How to Get Started with PPC Advertising - Virtual Stacks U.K. Ltd.
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How to Get Started with PPC Advertising

How to Get Started with PPC Advertising

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Advertising has changed completely over the past few decades and even this past year, and the old advertising strategies for your business may no longer be working. If your business is struggling to bring in new customers, what can you do? The answer can be found online! These days, the internet consumes much of the modern consumer’s time, which is why your business needs to connect with your target audience where they spend the most time online — search engines and social media. 

There are two options to improve your visibility online: organic or paid marketing. Ideally, your business should be using a combination of both organic marketing strategies and paid marketing strategies, most often known as PPC or pay-per-click advertising. Organic marketing is a lengthier process with great rewards for building a community and brand authority, while PPC advertising allows your business to start immediately bringing in customers, boosting conversion rates and increasing sales.

Paid online advertising can initially seem daunting for businesses looking to try it out for the first time, so today we’re going to walk you through the basics of how to get started with PPC advertising. We’ll start with defining PPC and explaining how it works, and then we’ll cover two of the most important avenues for PPC advertising: Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

What Is PPC Advertising, and How Does It Work?

There are many common acronyms in the world of digital marketing, and PPC is one of the most popular. As previously mentioned, PPC stands for pay-per-click, but that might only give you more questions instead of answers. So let’s answer these questions: what is PPC advertising, and how does it work? 

PPC advertising is a digital marketing method where advertisers pay a fixed price every time a user clicks on their online ad, hence pay-per-click. Most often, these ads will directly link to your website or to a specific page on your site. PPC comes in different forms, with search engine ads (also known as search engine marketing, or SEM) and social media ads being the most prominent. Search engine ads are based on the keywords you selected for your ad and can also be based on your target audience’s location and some demographics. Social media ads are based on a user’s interests, location and more detailed demographic information. 

Creating a successful PPC campaign is no walk in the park. It’s a very detailed process that includes keyword research, creating defined campaigns and ad groups based on your keywords, and developing landing pages on your website to earn the desired conversions. Competition is extremely tough, so there is no guarantee your ads will be seen unless you have a very thorough PPC ad campaign.

So, how does it work? Let’s look at Google Ads for an idea.

Poorly-planned PPC campaigns can waste a lot of your money. Google’s advertising platform – Google Ads – allows you to advertise on its search engine and affiliate sites. You can set up your bids on the keywords on this platform, which will display your ad when people type in the relevant keyword in their search query.

However, it’s not all that simple. You can’t just pay more to beat your competition and show up in the results. Google follows an automated process to select which ads are shown. When someone types a search, Google fetches a pool of ads and runs them through its automated Ad Auction process that decides which ads will be shown on the results page. The selection of the winners here depends on the advertiser’s Ad Rank, a metric that factors in the CPC bid and the Quality Score. The CPC (cost-per-click) bid is the maximum amount that you are willing to spend per click, and the Quality Score takes into account the quality of your ad based on landing page experience, relevance and CTR (click-through rate). If your Quality Score is higher, you will be able to display more ads at lower costs.

Google Ads Are Everything

We’re sure you’re wondering by now — “But, why is it so important to advertise on Google?”

Without a doubt, Google is the “king” of the search market with over 5 billion searches made every day. Nearly everyone uses Google, making it the most popular search engine after over 20 years since its founding. You may be familiar with how Google displays both paid and organic results to most search queries that users make. To optimize the reach of your business online, you need to be taking advantage of both PPC ads and SEO strategies to make sure your website and business rank high on results pages for your target audience.

With improved visibility online, your business can also see a great ROI. In fact, Google claims that on average, businesses that do paid search marketing through Google Ads earn 8 USD for every 1 USD spent.

And, no matter how great your SEO strategy is, Google Ads will always appear before organic search results. This means that pursuing a PPC strategy with Google Ads is beneficial to small and large businesses alike! It’s likely your competitors are already using Google Ads, and that they soon will if they aren’t already. 

The truth is clear: Google Ads are everything when it comes to PPC advertising!

