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Capitalize on Current Events with PPC

Capitalize on Current Events with PPC

In my last blog post on real-world influences on search behavior, I bring up the idea of thinking “outside the pivot table” to grow PPC accounts (I know it’s a hard pill to swallow for the PPC’r who eats, sleeps, and breathes pivot tables).

Let’s say you’re the PPC manager for cowboybootsonline.com, an online cowboy boot retailer. What does your keyword list look like? Is it kind of like this:

  • Cowboy boots
  • Buy cowboy boots
  • Justin boots online
  • Ariat boots

Obviously this is a very short, highly unorganized list. Hopefully you’ve built the campaign out quite a bit more. However, your PPC campaign can be a lot more than this just the simple product/service keyword list.

Capitalizing on current events doesn’t have to end with an agency’s or company’s social media team.

Is it really already March? I swear I was taking down the Christmas tree just last week! Now, if you’re from Houston, March means one thing: not March Madness or St. Patrick’s Day, but the rodeo. A month of country music, bullriding, BBQ, and all things deep-fried.

It’s the one time of the year we can all play role of the stereotypical Texan and get away with it.

Now, back to cowboy boot company.

Below you can see the search volume trends for “Houston rodeo” over the last few years.

houston rodeo

Now check out the current SERP for “houston rodeo”:


As the PPC manager for cowboybootsonline.com, you’re licking your chops at this point. Literally zero competition. You’ll look like a PPC genius!

Targeting “Houston rodeo” searches with unique ad copy with rodeo related promotions would be a great way to “boot” (see what I did there?) that post-holiday sales slump.

This would also be a great time to run a PPC campaign as the PPC manager for a heartburn medicine company. Nothing says heartburn like bacon-wrapped deep-fried Snickers with a side of chili.

A few good, albeit hypothetical, examples could include:

  • A company that buys/sells sports apparel could have cashed in on “Andre Johnson trade” searches by serving ads that include text along like “Sell Your Johnson Jersey”
  • Back in late 2014, news headlines were dominated by a suspected White House intruder. I’m looking at you, home security service companies on this one.
  • The llama drama last week could have been used by your local zoo to help drive ticket sales.
  • Targeting extreme weather forecast searches would be a great time for a home appliance repair company to generate awareness with PPC ads that highlight furnace, heater or A/C tune up specials.

Take a cue from any successful social media manager and include more than keyword lists and sets of ad copy in your strategy. Incorporate a plan to take advantage of current events. Be it things that happen all the time (rodeo, the SuperBowl, the holidays, etc.) or events that pop up (llamas, White House intruders, extreme weather, etc.)

TL;DR Don’t be afraid to go beyond your standard keyword list to cultivate PPC account growth by utilizing current events.

Davis Baker
Davis is the PPC Team Lead at Forthea and a digital advertising veteran of six years. Outside of the office, you can find Davis running, riding his dirt bike, or searching for the perfect cup of coffee (freshly ground and brewed with a French press. Anything less just won't cut it).


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