When people think of a PPC strategy, most often they talk about a keyword strategy, or a remarketing strategy, and that’s fine, those things certainly need to be considered when you’re developing a PPC account, but I recently held a PPC strategy meeting with the team here at Marketing Nomads and realized that PPC strategy takes on a very different meaning for us.
We find that when our clients want PPC Management, they don’t just want technical management, they want our expertise in creating marketing strategies that use PPC as a tool. This goes far beyond managing the pay per click ads, and starts looking at AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook and other ad platforms as simply cogs in the system, and in order for that to work, the system needs to be understood as a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
So what exactly do I mean by strategy? Too many PPC marketers' strategy is choosing the right keywords and writing good ad copy, it’s developing a remarketing list or two to target people who didn’t buy a particular product or service, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But to me, strategy means much more than that, it’s about looking at your PPC, not as an island, but as a part of the much bigger whole.
You see, it’s very easy to look at a single digital marketing channel and simply try to generate sales from that channel. But sometimes you need to take a look and think of your strategy in terms of the journey your customers are taking. Sure in some industries you can focus on getting sales on that first visit, but customers are savvy, at the very least they want to go and price compare or search for coupon codes, so how do you make sure that your site is the one they come back to? That’s where your digital marketing strategy comes in.
In one particular case, we were trying to drive online reservations, but no matter how much we played with the landing page, there were always more questions than answers and people just weren’t willing to commit to making an online reservation. So we switched it up, instead of making the goal of the PPC campaign to get sales, we decided that what we were really interested in was getting an email address so that we could start a conversation with the customer and find out what they needed from us in order to make that purchase. In addition to generating email addresses for contacting customers, we developed another strategy to invite people to open house days where the client could show potential customers exactly what they would be getting. We advertised those as events on Facebook, targeting a local audience and offering them a day out that would be enjoyed by the whole family instead of expecting them to simply buy from an unknown company with an unknown service.
Suddenly, this was about more than PPC, we were no longer looking at PPC as a standalone marketing channel, but as a single touchpoint in an ongoing conversation with the client.
PPC should integrate and support all of your marketing channels, whether it’s working to drive a direct sale, drop a cookie for remarketing or gather an email address so that you can help your potential customers learn about the value of your product.
We develop journeys that use all of your marketing channels, from pay per click to email and even direct mail, in designing multiple channels to work together rather than independently, our clients save money and increase conversion rates across the board, because their customers feel like they are talking to a single entity, rather than multiple departments who aren’t communicating with each other.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of your day to day PPC management tasks, which can sometimes take up so much time, and let’s face it, it’s a repetitive and often thankless task. It’s easy to get burned out and forget that the really exciting thing about marketing is that you can build things, entire marketing ecosystems that cross multiple marketing channels to drive the right people to the right information where they feel comfortable making a purchase.
Perhaps it’s time that you took a look at your own PPC account and really asked yourself, what is the strategy here, have I mapped out the journey that my customers will take, from seeing my advert to making that final purchasing decision, and am I making the most of every step within that journey?