Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a model for placing digital ads on prominent platforms and paying only for engagement – in the form of clicks – instead of impressions (views). When users click on your ad, you can convert them into leads through a landing page on your website.
Effective PPC can help you effectively grow and scale your marketing by fueling lead gen that turns to ROI, which you can then fuel more PPC for more lead gen.
Poorly implemented, PPC can result in no clicks (and therefore no spend) or a high volume of clicks with no conversions on your website (and therefore a high volume of spend with no ROI).
There are a few different tactics you can use to drive results through PPC. Finding the right mix that doesn’t burn out your audience through ad frequency is key to driving long-term, high quality, scalable lead generation through PPC.
Retargeting is an ad tactic that targets users who have already visited your website. While you need a minimum volume of traffic to run effective retargeting campaigns, it’s often the highest converting PPC channel with the lowest cost-per-click (CPC), since your audience has already heard of you.
Whether you’re marketing a bottom-of-the-funnel conversion or the download of a resource, display ads can help you advertise to new audiences. Using platform-specific targeting parameters, you can use display ads to expand your reach, improve brand awareness, and drive conversions.
While PPC means you pay by the click, an ancillary benefit of running high-performing ads means you get tons of visibility, especially if you’re targeting new audiences. You can measure brand awareness through PPC campaigns by monitoring the volume of impressions (people who see your ads).
Search ads allow you to target users on Google through specific keywords – meaning, when someone searches a phrase with the keywords you bid on, your ad can show up. Pairing search intent with effective ads can be a major driver of long-term PPC results.
As data becomes more complex and present online, doors are being opened to advertisers on all types of digital channels. Here are a few of the most popular platforms we advertise on for our clients:
Facebook provides an effective platform for lead gen with lower levels of initial spend required. Audience targeting with tools like ‘Lookalike’ lists and ‘Retargeting’ options provide excellent entry gateways for more marketing touch points and initial PPC channel testing.
Google offers PPC targeting opportunities that are keyword-based, pairing your ads with audiences looking for your types of solutions. Targeting keywords with sufficient search volume – while avoiding queries with high competition – can help you maximize your ROAS (return on ad spend).
YouTube offers video advertising opportunities through Google Ads, with a few different options – including a pay per click model and a pay per view model you can choose between based on ad placement and campaign goals.
As traditional TV viewership drops off, streaming platforms are providing more ways for advertisers to shift their budgets to digital PPC-inspired spend. In addition to YouTube, over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Hulu and Roku offer new opportunities for brand awareness and lead gen. These ads placements can be competitive and typically require a higher budget than other PPC channels.
While the costs for LinkedIn ads typically run higher than Google or Facebook, LinkedIn provides you with a platform that can hone in by job title and industry. They’ve added their own account-based marketing (ABM) tools to help you personalize and specify your marketing outreach.
The rise of podcasting has opened the door to a new wave of audio advertising. Getting hyper-specific with individual podcasts that serve your target audiences – or buying ads through a provider who can align your ads with demographic and psychographic podcast audience factors – can drive substantial awareness and lead gen.
Websites with large traffic and authority will offer ad placements on an impression-based or a PPC-based model. You can often place ads with websites like local business journals, major news outlets, or prominent blogs in your space. Asking questions around the return you’re likely to see is key to deciding whether the cost justifies the spend, or whether you should allocate this portion of your budget to other paid marketing channels.
Having the right pieces in place is key to using your ad spend wisely and seeing a high return. An understanding of your audience, a conversion-driven website, and good ad creative are all key to driving effective lead generation.
In order to do PPC effectively, an in-depth audience understanding through research provides the ideal foundation. Identifying the nuances of your audience and translating them into platform-specific PPC targeting is crucial to driving successful results.
To drive results, you need to craft a digital experience through landing pages that meet your audience where they’re at and provides a compelling case to take the next step – whether that’s downloading a resource, subscribing to a newsletter, accessing a case study, or signing up to talk to a sales rep. Tools like HubSpot can help you set up landing pages to effectively track leads and nurture them towards a purchase.
In order to measure performance, connecting Google Analytics with PPC ad platforms helps make sure you correctly track the ROI of a campaign. While platform handoffs mean you can’t always measure perfectly, layering on clear communication between marketing and sales can help you verify whether your PPC campaigns are delivering qualified leads.
An effective PPC campaign requires more than just a good ad. Targeting the right audiences and guiding them through the right conversion points requires planning, testing, and iteration. A healthy, conversion-based website and a well-utilized marketing suite can maximize your investment in PPC channels – and providing the right conversion strategies can make all the difference on how many leads turn into revenue.
Even if you target the perfect prospects, you still need to make a compelling case to earn their attention through a click. Excellent ads show empathy for audience pain points and drive curiosity around your solutions. Including movement through video or gif formats can help draw attention on a page, but the fundamentals of effective ads still hold true no matter what format you use – demonstrate simplicity, show empathy, and drive curiosity.
The increased concern for user privacy is affecting the ability for advertisers to utilize PPC as a lead generation tool. These changes are being rolled out slowly on different platforms, and, while modern PPC tactics like retargeting rely on cookie-based tracking, the future of tracking will likely be driven by machine learning-based algorithms that build large, anonymous audience groups. For the latest on how privacy policies are affecting advertising, check out this blog post on the recent Apple + Facebook scuffle.
Magneti has been driving effective PPC results for the last decade. From mature organizations looking to grow their revenue, to startups ready to go-to-market, Magneti’s digital marketing experts have a proven track record of uncovering a new level of in-depth audience understanding, identifying the best PPC channels, and driving incredible ROI.
We often recommend PPC alongside other marketing activities to drive results. For an example of an integrated marketing campaign, check out our recent work with Pella Colorado – which drove $2.4 million from a marketing spend of $160k.