It’s long been known that paid search and television campaigns have a symbiotic relationship and that television drives searches. Now it’s possible for search marketers to target and boost bids on select keywords when their television ads air.
TV viewers are most likely to search for an advertised product within 90 seconds of airing, according to Wywy, the firm enabling campaign synchronization between TV and search. Online health insurance exchange eHealth.com recently launched the first search-television synced campaign on the platform in the US.
Wywy’s SearchSync product allows eHealth.com to automatically boost search bids in Google AdWords for the three minutes (or longer if desired) after their commercials air.
“We’re excited about wywy’s potential to move our online ads to the top search position in the critical minutes after a TV ad has run, because we think people are more likely to search for eHealth.com at that time,” said Jeff Bernstein, eHealth.com’s senior vice president, marketing.
To find out more about how the product works, I spoke with Wywy’s vice president of sales and business development for North America Alan Ives, and Christopher Wendels, Wywy’s head of product who has a background in search and leads new advertising technology development.
Wendels said that SearchSync is something they’ve wanted to launch for a long time but that it wasn’t until Google quietly enhanced the responsiveness of the AdWords interface last fall that it became possible.
Until then, campaign activation delays of several minutes made it impossible to get ads into the auction within an acceptable time frame. Last fall, during testing, the Wywy team found that response time dropped to just 30 to 60 seconds. Wendels says Google eventually confirmed the update and the optimization was enough to make SearchSync feasible.
SearchSync leverages the AdWords API to make changes to linked campaigns based on Wywy’s recognition software that detects when TV commercials air. AdWords campaigns can be mapped to certain commercials.
Wendels says they recommend advertisers duplicate existing AdWords campaigns that they want to use for TV syncing in their accounts, or at least have a separate campaign dedicated to it. Duplication is recommended to keep keyword and ad combinations in tact, keeping ad rank history stable, and allow advertisers to more easily trump the bid of the control campaign. It also makes reporting impact of the SearchSync campaign versus the control cleaner.
When the software detects one of the commercials is airing an AdWords API call activates the SearchSync campaign. The bid boosting in the SearchSync campaign is aimed at improving search visibility during the key minutes after commercials air. Typically Wywy sees 80 percent of search clicks come in within three minutes after a commercial airs.
Synchronizing brand keywords is the most obvious approach in targeting SearchSync campaigns, but advertisers can also run complementary campaigns (i.e. retailers syncing search with TV campaigns from brands they carry) or target competitors with keywords tied to their TV campaigns.
Ives also said they tend to steer toward targeting broader, generic keywords to drive more traffic during these short periods of heightened interest. Ives added that they’ll often see impressions jump for 20 to 30 TV-inspired keywords, but may focus particularly aggressive bidding on five or so depending on the strategy.
Wywy also offers social advertising syncing to television campaigns. Another product, SiteSync, enables TV advertisers to switch the home page on their websites after their commercials air to feature the products being advertised.
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