Defining Your PPC Strategy

It is easy to get lost in the details of bids and keywords with your PPC account but have you asked yourself recently what are you really trying to achieve? It may seem like a silly question but think about it. If your response is just X number clicks or X cost per lead, then you have some thinking to do. Taking a step back to outline your audience and goals can do wonders for your PPC account.

Think back to elementary school when you learned about the key questions – who, what, when, where, why and how. Use these basic questions to identify who you are really talking to. Who is that ideal person? When are they online and how do they use the web? How old is your ideal visitor, where do they live, what is their mindset, what are their values and how do they feel about your company or product now? Analytics data can offer some insights into the people you are attracting now, but that may not be who you ultimately want. You will need to do some digging to define  your true audience as well as their mindset and behaviors. Sometimes in PPC we become consumed within our tightly defined conversion funnels that we forget there are real people on the other end of a click.  Remember that gathering consumer insights, not just what we see by tracking consumer website usage, can create well-rounded, more successful PPC campaigns.

If you can get inside the head of your audience, it will be easier to communicate in their language and know where they are coming from.  Next you need to think about what you want your audience to do, or really, what is your ultimate goal? Think about the immediate action (for instance request a catalog or submit contact info) but then think beyond this to the ultimate revenue-generating goal. Do you want them to watch the mailbox in anticipation of a trial kit? Tell friends and family about a great offer? Enroll in a class?  Work backwards to create a funnel with all channels guiding your user to the end goal. If your goal is to have a visitor spread the word about an offer, make sure your landing page gives them the opportunity to easily pass along the news.

Sometimes taking a step back to think about your audience and goals can give you a new perspective. I once worked on a campaign for a theme park. We initially identified the target audience as moms living in specific states. We determined she worked full-time, so was usually online during the workday or late at night. Life was chaotic for her, so she wanted simplicity and ease.  We wanted mom to request a visitor’s kit for the park, so this was our X number of conversions goal. However, what the client really wanted was for the whole family to actually visit. After some research it became apparent that our immediate audience might be mom because she was online, but who we really needed to get excited were the kids. We designed a landing page that had a few bullets of information that mom could read quickly, but we also mentioned the cool items that would be in the visitor’s kit just for her kids. While mom was the one filling out the form, the kids were major influencers so it was important to get the kids excited too.  What was sent in the visitor’s kit was important but so was the landing page. Mom was looking at the landing page from the perspective of her kids – we needed to consider the photos and colors to make the page feel like a fun place to be. She wanted to know that it would be a place her kids would enjoy and be excited about. We needed to find a balance that would appeal to mom, encouraging her to request a visitor’s kit, while giving her the impression her kids would enjoy the experience.  By taking this new perspective, we were able to develop ad text, landing pages and a visitor’s kit that allowed us to target our entire audience rather than the single audience the analytics data pointed to.

Once you have clearly defined your audience as well as your goals, make sure these are clear to everyone involved – clients, agency, management and team members. It is a lot easier to manage expectations and create cohesive messaging strategies across all levels of advertising and marketing when everyone is speaking the same language.