In-Market Audiences for Lenders: How to Use Google’s Latest Advertising Tool

Whether you’re a small community lender, or a mid-sized institution with a regional footprint, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra money in the budget to spend on marketing and advertising. That’s why it’s so important to capture and analyze data about the consumers who visit through your website and other online properties.

According to our recent study, 60 percent of the top 500 mortgage lenders in the U.S. are using sophisticated data management platforms (DMPs) to track their online audiences. But if the prospect of investing in a new marketing technology sounds overwhelming, Google AdWords offers a powerful alternative for finding your target consumers: in-market audiences.

What Are In-Market Audiences?

In-market audiences is a Google advertising feature that helps companies find and connect with consumers who are actively researching their products and services (i.e., “in the market”). 

Using machine learning, Google analyzes activity on its advertising networks (including clicks, conversions, website content, and how often or recently a user has visited) to assemble groups of consumers that have demonstrated interest in certain business categories. For mortgage lenders, examples of relevant in-market audience categories include “Mortgage,” “Home Purchase Loans,” “Home Insurance,” and “Real Estate,” among others.

With in-market audiences, you can easily target your ads to ready-made groups of consumers who:

  • Are actively researching homebuying and mortgages, and other relevant topics
  • Browse websites related to mortgage lending
  • Browse websites related to other homebuying topics (e.g. home inspection, home insurance, etc.)

Researching In-Market Audiences with Google Analytics

Google Ads allows you to select from a range of in-market audiences when setting up ad groups and campaigns. Before you start spending money on them, however, we recommend doing some research to find out which groups are actually spending time on your website and/or apps. The best way to do this is through Google Analytics.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to enable Google Analytics’ “Demographics and Interests Reports” feature to use in-market audiences. To do this, log into your account, select “Audiences” from the menu panel, and click “Enable.” Once that’s done, you may need to wait 

2 to 3 weeks for Google Analytics to gather sufficient visitor data.

With this feature enabled, click on the Interests dropdown in the menu panel and select “In-Market Segments.”

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Here, you should see a list of in-market audiences whose members are visiting your website. While the top segments will likely be from expected categories like real estate and financial services, others may surprise you. (NestReady, for instance, sees a lot of traffic from users in Google’s “Travel” group.)

Using In-Market Audiences with Google Ads

Once you know which in-market audiences are visiting your website and spending the most time there, you’ll have a better idea of which groups to invest your advertising dollars in. That brings us to our next task: setting up ad campaigns with in-market audiences. (If you’ve never used Google Ads before, visit Google’s help center for a complete guide to setting up your first campaign.)

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To use in-market audiences with Google Ads, log into your Google Ads account, select “Audiences” from the left hand side, and click the edit icon.

If you’re not ready to narrow your ads’ exposure, but still want to see how in-market audiences perform, select “Observation.” Otherwise, choose “Targeting” to limit your ads to the in-market audiences you’re about to choose.

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Next, based on your Google Analytics research select your desired in-market audiences from the list provided. You can enter search terms like “real estate” to find groups quickly, or browse the full range of options. Once you’ve selected all the in-market audiences you want to use, click “Save.”

At this point, your bidding is zoomed in on these segments. Over time, you will start seeing click and conversion performance for each in-market audience, enabling you to focus your dollars on the most productive groups. In addition, you can combine in-market audiences with demographics, placements, topics, and keyword targeting rules to further refine your targeting.

Get More Leads with NestReady

Looking for tools to help you reach in-market audiences? NestReady’s white-label homebuying platforms help lenders and loan officers connect with qualified local borrowers. In fact, 30 percent of traffic to NestReady customer websites comes from in-market audiences actively researching real estate and home loans.

To learn more about NestReady’s solutions for lenders and loan officers, request a demo today.

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