What is PPC marketing?
Once you start digging into online marketing, you will have to make a decision whether you are going to focus on organic audience reach (or free reach) or paid audience reach. The main factor for determining which one you’ll choose is your budget, but your time and experience can have a big impact too.
If your budget is very limited, organic audience reach can be a good choice. The success of this type of campaign depends on the content you share - how unique it is and how relevant it is for the audience you are targeting.
On the other hand, if your budget allows you and you are ready to dig deeper into the possibilities of advertising, then PPC advertising is something you should get familiar with. In other words, PPC campaigns are campaigns which reach a target audience for a set amount of money.
The question here is: Why should you consider pay per click advertising if you can skip investing and work on building an organic community? In order to understand the benefits of PPC marketing, you have to understand that your business is only a small fish - there’s plenty more fish in the marketing ocean. This means that the “notice my business” race can be very challenging at the beginning if you focus on organic reach only.
How does pay per click work? (and why everybody is talking about ROI)
Let’s say that you are ready to start with PPC advertising. After deciding on the amount of money you are willing to invest in advertising on internet, you will have to set a clear goal(s) you want to achieve. In PPC marketing, goals are called conversions, and they can be anything from visiting a website, downloading a file, watching a video to filling out a form or contacting a business. Your goal can be defined as one macro goal (watch a video) or can be a set of several micro goals which lead to one macro goal.
Why do conversions matter? Conversions are measures you will want to know about in order to calculate how much of your investment you earned from your campaigns (ROI - Return on Investment). The formula for ROI is very simple: ROI = Revenue - Costs / Costs x 100, in which revenue represents value measured with conversions, whereas costs are the amount of money you invested (spent). Once you know your ROI, you can determine how successful your ppc campaign was.
PPC marketing tip:Focus on the metrics that really matter to your business. Likes and shares can seem like impressive measures, but they often do not have an impact on revenue.
B2B CMOs say demonstrating ROI is their No.1 concern, yet fewer than 20% say they have the ability to measure it (source: Forbes)
51% say a lack of sharing customer data within their own organization is a barrier to effectively measuring their marketing ROI)
Mastering Google AdWords
The moment you set your goals and your budget, you are ready to take the next step - choosing between search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM). SEM represents PPC advertising via search engines (e.g. Google), whereas SMM uses social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc). This is the main difference between these two.
What are keywords and why do they matter for ppc marketing?
Keywords are exactly what their name says - key words somebody uses when searching for the topic they are interested in. They are mainly used in search engine marketing and are the core of this type of PPC marketing.
What keywords you will use depends on your topic and your choice for what you want to be found. For example, if you are a photographer specialized in wedding photography and you are looking for clients in Austin, you could target the following keywords: wedding photography, wedding photography in Austin, Austin wedding photography etc.
A nifty tool you should use to plan your keywords and keyword strategy is Google keyword planner. Not only can you see how popular your keyword is at the moment, but you can also get insights into historical search trends. With this knowledge, you can predict how popular it will be in the future and if that keyword is worth investing in. To get a clear picture of how to do keyword research, you might want to read our article What are keywords?
1.AdWords was launched in 2000 and had 350 customers
2.The top 3 paid advertising spots get 46% of the clicks on the page
Defining audience for your pay per click campaign
When it comes to search engine marketing (mainly known as Google advertising although Google is not the only search engine), your audience is mainly determined by the keywords they are searching for, meaning you do not need to go into details when creating your audience. It is enough to have a clear idea of your target country (you can target by country, region or by city), and you are ready to go.
PPC marketing tip: The most expensive keyword is insurance. Besides insurance, words such as loans, mortgage, attorney, credit, lawyer, donate, degree, hosting and claim can be found in the top 10 most expensive keywords. If your keywords target any of the above mentioned words, you may want to rethink Google advertising and ROI.
Ad campaign and ad groups
Once you have a clear idea of the keywords you want to target and the budget you are ready to spend, you can actually start creating your first AdWords campaign. We can think of it as one big box into which you put your keywords. This means that you are defining the budget and audience for your box, and that you will include all of the keywords in that box.
However, your box can become overcrowded and disorganized very soon. You should create a structured organization of your keywords by their similarity, and that is exactly what Ad Groups are for. An ad group combines similar keywords in one group and gives them a specific ad you want to be displayed.
Let’s go back to our first example. You want to create a campaign called Photography which will target people in Texas. You want to focus on the wedding photography and birthday photography services you are offering. You have already done extensive research on popular keywords. Your campaign could look like this:
- Wedding photography
- Wedding photography Austin
- Wedding photography
- Austin wedding photography
- Wedding photographer Austin
- Wedding photography
- Wedding photography Austin
- Wedding photography
- Austin wedding photography
- Wedding photographer Austin
Writing winning PPC ads
The two main things of search engine marketing are the keywords you are targeting and the ads you are going to display. We can say that ads are triggers for a visitor to come to a destination of your choice.
