Taking PPC to The Next Level by Staying Flexible




  • October 7, 2015

    PPC marketing isn’t solely about search engine ads anymore.


    With technological advancements comes the need to alter and enhance advertising strategies. You must be willing to adapt and do what’s necessary to gain cost-effective click-throughs on all the various platforms.


    Whether you represent a major corporation or small creative business, you’ll want to get out your virtual yoga mat. Openness and flexibility are essential qualities to make advertising campaigns worth your while.


    The primary shifts in PPC trends have occurred in mobile advertising and social media advertising, but even in those mediums, content is still essential. Let’s take a look at how different advertising mediums can help give your PPC strategy a boost.


    Mobile advertising continues to trend upwards

    An increasing number of search queries originate from mobile devices. According to Google’s internal data, more consumers conduct Google searches on their mobile devices than on their computers. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported a 76% increase in mobile advertising when comparing mid-year reports between 2013 and 2014.


    Mobile-Advertising


    In response to this shift, Google amped up mobile adverts – enhancing their content, making them swipeable and more accessible to users. Searchers are seeking immediate, yet thorough answers while on the go.


    As an online marketer, serving mobile users is not an option, but a necessity.


    What are the best ways to serve mobile users?


    If you haven’t already, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. In addition to responsive layout, mobile site crawlers need to be able to find your website.


    There are two steps involved in making your mobile site crawl-ready. First, you can submit a mobile sitemap to search engines, and then you should make sure that mobile crawlers have access to this sitemap. See pages 24-35 of this Google report for instructions.


    Stay in the moment


    Many consumers are breaking search queries up into multiple sessions. Referred to as micro moments, individuals may begin a search on their desktops, but then slip in searches during their downtime while on other devices.


    For instance, if a personal chef wants to purchase new equipment, he might begin research on his home computer, but continue looking for information while standing in line at the grocery store. If he originally clicks through an ad to your website – but is unable to find your website after transitioning to his mobile device – this user will likely leave your site, and then search for answers on a website that’s mobile-friendly.


    If your site lacks mobile agility, it makes for a poor user experience. Customers will find a better solution. And your PPC campaign will not have yielded the intended results.


    Consider user experience even after the click-through


    So, is your CTR soaring? Goal accomplished, right? Maybe. Another way you can serve mobile users well is to consider ad size and carefully arrange ad placement on your website.


    Once consumers click your PPC ad and land on your site, they want additional information before being sold. Ad size and placement can interfere with user experience. This is especially true on a mobile device due to limited screen space.


    With a smaller screen size, ads often take up space that should instead display content. Not only do users find this distracting, but they also are led to believe the information they’re seeking is no longer on the page.


    Researchers call this a false floor. When advertisements are large and located at the top or middle of the page, “false floors…inaccurately signal the end of content and cause users to miss helpful information” on their mobile devices.


    Here are a few ways you can keep mobile users engaged


    Mobile-users-engaged



    1. If you must place large ads above or midway through content, communicate this to the reader. Incorporate text that asks user to, “Continue Reading,” “Read More Below,” or use similar text that lets users know the content they need can be found beyond the advertisement.
    2. Consider using small, horizontal ads. This way, users can see the content they need continues below the ad. This ad size and placement is non-distracting and prevents false floors from forming.
    3. Place your call to action at the very bottom of the page as opposed to the top or middle. Users find this approach the least intrusive. When content is offered first, this aligns with the user’s goals. They tend to ignore ads unrelated to their goal. Users were found more likely to engage with ads after they’ve read the information they needed.

    A user’s task is to find an answer to their search query – awkward ad placement prevents that from happening. Users then move on to a different website out of frustration.


    By keeping mobile users in mind, your ad campaigns will link to the information they need in the exact moments they need it without distraction or annoyance.


    Unsure if your – or your client’s – website is mobile-friendly? Test your URL here.


    The truth about social media advertising

    Based on a sample of 2000 WordStream clients, those that experienced the highest conversion rates were ahead of the curve in terms of using multiple advertising formats.


    When video ads were introduced, they were the first to jump on board. When Twitter introduced their advertising options, these companies were the first to try them.


    Social media advertising revenues have been on a steady incline since they were first reported in 2012.


    How can you get the most out of your social media ad campaigns?


    Focused, strategic planning; familiarity with a social media platform, and solid customer awareness all contribute to successful social media ad campaigns.


    Let’s review some case studies from individuals and companies using PPC ads on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.


    Instagram elevates sales down under


    Striking photography and original ideas for entertaining guests won over Australian Philadelphia Cream Cheese followers on Instagram. Within eight weeks, the company saw a 41% sales spike along with an increase in purchase intention and brand awareness.


    philyaus-instagram-ppc


    Knowledge of their customer base and Instagram platform made Philadelphia’s campaign a success. Their advertisements offered creative culinary solutions. Images incorporated ingredients their Australian audience was accustomed to using with a true-to-life glimpse of how to combine and present ingredients to guests.


    Philadelphia’s sponsored ads offered customers a snapshot of imaginative product usage. Instead of screaming, “Buy our product,” their images invited customers to use their product to serve their guests in a fresh, new way. In one snapshot, Philadelphia communicated, “Here’s how you can use our product to dazzle your guests at your next party.” This approach led to exceptional results.


