How to Explain the Different Types of PPC to Your Clients
Paid marketing can be confusing to the uninitiated. There are dozens of PPC ad types, and with jargon-filled explanations, small business owners might feel a headache coming on if you sit down and try to walk them through the minutiae of the differences in each type.
Rather than getting down into the technical weeds, consider framing the PPC discussion in a different way with your clients. Here’s the best way to go about it.
Talk About Goals
The best place to start is by identifying your client’s advertising goals. Are they looking to raise brand awareness? Is there a new product launch that they want to draw attention to?
Different goals will align with different PPC strategies. If your client is pushing a particular product, a shopping ad with an image of the product might be best. If it’s general brand awareness or a top of the funnel conversion they’re looking to achieve (something like an email newsletter signup), then a text ad with a custom landing page might be the right fit.
Whatever the goal may be, encourage your client to make it specific, actionable, and measurable. By establishing a conversion goal for each PPC ad, you can clearly define what success looks like. If the broad goal of the campaign is to generate more qualified leads, then the conversion goal might be to get X percentage of people to sign up for your client’s email newsletter.
Find Your Place in the Hourglass
To help ground the discussion about goals, it might be helpful to look at things from the marketing hourglass perspective. The goals for a PPC campaign will vary based on where the prospects or customers you’re trying to reach are on their customer journey.
If you’re speaking to people in the know or like phase—early on in the hourglass—you’re going to create a very different kind of campaign than one that is targeted at people in the buy phase.
A display ad with your client’s logo and a general headline is best for capturing the attention of those at the top of the hourglass. A shopping ad or text ad with extensions is better suited to those who are further down the hourglass and are searching with a more specific intent.
Set a Realistic Budget (and Expectations)
Part of discussing goals will include setting a budget and expectations. Setting a budget from the get-go allows you to understand important guidelines for the campaign, like the kind of bidding strategy you can undertake, the types of keywords you should be targeting, and how broad a campaign you can build.
Circle back to the goals you set and tie that in with your client’s desired cost per acquisition. If the goal is email newsletter signups, what percentage of those people who sign up for the newsletter typically convert to customers (and how much do those customers typically spend—what is their lifetime value)? Based on that number, what is the total amount your client can spend on the ad in order to make it a worthwhile investment?
You also want to make sure that your client understands that there is a learning curve associated with getting a PPC campaign up and running. Yes, you’ll handle keyword research and do the work up front to give the ads the greatest shot at success from the start. But any decent PPC campaign includes measuring results, A/B testing, and tweaking and optimizing as you go.
Set the expectation for your client that they will not see overnight success. Instead, you’ll use your marketing expertise to continue to strengthen the approach and get better and better results as you learn more about how people interact with the ads.
Make Sure They Have the Infrastructure in Place
A great PPC campaign is only as strong as the website it sends viewers to. If your client has a bare bones website with a shoddy layout, it’s unlikely that even the most compelling of PPC ads will get much traction.
That’s why you hear us talk about the Marketing Maturity Model so frequently. You must crawl before you can walk, and your client needs a solid website, social media presence, and email marketing approach before they can begin to get the most out of their PPC strategy.
It’s not worth making the advertising investment if they don’t have a great website with a solid value proposition connected to that campaign. And if your client is looking to capture and nurture leads, you need to have an email marketing plan in place before you go about trying to add contacts to their mailing list.
Without those basic elements in place, people who click the ads will go to your client’s website, find it less than satisfactory, and quickly click back to the SERPs. That’s a missed opportunity and wasted spend on a prospect who will pass your client over on this go-around (and may write them off in the future, as well).
Put it In a Broader Strategic Context
All of this is to say that talking about PPC should be a part of the larger strategic discussion. PPC cannot and should not exist in a vacuum, and talking about it within the context of your client’s entire marketing strategy will not only help you to get the best results from the campaign, it can also encourage them to engage you for help with additional marketing tactics.
Guiding your client to see the importance of the build stage of the Marketing Maturity Model can convince them that they need you to set up a great website or strong social media presence before moving onto tactics in the grow phase.
The ins and outs of PPC advertising can sound like a lot of jargon-filled nonsense to those outside of the marketing realm. And the fact of the matter is, there’s really no need for you to get into the specifics with your clients. Instead, talking about the big picture—goals, budget, and broader strategic plan—should be all you need to get your clients on board with creating the type of PPC campaign that will generate the best results for their business.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Paid Search.