Successful PPC Campaigns for One-Off Events:

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By Rachel Smith
on 28/2/13

Within the ‘Pay Per Click’ Team we deal with a wide range of clients and often those clients are looking to promote ‘one-off’ events as opposed to long term campaigns. So how do you work a ‘one-off’ campaign to make sure the client receives a good return on their investment?

Often we notice trends developing over time and we can implement optimising techniques in conjunction with these trends however with a ‘one-off’ event it is more important to notice the trends early as the campaigns may only be running for a short period of time.

Recently we provided a successful PPC advertising campaign for a ‘one-off’ weekend event in London. After extensive research we decided to split the budget between campaigns in the ‘search’ and ‘display’ networks (including a remarketing campaign). The campaigns began 30 days before the event so we had to hit the ground running! With a limited amount of time available here are 5 tips to make sure the client receives a good return on their management fee:

1) Preparation is key - We are fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to providing PPC Campaigns for 'one-off' events however each business has its own personality so full preparation is essential. Researching your project, thinking about your target audience and what action you would like your audience to perform can help decide what type of campaigns are most suitable. For optimising purposes, it is a great idea to create a Google Analytics account and to apply both conversion and remarketing tracking tags to the relevant website before any campaigns are activated.

2) The importance of display advertising - Often advertisers prefer to focus on the search network, dismissing the display network as it is considered to be more useful as a branding exercise. However we have found ads appearing in the display network have the potential to receive a higher volume of conversions and at a lower ‘cost per conversion’ than search network ads when advertising ‘one-off’ events! Naturally results will vary depending on the type of event however using adverts on closely themed websites in the display network can be beneficial in the lead up to an event. To make the most out of display network campaigns it is beneficial to:

  • Use a wide variety of text, image and if possible video ads as you can always pause low converting ads at a later date
  • Use a strong call to action in the ads so your audience know what action you want them to perform and include the date and time of the event to capture the attention of the audience
  • Keep the landing page quality score strong by using a page that is highly relevant to the event and includes a clear option to complete a conversion without clicking off the page
  • Use a variety of targeting methods such as closely themed keywords or closely related placements and further refine your target audience by selecting ‘topics’ & ‘interests’ under the display network tab

3) Check your campaigns daily - With a limited amount of time available it is even more important than usual to check your campaigns daily and weed out those low converting placements, keywords, ads and campaigns. If you are on a tight budget remember to check what days and hours the ads receive the strongest results and optimise bids or amend the ad scheduling accordingly. It is also important to note the volume of visits and subsequently the volume of converting traffic tends to increase in the few days prior to the event so it’s a good idea to save a good portion of the budget for this period of time.


4) Use Google Analytics - Google Analytics can be a great way to provide you with up to date data from the moment your campaigns go live. For example, the ‘Matched Search Query’ report in ‘Traffic Sources’ enables you to establish what your audience are searching for immediately and can help with negative keyword ideas from day one!

5) Make those big decisions quickly - You may notice data patterns emerging in the first few days and with a limited amount of time it is vital that big decisions are made quickly. Ask yourself; is there potential to reallocate budget to the strongest performing network, remove under performing campaigns or write a new set of adverts?

Hopefully these tips can help you make the most of your PPC budget when advertising a ‘one-off’ event however if you would like assistance advertising your event, please contact Return on Digital to see how we can help.