Pay-per-click advertising is just one aspect of the wide range of digital marketing tools available to you, but—in the right hands—it can certainly be one of the most powerful. Unfortunately, PPC marketing can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you make costly mistakes that impact your return on investment. Because PPC is such a powerful tool, many want to jump right in and reap the benefits right away. Google makes starting an AdWords account super easy, which might lead users to believe that creating campaigns will be easy, too. Before you attempt pay-per-click advertising, there are a few things you should know.
The Bidding ProcessEnsuring that your company shows up in Google searches requires knowledge of search engine optimization. Remember: your competitors already have AdWords accounts and have been bidding on the keywords associated with your business. If you want to beat them in the bidding war, you have to be thorough. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying top dollar for some keywords when others could bring similar results at a much lower price. First, consider any trademarked words and phrases, as well as any other terms you’ve branded. You’re less likely to experience competition for these terms, but you’ll only receive traffic from searchers who are already familiar with your brand. Next, consider industry-related terms. These are the words and phrases that you’ll compete the most for, so be creative. Long-tail searches are less likely to be bid on by competitors, and they’re also more likely to bring you buyers who are ready to convert. For instance, if you sell shoes, and someone searches for “red patent leather pumps,” that buyer already knows exactly what she’s looking for and probably has her credit card at the ready for when she finds what she needs. Finally, bid on competitor keywords. This is where you’re likely to find some customers who weren’t already familiar with your brand, and then you can win them over with your unique selling proposition. This is a trickier process, so wait until you’re more familiar with PPC before you attempt it.
Investigate SitelinksYou can set your PPC ads apart from competitors with this tool, which is just an easy-to-add extension for Google AdWords. This is a cost-efficient way to clarify and narrow down your ads for anyone who’s searching for the products you sell. Let’s take a look at the red shoes search from earlier. A query through Google for “women’s red shoes” brings back two ads. The first, from ModCloth, shows four additional links at the bottom, giving the searcher the chance to further refine the search. This is Sitelinks at work.
A/B Test Your CampaignsNot even the most seasoned PPC marketing experts can predict exactly what will catch a buyer’s eye. What works with one campaign could achieve dismal results with the next. This is because buyers’ needs change, and so do the trends. To always get the best possible results, create two versions of your campaign. They should be identical except for one piece, such as the headline. Run those two ads at the same time for two weeks, and then examine which had better results. If headline B worked better, then use that headline and then change something else, such as the image used or the copy in the body of the ad. You’ll never achieve perfections because, as we said earlier, buyers’ needs are always changing. What you can do is ensure that you’re always presenting the best possible option at that time to your buyers. Pay-per-click can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’d like some help developing powerful and relevant PPC marketing campaigns, give us a call.
Regardless of how large or small your company may be, the idea of competing with a company like Walmart or Amazon probably has you feeling a little incredulous. It’s not possible, is it? Of course it is. You can compete with big brands with the right marketing tactics. Remember, the big guys were all once small brands, too. So, how can you go about beating bigger competitors at their own game? Let’s take a look.
Differentiate YourselfYou don’t want to be like those big brands, except in the revenue department, right? No, you want your brand to stand out like a beacon in the night. The only way to do that is to determine what makes you different from the crowd and than capitalize on that. That difference won’t be your prices, either. While “Always low prices” works for Walmart, that’s not what will set you apart. Your mission, your vision, your product, and your customer service—these are the places where you can overtake your competitors.
Focus on Your ContentMarketing, really, is just educating your customer. You want to let them know how your products or services can solve their pain. Your content is how you deliver that education. And remember: content is much more than your blog. Buyers are consuming more and more videos, especially the younger demographics. You may find that YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram help you deliver your content better for Generation Z and Millennial audiences. Blogs and articles may resonate better with Generation X and Baby Boomers. You also have to make sure your buyers can find that content. SEO is still as important today as it has always been. While you can distribute your content through outside sources like Facebook, BuzzFeed, YouTube, and Medium, you can’t guarantee your target audience will find it. Using keywords and search phrases within your articles and video descriptions is crucial. Long-tail keyword phrases may cut down on the number of times you’re found in searches, but you do get two big benefits from them: First, the big brands aren’t using those phrases, so you have less competition. Second, those long-tail keywords are more likely to funnel customers who are looking for your exact products and services.
