3 Successful Short-Term Ideas for PPC Campaigns that Get Results

Posted on July 28, 2015 in

You’ve got a tight budget and want to get noticed. We can trickle out a tiny spend and make a limited impact, or try to make a big splash in the short term.


A short-term PPC campaign can be a great way to make this impact. It’s a fast run that’s good for learning and success. Quick ad runs are also great in a number of other situations:


  • To edge out tough competition
  • To increase brand awareness
  • To capture high-frequency traffic
  • To launch or relaunch a brand, service, or product


Short-term PPC campaigns can save the day if all goes well. For quick runs, there are three strategies you can almost always count on—whether your digital marketing needs a shot in the arm or a defibrillator.


1 – Weather-Inspired Campaigns

For small businesses and national brands alike, the weather can work to your advantage: Weather-triggered ads deliver 127% higher CTRs and 117% higher purchase considerations.


How does the weather affect your audience’s relationship to your product or services? We’ve all come home to find a flier from a roofing or siding contractor stuck in our front door after a big storm, but other industries can use this strategy by thinking outside the box a little bit.


  • Tech and software companies, post-storm is a good time to remind your audience about your cloud-based backup feature.
  • Finance professionals, your audience is hungry for security after bad weather, and might be especially interested in a better interest rate than they’re currently earning now that they’ve cashed out a bit for home repairs.
  • Fashion retailers, are you bringing rain boots back this season? Are your wrinkle-resistant fabrics great in crazy weather?


Local businesses are naturally aware of their audience’s weather conditions. National brands can target weather events that become national news, or set up a weather dashboard to monitor  their biggest local regions. There are also AdWords Scripts that can automatically alter a campaign’s strategy based upon local weather.


2 – Newsjacking for PPC

Newsjacking is often considered an SEO strategy, but it works for a short PPC run as well. A small business can do a really focused campaign based on a local story just as creatively as a national brand can target national news.


Big news you can tailor to your advertisements might include:

  • An election year
  • New technology
  • New discoveries


Earlier this year, Oreo created a multimedia promotion in the UK based on an anticipated solar eclipse. From video, to social media and digital ads, to print—Oreo planned ahead and capitalized on a big news event in a very big way.


A word of caution: take care to avoid getting your brand involved in any kind of negative news. You don’t want to try to profit from someone’s tragedy—as in a natural disaster—and you don’t want your brand associated with any kind of scandal.


Be the first to respond to big news by identifying a few kinds of news events that your brand might be able to relate to or that your audience might be particularly interested in. Prepare some basic landing pages and ads that can be finished with details when news actually breaks. Set up Google Alerts to notify you when relevant keywords make the news, and start your ad campaigns before the competition does—or pause campaigns if things look scandalous.


3 – Event-Based Ads

Other events can be the focus of a targeted, short-term ad crusade as well:


  • Big sporting events
  • Holidays
  • Large local events
  • Changing of seasons


You may have seen how Oreo “won” Super Bowl XLVII a couple years ago. (Oreo is not sponsoring this post, but come on—they’re killing it.) A power outage caused some of the lights to go out for more than a half-hour, but ten minutes in, Oreo tweeted a custom image of a cookie under a single spotlight with copy that read, “You can still dunk in the dark.” It went viral almost instantly.


Oreo got all the clicks and engagement on their tweet that any marketer wants for his PPC ad. They pulled it off by being forward-thinking enough to dedicate 15 team members to social media during the big game.


A Google ad, however, won’t show up as fast as a social media post, so plan ahead as much as possible. When it’s not possible, try to target events that will still be relevant by the time your ad gets eyes:


  • Discuss upcoming events at your weekly staff meeting.
  • Map out how you take advantage of holidays and seasonal changes.


Take Your Success One Step Further With Short-Term PPC

Whether you just need a boost to your brand awareness, or you’re ready to dive into PPC marketing, a well-planned short-term PPC campaign can be just the win you need. Decide which strategy lends itself best to your business model and your audience, and start crafting a strategy!