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Using AdWords for Events

Any anecdotes or case studies out there?

     
9:31 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It occured to me recently that AdWords might be used to help promote special events, either on a national or local scale.

For instance, if I were going to be promoting a concert I might put in the band names and run a local campaign for the cities on the tour.

Or, if I were a real estate company with a big house that was open every weekend, I could do a bunch of national ads with "[city name] luxury home" etc. to attract buyers to an info page or an Open House advertisement (I know when I worked in RE before, in a low-income city, many of the buyers for our larger homes were from out of state).

Has anyone ever tried this? Anyone successful?

I would love to hear about your experiences with this use of AdWords, as it could make a great pitch to some current clients if it actually works (and a great way to utilize the GCAP certification!).

1:21 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've run quite a few of these types of campaigns quite successfully. There is definitely a market out there for running short term blitz campaigns through PPC to promote a one time event or series of events.

There is also the possibility of running these for multiple GEOs(such as hitting the top cities for a new movie release, running sequential campaigns for multiple GEOs for a concert tour, etc).

You need to determine what your success metrics are before you run this type of campaign. It's easy to blow through hundreds of thousands of impressions (or even millions), many clicks, and a large budget in a short amount of time.

Is your goal:
1. Impressions
2. Clicks to the website
3. Requests for more information
4. Ticket Purchase
5. On offline conversion (and how to do you measure it).
6. Etc

Is your intent:
1. Branding
2. Email acquisition
3. ROI
4. etc

As with most campaigns, you first need to determine the goals of the campaign, and then see how to best promote an event once the goals are understood.

Note: Somewhere on the boards is a discussion about running a short term campaign. However, can't seem to find it ATM.

3:50 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>Note: Somewhere on the boards is a discussion about running a short term campaign. However, can't seem to find it ATM. <<

I had assumed there must be, but after a few different searches I turned up empty handed as well.

>> We've run quite a few of these types of campaigns quite successfully...<<

Absolutely. Would you mind stickying me some examples of campaigns you've run that were successful (if you have any examples that are "declassified" so to speak)?

For the client I am thinking of, I would be sending traffic to a very simple web form, so my goal would most likely be signups (ticket purchases) and requests for info.

Have you (or anyone) ever run a campaign for this type of conversion? Was the conversion rate similar to the organic conversion rate?

If you happen to find that other thread, I would love to take a look at it.

8:02 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would get the ad approved early with a low budget, then increase the budget/impressions to coincide with the event. Just in case your ad gets stalled in the review process.
9:12 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> I would get the ad approved early with a low budget, then increase the budget/impressions to coincide with the event. Just in case your ad gets stalled in the review process. <<

Can you think of any specific reason why this type of ad would get killed on review? I've had ads disapproved before, but mostly for spelling mistakes that I didn't catch.

I haven't come across anything that would make me think this type of thing would be frowned upon.

Unless Metallica sued me for using their name ;)

(Just so we're clear, all of the examples I've given here have been wide of the mark for what I'm intending to do).

10:17 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Pre-approval will ensure that you run in full on the syndication network at the time of launch.
2:02 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of the major issues to confront is whether to put the date/explicit details in the ad copy.

If you put them in the ad copy, the CTR is usually lower (hence, can be more expensive to maintain the same position).

If you don't put them in the ad copy, then the CTR is higher, but the conversion percentage is generally lower.

For more information, purchase, etc type of campaigns, one of the best tactics that's worked is to also do free drawings for event swag (concert t-shirts, CDs, eBooks, etc - depends on the event) and maybe toss in a few free tickets in a separate drawing as well.

This gives you the ability to have users register without having to make a split second decision to buy.

With time based events this is very important for a couple reasons.

1. We value our time. Committing to an exact time period is something often people are hesitant todo.
2. Permission might need to be granted by a 3rd party (the gf/spouse for a concert, the boss for a conference, etc).

Therefore, it can be useful to offer a second conversion option besides just an ecommerce transaction. A registration allows you to contact people at a later date to stay in front of them and to keep their interest high.

As far as the above posts are concerned, it is best to set up an entire campaign first while keeping it paused. Let your rep know what you're doing and to please let you know when the ads are approved and ready to roll on search partners (and possibly content syndication) so that the campaign launches in a single complete stage instead of having it the traffic change as ads are approved for Google's traffic partners.