Google defined some rules for creating display ads by limiting the number of characters you can use, words you cannot use, capitalization etc. Each display ad consists of:
1.Headline - 25 characters
2.Description 1 - 35 characters
3.Description 2 - 35 characters
In our example, one of the ad for a wedding adgroup could be:
Planning a wedding?
Capture your most valuable moments.
Book your photographer today.
PPC marketing tip: Do not send your visitors to your homepage, but instead create specific landing pages for each product or service you are advertising. It requires some additional preparation, but it will boost the quality score, and at the same time, increase your ad ranking.
3.expanded text ads allow allow 50% more ad text with their 80 Character Limit
Budgeting and bidding
Finally, once your ad is ready, you can get into the auction race. In both traditional and digital marketing, it is very important to understand what you will be paying for in order to understand your campaign costs.
When it comes to search engine marketing, what counts as cost is click on an ad. This means that your ad can be shown 1000 times, but if it is clicked on only twice, you will pay for those two clicks.
The next thing you have to understand is how per click cost is calculated. Google advertising works as an auction. Google AdWords offers bids for keywords, just like a real auction has bids for specific items. The higher the bid is, the higher your ad position will be. Well, at least in theory. In real life, both the landing page and ad need to be relevant in order to score the highest click-through rate. Once those three conditions are met you will be rewarded by Google.
The success of search engine campaigns depends on lots of testing actions and experimenting in order to follow search trends and your target audience.
4.On average, businesses make $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on AdWords
5.The minimum bid per keyword is 5 cents and it can go up to $50 per click for the most expensive keywords.
Facebook paid campaigns (bonus: Instagram marketing)
While search engine marketing may seem as the best choice for some, others can feel that they’ll have more chances of finding the right audience on social media. Social media marketing puts the spotlight on social media platforms and their users. In this guide, we will focus on one of the most popular social media networks today - Facebook.
6.Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly active users.
7.On average, US users spend 40 minutes on Facebook every day
Choosing the right objective
Whether your campaign is paid or free, everything starts with setting up a goal. If you are targeting your audience on Facebook, you will come across a term “objectives”, which represents goals.
Facebook defined several types of marketing objectives:
1.Awareness (boost your post, promote your page, reach people near your business, increase brand awareness, increase your reach)
2.Consideration (send people to your website, get app installs, boost attendance at your events, get video views, collect leads for your business)
3.Conversion (increase conversion on your website, increase engagement in your app, get people to claim your offer, promote a product catalog, get people to visit your stores)
If you have set a clear goal you want to achieve, it will be easier for you to determine which objective you want to focus on.
Creating an audience
While search engines define an audience mainly by the keyword they are searching for, in social media marketing, an audience needs to be specific so that they know to whom to show your ad. In other words, in SEM, your audience searches for you, whereas in SMM, you search for your audience.
What’s good about Facebook marketing is the fact that you can go into detail when targeting your audience. You can start with defining their age, location and sex and jump to defining their level of education, work status, interests and so on. This means that, based on your knowledge and experience, you can create the ideal person who will most likely purchase your product (or whatever your business goal is about).
When it comes to Facebook ads and setting up a budget (the amount of money you will spend on one campaign), there are two types of budgets you have to understand:
1.Daily budget - the amount of money spent per day
2.Lifetime budget - the amount of money spent for the whole campaign
Important note: Once you start your ad (Place your Order), you cannot change the type of budget. In case you want to test different budget types for the same ad, the best option is to duplicate your ad from the Ad Manager and change the budget option before starting the ad.
Creating an ad
After determining the budget you want to spend and the audience you are targeting, it is time to create your ad. Depending on your objective, there are different types of an ad.
2.Visual part (an image or a video)
Facebook has some rules for both textual and visual parts of an ad set. For example, there is a character limit for a specific type of objectives, and when it comes to images, your image cannot have more than 20% of text.
Facebook ads tip: If you want to promote a post you made, you can do it easily from your page by choosing boost option.
Bonus: Instagram advertising
Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it is obvious that you can do both Facebook and Instagram advertising at the same time, or one social network at a time - it all depends on your target audience and goals.
You create Instagram ads from Facebook Ad Manager and the process is the same as the one for Facebook advertising. When deciding on your ad placement, you are actually choosing where your ad will be shown (only Facebook, only Instagram or both).
Instagram ads tip 1: Approach Instagram advertising not as a type of classic advertising but as a means of communication with your potential customers. This means that you should focus on creating ads that tell a story, rather than a typical promotional ad.
Instagram ads tip 2: Instagram based their organic advertising strategy on hashtags. That is exactly why you should be familiar with popular hashtags in your industry. Think of hashtags as your keywords, and yes, use Google Keywords planner to find out what is popular!
