The first questions that should be answered for any new PPC account need to cover goal identification.
- What will make this a successful marketing channel for us?
- How many conversions and at what cost per acquisition will put us in the black?
After that can come many different questions, including ones related to the specific business or industry you’re working in. Whether it is for a client at an agency or an internal SEM team, one question we all must answer is what type of marketing mix makes sense when considering Google, Bing Ads (also consisting of Yahoo), Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Also, how should we handle the mix to provide the best performance possible? In this article, we’ll discuss a few different scenarios and focus on creating the right marketing mix for success.
Starting From Scratch
We’ve all been there at one point or another. Whether it’s onboarding a new client at an agency or dipping your toes in the PPC waters as part of the in-house team, we’ve all had to figure out where to begin and how much budget makes sense to begin. As someone looking to start running campaigns within PPC, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Google, Bing Ads, Search vs. Display, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Remarketing, and the list only continues to grow as we evolve as an industry.
Let me make this as simple as possible for the beginners in the industry – forget all the other engines until you have seen success in Google AdWords. Yes, Bing Ads has grown and can be more cost-efficient. Yes, Facebook has advanced dramatically and LinkedIn is great for businesses targeting certain professionals. Yes, Display can provide significant volume in many industries. The reason I’m telling you to focus on Google is simply not to overwhelm yourself with too much to start. AdWords is the largest and the most well run engine amongst the group and it’s important to get that right and get a taste of success in PPC prior to expanding. Also, if you’re in this for the long-haul Google will most likely be the main driver of overall volume.
Taking The Next Step
So when is a good time to start expanding to other PPC engines and networks? Once you have your AdWords account running efficiently and know your business is a good fit for traditional paid search, the most common next step would be to expand into Bing Ads. While it often gets overlooked in the grand scheme of things, Bing Ads does run nearly 20% of the market share and does so in a more cost-efficient manner than Google, in many cases. While Bing Ads does contribute to it’s own inefficiencies (slow interface, ramp up time for newly launched campaigns, running reports), it also typically has less competition, lower CPCs and provides quality traffic that converts. The “Import From Google AdWords” feature within Bing Ads provides a seamless transition for your growing account and allows you to do so in a manner of minutes. Testing the waters in Bing Ads is a recommended next step after AdWords is running smoothly.
Beyond Google AdWords and Bing Ads, there’s also the opportunity to expand to Facebook, LinkedIn, Remarketing and other channels. While all three of these have their strong suits, you must first identify what exactly your target market is and which of these best fits that demographic and your goals.
Facebook provides a great opportunity to target demographically by age, gender, interests, location, education and so on. For example, if your target market is women, 18-35 and college graduates, Facebook can be an excellent marketing tool for you to really hone in on that market. You can also set up Custom Audience Targeting to target people specifically by email address, phone numbers, etc. It is recommended that for custom audiences, you should have a minimum of 100 people to target. Not all businesses have such a tight target audience, but if this is the case for you, Facebook may just be the answer.
LinkedIn Ads have a great platform to test for companies targeting people within a certain industry and/or professional title. For example, say you work at a company offering a marketing tool for businesses and have identified Chief Marketing Officers as your target market and the people you need to speak with to close any deal. Within LinkedIn, you can target strictly CMOs and construct ad copy messaging to speak directly to them. Those type of targeting options minimize wasted spend and significantly reduces poor quality leads. If your business is B2B and you’re looking for expansion opportunities, LinkedIn could very well provide you successful incremental traffic.
If you aren’t running remarketing campaigns within your AdWords account, chances are you probably should. If you’re driving a significant amount of traffic to the site and/or have a product many potential consumers research prior to committing, remarketing helps to close the loop. While overall reach within remarketing is limited to the cookie pool you’re targeting, it typically drives low CPAs given that the target market is already aware of your business and has interest.
Remarketing also has many different features, helping you to optimize the campaign to best fit your needs. You can test targeting people who’ve hit various landing pages on the site (homepage, shopping cart, etc.), or different cookie windows (7 days, 14 days, etc.). One other option you may want to consider is remarketing via Facebook Exchange. You can serve ads on Facebook to people who have visited your website previously. As you can see, the options are vast within remarketing and definitely an excellent option when ready to expand from traditional paid search.
Identifying the right marketing mix for your account can be complex and takes analysis on your end to come up with the right strategy. The good news is your expansion options are extensive. PPC is no longer just Google and Bing Ads running the show. All of these secondary initiatives offer their own benefits and targeting options, but it’s up to you to figure our which ones fit your target market the best and how you can leverage their capabilities to grow your digital marketing performance.