There are plenty of practical reasons why a manufacturer should use PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, as part of their overall online strategy. Typically, the challenge we most often hear from marketers is the powers that be don’t understand how it works and are therefore skeptical when it comes to allocating any real budget towards a B2B pay-per-click program. Here are just a few reasons to try one of the most powerful lead-generation strategies available to advertisers.
PPC isn’t complicated; understand the basics and educate your team. PPC is a model of Internet marketing in which your company pays (for each click) to display an ad prominently in a search engine results page, or SERP. Think of it as buying visits to your site, rather than allowing people to find your site naturally, a.k.a. organically. The most known form of PPC ads are those which match ads to key search terms on engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and MSN. They look like this:
PPC will drive traffic to your website IMMEDIATELY. If you have a boss that wants to see if “this Internet thing” can produce true ROI (return on investment), PPC will attract website traffic much faster than a typical SEO program. Most dedicated SEO programs require six months, a year, or more to reach a strong SERP position for their strongest keywords. Suggest a three month PPC test run. If your company doesn’t have an experienced PPC specialist on staff, consult a digital agency with experience within your industry. They can perform an audit of your current PPC campaigns, suggest an appropriate spend increase/decrease, or come up with new balanced strategy from scratch. A good PPC campaign will be tracked properly, with measurable ROI and CPL (cost per lead) results.
PPC will force your company to think about how easy (or hard) you’re making it for customers to convert, on all website pages. Once you’re driving all of these new potential customers to the website through your PPC campaign, remember you only get a few seconds to keep them! PPC landing pages should be easy to understand, use bold and visible call-to-action buttons, and have very few page exit points. It is also recommended to display “trust factors” like testimonials, product reviews, certifications, featured publications, “secure” checkout, and easy to find contact information. Thinking with your conversation optimization hat on can be applied to your entire website.
The targeting capabilities of PPC are powerful and getting better. There are a multitude of variables that can be used when creating PPC campaigns to target specific customer personas or behaviors. Consider the following and how it may apply to your business:
- Time – day of the week, hour of the day
- Region – by country, state, city or zip, can also indicate a particular range of miles around a particular area
- Device – computers, tablets (with full browsers), mobile devices with full browsers (smart phones)
- Remarketing audience – finds and targets people that have already been to your website
- Search companion marketing – only targets viewers of another search campaign that didn’t click on any ads (advanced technology)
Bottom line: Try it out. Whether your competitors are already doing it, you have seasonal reasons to ramp up your advertising or hard-to-find products, setting aside a test budget for PPC is a low risk and potentially high yielding strategy. Predictable, sustainable sales growth comes from a constant flow of leads at all stages of the sales lifecycle. PPC can help drive these varied leads to you fast, and your company will most likely improve overall conversion optimization in the process. Still interested? Read about three specific ways your company could use PPC today.
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