PPC Advertising: Which of These 5 Channels Is Right for You?

There are many reasons why businesses include pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns in their overall marketing and sales strategies. You may have a great product but need to increase your customer base. You may be launching a new service and need to boost awareness or you may be opening a new store location and want to connect with local customers.

When combined with organic social media marketing campaigns, PPC advertising can bring in new customers, increase sales, boost brand awareness and much more. However, how do you know which PPC channels to pair with your organic efforts?

There are numerous PPC options and platforms to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for your business and goals? First, you need to decide if PPC is the right tactic for you. At 10twelve, we believe that you need the combination of both organic marketing and PPC to produce the best results.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click is a method of digital marketing in which businesses and advertisers pay a fee each time their online ads are clicked. For many companies, it is a way to increase website traffic, attract new customers, generate leads or boost brand awareness.

There are two main types of PPC advertising: search engine and social. With search engine advertising, you bid based on keywords that are related to your business.Social PPC is based on the targeting options and user behavior triggers that advertisers set.

Benefits of PPC Campaigns

There are several advantages to running PPC campaigns. Here are the primary benefits:

●      Cost-effective - PPC campaigns are one of the most affordable and popular methods of advertising, which makes it great for small and local businesses. Of course, this depends on which platform you use.

●      Flexible budget - You set your own daily budget limit for campaigns, and can change it based on your need. For search engine PPC, you ideally want to select keywords that have a high search volume and low competition to get the best ROI.

●      Targeting - Most platforms allow you to set targeting based on demographics, location and sometimes user behavior.

●      Accelerate results - When managed well, PPC ads can often generate results faster than organic search and non-paid marketing efforts.

Although, there are many benefits to using PPC, each channel has a different set of pros and cons that businesses must consider.

Google Adwords

The most popular and largest PPC channel is Google Adwords, which accounts for over 77% of search ad revenue in the U.S. It is a search engine based PPC platform, so it is important to think about what your target audience might search for when looking for services or products that you offer. It also important to perform keyword research to more precisely determine the most effective ones to bid on. There is a reason why Google is the most popular PPC platform. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider: 

Pros

●      Affordable

●      Useful ad metrics

●      Wide-range of tools and settings

●      Huge search traffic volume

Cons

●      Steeper learning curve

Google Adwords can produce significant results, but you really need to know how to use it for it to be effective. However, if you don’t, the costs can be much more expensive. If you find that you are spending large amounts and yielding few results, then there is likely an issue with your keywords, ad copy, targeting or other ad settings. This is why it is often recommended to consult with a marketing agency or trained AdWords specialist.

Facebook

When it comes to social PPC, Facebook is one of most widely used platforms, especially for B2C companies.

Pros

●      Wide-range of targeting options

●      Affordable

●      Large consumer audience

●      More visual ads (images and video)

Cons

●      Lower click-through rate (CTR)

●      High competition

There is an expansive set of targeting options on Facebook. You can target by age, location, education, hobbies and interest, etc. You can even target based on user behavior. For example, a person has visited your website. However, as you add targeting criteria, the audience size shrinks as well. The site also has a lower average CTR than some other platforms. Although, some industries like clothing and apparel tend to have higher CTRs than an industry like healthcare or insurance. Competition for ad space has increased on Facebook, so ads need to be more personalized, engaging and visual to viewers to get their attention.

Twitter

Twitter is one of the top social advertising contenders. Despite reports that the growth of new active users has slowed, there are still over 320 million in their audience base..

Pros

●      Easy-to-use

●      Affordable

●      Advanced targeting options

Cons

●      Declining ad revenue and limited audience growth

One of the biggest advantages of Twitter advertising is in the targeting options. You can target by demographics but also by behavior, keyword, and location. You can even use follower targeting to share your ads with people that are connected to your followers. This makes Twitter one of the best PPC platforms for growing your audience and boosting brand awareness. The platform recently announced they would be trimming down their ad services and refocusing their products to meet advertiser and consumer demands.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is by far the most popular platform for professionals, which makes it an appealing advertising option for many B2B businesses.

Pros

●      Career targeting options (industry, job title, level, etc)

Cons

●      Expensive

If you’re interested in advertising on the LinkedIn PPC platform, then it is going to cost you. The network has a much higher cost-per-click than other channels. You could end up paying upwards of $5 per click, but depending on your industry, acquiring a new customer, client or employee may be worth the cost.

Pinterest

Pinterest ads use what are called Promoted Pins, ads that often look like regular pins but are sponsored.

Pros

●      Easy-to-use

●      Visual

Cons

●      Highly targeted to specific niches and audiences

In some cases, Pinterest ads have higher conversion rates, because it is used as a discovery platform. The network is unique in that people go to it to discover content and ideas. It isn’t thought of as a platform for interacting with friends and family like Facebook, so users might be more open to ad content. But it also appeals to a few specific audiences. For instance, it is highly geared toward consumers. Overwhelmingly, women have long been the biggest demographic on the site. Although, it has recently tried to attract more men.

There are dozens of options to choose from for a PPC campaign. You can even run campaigns on multiple channels at the same time. To decide which method is best for you, consider these three questions:

1.     What is your goal? Do you want to boost brand awareness, increase sales, engage customers in a sweepstakes, etc.

2.     Who is your audience and what channels do they use? For instance, if you are trying to reach middle-aged men, Pinterest isn’t going to be the best option. If you are trying to reach women under the age of 45, then it could be. .

3.     What is your budget and timeline? PPC can range from a few hundred dollars a month to upwards of $100K. 

No matter which channel you choose, your paid advertising efforts need to be grounded in solid organic marketing. When run effectively and incorporated in your overall strategy, PPC advertising can raise brand awareness, boost sales, generate leads, increase engagement and more. However, a lot of work is involved in managing a PPC campaign, from keyword and customer research to ad copy and A/B testing. It takes a well-developed strategy, marketing savvy and knowledge of the platforms. To get the most out of your PPC efforts, consult with a professional marketing agency like 10twelve. If you want to learn more or get a consultation, contact us today.