Hearst Media Services Has a Neat PPC Strategy

Jan. 11

Hearst is one of the largest traditional media empires around. I’m talking about major brands such as Car and Driver, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst owns newspapers, magazines, TV stations, and more. As a savvy media company, Hearst is now involved in online marketing. It makes perfect sense, the statistics are staggering. More and more online media is being consumed each year. Of particular interest, Hearst now operates an online marketing agency and I feel that the way they are marketing their agency via PPC is quite unique.

In the screenshot below, you can see that I searched for “PPC Ian”. I like to search my own name from time to time to make sure my PPC ad is displaying properly. You can never sanity check things enough, and that’s why I have Six Essential Campaign Checks that I run multiple times each day.

The search results in the screenshot show both myself and SF Gate showing up. What is SF Gate? It’s a cool, local website here in the SF Bay Area. I’m quite familiar with SF Gate and have been to the site before. I was surprised to see SF Gate displaying on a PPC-related term and I assumed the SF Gate ad broad matched to the “PPC” in my name. After seeing who was advertising, I started reading the ad and it piqued my interest. I had no idea that SF Gate offered online marketing services.

Upon clicking the ad, I landed on a page within the SF Gate website illustrating the Bay Area Hearst Media Services agency (you can check out the landing page here). I guess SF Gate is owned by Hearst. I personally feel the landing page could target a higher conversion rate, maybe with a prominent email capture. However, that’s not the core takeaway here.

Hearst Could have just sent this traffic to their core website for Hearst Media Services. However, they instead decided to send the traffic to a local brand, SF Gate. I think this is quite the strategy. Here in the Bay Area, I’m sure more people have heard of SF Gate than Hearst Media Services. They are leveraging their well-known, local brand name to draw the user in and then introduce them to Hearst Media Services. I really like this strategy and feel like it’s a great way to leverage an existing portfolio of local brands for improved click through rates. Way to go Hearst Media Services and I hope to run into you at one of the upcoming industry conferences!

SF Gate