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Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub

2 Times You Should be Using Pay Per Click Advertising in Your Marketing Strategy!

A short video explaining 2 times your business should be using Pay Per Click advertising!

When Should Your Business Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) In Its Marketing Strategy?

Few marketing channels can get you as fast results as pay-per-click advertising can. You simply pay to play, and as the advertisements are optimised, you see better and better results each day/week. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not always plain sailing. This is especially the case when business owners aren’t very proficient in advertising and analytics. PPC advertising can get extremely expensive if not used in the right situations, or when ads or your website are poorly optimised. 

In this post, we discuss when your business should be using PPC in its marketing strategy. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Want a digital marketing agency that guarantees a positive return on investment to run your PPC campaign for you? – Get in touch to see how we can support your business in reaching its marketing goals.

What is PPC Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising, otherwise called PPC advertising, is a form of advertising where you only pay each time your ad is clicked. This makes it possible to only pay for people that engage with your ad instead of paying for a set time span that your advertisements are shown. Other forms of advertising might include PPV (pay-per-view), or other forms of display advertising where you pay for the placement of your ad instead of per engaged person.

PPC advertising is especially effective due to the level of control you have over your expenses, as well as what you pay per person clicking on your ad. You can target your ads to pretty much anyone. This freedom to aim your advertisements at certain groups of people, or people that have shown a particular interest in something, is what makes PPC advertising so powerful compared to traditional forms of advertising. There are also various powerful analytics platforms that help you optimise your ads in a way that was never possible with TV advertising, radio adverts, or any other form of traditional advertising.

All these features have turned traditional pay-and-spray advertising techniques which allow only extremely broad targeting based on channels, magazine topics or cities/locations, into precision-based advertising which gives the advertiser a lot more control. This extra control coupled with the ease at which research can be done on these channels makes PPC advertising extremely powerful.

However, as PPC advertising channels get more crowded and more and more companies are bidding on specific search phrases or targeting specific groups of people, the price that is paid per click is rising sharply. Where you used to get hundreds of clicks for pennies on the pound, lately, more and more companies are actually losing money on the PPC campaigns. This is a real problem, especially for those that aren’t as well versed with PPC advertising as they should be.

All of that being said, there are a few times where PPC campaigns are still super effective, and that’s what we’re going to get into next!

When you should use PPC campaigns

One of the biggest challenges of advertising is understanding when and how you should be using it. There are a lot of businesses that use PPC advertising as if it is a marketing strategy in itself, meaning they focus solely on their paid advertising campaigns while neglecting the other aspects of their marketing.

This can work well in the beginning, but eventually, ads will run dry and these businesses will be left with nothing. Building your brand is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy, so using PPC ads to support your broader marketing goals instead of replacing them is way more effective.

Here at RACER Marketing, we love building your brand. Time and time again we see small business owners grow 2x, 5x or even 10x through strong branding coupled with a good marketing strategy. Make sure you get your foundation set before trying channels like PPC advertising.

To help improve the effectiveness of your PPC advertising campaigns, below, you’ll find a few times your business should be using PPC advertising to support its broader marketing strategy. 

To Find Out What Will Work

PPC is fantastic for finding out what will work. Not only does it allow you to test the waters with a product or service, but it also allows you to test your audience. Finding out what will work quickly without spending too much prevents unnecessary waste.

Where some companies will roll out a full-blown marketing campaign only to find out they’re barking up the wrong tree, other’s are smarter. These smarter companies use PPC advertising as a tool to test the waters quickly and cost-effectively before starting their marketing campaign. This improves the chances of success and helps you to get more control over your marketing. Let’s take fishing as an analogy here…

Fishing for customers

When going fishing, you take care to pack everything you need. On arrival at the lake, you have all the tools you need to catch fish. Your fishing rod is the main tool, but you also have a chair, maybe a hat or glasses, and some bait. As well as all of these things, you also bring a huge amount of patience to the table, since you don’t know whether or not you’ll get a bite at all. Although there’s no way of saying for certain whether you’ll catch a fish, the odds are, if you fish for long enough, you’ll catch one eventually.

Now we have everything, we need to improve our chances of actually catching a fish. We do this using ground bait, which is cheap bait thrown in a larger area of the lake in order to attract the fish to that area. By concentrating the fish in one area, we improve our chances of catching a fish since we’re casting into an area there are more of them. Once you see signs of fish in the area you threw your ground bait, you cast your line with real bait on it in the hopes of catching a fish. Patience is all that’s left at this point, and with enough of it, you can almost be sure you’ll catch something eventually.

