Last week we discussed the difference between content network advertising and search advertising.  Now, how can you manage your content campaign to maximize your PPC advertising results?

First, we always recommend creating a separate campaign for content network advertising. This allows you the freedom of keyword selection and ad copy variations. It also keeps your analytics separate so you can manage both search and content easily.

Selecting the Right Keywords for Content Placement

PPC AdvertisingGoogle decides which ads to place on a particular page based on the theme of the page (i.e., what is the article or site about?) and the keywords associated with the ad.

Using keywords, you are telling Google where you want your ad to appear based on the content or theme of a site.

So, the keywords you use to trigger your Ad placement need to be based on the type of content you feel would match your offer. Think about your target market and what they may be interested in at the time they would be open to your ad.  Start with the types of sites or articles you feel would be relevant and work backwards to figure out the keywords that you could use get placed on those sites.

Going back to the child-proofing example from last week, you might use keywords related to parenting, safety in the home or even expecting a baby.  Some keywords will overlap with the search campaign, but there are many keywords that would not be relevant in the search scenario that would be very useful getting you placed on a pertinent article.

Writing Ads for Content

In addition to using different keywords, you also need to write your ads differently when you are interrupting your reader as opposed to responding to a request.  Your ad needs to create a connection to what they are thinking about but also needs to have a call to action to encourage a response.  You have to convince them that they should stop what they are doing and take a detour that will benefit them instead of just sidetracking them.  Not an easy task, which is why you see such low CTRs in content network campaigns.

For example, if your ad is displayed next to an article about keeping children safe in the home, you want to use ad copy that identifies with the parents fears and guides them to visit your site to find products that will create a safe environment for their kids.  You are interrupting their line of thought and convincing them to take action but it’s all within the context of what they are thinking about at the time.

Find the Right Audience. Interrupt. Call to Action.

There are three main “take-aways” from understanding content network advertising:

  1. You need to focus on your target market and the theme of target sites and articles in order to find your customer at the right time and the right place.
  2. Your ad needs to meet the customer where they are mentally (i.e., thinking about the article they are reading) and be strong enough to interrupt them.
  3. You need a strong call to action to convince them to take a detour from what they are doing.

Next week we’ll talk about some of the tools Google AdWords has in place to help you with your content network campaigns.