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A No-Frills Guide to PPC Marketing

on September 14, 2020

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A basic inquiry into digital marketing will put you in contact with terms like SEO, link-building, content creation, and other ideas you might not be familiar with at first.  It’s essential to get a well-rounded understanding of digital marketing before you start using it. One piece of the puzzle is called pay-per-click marketing. Typically referred to as “PPC,” this is a modern form of marketing yourself online, and we’re going to give you the beginner’s guide today.  Hopefully, you’ll have a clear idea of PPC and how it can benefit you after you work through the ideas below. Let’s get started.


Understanding the Essentials of PPC Marketing

We’ll start by exploring the fundamental ideas of PPC, then dig into some of the more specific operations that you’ll have to use to find success.

A lot of people think of marketing as a sort of shallow attempt to shine a positive light on one’s business. We think back to the ad campaigns on television, most of them containing far-fetched connections between a product and an idea.

Take Coca Cola, for example. By all accounts, consuming their product too much leads to several adverse health effects. Sugary sodas are surely not a component of good health.

Yet, the brand has managed to pair itself with the idea of happiness. “Open happiness” is one of the brand’s many slogans. That’s traditional marketing.

Digital marketing, and PPC in particular, is a more specialized form of marketing that works on specific terms and addresses users that will actually find use from your product. You can decorate your language and imagery all you want, but the foundation of PPC is that it can be used to reach the people you want to reach.

Alternatively, you’re able to reach individuals that actually find your product interesting before you cover it with impossible ideas of happiness and a perfect life like Coca Cola has done.

Here’s how.

Social Media Specificity

Pay-per-click marketing typically takes place on social media platforms. You can also find PPC options in several search engines and other platforms, but the bulk of your campaign will take place on social media.

You’ve probably experienced PPC yourself. On the customer end, the sponsored ads and posts that work into your feed are the result of PPC campaigns. You may have even engaged with these ads.

People don’t want to be marketed to while they’re trying to relax. That’s why people pay money for subscriptions to exclude ads. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have ads that fit seamlessly into feeds, though, and this eases the blow.

The advertisements are even less intrusive when they contain content that people actually want. You might have noticed that ads on your feed are more interesting now.

This is because the information you provide on social media is highly specialized and reflective of your interests. The pages you like, the things you search, and the people you’re friends with all reflect something about the kind of products you like.

So, as technology advances, PPC platforms get better at placing relevant ads on your feed. That means you don’t have to be convinced that a sugary drink that can lead to obesity will bring you happiness in order to buy it. In other words, there isn’t as much need to make wild claims to interest consumers because they’ve already expressed interest.

In this way, digital marketing provides a more honest way to market to your target audience.

So, How Does it Work?

PPC doesn’t just allow you to get in contact with your target audience. It allows you to closely monitor your results and tailor your campaign to fit your needs.

How you engage with your audience depends on who your audience is and how they act. Your target group might find themselves on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Google.

They might also be more interested in videos than images. Further, your goals might be geared toward phone calls. Alternatively, you might seek users to visit your site, or subscribe to something, or share your content.

All of these variables work together to create a digital marketing plan that reaches your audience in the most effective way possible. It’s important that you’re able to monitor these metrics and tailor your PPC efforts to lead to success in those areas.

The first advantage PPC provides in this area is how you’re charged for the ad space.

What “Paying-Per-Click” Means for You

Traditionally, a business pays for the space to place their ad. That’s how it has worked forever, and there wasn’t much flexibility for the company if the ad didn’t work out.

The thinking was that the ad space was worth a specific amount based on how much exposure it offered. If the ad that filled the space didn’t work, that was the business’ fault.

Fortunately, PPC offers the opportunity for businesses to pay only when their ad is engaged with. Engagement could mean a lot of things as well.

For example, a comment, share, subscription, or click could be considered an engagement. Phone calls can also be engagement. You can decide which of these metrics you’re going for; you’ll be charged when you experience an instance of success for that metric.

Two thousand people could see your advertisement but only liked by thirty. That means you’ll be charged very little for an advertisement with a great deal of exposure.

If you experience the numbers above, though, you have a lot to think about. This is where it’s valuable to have tools that monitor your metrics.

Monitoring Important Metrics

Another benefit of using PPC is the fact that you can track user behavior very closely. Where are your users coming from? Which ones engage with your content?

SEO metrics allow you to see what users do when they come to your site. You can explore which links guided which users to your pages.

