Google provides an entire advertising suite with different mediums, positions, and methods of targeting its users. You can place ads on search engines, search engines, non-search websites, apps and video websites. This blog is going to outline what Google ads campaigns are the most useful for venues that hire their space to event organisers.
Elements of Google PPC Ads
- Search Ads
- Display Network
- Video Ads
The list above is in an almost relevance and capability order, as search and display are likely to be the easiest to manage, video is dependent on content production, shopping will be dependent on whether you have an ecommerce store and for the sake of completion, App advertising will affect all but the most tech dominent venues around the country. Let’s explore how you can take advantage of each.
Search Ads for your Venue
PPC stands for pay click. It’s a straightforward model of advertising. A brand bids on the keywords it suspects its customers are searching for and you pay for every click on your ad. It can be useful for venues for generating extra demand when occupancy is low or expected demand isn’t there.
It’s hyper targeted because you can bid on specific keywords for event types that your venue may need at that moment. It’s quick to launch, its easy to adapt and tracked from click to goal (most venue’s goal is an enquiry or if they facilitate it, an online booking).
Venues managing Google Ads campaigns can see which keywords were clicked and the behaviour of the users acquired for each keyword. That insight can be useful for other areas of search marketing and testing keywords before earning them organically. Before earning organic ranks on search engines and social media, PPC allows you to test a keyword, and how the audience searching for it interacts with your brand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Local Search Ads
If you’ve read our blog on SEO for Venues, you’ll know that local search as important for venues as the top-ranking venue directories are. As a reminder (or if you haven’t read the blog), local search is when people are searching for something with a location determined, like ‘venue + city’. A large part of local search traffic is directed to Google Maps, that’s why for local searches, the first three map results show above all other organic results (and below the PPC ads).
It’s possible to create local search ads (also known as Google Maps ads) to promote your venue when people are searching for your target keywords on maps. With local search ads you pay for the lead (for example a call) instead of a click. Like with PPC, you can be hyper targeted and focus on specific keywords, for specific event types targeting searchers in a defined location, day of week, time of day and a range of other factors. Like all Google Ads campaigns, local search ads are tracked from click to website goal. They’re quick to set up and adapt as business needs to change and useful to create demand when it’s lacking.
With a large part of the market using maps for search, especially when location matters for their venue choice, and a model where a venue only pays for calls, there’s nothing to lose.
How Venues can Utilise the Display Network
The display network is a vast collection of websites and apps that Google buys space from. It’s offers both text and graphical positions but it’s possible to choose which types of ads you want to serve, the outlets you want to serve them and types of content you want them served alongside. It means you can build campaigns tailored to your venue’s target audience and marketing goals. Venues sell visually so the graphical, and larger positions in the display network work well. It means venues can serve visuals of their space and highlight its key benefits.
Like all Google Ads, display is powered by search, if a keyword has a high enough search volume you can target users that have recently searched for a specific keyword.
Doing that has the potential to put your venue in front of people who are actively searching for venues like yours, in your area.
If a keyword doesn’t have sufficient volume to target it on display, you can use audiences, as well as search targeting Google also provides audience targeting. It means you can build an audience of users who you suspect could be in the market for your venue. As audiences are based on the things people have searched the chances are some of the audience will be organising events while your campaign is active.
There will always be some irrelevant people in audiences and even on search – we’ve all searched for something we have no interest in but the moment a user’s searches for something, Google assumes they’re interested. The user is in that audience until they prove otherwise (gender mistaken identity is a common one) or enough time lapses. It doesn’t always get it right, if you want to see what Google has decided you’re interested in (and the audiences you could belong to) you can find out by visiting Google Ad center. Getting to know your own profile is a good way to understand audience targetting on Google.
Video is one of the most underutilised advertising mediums in the event industry, but it can be very powerful way to show off a venue. If a picture speaks a thousand words a video must say a million. Most of us have probably watched YouTube at work, even if it was just that Excel tutorial – and because Google owns YouTube the videos you see are based on the searches you’ve performed recently and the audiences you belong too.
With video ads you can target people that have recently searched for venues like yours. Yes, the dismissal rate is high but even five seconds of video is enough to tell people about your most important features and selling points and if you produce a compelling ad and they need a venue like yours, there’s no reason they won’t watch it all and visit your website.
Be where your audience is
That’s an old saying of ours, it was almost a strapline once. The message is clear, be where your audience is so when they’re looking for a venue, they find yours. With Google Ads it’s possible to be found when they search in search engines and rank above venue directory websites, it’s possible to rank on the map results with a local ad and if your target misses your search ads you have another chance of catching their attention with graphic and video ads.
- Identify which types of events you need attract the most
- Launch a Google Ads campaign targeting keywords and audiences for that event type on search, display, local and video
- Give each campaign an equal budget and run the campaign for two months