placements

Using Custom Segments

Custom segments have huge potential when it comes to targeting people on Discovery and YouTube as they allow us to reach users based on their interests, what they are searching for, what apps they use, what websites they visit, and more.

You can create a custom segment based on what people have been searching on Google. Go to Tools & Settings and under shared Library, choose Audience Manager.

Next, go to Custom Segments and click on +

Name your segment and then pick the second option:

The reason why we pick the second option is that it allows you to reach people who have searched these terms/keywords on Google and YouTube. It is more targeted than picking the first option.

Then, add your competitor’s name. You will also get a suggested list of what else people search that’s related to what you wrote. For example, if you are competing against Nike, add their name and you will get a list of ideas of other keywords that you can add:

On the right side of the box, you can get segment insights and can change the country, language, or campaign type to get an initial idea of your segment’s reach.

For example, on Discovery, my custom segment is eligible for 10M to 50M weekly impressions with a primarily male audience of ages 25-34.

   Hit save and your custom segment is ready.

A second custom segment that you can create for your competitors is by using their website URLs. A great feature of custom segments is that you can add the websites your customers browse or the type of apps they use to narrow down your audience: 

Simply click on ‘People who browse types of websites’ and add your competitor websites. You can also add prospecting or relevant keywords with the websites because the two of these signals together help narrow in on who you want to target.    

After you are done creating your custom segments, go to your Discovery or YouTube campaign, then navigate to the ad group, and in the sidebar, select Audiences.

Go to ‘Edit Audience Segments’, find and add your target audience to the ad group.

Managed Placements On YouTube

This method is specific to YouTube campaigns. Using ‘Managed Placements’, you can show your ads on specific videos that are either by your competitors or are related to them, for example, a competitor’s product unboxing or a review video. This is an effective way of introducing your brand to your target audience right when they are consuming content by or related to your competitors.

How to target specific Placements in your campaign?    

Go to your YouTube campaign and in the sidebar, expand ‘Content’ and select Placements:

Click on the pencil icon and then go to YouTube channels or YouTube videos and select your competitor’s channel or any video you want to target related to them. Not all channels are eligible for advertising so if you don’t find a specific channel, it might be because they are not eligible.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you have layered in other types of targeting (keywords, topic, demographics) then Google can show your ads on the other content that’s related to the other targeting layers in the campaign.   

Using these two targeting methods, you can level up your Discovery and YouTube prospecting campaigns and reach your target audience more effectively.

Got any questions? Ask below.