PPC Advertising Tips

Despite the ubiquity of digital advertising, the pace of business and constant change in people and platforms leave plenty of space for weak ad programs that burn up marketing budgets with nothing to show for it.

To help you avoid being a marketer with millions of impressions, no budget, and no results, here are some PPC advertising tips that remain true whether you deploy text ads on Google Search, conversation ads on Linkedin, programmatic display ads on 6sense, or any other flavour.

An advertisement is a promise

  • Your ad, whether text, visual or audio, makes a promise to your audience that if they clickthrough, the destination will pay off IMMEDIATELY. Break that promise – even if it just requires the user to scroll to find it – and you break the social contract. You pay. They bounce. And next time they’re not as eager to trust your brand. It sounds simple, but keep your promises. 
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See the end at the beginning

  • One big reason advertisers break their promises is that they build their ads and the program that drives it, before they see the landing pages on which the ads will arrive. “Parallel development”, different in-house or agency teams, or plans that change (don’t they all?) mean that the landing page or pages you thought were getting are very different than the ones that are published. This creates a disconnect between the ad and destination. And you end up breaking your promise. So see the destination – or at least a close mock up – before you commit to building your ads.

Work backwards

  • To keep the promise made by your ad, every step in the visitor journey needs to be aligned. Often the only part of that journey that can’t change is the offer: maybe it’s a free T-shirt, maybe it’s a video demo of your product in action. Every other part from the ad creative to the landing page,  the keyword or even the audience, can change. This fact means it’s safer to build your program in reverse from your static offer to ensure every step in the journey aligns with the others. And if you remembered to see the destination before you begin, that’s a piece you can count on too.

Test forwards

  • Have you ever launched a marketing program only to learn you can’t actually measure the outcome? Tracking is the plumbing of digital marketing and despite the fact nothing can be proven to win or lose without it, it’s often forgotten. Even when it’s remembered, it’s assumed to still work from the last time. Assume nothing. Digital marketers change tracking, KPIs and systems the way most people change socks. Before you launch, become a member of your audience from start to finish up to and including seeing the outcome at the end of the line.

Plan variations

  • One of the greatest strengths of every PPC advertising platform is a native ability to run multiple variations of your ads against one another in a Darwinian survival of the fittest. After 20 years in the business we may be able to guess which version your audience will like best but this is digital marketing: we don’t need to guess! And we shouldn’t. Because sometimes we’re wrong. Using a single ad for your program limits your success and your learning. It hobbles your PPC ad program to so it’s more like a billboard campaign beside a highway than a digital marketing program. Launch with multiple variations and prepare your designers that you are going to want more as you learn which message and design resonate best with your audience.

Search Warrant Online Marketing, Inc. is a dangerous group of digital marketers that has provided award-winning performance for B2B technology brands ranging from IBM and Kinaxis to CIRA and Knak, since 2008 and the team tries to have a really good time doing it.

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