Successful inbound marketing campaigns should encompass a range of different elements, on various platforms and channels. While certain aspects, like blog posts and email marketing campaigns, are widely used and extremely well-known, others may be less familiar to marketers just starting out. In particular, PPC (pay-per-click), an advertising model that targets users with company ads based on their web search queries, can be an extremely valuable marketing tool.
Through PPC, advertisers pay only when a user clicks on their ad; these clicks increase site traffic and, ultimately, also increase the chances of converting these leads into buyers. Unlike outbound marketing, which involves pushing your message out to potential customers, PPC is inherently inbound, since it brings potential customers in.
As with other inbound marketing methods, PPC has a high success rate and is quickly growing in popularity. In fact, 74% of small businesses have invested in PPC or plan to do so in the near future. Unsure if PPC advertising is right for you? Below are five compelling reasons you should consider incorporating this strategy into your marketing campaign.
PPC Allows You To Reach Customers Where And When They Need You
One of the greatest challenges for businesses of any kind is figuring out how to reach their target audiences. With traditional outbound marketing techniques, such as TV commercials and billboards, advertisers send out their messaging to a broad audience hoping to find interested potential buyers. With PPC, however, advertisements only appear when users search online for a specific product or service; in this way, the ads only target people who already interested in what you’re offering. Using PPC ads strategically allows you to target consumers at specific stages of the buying cycle, when they’re already exploring options and ready to buy.
PPC Helps Promote Your Inbound Marketing Content
Besides directing users to your homepage, PPC ads can also be used to direct potential leads to other pages on your site, allowing them to get to know your brand and encouraging them to explore your content marketing offerings — such as blog posts, eBooks, white papers, and webinars. And if this content is valuable and directly useful to them, you’ll be positioning yourself as a knowledgeable, trustworthy leader in your industry.
For example, linking not only to your homepage but also to your company’s blog or newsletter may provide more comprehensive, directly useful information about your product or services. More information builds greater credibility and illustrates your expertise, making consumers more likely to do business with you. And because PPC allows you to target users at specific stages of the buying cycle, you can be sure you’re reaching the people most likely to become buyers.
PPC Produces Fast Results
PPC is one of the fastest ways to launch a marketing campaign, and with analytic tools, you can gauge your results instantly. While other inbound marketing campaigns may take time to gain traction, PPC starts working as soon as you put the ad onto the ad server. And using analytics tools, you can immediately gauge how well your ads are performing, which means you can make necessary changes quickly and efficiently, thereby maximizing your dollars — and your time.
PPC Allows Everything To Be Measured
One of PPC’s major advantages is how easy it is to track and measure results. Using tools like Google Analytics, you can check most key performance indicators (KPIs) — impressions, conversions, and clicks — to quickly and easily gauge how well your advertising is performing. And directing PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages allows you to precisely measure customers’ rates of interaction — from initial click all the way to final purchase. This makes PPC one of the most powerful tools available for aligning site-traffic drivers with end goals.
PPC Gives You Control Over Your Marketing Campaign
PPC advertising gives you power — power to make critical in-the-moment decisions about your marketing strategy and power to fine-tune your overall offerings to better target consumers. For example, using PPC, you can decide which keywords and placements you want to target and how restrictive they should be, allowing you to better determine who you target and how. PPC also gives you great financial control over your marketing strategy, allowing you to set daily budgets to determine how much you want to spend.
Unlike traditional marketing campaigns, which are much more rigid, the PPC approach allows you to start with a small campaign and later scale it up or down based on your results and company needs. Also unlike traditional marketing, changes can be made quickly and on an as-needed basis throughout the course of a PPC campaign, meaning you can tailor your messaging at any time to improve your reach. New tests can also be run at any time to gauge ad efficacy and optimize your campaign.
A Word About Bots
Though PPC has many advantages, it can also attract bot traffic to your site, in which specialized computer software, or bots, scan the web and generate “fake” reactions to your ads — whether in the form of clicks or impressions. These actions can seriously skew performance results and bust budgets, as they trick companies into paying for fake ad clicks. In fact, ad fraud costs businesses more than $16 billion a year.
While advertising companies and platforms are working to filter out as much nonhuman online traffic as possible, these efforts are still years (at least) away from being successful, and even then, they won't be able to filter out all bot traffic.
Thus, complementing your PPC efforts with other strategies is essential. For example, Thomasnet.com verifies all traffic on its platform, so a listing on the platform ensures that your business will be in front of only real, verified B2B buyers and engineers.
Curious to learn more about PPC? Not sure how to get started? Reach out to one of the industrial marketing experts at Thomas today to discuss your options.