I moonlight as a singer/songwriter in the Los Angeles area. As an SEO/PPC expert, I’ve always wondered if setting up a Google Adwords content network campaign might be an effective way to get some new ears on my music. So today I embark on a SEM experiment that targets the fans I want to get. Explaining how I’m setting up the campaign is a textbook way to demonstrate what factors into a quality content network campaign. Even though this campaign targets the music industry, these same steps can be used to target any industry-specific demographic you’re looking to advertise to. This is also an open invitation to anyone who has already set up a successful campaign like this to add their two cents, although I suspect most music industry types aren’t the kind to share what they’ve found to work. That makes you ask why I would tell you what I’m doing? Well, I’m from the midwest, and we’re usually not the type to cut our wrists over helping others out.
First off, what I’ll do is figure out what kind of fans I want. A lot of people have told me I sound like a mix of John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Elliott Smith, and countless other male indie rock/pop artists. I want to get the general traffic that would dig that type of music, but I also want to target someone more specific as well. So what I’ll do is set up four initial groups:
1. Targeting John Mayer fans.
2. Targeting Jack Johnson fans.
3. Targeting Eco-activists (Note: I’m not a bleeding liberal, but as many of my Santa Monica neighbors, I strongly believe in paying due respect to mother nature).
4. Targeting fans of my favorite music.
Now take into consideration that content network campaigns must be set up entirely differently than regular search network campaigns. We’re not targeting as specific demographic, and we can’t be as specific to Google about the kind of pages we want to show up on. But the cool thing about content network is that we can use a bunch of general, broad keywords, and Google will take all of them into account as a whole. The result is that Google actually gets very close to figuring out the kinds of pages you’ll want to show up on!
For the John Mayer and Jack Johnson campaigns, I’m putting about forty general music keywords in, many of them pertaining to music genres that are similar to mine. I’m also throwing in some good action phrases like “buy music” and “listen to new music.” Then I’m adding a dozen or so additional phrases for each that pertain most to the individual artist who’s fans I’m trying to steal. I mean get to listen to my stuff. For example, for Jack Johnson, I’m adding phrases like “brushfire fairytales,” “jack johnson lyrics,” and “john mayer.” Why would I add “john mayer”? Well, it so happens a lot of Jack Johnson fans are also John Mayer fans, and vice versa. See how this works?
Next comes the text ads. You really have to consider exactly what kind of surfer is viewing the page. You want to try, as much as possible, to get them away from the content that’s more specific than yours. So your call to action better be really good and relevant. Here’s one of the ads I’m running:
Johnson’s Indie Alter Ego
Think Jack Johnson With More Umph
And Just As Much Heartfelt Writing.
Note how it’s targeting his listeners by giving them a frame of reference. Maybe they’d like someone with more umph? Actually, I don’t want Jack Johnson fans who don’t like a little umph listening to my songs because there’s less a chance they would buy my CD. So that’s why I’m still being very specific in the ad. I’ve got several others that ask specific questions like “Do You Like Great Lyrics?” and “Looking For New Artists?” in order to catch those people who are on specific kinds of pages. As with all ads, it’s usually a little trial and error to see what actually works.
As far as bidding goes, I’m starting out with a very low CPC. I don’t want to burn through too much budget initially. Even if my $.25/click max doesn’t yield impressions at first, that’s okay. I’ll just incrementally boost the groups until each one starts to get a healthy amount of quality traffic (leading to comments on my blog, MySpace adds, CD sales, song downloads, etc.).
I don’t have much time to go into all the details on the “Eco group” and the one targeting all the music I love, but the main differences between all of these groups are the dozen or so more specific phrases that give each group its own unique identity as a whole. In the “Eco group” I added phrases like “an inconvenient truth” and “save the world.” And for the group targeting people who’d like similar music to me, I just basically added my favorite bands list from myspace.
I’m really curious as to how this campaign will work out. I’ll definitely keep you posted, because right now I just don’t see really aggressive media targeting of the PPC markets.