PPC is one of the most versatile marketing channels available due to its real-time flexibility and the multitude of options available. Some campaign types work best with a large-scale, national audience, while others are suited for a small business. So, what’s best for you?
The Growing Small Business
Your small business is seeing some success. You’ve proven that the business model works, and you have the resources to put together a marketing budget. In front of you is an array of marketing channels, apps, consultants, software … a lot of people seem to want to take that marketing budget off your hands. Where do you start?
A PPC campaign is a great place to start because it is measurable. Simple conversion tracking makes it easy to tell when a sale or lead has been captured, and how valuable that interaction was.
To start, it’s best to avoid reach-based marketing channels that aren’t easily measured, and put your budget toward a targeted search or shopping campaign.
Once your campaign is operating profitably, around 60-80% impression share – the volume of impressions you have versus the volume of impressions you could have with unlimited budget – then it’s time to start diversifying to other channels. An easy next step to start with is zeroing in on remarketing lists and broadening your keyword match types.
The Successful Midsized Company
The bridge from growing a small business to a successful company is a diversified marketing budget. Laser-focused search and shopping campaigns aren’t going to cut it anymore, because you’ve reached a cap on traffic. You certainly want to keep those channels in place, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic button you could use to create more traffic?
Enter, display campaigns.
Display campaigns require investment beyond ad costs, as well as a strong understanding of your market. Targeting your ads by audience is effective in search, but audience targeting really shines in a display campaign. If you’re not sure what your audience is, you can test on trial and error, but that can be an expensive way to segment your consumers. It’s best to have an idea of who you want to serve ads to going in.
Once the campaign has developed, you’ll start seeing more business, not just from the campaign itself, but from all the sales channels you’ve developed over the growth of your business model. This is a great time to expand your digital presence to platforms outside Google Ads, like Facebook Ads, and Microsoft Advertising.
The Brand Name
At some point, there are no more consumers who want your product that don’t already have it, a competitor’s product, or a substitute.
Display campaigns become the core of your digital presence. It’s not enough to be there when the consumer is looking for you anymore, you want to be omnipresent even when they aren’t actively searching for your business. The slightest sign of relevant interest becomes a lead to track.
In addition, you should invest in a high-quality video asset, run it on a high-volume YouTube campaign, and start tracking any audience that interacts with the video campaign as a possible lead. From now on, it’s a matter of increasing efficiency at maximum available volume.
The Struggling Business
Marketing is only as strong as your business. It’s critical to set expectations of what can be done with any marketing channel, including PPC.
For instance, PPC cannot save a failing business model. Too often, business owners view PPC as a last resort. When conventional marketing channels and word of mouth have failed, PPC is alluring because you can see exactly where the budget is going. You can scrutinize and tweak the data to the molecular level, trying to squeeze out that extra sale that will turn things around.
The problem with that approach is that digital campaigns are based on the science of data management. Every adjustment made to a campaign is a variable added, and in scientific data collection, a baseline data set is crucial.
This reality runs counter-intuitive to the intense micro-optimization and malleability of campaign data that PPC is capable of, and many business owners get lost in this contradiction. Making adjustments based on something as small as a few days’ worth of data exposes your campaign to the whims of a host of outside influences. This inadvertently breaks the data set before it contains enough data on which to base statistically significant conclusions.
If your business can’t produce enough revenue to allow a PPC campaign to run untouched for a long enough period of time to collect the data required for analysis, refocus your efforts on revising your business model. Marketing can wait.