Back to your marketing campaign

Bringing it back to your marketing campaign, before you start marketing anything, you need to know where your customers are. In fishing, you use the ground bait to make sure you’re casting in the right spot, and it’s no different in marketing. It can be done very easily through PPC advertising. To do this, you simply assign a tiny budget to your PPC campaign for the first three months in order to test the waters and see where your customers are.

After a while, you’ll start to see where your ads are performing well and where they aren’t. This allows you to “cast your line” in the areas where the chances of interested customers are highest. Just like you use cheap ground bait to draw the fish in, you use cheap advertising campaigns to understand your audience and where they are located. This helps you to save your real advertising budget for the ads and targeting with the biggest chance of success.

Many companies jump straight in when it comes to PPC without doing the research necessary to find out where their budget is best spent. Doing this can mean you blow through your budget extremely quickly. By taking a few months to gather the information you need, you can understand where your customers are and what kinds of ads will work.

Just like in the fishing example, you need patience in order to find out what works and what doesn’t. The low-budget campaign that runs for a few months shows you where your customers are, what ads perform best, and how you can best target the right people.

Tip: Launching a new product or service? You can use PPC ads to test the waters with pretty much anything, from book titles to the interest in your services. Launching a new video course? Run some PPC ads with different course titles to see which ones perform best. Instead of guessing the best title, or using a title that you think might be best, test it and see which performs best for which audience!

Want to launch a new service you’re planning on providing? Run some low-budget PPC ads to collect emails or phone numbers, or even just drive the traffic to a page on your website advertising the services. This allows you to test the waters and see if there’s any kind of demand before you start investing in software, tools, or other expenses needed for this service.

Retargeting

Another great way to leverage PPC advertising is for retargeting purposes. Once you start seeing the traffic coming onto your site, you might run into the issue of low conversion rates. Once you’ve seen that there is interest in your product, website, or service, but your visitors aren’t turning into leads, retargeting can be a great way of staying top-of-mind with those that show interest and has been proven to improve conversion rates.

Note: Poor conversion rates doesn’t automatically mean you should be spending a lot of money on retargeting. First, check to see how your website is performing. In many cases, a website that’s slow, not optimised for mobile, or not functioning properly is the reason why they don’t convert.

Always check your website first, as well as checking to see whether there is no ambiguity in your ad copy or images that may make people think they are clicking on something else. This can negatively impact your conversion rate in a big way, and no amount of retargeting will solve it. 

Retargeting ads allow you to target ads to people that have already shown an interest in your website, interacted with it, or even interacted with your ads or social media pages. This gives you multiple chances to grab their attention.

The good thing about retargeting ads is that your customer is already aware of your business and your product. They’ve already expressed an interest and making sure they don’t forget about your company can be a great way of increasing the number of leads and sales you get from your PPC campaign.

Retargeting for branding

PPC retargeting campaigns can also improve your branding by making your product or business more top-of-mind in people. There is a certain number of times potential customers need to be exposed to your brand every day/week in order to give your marketing the best chance of succeeding. In marketing, we call this effective frequency.

In a study done by Facebook a while ago, they found that although there isn’t a magic number that every business needs to hit, a frequency of 1-3 times per week seems to improve both the ad recall rate as well as the purchasing intent of someone viewing the ad. Retargeting makes it possible for you to get your message in front of the right people consistently in order to improve your marketing and branding.

Remarketing campaigns can be run on a whole host of different platforms, from Google and Facebook ads, to ads on other social media channels like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. Using pixels on your website, you can easily provide these different ad providers with the information needed to use retargeting across a vast array of websites and social media channels.

Important: These pixels you place on your website, as well as the targeting you may do on the various ad providers may involve handling personal data. With governments all over the world developing more and more laws around the use of personal data, it’s important to consult with a legal professional or do your research before partaking in retargeting.

Although this may sound expensive, there are often just a few small changes you need to make and it’s normally not such a big deal. It’s important to think about though, both from an ethical standpoint as well as a legal one!

If you found that part interesting, make sure to check out our post on the importance of brand positioning!