You can also see traffic volume on different pages and examine what that traffic says about how your page is set up for user experience. Similarly, PPC gives you insight into the volume of traffic compared to your results.

A close look at those numbers help to reveal your return on ad spend, the cost per conversion, the quality of the leads that you’re getting, and much more. A look at multiple PPC ads over time will give you a laser-focus on what works and what doesn’t.

There are dozens of factors to look into. That said, many factors depend on the site you’re using and your goals for your campaign.

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How Pay-Per-Click Fits into Your Digital Marketing Campaign

As we noted earlier, PPC fits into your broader scheme of digital marketing. Success through advertisements will generate success in your search engine optimization and brand exposure.

The goal of all these efforts is to draw users toward your site in the most efficient way. As you experience more traffic, users will contribute to the metrics that send you higher and higher in the search rankings. Higher rankings lead to more exposure, and the cycle continues.

One key parallel between SEO and PPC is the use of specific keywords. Keyword research is arguably the most important piece of both processes.

This is because keywords reveal precisely what users are looking for. Whether they’re using keywords on social media or Google doesn’t matter, the fact is that those terms reflect a great deal about the user.

Trends in keywords reflect larger attitudes and interests that key businesses into what they should be doing online.

How to Use Keywords to Your Advantage

Whenever you type something into a search bar, you’re using keywords. The term “keyword” can be a little misleading because it implies that there’s just one word.

Instead, you can think of “keywords” in this context as “keyword phrases” that can contain as many words as they need to. Search engines use these keywords, along with factors like location, to produce as specific search results as possible.

As a digital marketer, your job is to identify keywords that relate to your audience. Further, you want to find terms that don’t have too much competition yet. For example, if you noticed a trending keyword, you wouldn’t want to invest in it if the top Google rankings were dominated by large corporations.

Instead, you should be seeking out popular terms that have little-to-no threatening competition. That way, you’re putting your money into something that will yield excellent results.

The nice thing about using PPC in search engines is that your advertisement will be placed if you pay for it. You don’t have to worry about competition as much because you’re paying for the privilege of a top spot.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean that it’s not important to research keywords. Using keyword research to inform your PPC ad placement will put you in touch with the people who are interested in your product.

Great Ads Can’t Succeed Alone

It’s hard to deny that PPC is an excellent advantage to any business working online. It puts you right into the massive stream of potential customers that are active on every social media platform.

It also gets you right into the mix of Google searches for terms related to your product or brand. These things make it especially easy for excellent businesses to find success with their target audiences.

That said, PPC ads only get you half of the way there. There’s a big difference between clicking an ad out of interest and actually working your way through to making a purchase.

Your PPC platform might not offer all of the insights you need to explore why you aren’t seeing success. You could be drawing a lot of users to your site and seeing absolutely no increase in sales.

In these instances, it’s essential that you’re using the full arsenal of SEO tools at your disposal. We’ll explore some of the ideas that need to be addressed when it comes to actually making a sale.

User Experience

User experience is something that a lot of small businesses fail to value. You have to remember that the quality of your website and its flow will affect sales.

Have you ever visited a website, only to leave because it seemed haphazard and out of order? Those sites can seem like they’re bugged or are part of a scam. If nothing else, they don’t motivate you to spend your money.

Creating a professional, easy to use website is very important. That means all of your links should work, the pages are organized intuitively, your payment processor is simple, and the graphic design is quality.

These are areas that most people don’t understand how to improve on their own. In those instances, it’s typically wise to work with a professional.

Branding and Social Media Outreach

Another thing to keep in mind is how important language and imagery are. Imagine walking through a market and causally growing the goods there.

You see something that sort of interests you, but you’re not compelled to make a purchase. Then, a comfortable person walks up and effectively relays the benefits of the product.

The writing and imagery on your site are that comfortable salesman. If the content is poor and off-brand, people won’t be as convinced to make a purchase.

Additionally, most people won’t buy your product right away. Instead, they might follow you or keep you in the back of your mind. That’s where effective content creation and social media outreach help.

Stay fresh in their minds, provide useful information, and establish a relationship. That way, you’ll make a lasting impression that could lead to a lot of sales down the line.

Need Some More Digital Marketing Help?

There’s a lot of work to do when it comes to digital marketing and PPC. Sometimes that work requires a little professional insight. We’re here to help.

Contact us to work with a team of experts who will make sure your digital marketing campaign brings results.

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