Happy 4th of July! It’s a weekend packed with picnics, sparklers and the smell of barbeque in the air while we celebrate our freedom and those who fought to earn it for us. By the way, I think it’s like a new unspoken rule that you must play Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ as the soundtrack to every fireworks display. After the National Anthem, of course.

Who would have ever thought that a Katy Perry song would earn that kind of status? You would have thought it would have been, like, Elton John. Oh well, she’s a cool chick and it’s a cool song.

Let’s have a little celebration of our own to kick off your long holiday weekend with some fantastic PPC tips to kick your campaigns into high gear for the dog days of summer. It’s been a quiet week for Google, but Bing is rocking on with some new upcoming expert Q&A that you won’t want to miss.

Speaking of expert insights, there are plenty of those in today’s roundup from around the web. PPC Hero has some bangin’ resources up for grabs for getting in on the social advertising game, and 3Q Digital offers an overview of the new Gmail Sponsored Promotions interface – yep, that means native ads in Gmail. Sweet!

I know you’ve got some partying to do, so let’s get right to it.


Google’s been busy gearing up for the weekend…

…because we’d have better luck catching lightning bugs than finding exciting news or tips on the official Google blogs this week. On the Inside AdWords blog, you’ll hear the unfamiliar sound of crickets chirping. Not a peep, which is rather unusual for Google’s primary AdWords resource.

Does Google have something big up its sleeve for next week when we all return from a much-needed long weekend? Time will tell, but it’s also entirely possible that their contributors just so happened to take a timely vacay over Independence Day. Can’t blame them there.

On the AdWords Agency Blog, we have some more commentary on Google’s recent study that showed an 80 percent boost in top-of-mind awareness for branded PPC campaigns. It’s a pretty short summary, but talks about how L’Oreal tapped into paid search advertising to boost brand awareness in 2012 with the popular “ombre” hairstyle. The company used a variety of tactics to foster increased brand recognition:

  • Developed of a home product to replicate salon treatments.
  • Produced YouTube content on the ombre hairstyle.
  • Owned search on the “ombre” term.
  • Targeted the right audience with search ads at the right time, pointing them to helpful marketing materials.

Get the full scoop at the AdWords Agency Blog.

If you missed it, you should also check out the analysis of the results at Think with Google, which includes some other compelling examples of how brands tied PPC cohesively into a multi-pronged marketing strategy and achieved widespread brand recognition.

These examples really solidify the concept of how successful you can be with PPC when you use it to enhance your overall marketing campaign, rather than treat it as a stand-alone tactic. They also successfully illustrate how search is used to connect with your audience at each stage in the process:

  1. Understanding your target audience. Use search trends and analytics data to inform your marketing efforts.
  2. Reaching your target audience. Bid on the best, targeted search terms based on your research.
  3. Engaging your target audience. Influence your audience by providing searchers with the precise information they need in the “moments that matter.”


Moving on to Bing…

Bing’s next Ask an Expert series kicks off on July 14th, and you won’t want to miss it. From Monday, July 14th to Friday, July 18th, Bing Ads evangelist and industry blogger John Gagnon will be offering tips and answering your questions in Bing’s LinkedIn group. The focus: optimization strategy and Excel.

Leave your questions in the group comments section, and John will answer and offer advice throughout the week. And of course, if you have experiences or expertise of your own to share, you’re welcome to do that, too. Get the details here.

We need more data! You asked; Bing answered, delivering on our insatiable demand for Big Data with an improved user interface now enabling you to review accounts with up to 100,000 keywords. The ad groups and ads tabs are now capable of handling a larger volume of data, too. They’re piloting accounts with 250,000 keywords, so that may be coming down the line soon. More here.

Case studies are great. If you’re an agency or consultant with colleges or universities as clients, this one’s for you: Bing has some insights on how the digital shift has impacted the higher education industry, and let’s just say it’s good. Most prospective students now research schools online before applying, and 85% of colleges are taking applications online.

There’s a huge opportunity to connect with prospective students in the search world. Get tips for doing so, winning keyword combinations and more by checking out Bing’s Fall Semester insights slide deck here.


Elsewhere on the web…

PPC Hero and Hanapin Marketing are presenting a Live Landing Page Audit webinar on Thursday, July 10th. Great resource if you’re looking for ways to hone your landing pages. I always find these webinars incredibly valuable, even when I’m already well-versed in a subject. Getting another expert’s perspective can spark some pretty incredible ideas. Register here.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions finally has its own user interface, now separate from the AdWords dashboard. 3Q Digital breaks it down for you here. If you haven’t yet experimented with these native email ads, now’s the time. The new interface offers robust targeting features and flexible budgeting options.

How do you qualify your PPC leads? Qualifying your leads is a critical part of the process; otherwise, you’re wasting valuable advertising dollars. Clix Marketing offers up 11 hacks to qualify your leads, ranging from negative keywords to prioritizing leads for your sales team and more. Get ‘em here.

Check out this great infographic that grades social media networks from PPC Hero – and, download this incredible Social PPC Toolkit and get a detailed social ads guide, recordings of live presentations and a handy checklist that walks you through the whole social advertising process, including creating personas. Face it: Social advertising isn’t going anywhere – time to get with the program!

Hmm…so, did you ever just get so incredibly frustrated with your clogged-up mess of AdWords campaigns that you feel like just kicking it all to the curb and starting fresh before you drive yourself bat-s&^@ crazy? It might not be such a bad idea, after all. WordStream reveals three reasons to kiss it bye-bye and start over.

The time to schedule your holiday search ads is…NOW! Are ya kidding me? PPC Hero is dead serious about this time-saving strategy. Yes, we’re talking holidays as we head into Independence Day. Get some advice for planning ahead here.

Now that I’ve planted thoughts of the holiday season in your mind, I’ll send you off to enjoy your mid-summer 4th of July celebrations. Go get inspired with Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and prepare to reign supreme over your keywords. Now, be sure to start thinking about your holiday promotions while you watch those sparklers light the sky.