Ask and ListenAre your buyers excited about your brand? Do they love your customer service? The best way to determine this is to simply ask. Post polls on your social media profiles and send out surveys in the mail. Give your buyers the chance to really talk back. And when they do, listen. Remember that customer service occurs across multiple platforms today, too. You can’t sit by the phone and expect to hear from all your customers. Instead, monitor your social channels to see what your customers are saying. Reach out and engage through Twitter and Facebook when you see buyers experiencing pain your company can solve.
Deliver an Unforgettable ExperienceNow, you’ve set yourself apart from the crowd. You’ve determined your target audience. You’ve asked them what they really, really want. It’s time to put these things together into one truly unforgettable experience. When you deliver on your brand promises, your buyers will remember. They’ll remember that every time a bigger brand drops the ball, and when it’s time to make a purchase again, they’ll be right there at your door with their wallets. And if something should go wrong during the buying process, be prepared to make it right, no matter what the cost. As more and more companies are automating the sales and marketing process, buyers are looking for that special something. If you’re ready to provide that, then you’re well on your way to competing with the big brands. As always, we’re here to help if you need it. Be sure to join us in a couple weeks for our latest training course: 6 Steps Top Brands Use to Build Their Marketing Campaigns.
Marketers have spent the better part of the last five years trying to figure out how to market to millennials. After all, this is the largest cohort since the Baby Boomers—in fact now larger—and therefore hold a tremendous amount of spending power. It’s important to note, however, that while millennials may have tremendous spending power due to the size of the cohort, Generation X has greater spending power still. With 29% of estimated net worth dollars and 31% of total income dollars, Generation X has more spending power than any other generation. Not only do they have that power to spend, they use it. By far, more dollars are spent each year by Generation X than any other cohort. That reason alone should remind you that marketing to Generation X is a good investment of your time and dollars. There are several other reasons to keep this particular generation in mind.
Generation X Is PowerfulRight now, Gen Xers are the managers, entrepreneurs, heads of household, and even politicians. Several companies have recently tapped people under 50 to serve as CEO, including Microsoft, McDonalds, and Harley Davidson. They’re coming into their power and discovering the influence that comes with that power. This generation is both supporting their children and their parents. They’re starting their own businesses. They’re spending for their own households, all the while. That’s a lot of money on the table, yet marketers still consider them the “forgotten generation.”
Generation X Is On FacebookWhile the general consensus seems to be that millennials spend too much time on their phones and in their social networks, the latest data proves that Generation X is actually the Facebook addict. If you’re spending your marketing budget on reaching millennials on social media, you may just be targeting the wrong age bracket. Marketing to Generation X might be the better bet.
Generation X Loves EcommerceMillennials may love their online shopping, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones happy with ecommerce. In fact, 7 out of 10 Generation Xers shop online, for an average of $1,900 per person spent online each year. Not only are they shopping online, but they’re also engaging with brands online, too. They research, check reviews, and watch for new products through various online channels. This generation will be wherever you are online, and often with their wallets at the ready.
Generation X Is LoyalThese buyers have been through some financial crises, with multiple recessions knocking the wind out of them. While they have tremendous spending power, they’re more savvy with their money. These buyers often join rewards programs, with 88.6% looking to save money through their loyalty. Once a Gen Xer becomes a customer, 86% are more likely to remain a customer. They’re more likely to spend more for better quality, and if the brand they choose provides that quality, they will probably remain long-term customers. If you’d like to explore marketing to Generation X, we can help. Give us a call to discuss your current campaigns and what you could do to reach the “middle child” consumers in the US.
Buyer personas are the backbone of your marketing efforts. You spend hours crafting campaigns meant to reach specific targets according to their age, location, gender, and so many other identifiers. In fact, before you even begin the branding process, knowing your buyers is a key step. But is it possible that you’re missing an important key to understanding your buyers?