It takes money to make money. Whether you are a non profit fundraising for the year or a corporate event maker hoping to sell out your event, it is going to take a couple of bucks to make sure people hear about your event. Using search engine marketing may seem like a risky cost at first, but if done correctly can help you rake in the dough. In fact, SEM may be your best bet to getting new audiences out to your event! That’s why we think it’s worth it to use SEM and so we came out with this list of tips to help you stretch your dollar further and get the most out of SEM.
It seems like such a simple, logical first step, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to set goals before diving into the world of pay-per-click advertising. Decide what it is you are trying to get out of your campaign (event registration, page views, traffic volume, site engagement, etc.) and then how you are going to measure it (cost per registration, CPM (cost per thousand impressions- another term for how many people view your advertisement-, revenue, etc.). These goals will help guide you as you decide whether or not to change your ad, see if your ad is effective, and understand if it is drawing people to your event.
Before you get started buying what you think is the most effective word for your event, test out google adwords to help you figure out the best way to promote your event. If you don’t already have a google adwords account, it is free and easy to use and set up. Under the google keyword planner tool, you can type in your event and google will suggest keywords or keyword groups that are related to your original query. You will want to look for words that have low competition and high search volume. This is the low hanging fruit. You will want to make sure that they keywords google suggests are the same keywords your audience is searching for. If they don’t match, search for the words or phrases in the google phrase box that your audience searches for and try again. After all, if your ad isn’t showing up on the right searches, you won’t be found very easily. With effective keyword research, your ad will appear in front of the audience you want, and may be one of just a few ads competing on the page (maybe even the only one) and generating more clicks!
A critical step for your advertisement is to make sure your advertisement links to the right landing page. If the link is sending people to your homepage, you are going to lose potential customers. If your advertisement links to the right landing page, make sure your landing page is simple, straightforward, and lets your customer do what they came there to do - register for your event! Make their lives easy. That’s what people want. If your landing page makes people jump through hoops and go through an entire process of clicking and submitting their email repeatedly, they will lose interest in paying for your event. If you can get them registered in about three minutes, you are doing great!
Most likely your event isn’t happening everywhere in the country, so why would you want to advertise to everybody in the country? If your event is being held in one city, make sure that you target that city. It doesn’t help if your event is in San Francisco but people from Boston are finding it. If your event travels and tours around the country, make sure to localize your advertisement for the right places. Localizing will help you compete for a bid as well as find the right people to come to your event. For the most part, with a few exceptions, people who attend your event will probably live within a fifty mile radius of where it is being held.
It takes a lot of work to make sure your advertisement is effective. Sometimes the solution to getting more clicks on your advertisement is as simple as changing which image you are using. Test out your advertisements and keep track of it regularly. Don’t just assume that because your ad is up and running that you’re in the clear and that it is time to sit back, relax, and see the clicks poor in. This is where the real hard work begins. You need to try using different advertisements for different search queries and see which ones generate the most clicks. Try out different advertisements for the same google search phrase, and see how your results vary. You may find that your original advertisement did not resonate with your buyers the way you had imagined. Once you find the right advertisement for your event, you can stick with it, or keep on experimenting. I would suggest trying out three different advertisements to see which one works best.
How have you used SEM to promote your event? What tips and tricks do you find work best for you?