Prime Time Slot: When is the Right Time to Run PPC Ads?
Life is not a matter of time; it’s a matter of timing. Timing is the difference between meeting the love of your life when at least one of you is unavailable, emotionally or otherwise, and meeting them when you are both prepared to approach the next step of your life. Timing is the difference between entering the job market when the position you’ve always dreamed of is open and entering the job market during a recession. Timing is the difference between airing an ad that was watched by millions of people and airing an ad during the graveyard shifts. Timing, excuse the hyperbole, is everything.
Ads that are aired during certain prime time programs, the Ashes say, are guaranteed to reach considerably more viewers than when those same ads are aired in a late night/early morning programming block. This is just common sense and even as the world of marketing has shifted from live television to the internet, this idea of a prime time slot for ads remains the same. For SEO services and marketers thinking of running a PPC ad to complement their usual marketing efforts, knowing just the right window of time to start your campaign could save you from wasting money on an uneventful campaign.
The Super Bowl ad phenomenon
In the world of marketing, Super Bowl ads have their own special place in the pantheon of advertisements. The Super Bowl is the culmination of the NFL season in the United States and in terms of cultural cachet; they are equivalent to the Ashes in cricket or the Wimbledon’s final in tennis. The Super Bowl is pretty much an annual national pastime and even those not interested in American football would still partake in the celebration, which makes it a pretty sizable commercial opportunity.
The sheer popularity of the Super Bowl gave birth to the Super Bowl ad, where brands cough up the necessary money to air an ad during the commercial break, guaranteeing that millions of people will be able to see what the brands have in store. For brands looking to create the biggest impact with their new product and/or campaign, the Super Bowl provides ample opportunity for them to do exactly that. There isn’t an apple to apple equivalent to the Super Bowl in the realm of digital marketing but it does underscore the importance of timing when you’re thinking of starting a PPC campaign.
‘Tis the season
For starters, certain products would only work best for certain seasons. If your business traffics in outdoor/camping/hiking gear for example, you wouldn’t want to run your PPC campaign in the middle of fall or winter when the only thing people are looking forward to is to spoon together inside the warm comfort of their blankets. Come spring however, once the flower starts to bloom, is when your campaign should start in full force as spring is the most popular season for hiking as the heat’s not so unbearable compared to the summer.
Another idea is to start your PPC campaign as you’re approaching the holiday season. For example, do you know why Apple’s line of iPhones always launches around September? By launching them close to the holiday season, the company intends to increase buzz around the product but not so close that the holiday shoppers would be caught off guard and you might want to consider adopting a similar strategy if your products are a bit too pricey to be considered an impulse buy.
Start analyzing your target market
If your target customer belongs in the business community, running your PPC during business hours might actually be a good idea as they probably won’t pay any attention to professional matters during the weekend. This is in contrast if you’re selling leisure products and inessential goods where timing your ad during breaks, near the end of office hours or on the weekends could prove to be the most beneficial since that’s when people are looking to unwind from work.
As with the Super Bowl issue, you must also consider if there are anything happening around you that might grab the attention of your potential customers. If there’s a music festival or any similar events happening in the weekend for example, your PPC ad might not be able to reach the millennial and generation Zs as their attention might be focused elsewhere. The launch of a blockbuster video game or a new Netflix show could also have the same effect so you’re going to have to keep your ears to the ground if your target market skews younger.
PPC for immediate results
Approaching the question of timing from another angle, let’s discuss the question of when you should consider PPC over SEO. For long term and organic traffic, focusing on SEO over PPC is still the ideal marketing method but PPC takes the cake when you find yourself in need of instant traffic. Unlike SEO, where you first have to focus on keyword research, crafting quality contents around that keyword and still have to wait for the results to come in, the result of PPC is instantaneous when done correctly, which should complement your SEO efforts pretty well during the earlier stages.