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Thread: PPC + Google Trends for Seasonal Campaigns

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    Karl's Avatar
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    PPC + Google Trends for Seasonal Campaigns

    A change in season often results in the emergence of a different market trend. Online advertisers often want to take advantage of spikes in the market demand by advertising certain brands aggressively. These products and services experience a high demand at that particular time of the year.

    A PPC (pay-per-click) campaign is one of the more cost-effective and dynamic ways to adapt to seasonal changes in advertising. This online advertising method brings instant results to take advantage of the specific time frame.

    The keyword-based structure of PPC allows advertisers to ride the crest of the seasonal trend. Internet searches for certain products intensify at specific points in time. A travel agency can take advantage of the beginning of summer, for example. It can launch a PPC campaign and register keywords for beach getaways and other vacations.

    Advertisers can check for seasonal trend spikes using online services such as Google Trends, Google’s Insight for Search and Google Hot Trends. The services can test certain keywords to check their popularity.

    Google Trends and Keyword Perception

    The Google Trends service, in particular, can show whether the perception of the keyword is positive or negative. Aside from a graph showing the rise and fall of a trend, it marks high spots and connects them to the news item that created them. If the travel agency conducts a search for “Bali”, it will determine that most popular news about that location link with bombings. This will convince the agency that it is an undesirable keyword for due to the negative connotations.

    Historical data can also predict searches that will be popular during the season. The information stored in Google Trends dates back to 2004, allowing advertisers to determine consistent seasonal trends effectively. The word “beach” shows consistent popularity spikes on Google Trends. The rise in popularity has appeared mid-year, every year since 2004. This would give travel agencies a valid basis to launch PPC campaigns for beaches during that time.

    The short-term structure of PPC services also allow advertisers to launch specific seasonal campaigns at pre-determined times. Companies can set aside specific portions of their budget to launch these campaigns. The structure for these campaigns will already be in place, and advertisers can simply activate or terminate them at the beginning and end of each particular season. A travel agency’s summer campaign can be scheduled from May to July each year. The keywords can be registered ahead of time to prevent conflict with other advertisers. These can then be launched precisely when the trend arises, and terminated exactly when it begins to wane.

    The Google Trends service also allows users to check trends for specific locations. This can be used to determine specific localized trends. The PPC method can take advantage of this. Advertisers can structure local campaigns to take advantage of localized trends, without affecting larger campaigns. This data can also be used to adjust an existing larger campaign. Some regions in the United States may show a summer trend for skiing instead of beaches. This can be used to launch a unique summer campaign for that area.

    A seasonal trend may spike or wane earlier in one area than in others. Advertisers can then adjust the scope of the campaign without losing the seasonal opportunity. The travel agency (in the example) can utilize the climate changes in different states to determine which locations experience summer earlier. This can be used to launch a summer PPC campaigns in those areas before launching the nationwide campaign.

    PPC is Active

    Since seasonal campaigns are relatively short, advertisers can also use the flexibility of PPC to adapt to unexpected changes in the market. Unforeseen news may suddenly generate unfavorable buzz around certain keywords. Most services allow changing registered keywords in the middle of the campaign. This can be used to maintain significant brand awareness during the season by shifting with market trends. Political unrest in a commonly popular vacation spot may result in a decrease in tourism. An advertising travel agency can change its register another keyword to drive interest in an alternative locale.

    PPC services also allow advertisers to check the effectiveness of their campaign. The number of unique hits generated by registered keywords is logged regularly. This gives real-time feedback on the campaign. If a campaign is running on more than one search engine, advertisers can see which website is driving more traffic to their website. Because PPC subscriptions are relatively shorter than other advertising methods, a campaign can be terminated once it is deemed unsuccessful. This would help smaller vendors to pinpoint the exact search engine that drives significant traffic to their site. A small-scale travel agency can then choose to end a PPC subscription to Ask Jeeves and invest solely on a campaign via Google.

    Simply put, PPC campaigns are a cost-effective way of managing the immediate reactions to a product or service. This allows advertisers to maximize seasonal trends by targeting specific users and trends. Its flexibility also gives advertisers an almost real-time ability to react to market changes. Both large and small vendors can also avail of PPC services directly from a search engine or via third-party companies.

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    Will.Spencer (20 March, 2009)

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