Carnival season is here and Mardi Gras day is right around the corner. In New Orleans, the city that I call home, the excitement is palpable. The traditional treat of the season, king cake, can be found everywhere, and people are planning their schedules around parades. Figuring out what to wear can be a big task; maybe you’re making a costume for the big day, or perhaps you’re taking a tux to be dry cleaned before one of the dozens of balls. For me, I’ll balance my marketing life with my New Orleans life, and in doing so, I started to think… wow, PPC is the Mardi Gras parade goer of marketing. Sounds crazy? Stick with me on this, and I’ll explain.
Anyone Can Do It
It’s true; anyone can run a pay-per-click search campaign. You could set one up right now if you really wanted. It is also true that anyone can attend a Mardi Gras parade. Sure, some people will have to travel further than others, but they are open to the public. The point is, they’re both available to you, and if you wanted to, you could make them happen.
As far as PPC goes, with a few clicks you could get your ads online, but without knowing how to run an ad campaign properly, you can lose a lot of money in a short period of time. The downside for anyone attending a Mardi Gras parade isn’t as bad, but if you go into it blindly, you are way more likely to attend a parade that isn’t worth your time. You could even potentially end up in parade-related traffic and never get to see the parade (it’s awful).
Don’t worry though. There are effective ways to do both of these things.
If you’re at a Mardi Gras parade, you will want to be noticed by parade riders so that they throw you the best “throws.” Dressing colorfully, but not matching everyone else, is a great way to get noticed. Most parades have signature “throws” that you can only catch from them. For example, the Krewe of Muses will throw hand decorated stilettos. If you pay attention, you will notice that those in the crowd who stand out the most not only take home the most throws, they also take home the best throws.
Let’s not forget that Mardi Gras is really all about the kids and their families. Getting your child noticed by parade riders is a trick that people figured out years ago. When you attend a parade, you will see that the families who have done this before have small ladders with bench seats on top. This guarantees that their 5-year-old is well above the crowd and more likely to get a stuffed animal thrown their way.
It’s true; these same strategies will work for your PPC campaign. For starters, you need to get noticed. This means using ad extensions like call-outs and location extensions. These extra bits of info will expand the size of your ad and can help draw an eye to them. Consider the extensions the equivalent of your extra bit color that helps you stand out.
Just like those ladders that get your kids high above everyone else, you will want to make sure your ads are appearing high above your competitors. Doing this is no easy task. For your ad to rank better than your competitors’ ads, you need to improve your quality score and adjust your bidding strategy.
Are these concepts new to you? Was the Mardi Gras parade ladder new to you? Sometimes it pays to know a pro.
PPC Pro Tips
No matter if you are going to see parades in Mobile, AL or coming to see the real deal in New Orleans, it pays to know someone who has experience. Not only can a local help you pick out the right parades, but they can also tell you the best place to watch them and how to get there with minimal traffic.
The same holds true for PPC. Sure, you can try to do it all yourself, but working with a professional who is certified is going to make life a lot easier. For example, the equivalent of knowing what parade to go to might be knowing what type of ads to run and what ads aren’t worth your investment. Additionally, just like knowing the best way to get to a parade without getting stuck in traffic, a PPC expert will make sure you are delivering your ads to potential customers using the most effective bidding strategy.