Paul Strange Presents - Using Search & Offline Media to Drive Online Traffic

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

You may have seen these intriguing posters across the city in the last couple of days. A plain black piece of paper asking you to 'Type it into Google' with a bold yellow arrow showing you what to type: 'Paul Strange Presents'

Being quite surprised by the originality of the message, I actually typed it in! With a bit of efforts, I found the Paul Strange Presents website, which is actually a club promoter in Sydney.

I have found that strategy brilliant in many ways and I am quite convinced that the Paul Strange Presents website will get many hits, PR and Blog post through this strategy. However, from a search marketer's point of view, the implementation could have been even more effective.

The Great things about the strategy

Paul Strange Presents (or their advertising agency, I am not sure) have been really innovative in their approach. It is not so common to come across businesses able to understand the power of search engines to drive online traffic from an offline media.
In fact such strategy was outlined by Willie Pang, the Head of Yahoo Search Marketing, at the latest AIMIA Conference on the future of search engine marketing(unfortunately for him, they chose Google). Willie Pang considers search engines as

a gateway to engage customers with your online activities
In his presentation Willie Pang demonstrated that 26% of online users find a website from print advertising and 67% of online search are performed as a result of an exposure to offline media. He also demonstrated that people are not always able to remember or will forget an URL and therefore the potential traffic generated by offline media might never reach your website.

Integrating Search engines in a offline campaign is a great to easily connect both offline and online media and make sure that potential traffic will reach your website. In that case, people have to remember only one simple phrase 'Paul Strange Presents' and that is it!

More work on the Search Strategy

Quite often a brilliant idea is not followed by a brilliant implementation. In the case of Paul Strange Presents, the search engine presence is not optimal, which might result in some users not being able to find the website.

While the website ranks first on pages from the web (see below), the website does not rank on the first page of the SERPs when you search pages from Australia. It is little tricky especially if you are in Australia and advertise to an Australian audience. It would have been wise work on some SEO activities beforehand, to avoid this.

Another thing, some sponsored links appears on the right hand side of the page. This could also be really tricky if a competitor decide to advertise in this spot. They might be able to capitalise on the print campaign to drive traffic to their website at a low cost.
The Amnesia Blog suggest that a SEM (Paid Search) strategy could have been a good (but maybe expensive) to guarantee maximum placement. It is a good idea and it could actually be done in a shoestring budget as the keyword 'Paul Strange' does not have high CPC (unless a competitor decides to bid aggressively on it).
What I would do is to simply contact Google, fill in the trademark registration form (It is highly likely that Paul Strange Presents is a trademark) and make sure that no other advertiser is actually able to display ads... It would not cost anything and would be quite effective to remove the competition.

Finally, Paul Stranges Presents could have highly optimised their online presence in the SERPs by making sure that most of the other results are linking to their website or alternatively to display information of their website. They have done it with the MySpace page, but could have pushed this a bit further.
Even better, they could have taken advantage of Universal Search. Paul Strange Presents could have easily uploaded a YouTube video with a quick preview of one of the party they organized. At the moment, the YouTube videos that appear in the SERPs are not related at all. Paul Stranges Presents could have also used Google images to display picture of the party right in the search results.

Doing so, they could have made sure to convert the buzz effect from their print advertising campaign into traffic to their website... Well it is still a brilliant strategy, and if someone from Paul Stranges read this post, they have most of the elements to optimise their campaign :-)


Car Guru said...

I put my hand up to this quirky campaign. I work for Driveaway Holidays and have always wanted to test out how much of an automatic process 'googling' is when searching on the internet for anything. I girlfriend of mine said to me last night "google this...". So the word search is being interchanged with google. Fantastic for Google, but it makes it so much harder for MSN and Yahoo to gain that foothold.

ow, my friend paul Strange asked me.. "Pete, how do I get people to my new website" The old way of indexing it with teh search engines takes time. PPC ads are ok, but with the word 'presents' im his marketing, it could bring up anything from theatrical shows to fake rolex's that you can give as a present.

Anyway... that wasn't the main issue... he has about 300 people on a saturday night visiting his club.. so the avenues of building an email data base was limited. I recalled a chekky advertisment campaign around Sydney a few years back that involved some guy chalking a web address on the pavements... reports where that traffic to his site was good as a result. So, we decided to test the power of the word google and how much of an automatic reesponse this could be.

Outside ecommerce, I study Human Factors and a lot of what I was doing to teh Paul Strange Campaign was derived from how humans interact with their environment.

Anyway.. long story short... the camoaign kicked off a day after his new sit was launched and after it had 'just' been indexed by Google (phheww!). Quality score wasn't there yet, so he was paying triple to what he is paying now for PPC. His min CPC bid now is 0.02c, indicating a very good Quality Score.

I told him to take plenty of videos and to ensure that he titles them properly!! Which he has done. He can take advantage of universal serch now.

When he writes content, he uses key phrases genrated from google's keyword tool. ohotos are also labled with keyword suggestions as are his alt tex.

It must be noted, that before Paul lobbed me a few beers and a pizza to help him out, nothing in the website contained googles keyword suggestions.. images were labelled img00001.jpg etc.. and definitely no alt text on photos..!

He is getting more and more in to the music industry comment pages and content pages... so he is ranking with them. He set himself up in Myspace and I got him up in Facebook (diff demographic) both pages rank! (the power of social media!!!)

The next step is to blog, which is being set up next week.. I look forward to teh Pizza's.

Lastly, CTR on the keyword paul strange presents is 20%, which is not oo bad at all considering there is no indication of what his website is all about from those damned annoying pole posters... ;-)

Peace and love

Pete - Driveaway Holidays
PS I would love to have done something similar for Driveaway Holidays, but pole posters dont fit the brands demograhics. Stay tuned though for a cutting edge offline campaign for Driveaway Holidays

Alban G. said...

Hi Pete,

Congratulations for the campaign and thanks for taking the time to give more information. It is much appreciated.

I have seen some good adjustments to the Paul Strange search engine campaign since it has been launched:
- A paid search campaign has been set up targeting the word Paul Strange Presents
- Some optimised YouTube videos appears in the search engine results.
- More optimised content in music/club related website.

All these activities have improved the online presence and the plan for a blog will be great as well, such as shame you did not do it before the poster campaign.

One thing that will be worth doing now is to make sure that the website actually rank in pages from Australia. This is quite important for local search...

I am also quite interested in the results of the campaign. Do you have any more information on this, such as the increase in traffic?

Anonymous said...

HI Seskabon..

Firstly apologies for the extreme delay. I have been off in Papua Nui Guinea. Long story, but unrelated to ecommerce. I will get the e-stats from Paul today and email them through to you. If you email me on, I will be happy to provide some web traffic results for the first few months.

it is interesting to note that in subsequent campaigns, not surprisingly, spikes in new unique visitors were experienced and also around special events, such as long weekends etc.. One could vaguely deduce that when people are looking for a night out, the branding has become more present (no pun intended there) in the Sydney market place.

We still need to optimize the site for local search to cover all bases. We went for the 'universal' search as we did some surveying of friends and their friends as to whether they changed the search on google to local. They said that only when they were looking for something local, such as hotels. The fact that the offline campaigns haven't defined a location as such means that many people are not switching the radio button to Australia.. plus we also fancied doing some viral marketing overseas to capture the inbound youth coming to OZ over summer. If you restrict to local search, you run the risk of it falling flat as people would then need to type in the address.

Speak soon