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This week’s PPCChat was hosted by Courtney Cox Wakefield where he discussed the importance of inclusive campaigns, how to communicate inclusivity in campaigns, integrate targeting into your PPC campaigns to promote inclusivity, how can you convinced clients to invest in inclusive PPC campaigns and more.


Q1: What inclusivity challenges have you encountered with your campaigns?


The main problem is “inclusivity” is not cost-efficient, especially as audience targets are layered. It essentially goes against the optimization strategy. @JonKagan

For me, the biggest challenge has been that often, marginalized communities cannot be identified through their query, so we’re not sure if the person who is engaging with our ad is queer or a POC or disabled. @CourtEWakefield

I’ve no idea what this question means. @stevegibsonppc

I work with beauty brands, a few that cater to people with diverse skin types. I try to be sensitive in my copy and keyword choice. I mostly look to the brand(s) for guidance. @FindingAmanda

Aha! I have sort of had this challenge, in the sense that when I bring up the fact that groups speak differently to one another than to those outside the group, my clients are often VERY surprised. Very much a baby-steps kind of process. @JuliaVyse

1) Copy, imagery, & targeting that is exclusive or outright offensive 2) Accessibility on-site 3) Internal analysis discussions that dehumanize. @ferkungamaboobo

Along with the strategic need for exclusivity to avoid inefficient spend, I think another problematic element is the protections that ad platforms provide for “sensitive categories” and limitations on messaging that might suggest having personal info about the user. @akaEmmaLouise

I have not yet worked with a client where this was a priority for them I’m afraid. Keen to learn how to prepare myself if it does & maybe even how to start this convo. @mindswanppc

I remember my first lesson with this years ago. I wrote a headline for women’s jackets that said something like “Impress The Men” and some people were offended. Ever since I’ve always thought about all the ways my creative could be received. @SEMFlem


Q2: How do you communicate inclusivity in your PPC campaigns?


Tbh the best we do is focusing on the challenges that our product/service is solving and how it benefits the user, regardless of status or identity. Really curious how others are approaching this, though! @akaEmmaLouise

I think you’ve got to get the basics down first. Understand what language is seen as offensive and make sure your ads and website don’t use those words. Make sure you’re site is WCAG compliant (accessible). THEN, focus on sending inclusivity signals. @CourtEWakefield

I mostly do it with ad copy as that’s the main contact with the public. Then it’s all about accessible and relevant landing pages. @JuliaVyse

Trying to think about if something might be offensive is a good first step. Of course, having diverse points of view during the process can help with that too, as many of us have blind spots we don’t even know we have. @NeptuneMoon

Being agency-side, I never assume. I pass EVERYTHING by the client and let them decide. @SEMFlem

After coming up with Ad Copy ideas based off the website – yeah, me too. @mindswanppc

The best way I’ve found is to take the lead from the client. One example was that we focused on person-first language with disability law clients, in part based on our clients’ preference with their clients. @ferkungamaboobo

This! No matter how open and inclusive I think I am, I haven’t lived the experience of a POC or LGBTQ individual so I rely on my client contacts to make sure I’m sharing an inclusive message. @FindingAmanda

I think this is such an important point! Inclusivity really does start with self-awareness and understanding on our part as advertisers. If even swapping one or two words in copy makes a difference, we should be able to recognize that (and I admit that I sometimes don’t) @akaEmmaLouise

Can you elaborate? Adding something like “All Minorities Welcome On Our Website” to your ad copy wouldn’t really make sense. @markbclicky

I don’t really. You need scale to avoid “low search volume” & other flimflam & tomfoolery. An individual’s _identity_ is a very uninteresting thing to me as a marketer. WHAT is being searched > Who is searching. (Outside of on-site activity/ audiences, of course) @Jates


Q3: How can you integrate inclusive signals into your ads without obscuring your mainstream message?


I referenced this a little in my Q2 answer, but site links are a great place to insert these kinds of signals without diluting the main benefits of your produce/service in the main ad copy. @CourtEWakefield

This is a challenging question because I feel your core message shouldn’t be non-inclusive (unless you’re actively a non-inclusive brand but that’s over the pay grade of a lot of us) @ferkungamaboobo

Unless my business was particularly aimed at the LGBTQ (or SJW) market, I wouldn’t. We have limited ad real estate, why make our ads about a small minority of our prospect base? @stevegibsonppc

It’s a bit dependent on what the main message is, but overall, we have a lot of copy and image space to work with. Bevel does an outstanding job at this, and it’s all about a simple purchase of a grooming set. Harmonize the message, vs trying to jam a signal in. @JuliaVyse

In my case – beauty brands – don’t just include people, CELEBRATE THEIR BEAUTY! @FindingAmanda

Even if not in ads as much, your story from your presentation about the ticket purchasing form of the venue that had more choices than just Mr, Mrs or Ms in their form is a good example. Is there a resource you’re aware of for more inclusive language choices somewhere? Even just sharing it with clients could help open some eyes and conversations.@NeptuneMoon is an excellent resource. @CourtEWakefield

Going off micro conversions and building a similar audience, rather than demo allows me to be more inclusive, but also focus on the primary group. @JonKagan


Q4: What can you do when a user’s marginalized identity isn’t revealed in their query?