What NOT to do in your PPC Advertising

Aside from these two great reasons to use PPC advertising, there are a plethora of other times when PPC advertising is worthwhile. We could create a whole book on this subject, but we thought it would be more effective to cover some of the biggest mistakes people make in their PPC advertising campaigns instead to save you days of reading.

There are certain common occurrences which almost guarantee companies losing money on their PPC campaigns. If you’re making any of these PPC advertising mistakes, then switch up your tactics or hire an agency to manage your advertising campaigns in a controlled manner for you. Although you may think an agency or freelancer will make your PPC advertising more expensive, if they’re good, they almost always get a positive return on the investment which includes their own costs.

The bull-in-a-china-shop approach

This is common among companies new to PPC advertising, especially if they have seen some success initially. Much like when gambling, the moment people win big, they can quickly get sucked into the game and get carried away. One of the big issues with PPC advertising is that sometimes, you may see a little success at first, even when your ads and targeting are way off. This can lead people to think that they are on the right track and they’ll start splurging their budget straight away.

Thousands of pounds later is usually when they realise that they’ve made a mistake.

Don’t let this be you! Chances are you’re not a naturally gifted ads specialist that has churned out a wickedly successful ad in the first few hours of ever using the platform. Take the time to test your campaigns thoroughly, or make sure your agency is doing it right for you. These days everyone is impatient, so by applying patience yourself, you can quite easily get a step ahead of your competitors.

Pay-and-spray approach

Another common PPC marketing mistake is not tracking the results of your campaigns as well as not leveraging the control you have at your disposal. Even when you run a few split tests on your ads and find one that performs well, you still need to use the control that’s given to you by the various platforms to optimise and improve them, as well as track them.

Before starting any marketing campaign, it’s important to get very specific about who your ideal customer or lead is. You need to track your KPIs, but also keep track of the data that you get from the various advertising platforms in order to improve your understanding of your audience. This will not only help you to further improve your PPC advertising results but also your other marketing channels’ effectiveness. 

PPC advertising is not like traditional advertising, but this is how many companies use it. Just target relatively broadly, test until the ads are getting some results, then throwing a big budget at it in the hope of seeing a positive return. Needless to say, this often doesn’t end well for the company in question.

This approach is different from the previous as you have gone through some effort to test your ads, but you’re not leveraging all the data at your disposal. This means wasted funds and wasted opportunities. When you’re directly paying for not just someone’s time, but also paying per click, you can be sure that wasted money quickly adds up. 

Test-set-forget approach

The next groups of people are a little more advanced. They know they need to test their ads thoroughly, and they know they need to keep track of their KPIs and the data they are provided with. However, once they get a profitable ad, they focus all of their money on it and milk it dry.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with spending more of your budget on successful advertising campaigns. It’s actually best practice to spend as much as possible when you are seeing a positive ROI. Put simply, if you’re seeing a 20% ROI, then for every pound you spend, you’re getting one pound twenty back.

However, the problems start when the ads stop performing as well. People respond differently to different things at different times, and what works well now will not work well later. By continuing to test your ads and trying out different variations, you can make sure you see long-term results while also improving your understanding of your target audience.

Neglecting your website

We recently uploaded a blog post about website speed optimisation which covers the speed aspect of this, but there are also general design elements that could severely be holding your website back. Optimising your ad campaigns and neglecting your website is asking for trouble.

Website speed is a huge part of your website’s performance, and it will also directly affect the performance of your advertising campaign. How your website is designed, and whether or not it is optimised for mobile too are other aspects of your website that will have a huge impact on your PPC campaigns.

Make sure your website loads fast and that it functions properly on all devices. These are the basic steps you need to take to ensure your website will keep the traffic you send engaged and turn them into leads for your business. Specially designed landing pages are important for making the most of your PPC advertising.

PPC advertising – to do, or not to do?

Although PPC advertising can be extremely effective if done right, it takes a lot of expertise and time to turn your campaign into a profitable one. By focusing your PPC efforts in the right places and following the guidelines in this article, you can ensure that you only run effective PPC campaigns, instead of wasting your money on poorly optimised campaigns or campaigns that aren’t tracked properly.

Prefer to outsource your entire PPC marketing? Here at RACER, we guarantee a positive ROI. Sounds interesting? Get in touch so we can see what we can do for your business!

No Risk. Just Reward. Guaranteed!