Using your AdWords and Google Grant as one big focus group

Tony Guzmán's picture

Senior Project Manager

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Using your AdWords and Google Grant as one big focus group

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Co-written by Kevin Gottesman - Founder and President of Gott Advertising

We’ve talked about Google Grants before on this blog. In short: it’s a program offered by Google that grants qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations $10,000 worth of free Google AdWords a month. It’s an awesome program and every nonprofit should apply for one and start running AdWords campaigns!

But the question is, with so many organizations overworked and understaffed, why bother spending time on Google AdWords? Heck, you’re not selling products, so why bother buying ads? No one clicks on them, right? Wrong. (And, spoiler, there’s a bigger picture).

Friend of EchoDitto, Kevin Gottesman, met with our strategy team a few weeks ago and summarized Google Grants and AdWords campaigns in a way that I’ve never heard before. He said to think of your Google Grant AdWords campaign as one big (and free!) focus group to test your messaging. With not that large of a time commitment per month, you can run tests on your messaging for your big campaign and figure out what works (or doesn’t!). AdWords are a way to test your messages while also delivering valuable traffic to your site or campaign. It’s a win-win because what you learn from your AdWords campaign can then be transferred to the other channels you’re using to engage people with your campaign.

You don’t often get a chance to test a first impression before you make it. Email subject lines, site and page titles, mission statements, meta descriptions, blog post subjects or titles, even Twitter bios and Facebook posts are great examples of text that can be informed by your AdWords. As an organization, you’re often using copy that needs to be some combination of concise, eye-catching, timely, and relevant to users’ expectations (of you, of your brand, of your site or product, etc.). And the Google Grant? That just makes all this data free.

Now, it’s important to emphasize that an AdWords campaign isn’t like a Ronco Rotisserie where you can “set it and forget it.” It takes time and it takes monitoring, and it especially takes failing. A lot of your ads won’t work right away, but that’s ok. You can learn in nearly real-time and refine your campaign to the point that it not just “works” but actually generates signups, actions, clicks, or whatever metric you want to increase as part of your campaign. There are so few opportunities where you can both get a significant grant of funds and use those funds for such an effective purpose.

If you haven’t yet applied for Google Grants, apply today! If you have a current Google Grant and want some ideas or assistance with making it more effective for your current campaign, drop us a line!

Image by ankakay