1.Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active users
2.The most followed brand is National Geographic, with 48.4m followers.
Linkedin paid campaigns
Nowadays, each social media offers sponsored promotion (social media advertising). Every social network is a very interesting and an effective way of promotion if your target audience is there. Which one you will use depends on your audience and your goals.
In the previous section, we talked about Facebook and Instagram advertising, which are mainly used among business owners and marketers. In addition, there’s also one more social network that might interest you if you are targeting business owners to offer your products/services - LinkedIn.
Why you should consider LinkedIn advertising
Before you start advertising on LinkedIn, you have to check if this social media suits your needs and your target audience. LinkedIn is often used for B2B advertising, that is to say for advertising a product/service that will benefit business owners and working professionals.
For example, if you are a website designer and you want to offer your services to small companies or startups, then LinkedIn advertising is most likely going to help you target your audience.
1.Although LinkedIn started in 2003, it actually went public 8 years later.
2.The average time a user spends on LinkedIn is 17 minutes per month.
Paid ads vs. Sponsored content
LinkedIn advertising offers two types of sponsored ads:
1.Paid ads - classic pay per click advertising
A paid ad is the same as the ad on Google AdWords - you have a title, description and destination URL. On the other hand, Sponsored Content is similar to Facebook boost posts - you choose one of your LinkedIn updates and pay to sponsor it. Which one you will choose depends on your goal.
LinkedIn ads tip: Your content should contain valuable information related to your business.
Mastering audience creation
LinkedIn audience is made up of people who use this network in order to show off their professional skills and find a job or connect with people who have the same or similar niche interests. This means that you will use LinkedIn as a way of reaching people by their job role, working experience, level of education, company, industry etc.
Let’s go back to our previous example. If you are a web designer who wants to target small companies and startups in the food industry (restaurants), your audience could look something like this:
Company size: myself only; 1-10 employees
Company industry: restaurants
Job title: owner, founder, CEO, general manager, supplier manager
On the right side of the Ad Manager, you can always see the approximate number of people you will reach with your current audience set, which will give you a very good base for determining how much budget you will need for a campaign.
Budgeting (CPC vs. CPM)
The final part of your ad setup is budget. LinkedIn may seem more expensive than Facebook advertising, but, with some smart moves, you can easily reach your goals.
When it comes to LinkedIn advertising, you should worry about two things:
1.Cost per click (CPC) - the amount of money you pay when somebody clicks on your ad
2.TCost per mille (CPM) - the amount of money you pay when you reach 1000 impressions
When determining which type of budget you should focus on, it is good to know the approximate number of people you will target with your audience set and how many people you will reach with your budget. If, for example, your ad reaches 10,000+ people, and you have a lower budget, then your goal could be to show your ad to as many people as possible (CPM). If you reach up to 2,000 people and your ad gives a clear understanding of what they can expect to see/read, then the number of clicks could be more relevant for you. Of course, your final goal still has a crucial role in determining which one you will choose.
Measuring your results with Google Analytics
Creating an ad and spending money is probably the easiest part of any campaign. What poses a challenge is having to determine how successful your ad was and if you should continue with paid campaigns on the channel you were using. Knowing how successful your ad was means knowing how much of your investment you returned.
Both search engines and social media give you a full support not only for creating an ad, but also for monitoring and analyzing the success of it. For Facebook and Instagram advertising, you can see all statistics in Facebook Ad Manager, for Linkedin you can use LinkedIn statistics within their ad manager, and Google AdWords gives you the option to see every single detail in their own dashboard. Moreover, for any campaign, you can use one more, very useful tool - Google Analytics.
As always, you start by defining a goal you want to achieve. Once you set it up in your Google Analytics, you can start tracking the impact of each online marketing channel. For example, you want to increase sales of your custom-made website designs, and for this goal, you want to advertise on Facebook and AdWords. You can use their own analytics to see the results and then manually compare them, or you can make it easier by using Google Analytics dashboard from which you will see how many people who purchased your website design came from Facebook and how many from AdWords.
You may wonder why this is important. Knowing from where most of your clients came is the answer to the following question: Where should I invest my money next time? If Facebook campaign brought you 100 new clients, and AdWords gave you only 10 new clients for the same amount of money, you can conclude that you have more benefits from Facebook advertising than from Google advertising. So, next time you can allocate Facebook and AdWords budget to Facebook campaign and focus on that network only.
No matter which tool you use for analyzing, don’t forget ROI and your goals. There is no magic formula for determining which channel will help you achieve your goal. All you have to do is start testing and experimenting until you find the channel that works best for your business.
1.In May 2011, Germany banned Google Analytics because of an EU cookie law. Websites are now allowed to use Google Analytics but only if they follow the guidelines set by Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act.
2.Google Analytics is fluent in 40 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew.
3.Google Analytics is installed on at least 10 million websites