Do More with Social Media Ads

Search engines aren’t the only place you can do PPC marketing, however. Social media advertising can boost your reach even further! The benefits of social media ads include better target audience focusing and the ability to be seen by both new and existing customers. Nearly all of the leading social media platforms offer paid advertising options, and choosing the right platform to advertise on is as equally important as choosing the right social media platforms to use in the first place. It all depends on your industry and audience!

However, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the most important social media platforms for PPC marketing — Facebook.

Facebook ads are best for building awareness of your brand to new and existing customers, for encouraging engagement with your website and online content, and for increasing your conversions and sales. Facebook also features diverse demographics and over 2.45 billion monthly active users. Simply put, you’re more likely to reach your target audience on Facebook than most other social media networks!

Types of Facebook ads include:

Photo ads — These are the most common. Photo ads include a picture, up to 90 characters of text and a maximum 25 character headline, and a CTA button for users to click.

Video ads — Video ad choices include short, continuous looping videos or videos up to 241 minutes in length (for desktop). Other options include videos within videos, as well as 360-degree videos. Try to keep these as short as possible in order not to lose your audience’s attention!

Stories ads — Yes, Facebook has its own Stories option now similar to Instagram, and it’s also a great place to advertise. Stories ads last for 24 hours and either show photos for six seconds or play a short video up to 15 seconds. These are best for quick and time-sensitive promotions.

Carousel ads — Include multiple images and links (up to 10) in a single ad with carousel ads! This is a fantastic way to feature multiple products or services at one time.

Slideshow ads —  In this format, you can create a video from numerous static images, which can either be your own photos or stock images. Stock photos can be a good option if you don’t have professional photographs, as long as they represent your brand and message well.

Collection ads — Collection ads allow you to feature products directly in your user’s Facebook feeds. In collection ads, you can add a cover photo or video, or four smaller product images, along with pricing and other information. If you are in the retail or travel industry, collection ads could be the right option for you.

Messenger ads — Messenger ads display in the Chats section of Facebook’s Messenger app, and they will show up in between a user’s listed conversations. Messenger ads can be set to generate automated conversations with customers, or they can link to your website/app.

If you want your paid social media advertising campaign to be successful, you need to do it the right way. Here are some tips that can help you get the best results:

  • Determine your business objective — It is crucial to know your business objective first. You need to know what you are trying to achieve through your social media marketing campaign. Setting clear objectives will help you determine which platforms to use and which types of ads will best fit your needs.
  • Understand your target audience —  If you want to reach your target audience, you need to know them first. Users interact differently on each social media platform, and each platform attracts different types of users. Develop precise audience personas for your social media networks to help you better reach your target audience.
  • Turn your most engaging posts into ads — If you notice some of your organic social media posts performing well with your audience, you can turn them into social media ads to reach a wider audience. Only choose the posts with the highest engagements, however, and don’t rush to turn every post into an ad, or risk losing money and followers.
  • Decide your focus — Social media ads need to have a specific focus, generally either impressions (how many people see your ad) or engagements (how many people interact with it). This will determine what you are paying for. Engagement falls into the traditional PPC framework, but social media ads also allow you to pay based on impressions. Make sure your focus lines up with your objectives, too!
  • Remember mobile — Most users access social media on mobile, so remember to visually optimize your ads for mobile devices. This includes short taglines and properly formatted images. Businesses with a physical location can also make use of “geofencing” to target users in a zip code near your business.
  • Always be testing — Not testing your ads could lead to financial loss and wasted time. Instead, always test our ads with smaller audiences before turning the best performing ones into larger campaigns. You can also use A/B testing. These methods will help your business create more engaging and better performing ads on social media.
  • Track your results — Similar to testing, you can’t make your ads better until you know how exactly they are doing. Track your social media ads with regular reports, which each major social media network will be able to provide.

Paid Advertising Done for You

Let’s face it, you’re a very busy business owner. Learning how to create PPC campaigns on Google and Facebook is likely outside of your availability or area of expertise. Fortunately, our expert digital marketing professionals at Virtual Stacks Systems UK offer PPC services for UK businesses of all sizes and industries! Contact us today to discuss your digital marketing needs and how we can help your business succeed.

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