The Business Owner Guide to PPC: PART 1
Before we explain what PPC is, let’s get into a brief explanation of how digital strategies are relevant for business owners.
It’s true. A lot of marketing is fluff. When one tries to promote a brand or business without objectives in place, marketing is a shot in the dark. However, when done correctly, online marketing and ad campaigns allow advertisers to compete with everyone and anyone in any given market. Given the range of digital networks, the impact possibilities are endless.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of online marketing in which you pay only for the clicks your ads receive. The most popular type of PPC is Search Engine Advertising, which you commonly see on platforms such as Google or Bing.
PPC ads are a mix of keywords and images meant to attract and inform potential consumers of products or services. Triggered by search queries and expressed interests, search engines will serve your ads to anyone who searches under the indications or triggers that you’ve set. That is the gist of Search Engine Advertising.
Why Should You Advertise with PPC?
If you are looking into digital marketing to advertise your business, then it’s only natural that you become curious about PPC and how it can help your digital strategy.
Regardless of the industry, PPC is an excellent addition to your marketing efforts as it allows you to target relevant audiences and tailor campaigns to meet your objectives, whatever they may be.
Suppose you own a local office supply store. You can:
- Set targeting filters to your campaign to only display your ads to people in your area.
- Run your ads during work hours, so people don’t show up on days or hours that you don’t operate.
Compared to advertising channels like TV or radio, the production process of traditional ads is much more complicated. For one, you have to pay upfront and choose the time frame in which you wish for it to appear. Any changes to the ad are either impossible or costly once submitted for publication. Determining ad performance isn’t possible until after it has completed running. The process is long and grueling long before you’ve realized if it’s contributing to your bottom line or not.
Fortunately, testing and tweaking are possible (and encouraged!) with PPC. It’s quite easy to draw out observations based on whether or not your message is converting clicks to users. So not only you can make optimizations, but you can also test which ads are performing better than others and go from there.
PPC For Your Industry
Have you ever felt embarrassed about your Google search history? Everyone has searched for some weird things for one reason or another. The truth is that people are searching for all sorts of things–all the time. You are never alone on the interwebz! It’s a digital city that doesn’t sleep.
White Shark Media has an array of successful campaigns for clients that range from breed dogs to organic compost. PPC doesn’t only work for huge industries like retail or hotels. PPC will work as long as you set reasonable goals and know how to read performance for optimizations.
The Google and Microsoft Advertising search engine platforms offer a wide net of online users to advertisers. Depending on your industry and target audience, one of the two may be more relevant. For some, combining both platforms is highly recommended as the benefits for each varies.
Each search engine platform provides features that hone in on the particularities of any given industry. For example:
- Urgent situations or emergencies
- Geographic targeting
- Brand awareness
- Warming consumers up as they move down the purchase funnel
Regardless, each provides the incredibly unique ability to reach a massive amount of people who are already interested in your products or services. To put it simply, if you have an online presence and you begin to invest purposefully in PPC, your traffic will increase.
Your objectives will dictate how to manage your budgets. For example, where you run your campaigns will vary how much they will cost. Your goals will determine the area, industry, budget, networks, type of campaign, and even the hour of the day, all of which had a different cost-per-click.
As a general rule, you should have a budget that gets at least ten clicks per day. That allows campaigns to accrue sufficient data for future optimizations.
Push vs. Pull
Let’s say you are driving home and notice one of the many billboards across the road. It’s urging you to take your dog to their grooming center. The thing is you don’t even have a dog, so what did that billboard do for you?
Nothing. Who can assure the business owner that everyone who sees the billboard is interested in grooming a dog? No one, it’s an unrealistic promise. The above is an example of push marketing, when advertisers push a message onto consumers, unconcerned if they are looking for what they offer. It’s a risky business, but someone has to do it. Though they may not be your customers, push marketing creates brand awareness and recall. Who is to say that these people will not recommend your brand to someone else? Or remember it when a year later when they have a dog of their own?
Separately, pull marketing is for people who are actively searching for your service and all that is left is for you to convince them to choose you. PPC is rooted in this dynamic.
We’ve all done it, searched for a place to eat, or a taxi to get you to the airport and clicked on an ad that showed up during your search. Voila! That could be your ad!