In 2020, Google announced that they would be banning third-party cookies, which means that the company will no longer sell web ads specifically targeted to internet users based on their browsing and searching habits. We can expect that Google’s browser, Chrome, will soon be eliminating cookies responsible for gathering that data.
This is a massive win for data privacy for consumers and one that should be welcome across the board. But at the same time, it also presents new challenges for businesses and marketers because this is one less resource for them to reach their target audience. But this does not mean all hope is lost for collecting valuable information about your target demographic; there are still plenty of ways and tools you can utilize to get your brand’s message across. Here are some pointers for reaching your target audience without third-party cookies.
Use first-party data
If third-party cookies are out, then the most valuable resource you have now is first-party data, which is information that consumers willingly give your company themselves. This is when potential customers and clients consent to give you more information and insight into their preferences and what they desire for a better customer experience in the future. The following are some ways your audience can provide you with the information you need about them:
- An online survey system is one of the best and simplest ways to improve the content you send out or display to certain audiences. It’s also one of the best ways, if not the best way, to receive feedback about your products and services. If you truly want your first-time customers to become returning ones, you want to ensure that they have the best customer experience possible and that you care about improving your current system. A survey system is straightforward and gives your audience the agency to decide what information they want to provide.
- Utilize lead generation forms, which you can use through different websites. It’s simply leading your customers to a landing page, where they can answer questions about themselves. Some examples of valuable information you can ask for include their name and email address, which you can then use for email marketing campaigns. This type of data gathering can also make your customers feel safe since only those who are truly interested must provide their information. And the best part about engaging customers that are already interested? The lead will more likely convert to sales.
- Check other platforms, mediums, and channels. Google banning third-party cookies is not the beginning of the end for digital marketing; there are still plenty of other channels out there through which you can reach users. Other platforms you can check out include Snapchat, Waze, Spotify, Reddit, Twitter, and Tiktok. Every ad platform employs different strategies, so be sure to research where your target demographic spends the most time and learn how you can get them to visit your website and willingly provide their information.
Getting people to consent to provide their data is the name of the game now, and we need to give them channels to do so.
Focus on building your brand
Prioritize building your brand instead of individually targeting your users. This game plan should have been one of the biggest priorities of your marketing strategy anyway. If the strategy is now all about gathering first-party data, then as business owners and marketers, it is incumbent upon us to make customers want to provide their information in the first place. Here are some ways we can do that:
- Focus on making engaging, meaningful content that sets your social media accounts apart from your competitors.
- If your brand is still lacking awareness, build up a reputation for being a brand that people can connect with, believe in, or trust. Users will be much more likely to give information on how to reach them if your brand has a reputation for being trustworthy or if they can identify with the values you espouse.
- Customers love it when they’re spoken to like human beings, and not just prospective clients. You can do this by offering nuanced and personalized options as they transition from one interface to another.
Our customers will appreciate it more when they know that brands and businesses care about their privacy more than their ability to buy what you’re selling. Instead of seeing the third-cookie ban as a threat, see it as an opportunity and a challenge to connect with your customers in more meaningful ways. Good luck!