Good 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.