Matt Mason

Paid Search for Product Releases

By: Matt Mason | September 26, 2017 | 

Paid Search for Product ReleasesGood day, Spin Sucks world!

It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood PPC expert.

In my last article, we discussed how paid search (PPC) could bolster your PR strategy for crisis management.

Soon after the article ran, I had the pleasure of being the TweetChat expert for that same subject during #ContentChat.

I answered many questions about paid search and its ability to support event-based public relations campaigns.

Today we’re going to discuss how paid search can support your next event or release from a PR perspective.

How to Start with Paid Search for Event-Based Campaigns

Let’s say the company you’re working for is releasing a new product next month and you want to make sure everyone knows about it.

You develop a news release and product-specific landing page for your website.

You want to be sure you’re capturing that traffic with targeted ads for your event-based campaign.

I’m going to assume that you’re already leveraging paid search (because my last blog was just so convincing and you all worked with your team to start building a paid search strategy, right?).

Start by adding a basic sitelink in your branded paid search campaigns.

If you’re not familiar with what a sitelink is, you can read about them here.

Sitelink Extensions

In short, a sitelink extension is:

A way to add more links to your ads. Sitelinks can take people to specific pages on your site, such as a specific product, so they skip right to what they want to know or buy.

Why are they important?

They help the user, and Google is in the business of making the customer experience better.

Google rewards the use of sitelinks with an increased quality score.

An increased quality score means lower cost-per-click, which helps your budget and results in more of the action you want for less.

The quality score also helps with your position. If you have a better quality score than a competitor and Google deems you more relevant, you can beat your competitors.

Typically speaking, you should always be in position one for your brand campaigns, and your brand should show up in results every time someone searches.

Sitelink Examples

A sitelink example could be something like this:

Headline: Great New Product!

Description line 1: Reliable, helpful, and tastes delicious.

Description line 2: Pre-order today and get 10% off!

Boom. Quick and easy. Nothing fancy, just something to capture the user’s attention and help drive traffic at a more efficient cost.

Event Driven Campaigns for Paid Search

You can build highly targeted campaigns with keywords that are specific to the product you’re releasing, the event you’re hosting, or the announcement you’re promoting.

Some example keywords may be (your brand name) product launch, or (your brand name) product name.

If you have an active social media presence and have been cultivating your word of mouth marketing, people are going to be primed to search for your news.

Don’t lose the traffic searching for you! Grab it!

Advantages with Specific Campaigns for Events

There are two major advantages to having a specific campaign for events.

  1. Top spot in the SERP. It’s likely you won’t be able to ramp up your SEO ranking fast enough. The reality of SEO is you may never achieve the rank you desire. You can do everything right and never stand on the top of that mountain. With PPC, it’s an auction, so depending on how important the event is to you, you can ensure you’re at the top of the search engine results.
  2. Control over the message. If you’re running branded campaigns, you likely don’t want to disrupt your evergreen strategy with one-off or temporary events, launches, or promotions. If you’re running a separate campaign, focus it entirely on the event-based campaign you’re promoting. Tailor your ad copy to the event. All your extensions can be about the event. Total control. Who doesn’t want that?

Non-Brand Event-based Campaigns

I’m sure some people are wondering

Hey Matt, it sounds like running branded keywords is great. What about those people who aren’t familiar with our brand?

We think people outside of those who know us would be great targets for the event-based campaign we’re running!

Good point! It *IS* valuable to target non-brand keywords that are specific to your event.

For example, if I was sponsoring a huge event here in Seattle, I might target keywords like “digital marketing gala event.”

This casts a much wider net on the search engines to help you fill your search funnel.

Announcing Virtual Goods and Content

What about content? Maybe you just created a time-sensitive piece of content.

For example, we launched a campaign for retail marketers around the holidays.

Ranking organically with SEO can take time to build, and everyone wants results now.

Well, paid search can help with that, too!

Start by attaching sitelinks to your evergreen (always running) brand strategy.

If your organization is already running paid search an on-going basis, you’re likely to have quality ad rank and traffic.

Ad rank is where you show on the search engine results.

For example, if you search “Coke” on Google, the first link you’re going to find is for Coca-Cola, this is considered the number one ad rank.

Thus, making this a perfect place to stash a sitelink to capture traffic. Your sitelink is more likely to be seen since it’s in the top spot!

