PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is the reliable performer of the digital marketing world. It scales like nothing else, offers unparalleled targeting possibilities, and — if used correctly — doesn’t charge you anything unless it’s producing conversions, making it incredibly cost-effective. As public relations and marketing become more integrated, more PR personnel work closely with marketing departments and more digital PR firms include online advertising in their services.
Note that point about being used correctly, though, because it’s possible to do PPC very badly. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to treat it as an isolated tactic, setting out self-contained messages to tempt people into clicking.
Instead, take advantage of brand awareness to sell people on your value propositions. Here’s why branding is a vital component of an exceptional PPC campaign:
People are Increasingly Skeptical
In the early days of the internet, people didn’t know how to react to online claims. They’d often assume that they must be truthful, which led to ridiculous ads getting far too much success. This rapidly trailed off. Today, skepticism about ad claims is greater than ever. In an ongoing trend, people are becoming more and more wary about sharing their financial details with companies they don’t know or trust.
Because of this, it isn’t enough to create an ad with a compelling value proposition. Viewers can easily write it off as fraudulent or simply not worth the risk. If you mention your brand in the ad, you can confirm the legitimacy of your product or service. For those who might only be somewhat familiar with your brand, you can add some additional information about it (such as how well it’s reviewed).
Also note that you don’t need to leverage only awareness of your brand. You can also piggyback on other notable brands. Use them as endorsements by bringing up your partnership with a popular company. Or use them for comparison by saying, for instance, that your product is 20% more effective than the industry’s best-seller — though if you try that, do it extremely carefully, because it can end up working against you or with a call from the competitor’s attorneys.
It Helps You Select the Most Useful Keywords
Understanding how people view your brand and how they search for it, is extremely useful for identifying the keywords to target with your PPC campaigns. You can also arm yourself with similar information for your competitors. Too many companies make assumptions about how people will search without ever checking — and it’s highly wasteful.
Look at it this way: Ideally, you don’t want your PPC ads to appear only for basic searches for which you show up organically anyway. PPC is particularly great for changing the narrative. For instance, if someone searches for “[Your brand] vs. [competitor brand]”, you can bid on that search phrase with an ad that offers a detailed comparison — one that gives you the edge, naturally.
And if someone searches for “[Your brand]” alternative”, you can a fight back against the notion that an alternative is required. By looking through the details of the searches using suitable keyword tools (WordStream has a solid list), you can find out why people seek alternatives. They might be look for “cheaper alternative” or “faster alternative” or “flexible alternative.” With that information, you can then target your ad copy accordingly.
It Supports Message Matching
In PPC, message matching is about ensuring that anyone who clicks on an ad ends up having an experience in line with their expectations and intentions. If you click on an ad saying “Hard-wearing jeans at low prices,” then you’ll expect to land on a page with jeans for sale at low (or at least reasonable) prices. If you land on a page with general items of clothing, or massive prices, you’ll likely end up leaving.
The more closely the result matches the ad, the better. So, if you’re pushing someone to a branded site, as is extremely likely, then your brand should be clear in the ad. Otherwise, they might make certain assumptions about the brand and even wonder if the “branded” site they reach is actually legitimate.
Companies should be proud of their brands because it shows they care about how they’re perceived, and a lack of branding in an ad feels deceptive somehow. So, ensure that you mention your brand whatever appropriate, without going overboard, of course.
Automated tools like Cobiro use AI to offer multiple options from a messaging viewpoint. While you may not want to place 100 percent of the power into the hands of bots, you’d be surprised at how accurate AI and programmatic PPC can be. Use tools to give you more options, and remember that PPC is largely mathematical.
Multi-channel Marketing is Vital
The standard for marketing strategies has made major strides in recent years. A large part of that is due to increased multi-channel marketing. Instead of picking out one marketing channel such as PPC and making it your sole focus, it calls for using several channels in combination, each one driving traffic to the others and creating a much larger marketing funnel.
In essence, the more opportunities you can find to introduce people to your brand and products, the better. While it might sound daunting, it’s not actually that difficult, particularly if you take advantage of technology to support multiple marketing and sales channels (Shopify users can roll out an affiliate channel for Buzzfeed of all places, and BigCommerce apps can get merchants into places like Walmart). That way, you win easy exposure for your products, as well as some direct sales to go along with the branding assistance.
A well-developed strategy combines PPC, affiliate marketing, content marketing and social media for maximum effect. Doing otherwise would leave golden opportunities on the table.
Brand awareness is a massive concern today, with shoppers being wary of unknown companies and eager to support companies that match their values. If you work your brand into your PPC campaigns and your entire marketing campaigns, you can establish consistency and turn your company name into a valuable asset.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Read his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io for practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsior.