Raising awareness, increasing conversions, and growing revenues – it’s your strategic goals that determine how and what digital advertising avenues you should travel along
Using pay-per-click (PPC) ads and social media advertising – aka social PPC – to raise your company’s profile and increase revenues can be highly effective strategies. However, knowing which is best for your campaign hinges on what your goals are, who you’re trying to reach, and what actions you want your targeted audience to take by interacting with your campaign.
Although PPC and social PPC advertising can be complementary, they each serve unique purposes. Think of PPC advertising this way: it’s a strategy to deploy to target a particular search term or woo people who are in the Zero Moment of Truth (the way consumers search for information online and ultimately make purchasing decisions on the spur of the moment).
Highly customizable, PPC ads can target Google’s search network, its Display Network, or both. What’s the difference? PPC ads used on Google search are fine-tuned to appear in results from searches users conduct that are tied to a topic or specific keywords. PPC ads placed on Google’s Display Network use text, images, and video and are more likely to appear alongside blogs, news articles, and websites. Each can drive conversion rates.
This short video will help you understand the differences between various Google AdWords campaigns:
PPC ads on Google search can entice someone to click-thru because they may answer the searcher’s query. Display campaigns, meanwhile, can drive conversions provided the messaging and incentives associated with the campaign are attractive to the intended audience.
Advertising on Social Networks
Social PPC is a newer advertising vertical that businesses are increasingly using to promote themselves on social media. And now, social PPC ads created on Facebook’s platform are not confined to the social network—they also appear on websites and apps. Other social channels such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are also innovating to provide a more targeted experience.
Social PPC ads are effective at generating awareness by reaching large amounts of people in their leisure time – social media is still widely considered to be a recreational activity. But be advised: social PPC ads, like Google PPC ads, are not the “set and forget” variety. They require ongoing analysis and, sometimes, optimization to achieve your aims. Furthermore, social PPC ads do not necessarily require a landing page. Instead, they can link directly to a website or a mobile app. It depends on what your goals are.
Complementary but Different Strategies
Different types of advertising campaigns call for different tactics and channels. Here are four important points to consider when devising your digital advertising campaign:
- Think mobile. Whatever type of ad you run, and the landing page or website it links to needs to be optimized for a slick experience on a smartphone or any other mobile device. Why? Because more people conduct searches on mobile devices than they do on desktop computers or laptops.
- Choose the right keywords. For PPC ads earmarked for search results, relevance matters. Be careful you’re selecting the right targeted keywords, and that your ad’s content and the landing page content are unified in their messages. Be honest and transparent. Done well, your ad’s visibility will rise, and the cost-per-click will decrease.
- Be socially active. To help ensure your social PPC ad campaign is successful, have active and fully completed profiles on the social networks where you intend to deploy the ad. On that note, as Facebook is the most popular social platform, you may wish to advertise using Facebook Ads. Facebook provides lots of options for how ads are created. They can be designed using images, videos, carousels of images, or be immersive using Facebook Canvas. Facebook also offers complimentary stock images for ads.
- Use video. With each passing year, the importance of using video for digital marketing and advertising grows exponentially. An estimated 51.9% of marketers believe video provides the best ROI. More importantly, in the second half of 2015 mobile devices drove video ad impressions up to 49% from 38% in the first half of the year.
Using Google or social PPC ads or both are worthwhile to amplify your brand’s message, raise awareness of a cause, or promote a product or service as part of your overall marketing strategy. As a general rule for all types of digital content, ensure your message is informative, concise, readable, and interesting. Monitor the results, and be prepared to make changes on-the-fly to ensure you’re reaching your target audience.