Now, you’re ready to create campaigns that focus on keywords related to your content, i.e., “holiday guide for retail marketers.”

This way, anyone searching can find you, even if you’re not on page one of organic rankings.

Build an Intelligent Audience

The best part is, you can use these campaigns to build an intelligent audience.

For instance:

  • Building audiences with retargeting. This is a way to capture people who have interacted with your website after they leave. Think of the possibilities! They visited your site, looked at your content, and now you can reach back out to them via Google, Facebook, or programmatic advertising to re-engage them with your client’s brand or message.
  • Use retargeting data to build lookalike audiences. Once you know who your audience is, you can use that data to create lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are people “who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.” (Facebook) This is an excellent way to attract new users that you have not yet reached.

How Will I Know it’s Working?

One of the main benefits of paid search is that it is highly measurable.

You can see which keywords are working/driving traffic and which aren’t, which ad performs best. You can bid very specifically on what’s working and what isn’t.

And if you’re disciplined in how you test and measure, you’ll determine your own best practices to help you be more successful going forward.

You have control over the way you go to market and how you’re able to inform your other channels with what you’ve learned from PPC.

What are some ways you’ve used PPC to support your events/content? What’s worked well? What hasn’t? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

What’s Next?

If you missed it, please read my last Spin Sucks article entitled, “Paid Search for Crisis Management, Events, News and More.”

Or reach out to me on Twitter if you have any questions. I’m @MattMasonPPC. I love talking PPC.

About Matt Mason

Matt Mason is a lifelong learner and digital marketing enthusiast. Matt’s favorite thing about marketing is getting outstanding results for his client and keeping up with the fast-moving current of technology and technique. He is currently a Client Manager at Point It, a digital marketing agency in Seattle. Matt is focusing on building a deep knowledge about all thing digital and brings a fresh perspective to paid search. Born and raised in the 636 (Saint Louis), Matt is a lover of good food and music. In his free time, you can find him banging on the drums or crushing rock walls around Seattle.

  • Welcome back, Matt!

    Lots of goodies in here. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • Matt Mason

      Hey, Corina!

      Thanks for the opportunity to share!

  • OK…I have a question! First, this is fantastic and you gave me some ideas. So thank you!

    A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at Agents of Change. I like to sit in the audience when I speak so I can get gems from other speakers for my own speech. “When Matt said this earlier, this is how we can use it as communicators.”

    One of the speakers talked about how important paid search is going to be in 2018 and beyond, as voice search becomes more prevalent. His point was that voice search returns the top three results—and those usually are paid.

    What are your thoughts about that? And, if you agree, perhaps there is another blog post in how communicators can marry organic and paid search, what they have to spend, and how they can compete with gigantic competitors.

    • Matt Mason

      Hi, Gini! Thanks for commenting! I like that idea!

      Voice search is definitely a hot topic right now in the industry with the rise of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. I think to assume that it’s going to be huge in 2018 is optimistic at best. There are still a lot of things that need to be worked out and technology that needs to be advanced before that happens.

      To the speakers point of there usually being 3 search results that are returned, there’s no way that the engines would want these to all be paid. Why? Users would become annoyed and stop using the technology.

      On a desktop search, you can choose to ignore the ads and go straight to the organic listings. How does that work in voice? The user would have to listen to the entire ad and let it complete. Does that look similar to YouTube now? Possibly, but people are already unhappy with the way that works now. I can honestly say that when I go to YouTube it’s because I want to show someone something right now. I don’t want to wait 30 seconds for a silly ad that has nothing to do with me to get done playing.

      So what do we do? We continue to have the conversations and plan. I think that one day it will be more of a thing, but I personally believe we’re still a few years away from that point.

      Just for fun, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see voice search really take off once the big companies figure out VR technologies. Take the Microsoft HoloLens. A user uses voice to execute the search and then the results populate on the screen. Now you’ve got a blended voice/traditional search that is functional.

      Does that all make sense or did I just ramble? haha!

      • Hmmmmm…well now I have more questions! I’m now wondering how Alexa, for instance, will sort through the search results and say, “Oh, this is an ad, skip.” I find this all so fascinating and can’t wait to see what’s to come.

        • Matt Mason

          It’s definitely a conversation that we could parse through for hours. I wonder if it will be something where the assistant will ask if you want to hear the ad? Then the user has the choice.