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Advertising can be an overwhelming process for small to mid-sized businesses. How do you know if you should advertise and if so, how much should you spend? Where is the best venue to place your ads? We'll help end the confusion. What follows is an outline of the basics of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and traditional advertising. Read on and you will be able to make more informed decisions about your advertising.
Digital marketers use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach customers through online channels. The PPC model is available on social media sites and other platforms, but most businesses use PPC advertising on search engines, like Google through Google AdWords. Many marketing firms can help you select PPC keywords, take you through the PPC process, and execute on a PPC strategy. But, before you partner with an advertising agency, it’s important to learn about the PPC process.
What follows is high-level information about PPC advertising and the process involved with beginning a PPC campaign. This is by no means an exhaustive review of the details, but it should provide the basics of what any reputable advertising agency should be doing for you.
The PPC process starts with an understanding of your target markets, competitors, and your website’s performance and optimization. These areas will inform your keyword research which is central to the process of creating a successful digital advertising campaign.
A situation analysis is often how we begin any marketing campaign, though, in the case of preparing a PPC campaign, it is a bit more abbreviated in its scope.
Conduct keyword research to determine which words and phrases your customers use when they are searching for a product or service like yours. An agency will identify the keywords that best describe your business’s products and services and refine them for your specific target audience.
You also want to research the words and phrases for which your competitors are trying to rank and the ad messaging they are using.
Once you have your well-researched keyword list in hand, you have to then set up an account with Google AdWords.
Google uses a bidding system which prioritizes ads based on factors such as bid spend, your website quality, and the target market demographics. You will have to designate your budget and bidding limits and create individual campaigns with specific keyword groups for each.
Next, you should identify your goals. They should include specifics like how many clicks you will garner within a particular time frame from a designated target audience. For example, if you’re a Denver-based rafting company and want to increase the awareness of a new style of helmet among outdoor-enthusiasts-aged-25-to-35, then a goal could be to generate 1,000 clicks into that helmet’s product page in a 2-month period. Of course, goals can vary widely and be very specific, depending on many factors.
With your goals solidified, it's time to outline the tactics you will use to achieve your goals. To increase the awareness of your rafting helmet among outdoor-enthusiasts-aged-25-to-35, a tactic may be to place the maximum bid (for AdWords, the maximum bid is $2) on keywords like “rafting helmet” or “rafting safety." This maximum bid will increase your ad’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). The tactic could include limiting your bidding to the summer months because this is a high-activity period for your target demographic.
Once you earn a click, the landing page has to be optimized to maximize conversions. If it's not, you just paid for a click that didn't earn you a transaction.
The landing page has to be persuasive and convince the visitor to engage with your brand or it's a waste of everyone's time. There is an art and science to landing pages. Make sure that whichever advertising agency you choose they are experts in optimizing landing pages.
Next, draft your ad copy and start your campaign. Here again, ad copy is an art and science a good advertising agency will employ expert copywriters who know how to write ads that attract clicks.
With your PPC campaign running, continual measurement is essential so you can measure the success and update the tactics based on how the campaigns perform.
You may choose to work with a specialized PPC company, but a quality advertising agency like Paige Black can develop a well-rounded strategy that includes print and other traditional advertising channels.
There are still people who prefer to hold a printed publication, so print ads in magazines and newspapers are still a viable means of reaching an audience.
Print ads are most effective when they don’t feel like ads. For instance, if your company sells bottled water and you choose to advertise in a fashion magazine, an ad that presents your product as glamorous and chic will feel cohesive with the rest of the publication’s content, and resonate with audience members who like to keep up with fashion trends.
TV and streaming video content ads reach audiences in their homes. While this is advantageous, your consumers increasingly tune out commercials while they’re waiting for their shows to return.
When creating a TV ad, develop a unique concept that demonstrates how your business will add value to your customers’ lives. Weigh purchasing air time on broadcast networks versus cable networks, as each option has certain cost implications and reaches a different audience.
Billboards are a popular out-of-home marketing medium and are often seen along highways and in areas of cities with lots of foot traffic. This kind of advertising reaches a large audience because of the sheer volume of motorists and pedestrians that pass by. Billboards create an immersive advertising experience for the consumer and help keep your company top of mind. Billboards aren’t right for every business, however. Your budget, the message, and the target market are the most important factors when deciding if a billboard is a correct tactic to include in your advertising efforts.
Radio ads can be challenging because they rely on audio alone. When writing a radio ad, think about where your audience will be when they hear it-- likely in traffic or in a waiting room. Effective radio spots quickly grab the audience’s attention and establish the place and time in the first few seconds, and then keep the listener engaged throughout. If you want to include this channel in your advertising campaigns, find an advertising agency with a proven track record for producing high-quality radio ads as well as skill in choosing the right stations and air times in which to play the ads.
Why Choose Paige Black?
Our marketing systems are designed to get you more of who you want and less of who you don’t want. Not only do we house a wide array of digital experts with cutting-edge skills to help you maintain your competitive advantage, but we also offer education on marketing best practices, tools, and strategies so you’re empowered to make better marketing decisions.
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