Not much, I mean no-one needs to disclose their whole life just to buy a burger or fill in a form. I’d say if you’re really concerned, look at your demographic and location info, knowing it’s imperfect and won’t always give you the whole story. @JuliaVyse

I wouldn’t think of saying “husband and wife” because a large % of people who buy houses together aren’t husband and wife. But, if 90% of them were husband and wife, maybe I would test it. @stevegibsonppc

This is really tough. I don’t know that I have a great answer for it; it’s something that we continually struggle with. Sometimes, geo-targeting can help support, and if we have an email list that we can segment off of, that’s a good start, too. @CourtEWakefield

Hard to explain in a tweet, but I’ll try. I take the “all visitors” list and plug that into Google’s audience insights tool, to see what other audiences overlap with my regular visitors. Next, create a campaign with general kw and target those audiences. @Finding Amanda

I go as generic as possible in the messaging and see if they fall into a bucket further down the funnel. @JonKagan


Q5: How do you integrate targeting into your PPC campaigns to promote inclusivity?


If appropriate, maybe you segment by location and think about customizing creative that way. @SEMFlem

Search Personality of the Year, @purnavirji has a great talk where she introduces the idea of a #broadience. I think it applies here. Here’s here deck from SearchLove that explains it.… @CourtEWakefield

I feel targeting is where inclusivity efforts go to die. I’ve really messed up here, and I think there’s a lot of value in thinking about the real impact of hyper-targeting in the light of research that it’s just not that effective. @ferkungamaboobo


Q6: How have you convinced leaders or clients to invest in inclusive PPC campaigns?


Such a great question! I haven’t ever pitched on the basis of an inclusive campaign, it’s more been about reaching the right audience. They tend to respond to sales data @JuliaVyse

Luckily, I’m in a position where I don’t have to do much convincing because I’m in-house, and there is general consensus that inclusivity is important. But for those of you who have clients or leadership not actively pursuing inclusivity, how do you handle it? @CourtEWakefield

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had this conversation before with anyone. But, I’m glad it was brought up, as it’s definitely valuable.  @SEMFlem

Fortunately, I specialize in social so it’s easier to incorporate representation in imagery vs. trying to explicitly call out marginalized groups in copy. But from an agency standpoint, I could do more to spark conversations about inclusivity w in-house client teams. @akaEmmaLouise


Q7: Why are inclusive campaigns important to you?


Generally, because everyone matters, and I’ll take a sale from anywhere. Personally, because my loved ones aren’t second to anyone in this world. Big Sister Energy. @JuliaVyse

Personally, I’ve just seen so many ads that carelessly excluded me. For example, breastpump copy that only talks about husband and wife. Well…my breastpumping wife doesn’t have a husband. And so many breastpumping women aren’t married to their partner. @CourtEWakefield

Tbh I’ve never thought about conscious inclusivity in marketing before today, despite being part of and connected to marginalized groups myself. I do, however, know personally how damaging *exclusive* marketing can be and want to avoid that at all costs! @akaEmmaLouise

The biggest reason to me is that “there’s gold in them hills” and limiting your effectiveness or starting customer relationships on a rocky foot, or being an outright ass will kill your conversions and you’ll never know why. I’ve also got to sleep at night.@ferkungamaboobo

It helps to still target a less identifiable demographic. @JonKagan


Q8: How do you identity which messages resonate with marginalized parts of your audience?


It seems like an over-simplified answer, but I think the best thing to do is ask them! These people are already your customers. Get to know them and how their identities might lend themselves to unique needs from your products and services. @CourtEWakefield

Simplistically, I look at CTR/site engagement by ad, of those that meet min traffic thresholds. @JonKagan


Q9: Should we customize our ad copy for marginalized groups? If so, how can paid search platforms make that easier?


I think we should have the option to, but as with all things PPC, we deploy it when appropriate. I’d love to promote Naxalone education without being dinged for promoting illicit drugs, as one example. Google, you can tell which is which! @JuliaVyse

If there’s a good reason to, sure. If not, there’s deep value in keeping in mind every user so you ensure they see themselves as a potential customer of your campaign. @ferkungamaboobo

I say only call it out/customize if it makes sense (as @stevegibsonppc pointed out w wedding cake example). I would personally be uncomfortable having ads targeting my race/sex/religion/sexuality when searching for a product or service where it’s entirely irrelevant. @akaEmmaLouise



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