Starting a PPC advertising campaign? Introducing a new team internally? Here are 5 things I’ve learned from marketing PPC ad tech products.
Working with an ad tech firm has been one of the most incredible experiences of my career as a marketer who primarily focuses on organic traffic.
I never imagined I would learn so much about PPC advertising in such a short period when I joined Optimizer a little more than two years ago. I’ve been more involved with PPC over the past two years than I have throughout my whole career because of our clients, my coworkers, and the welcoming paid search community. I’ve been paying close attention and taking notes, just like any wise marketer would. Between that and running my campaigns, I’ve gained a considerable amount of PPC expertise. These are the five most crucial lessons I learned while managing marketing for a start-up PPC ad tech company.
Treat Your Ad Budget like Your Investment Budget
Whatever you want to call them walled gardens, monopolies, platforms the various venues where companies can advertise aren’t known for working well together. True Omni channel advertising is not a practical strategy due to insufficient data visibility and fluctuating controls. However, just because each network’s campaigns are restricted doesn’t mean that relying solely or overly on one advertising platform is a wise idea:
- New features (like Google’s Performance Max and modifications to the keyword match type) have the potential to disrupt your entire advertising strategy.
- Potential clients that either block/ignore ads on your platform or never use it are lost to you.
- Cost increases and the mooting of a whole platform are just two examples of what can be done by external factors like market economics and regulatory changes.
If you haven’t already, you should diversify your PPC mix due to platform-side automation and online audiences’ rising expectations.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Avoid going overboard by investing in too many various channels in your haste to spread your budget across a number of them.
Not only will your campaigns be unsuccessful due to a lack of funding, but you also face the risk of overworking your employees.
We’ve expanded our workforce at a rate that’s healthy for our revenue run rate since I joined Optimizer as the first marketing employee.
The team does not expect anyone to work 60-hour weeks, run 10 distinct channels, or do anything else that would drive them over their physical and mental capabilities.
As a result, we have handled marketing in general and advertising specifically with the knowledge that we don’t have the same resources as a well-funded institution.
For instance, it wouldn’t be a good idea to advertise on six different platforms if your marketing team only consists of three employees. You’re testing and promotion efforts will be compromised, and you’ll incur additional expenses from neglecting other marketing requirements. Internal teams should test everything first, then adopt a 1-2-1 strategy:
- The one main platform that produces the best results and consumes the most of your cash (e.g. Google Ads across multiple inventory types).
- 2 more platforms for specialized audiences or goals (e.g. YouTube to grow your video audience and Twitter to grow your mailing list).
- 1 platform for experimentation with new concepts (e.g. running stories ads on Instagram).
Then, as your squad expands, fill out each tier starting at the top.
Brand Matters, Even In PPC
I realize that many PPC experts disagree, but I have always supported branded search phrases for the following reasons:
- Already showing some interest in your goods.
- Take up space that your rivals can no longer use.
- Space to experiment with various messaging and offers.
Branded search traffic is affordable, simple to acquire, and provides a variety of commercial prospects. I’ve utilized branded phrases to take advantage of traffic spikes following well-publicized events, customize offers to particular queries (such as those containing “reviews” or “price”), and reduce customer acquisition costs by accelerating the process from discovery to conversion.
Focus On Offer, Targeting, And Creative In That Order
Since I got my start in marketing as a creative (more precisely, as a copywriter working with an art director partner), I’ve always placed a premium on creating carefully prepared advertisements.
However, the more I’ve practiced strategy, the more I’ve come to understand that the offer comes first.
Offers involve elements of message and positioning and are most frequently expressed through copywriting, whether it be in the form of a headline, dialogue, or voiceover.
This is what enables you to take up a particular space in the thoughts of your target clients and play to your special capabilities rather than those of your rivals.
Regarding the actual creatives, the longer I work in marketing, the less I anticipate advertising to adhere to brand requirements or even resemble advertisements.
Pattern disruptions have the potential to be extremely disarming since customers become defensive the instant they sense that they are being sold to. I’ve seen non-traditional ad forms, including customer testimonial films, triumph in conflicts where precisely “on-brand” stills failed.
Even the most beautiful creatives will struggle to convert without a strong offer and precise targeting. In my experience, it’s easier said than done to get these three things perfect, but doing so is necessary for PPC’s success.
Even with subpar targeting, convoluted account systems, and middling creativity, great offers can still be successful. Weak offers disguised as alluring advertising in well-built accounts and campaigns rarely work out that way.
There’s more to Advertising than Google and Meta
Most advertisers find it difficult to ignore the level of reach and variety that both platforms provide.
The most famous websites on the internet, such as search, email, YouTube, and others, are all part of Google’s inventory. The most well-known Facebook and Instagram apps are part of Meta’s network.
But outside of these two networks, there is a tone of other advertising options:
- Many of the visibility and control features that advertisers prefer over Google are available with Microsoft Ads.
- If you sell physical products, you can’t just disregard Amazon as a market.
- Reaching younger audiences is made easy with the help of TikTok and Snapchat.
- Few other digital channels allow you to experiment as much with audio as Spotify does.
- Even though they are not PPC advertisements, strictly speaking, sponsoring a newsletter or community consistently offers better user intent.
I used to be a part of a group that targeted a small market with advertising on one channel.
All subsequent leads were individuals who had either already converted or had been classified as closed-lost once the audience on that platform had been completely depleted.
Moving to a second channel required starting over from scratch and understanding the intricacies of an entirely new ad platform, and it resulted in the delivery of leads that were both insufficiently high in quantity and quality.