Let's Run Some Ad Campaigns Using PPC
Pay per click advertising, or PPC has been around for about as long as the Internet has, and has somewhat of a cult-like following. When most marketers think of PPC, they think of search engine advertising. “SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines” (Source: Search Engine Land).The other well-known form of PPC marketing is via social media (e.g. Facebook) advertising. Both fall under the PPC category since you are billed whenever someone views or clicks on your ad.
In the log homes industry in particular, when marketers hear the word, “Internet,” they often think, “PPC.” While we think PPC is still a viable way to try to grow your log homes business, there may be better options for you. Using PPC is like using a chainsaw: You can use a chainsaw to easily cut down a tree or just as easily accidentally cut off your leg.
1) PPC is Push / Interrupt / Outbound Marketing
For the sake of clarity, let’s call “push, “interrupt,” or “outbound” marketing: “conventional marketing.” Conventional marketing simply is paying for ads that “interrupt” potential leads where they are. T.V., radio, direct mail, also fall into the realm of conventional marketing. PPC is just a digital form of display advertising.
Do you like to be interrupted? Do you like all the sidebar ads showing up everywhere and slowing down web pages? If you don’t like them, then why should your customers?
2) Let’s Up Our Bids on Our Keywords
“Hey, we’re not getting traffic from these keywords because we’re being outbid. Let’s destroy our budget and really go after these keywords!”
Been there, heard that. Don’t get into a bidding war with your competitors, especially if they’re bigger than you are. The issue really is marketing ROI. Are you measuring your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)? According to Entrepreneur, you should be looking at CAC at least twice a year, and after every campaign (that includes PPC).
The old adage, “if you spend more, you get more,” is true with PPC. For example, if you’re spending $1,000 per month, but not getting the CTR (click through rate) you want, upping your bids to $1,200 probably will produce more results because you’ve outbid your competition on a few (or just one) keyword.
But what if next year you have to spend $2,000 per month to get the same results? This is where marketing ROI, measured by CAC and CPL (cost per lead), go haywire. “Recent research has revealed that just 18% of SMEs using Google Adwords actually recoup their investment (You Gov)” (source: Social Media Today).
3.) Can PPC Actually Work for You?
I’ll bet you’re not expecting me to say, “yes.” Read on. PPC actually can work but only by using the right medium, and only by carefully creating low CPC campaigns.
What’s the “right medium?” Facebook. What, not Adwords? Correct. Harry Hawk, from Inbound, has developed a strategy, executed it, and demonstrated its effectiveness. His secret? Carefully crafted campaigns with carefully monitored metrics. Remember, this is not just about “how many customers we’ve acquired,” but about marketing ROI, CAC, and CPL – so you have to measure everything. And please, don't spend a penny unless you're sure you have a reliable strategy.
4.) Why might Facebook pay off?
Facebook’s interface offers more control over targeting – both keyword targeting and geo-targeting. So you can sort of use it like direct mail, but at lower cost, and will less fuss.
The ultimate best kept secret would be launching a Facebook PPC campaign in conjunction with an inbound campaign. Say what? Simple: Link the Facebook add to a landing page with an offer.
Here’s how it works:
1) Create your Facebook ad and link it to a landing page.
2) The landing page contains a content offer and prompts the visitor for further engagement, moving them farther down the customer funnel.
3) Once the visitor accepts your content offer, you have a lead.
Key take-a-ways from this article:
- Without a good strategy, the results of PPC can be nil; you’ll get more customers, but at great cost.
- PPC is old style marketing. Just a few years ago it wasn’t, but with the advent of inbound, it now is.
- Using PPC in conjunction with inbound can achieve some quick wins. This strategy can work well for startups who have an adequate budget.