    Pinterest’s promoted pins: an eCommerce & B2B goldmine?


    How does over $ 40K in profits sound – in one month – from an average PPC ad cost of only 17 cents per click?


    Marketer, Ezra Firestone, explains how it’s done – and how he earned a profit without a long, wordy sales page. Ezra set up a Promoted Pins campaign in Pinterest that linked to an inviting, informational article on his eCommerce website. That article funneled to his eCommerce shop, from which purchases were made.


    pinterest-promoted-pins


    Not only was there an increase in traffic from Pinterest, but there was also an influx of organic and direct traffic, which also contributed to his earnings.


    Pinterest offers a highly personalized experience for its users and is one of the most mobile-friendly social platforms.


    Its acquisition of Kosei speaks to Pinterest’s level of commitment to users and business owners alike. Kosei’s algorithms help determine the best fit between Promoted Pins and Pinterest users. This means users find the content they need, and you or your client gain a quality click-through.


    Ezra takes this success a step further by using his own case study to teach business owners to create their own success on Pinterest.


    Promoted Pins that perform well:



    • Are informative
    • Are vertically-orientated with an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 4:5
    • Show multiple aspects of products or stages of instructions
    • Subtly display company logos

    Be sure to peruse Pinterest’s ad policy and follow their guidelines to ensure your Promoted Pins are approved and effective.


    Since 80% of Pinterest users access the site using their mobile device, make certain that you consider image size and the length of each Pin’s description. (No more than 100 characters for smartphones; fewer than 250 for tablets.)


    In addition to appearing on a Pinner’s home feed, promoted Pins show up in category feeds and general search results as well.


    What’s most impressive is that Promoted Pins outlive your ad campaign. They remain in Pinterest’s feed indefinitely.


    Twitter ad campaigns: lower costs, higher views


    Whether you customize your Twitter campaign or use a pre-existing ad format, you’ll possibly spend one-third less than other marketing channels, and you’ll benefit from higher views.


    In conjunction with their HRMarketer software, the Fisher VISTA agency used Twitter to help establish themselves as experts in their industry. More specifically, Twitter Card promotions helped push engagement rates into overdrive.


    Fisher VISTA chose to test their campaign during the 2014 HR Technology Conference & Exposition. This event was ripe with members of their target audience in the human resources industry.


    Here’s the process they implemented:



    • In preparation for the conference, Fisher VISTA offered a downloadable report to conference vendors. Personalized @mention tweets helped draw attention to the report. The results? In addition to gaining hundreds of downloads, the company now had a list of warm leads to target during the event.
    • Over the course of the event, Fisher VISTA monitored the conference’s hashtag. They interacted with conference attendees and shared stimulating and timely content. Social media engagement increased their website page visits, broadening their audience.
    • After the event, the company used Twitter Cards to uncover even more targeted leads. By permanently embedding simple sign-up forms in their tweets, the company continued to engage their warm leads and even surprised Twitter with their results.

    Maximize Facebook advertising cost


    Sausage and food products company Savoie’s wanted to expand brand awareness to build social proof for future deals with distributors. Gaining likes was one part of that equation, so that became the focus of their Facebook campaign.


    Louisianans are known for flavorful food and their love of cooking. So this Facebook campaign took geographic location and cultural preferences into consideration.


    With these clear goals in mind, the marketing team for Savoie’s initiated a Facebook campaign that led to over 10,000 new likes at a cost of about 11 cents each.


    Savoies-sausage-facebook


    As a result, they now have a thriving Facebook community, increased brand recognition, and have begun incorporating ads promoting online purchases.


    At the end of the day content is still king

    By diversifying ad presentation, you reach a broader audience, potentially increasing conversions. But, regardless of the online advertising platform, valuable content is still essential.


    Google AdWords VP, Jerry Dischler, asserts that text ads will remain a staple on Google’s platform. A 2014 study by Hanapin Marketing supports Dischler’s assertion. Ninety-seven percent of respondents considered text advertisements to be an “important/very important” component of their PPC advertising campaigns.


    In the same study, fifty-five percent of respondents placed a high emphasis on display ads, while social advertisements were gaining ground at 38%. Most dollars were spent on Facebook’s search ads, but Twitter was a close follow-up.


    In one study, 86% of B2B marketers still rely on content marketing. As noted in the Twitter case study, content shared through social media is the bridge between potential customers and future conversion rates.


    Remember that Pinterest case study? It’s possible that Ezra’s conversion rates would have been closer to zero had he not provided an informative article prior to the ask.


    By adding useful and shareable content to your blog or website, like agricultural giant AGCO, you’re pre-selling your products or services. When you post your content across relevant social media accounts, readers then share your content, which amplifies your PPC efforts.


    Ideal-Mobile-Formatting


    When going through your Google analytics, you can determine which articles performed well, and then further target your advertising to those specific individuals and businesses. In this way, you can remarket to those who’ve already warmed up to the ideas you proposed in your article.


    With planning, customer awareness, and settling on an appropriate social media platform, you can take a new approach to executing effective PPC campaigns.


    And as Google’s Jerry Dischler puts it, “People who have a more holistic view of their advertising tend to do better across the board.”


    Now it’s your turn – Are you ready to explore some new, uncharted advertising mediums?

    Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community

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