During the Presidential Campaign season I didn't realize I used search marketing for a very unique tactic - Political Rapid Response. In fact, while moderating a panel on search marketing at AAPC a lot of folks came up to me after the panel and asked me to elaborate on using search for Rapid Response. In this YouTube video, you can hear Peter Greenberger at 1:20 singing our accolades using search for Rapid Response. We used Rapid Response in quite a number of very high profile situations including:
- Sarah Palin Defense - Forget about the day she was announced as McCain's running mate which is a whole different story, the story I like to tell is when I was called over to McCain's Hotel in Minneapolis on Labor Day during the convention to fix some search problems. In particular the truly disgusting blogging stories that tried to say that Governor Palin lied about giving birth to her last baby. Besides running Rapid Response on that story, we also bought words around the most search on keywords including Palin Nude Photo, Palin is Hot, Palin Vogue Photo and Sarah Palin Photos.
- Joe The Plumber - You can see this post I made watching the search results on Joe The Plumber and you'll see we had a search campaign running within minutes of Senator McCain mentioning Joe The Plumber. That night I watched that debate from McCain campaign HQ in Crystal City, but had no idea it was going to be mentioned and built that campaign from scratch on the fly. Not only that, I put in thousands of economic and financial services terms in over night.
- ACORN Voter Fraud - While driving my daughter to a doctor's appointment I had Fox News on when they were talking about a breaking story that involved fraudulent voter registration records submitted by ACORN. By the time I got home, I built a search campaign around ACORN and waited for the results to pop. It took a few days for the rest of MSM to pick the story up, but when it did, the campaign was already ready to go.
- Countering Joe Biden's Announcement
Rapid Response doesn't just have to be for political campaigns. Issue Advocacy can certainly use it as well as private companies and even news organizations (ex - Fox Sports). So how do you actually use search for Rapid Response?
- Dedicated News Hounds - Of course political campaigns have a war room, but for a variety of reasons I wasn't tapped into it. I kept Fox News, CNN, and CNBC running in the background of my office so I was very likely to catch breaking stories. You also of course can use Google Trends multiple times per day.
- Google Trends Is Your Best Friend - Even if you get a story elsewhere, Google Trends is helpful because it quantifies how hot a story is and helps get you started with keyword development.
- Website Access - The person building the campaign must either have an in-depth knowledge of your website to know where to point the traffic to or access to someone who can build landing pages on the fly.
- Autonomy - The person or group building the search campaign needs autonomy to build it on the fly. Sure you might have some legal approvals, but the way to lose out on the traffic is to get bogged down in an approval process. Don't lose your traffic with a slow approval process.
- Budget - Some times we were given new budget other times we just used the extra spend available from a very high ROI on search. This search activity comes and goes and you need money quickly to run a campaign. Also, keep in mind that some times this search activity is brand new and you might have to suck up a high search bid as Google learns more about the activity,
- Hire An Expert Like Me