A Great Way to Generate Leads from Industry News Stories

April 19, 2012 by

Big news provides big marketing opportunity.

This is especially true when a widely-covered news story relates directly to one of our products or services.

But how do you capitalize? How can you use that news story to generate leads?

One highly effective way is with a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and landing page written specifically to tie in with that big story. I call it the Big News Tie-In.

Here's how it works.

Tie In a Timely Offer

Let's say your company manufactures fault detection equipment for aircraft wiring. And let's assume you already offer a white paper on the dangers of aircraft wiring faults and the best practices for detecting and diagnosing them (which, of course, demonstrates the need for your equipment).

Now let's say the FAA releases the findings of its investigation into a recent airline crash. And the Associated Press issues a story with the headline,

United 811 Crash Caused by Faulty Wiring, says FAA

Suddenly, you have wide coverage in the major media of a story that is highly relevant to your products, your white paper… and your target market.

Here's what I would do. I would run a series of PPC ads that include the phrase "United 811 Crash Caused by Faulty Wiring" – exactly as it appears in that AP headline. And I would link those ads to a new landing page – written specifically for this news event – that promotes our white paper.

My headline for our landing page would contain wording highly related to my ad, something like:

A wiring fault doomed United 181…
Could one of your aircraft be next?

And I would use whatever evidence I could from that United 181 story to make a case for learning the best practices described in our white paper. Testing has proven this technique to be highly effective.

Why does it work so well?

Why the Big-News Tie-In Works

Well, first, since we used that headline in our PPC ad, Google is likely to run our ad on web pages where that AP story appears. So, prospects who seek out and read that article online are very likely to see our ad, as well.

Second, because we've linked our landing page to this breaking story, we've made our white paper and our products not just relevant to the story, but also timely. We're playing upon our prospects' heightened concern in order to spur them into action.

Note, again, we are driving traffic to a new landing page written specifically to tie into our big news story.

As I've mentioned in a previous essay, continuity between landing page and traffic source is probably the biggest factor in landing page conversion. You want to match the content of your landing page to your visitors' frame of mind when they clicked. In this case, that's their raised concern over this airline crash. If you just drive traffic to an existing landing page, your conversion rate is likely to be much lower.

Don't Wait for a HUGE Story

You don't need a dramatic story to use this technique.

Say your fault detection products are being used in the development of a new airliner, and the manufacturer has just announced that the plane will make its first public appearance at next year's Paris Air Show. The headline of the company's press release might be:

Airbus 390 to Debut at 50th Paris Air Show

So, in our PPC ad, we'll again want to use the exact wording from that widely-placed headline. We'll also want to zero in on our target audience, so our ad might read:

Airbus 390 to debut at 50th Paris Air Show
with 550 kilometers of fault-free wiring

By adding that additional phrase, we've made our ad more enticing to our target audience. And we've reduced our advertising costs by discouraging non-converting clicks from people who are not interested in fault-free aircraft wiring.

We'll also connect our white paper offer to our news story and PPC ad through the headline of our landing page. This might read:

The Airbus 390 will debut at the 50th Paris Air Show
with 550 kilometers of fault-free wiring…

thanks to the latest best practices in fault detection.

Finally, throughout our landing page, we'll try to maintain continuity with the idea that brought the visitor there in the first place: the idea that you can guarantee fault-free wiring in an aircraft of such complexity.

Take-away Points

Tying a PPC campaign and landing page to a big news event is an effective way to generate leads. Here are the points to remember when implementing this tactic:

1. In your PPC ad, use an exact phrase from a widely-placed story to leverage media coverage to gain high readership.

2. Tailor your PPC ad to your target market to attract more solid prospects and reduce non-converting clicks.

3. Create a new landing page – written specifically for this campaign – with a headline and theme that's highly related to the text of your PPC ad.

So, what types of big news stories could you leverage in your marketing?

Do you have a white paper or other content offer you could use to capitalize on such a story?

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