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Seven Tips for Marketing Events With Paid Search

by Brian Combs  |  
March 31, 2009

Increasingly, people are using search engines as their first source of information. Nearly half (49%) of all US Internet users use search engines on a typical day, according to a Pew Internet study.

But for promoting events, search engine optimization (SEO) may not be the first marketing channel that comes to mind—and rightly so. SEO campaigns can take months to prove effective, and most events, unless they are annual or seasonal, do not have the time to build a successful SEO strategy.

On the other hand, emailing event information to a mailing list is a good method of online promotion—but with increased marketing clutter in the inbox and more consumers using social media for communication than ever before, you stand a good chance of getting lost in the noise.

Moreover, regional event coordinators may not even turn to online promotions at all, assuming their online audience is too scattered, and so they opt to instead promote their event via local or grassroots efforts only.

But paid-search marketing, with its ability to target geographically, is a great means of increasing exposure for local events, whether fundraisers, conferences, concerts, or anything else.

When running a paid-search campaign as part of your event promotion, consider the following tips:

1. Create an informative and engaging landing page

Be sure to answer the "who, what, where, when, and why" questions instantly when someone arrives on your site. And if there's registration for your event, make it as easy as possible for people to complete the form.

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Brian Combs is senior vice-president at Apogee Search ( Contact him via

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  • by Kevin Tue Mar 31, 2009 via web

    Great stuff. Wish you could have expanded on this nugget:
    "...having a Google AdWords account with an establish history and high Quality Score is important if you want to generate material traffic."

    Not sure what the relationship is there. In my own limited experience doing it, I find AdWords a frustrating, ongoing series of barriers thrown up. Get flagged, fix it, get flagged for something else, fix that, on and on until you finally throw in the towel and bid $5 for every keyword and then all of a sudden no more flags!

    Would love to figure out how you get a hi Qual Score without paying thru the nose ;)

  • by Brian Combs Tue Mar 31, 2009 via web


    Thank you for your kind words. Addressing Quality Score is a big enough topic for it's own article! The short advice is as follows:

    - Click Through Rate is still very important. In fact, QS makes it more important than it's been in some time.
    - Start with highly targeted keywords and build out campaign over time (harder to do with a time-sensitive event campaign).
    - Write several ads and test them. Keep the ones that work; toss the ones that don't. If none of them work, write more ads.
    - Build (and test) new landing pages, if needed
    - Complain to your AdWords rep (I've seen this work).

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