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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

3 Secret Tools for Presidential Election Advertising Campaigns

I'm intrigued with the notion of real-time advertising, reacting to a current event offline that leads to a spike in searches online and displaying advertising alongside those searches. Examples of these kinds of events that translate to online advertising opportunities include the Super Bowl and the recent YouTube Debate. I've devoted some of my firm's AdWords R&D budget to testing the effectiveness of real-time advertising. Speaking with a journalist about this topic yesterday and seeing the Google's (GOOG) YouTube is officially an election tool post on BloggingStocks prompted me to detail how 3 of Google's tools can be used for presidential election advertising campaigns. This is a continuation of the CNN YouTube Presidential Debate AdWords Experiment. These are the tools:
  1. Google Hot Trends
  2. Google AdWords
  3. Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)
Here's a specific example of how I used them in a recent online advertising experiment. First, check the search trends data when a current event is taking place:

iowa straw poll search trends

Notice items #1 and #5. Drilling down into the iowa straw poll search trends for that day:

iowa straw poll

I bought these keywords (using this keyword bidding strategy) via Google AdWords and ran a short term test for part of the day on Saturday (reacting to the search trends) and then 2 full days afterwards:

google adwords results

Notice that the exact matches [iowa straw poll results] and [iowa straw poll] yielded the most ad impressions and clicks. Also, the average CPC (cost per click) was a mere 13 cents. Think about that. For less than the cost of postage, a presidential candidate could have acquired a visitor to their election campaign web site. How much would a direct mail advertising campaign have cost to acquire 1,820 visitors to their site? How much would a radio or TV or print ad campaign have cost to generate that much interest? Remember, too, that impressions are free. What would it have been worth a presidential candidate to have their message displayed 41,552 times when potential voters were searching for keywords like iowa straw poll? Can you see why search engine advertising is so effective?

It's worth pointing out that I simply threw these new "iowa straw poll" keywords into the existing ad group I'd built for the YouTube Debate AdWords Experiment. Had I built a more specific landing page, the quality scores would have been higher and the minimum bids lower. (See a helpful explanation of minimum bids on eWhisper). The reason I could use the existing ad group is dynamic keyword insertion (excellent DKI guide via RedFly Marketing). I had to pay some higher minimum bids initially but once the ads ran a bit and the CTRs were good for the high volume keywords, the quality scores improved and the minimum bids dropped. For the highest search volume keyword, the minimum bid even dropped below 5 cents. Here are the ads I had in rotation using DKI:

dynamic keyword insertion ads

Here's the landing page from the ads:
Want more details on these kinds of real-time advertising strategies using Google AdWords? Follow the initial advertising experiment:
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Blogger michael said...

I am trying a similar strategy at a new blog called . I will look at the daily hot trends and create posts and use PPC to drive some traffic. Love your ideas.

Wed Aug 15, 09:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks, Michael. Good luck with your new blog. BTW, you might find TagMuse helpful for generating blog topic ideas. Here's the FAQ.

Wed Aug 15, 06:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rick said...

Fascinating post (again!) – I really enjoy the Apogee Weblog, I check it everyday and love your case studies. I should buy you a beer (or 12) someday! =)

Thu Aug 16, 11:05:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks, Rick. Glad to hear you find this blog useful. I wish I had more time to write on a more regular basis. Many of the posts I write, though, are pretty detailed and take a fair amount of time to research.

BTW, this blog post was mentioned in an article on Wired. Very cool.

Sat Aug 18, 09:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous SEO Services said...

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Wed Oct 01, 07:19:00 AM EDT  

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