As a primarily organic marketer, working for an ad tech brand has been one of the most amazing phases of my career.
When I joined Optmyzr a little over two years ago, I had no idea that I would be learning so much about PPC advertising in so short a time.
Between our clients, my colleagues, and the paid search community that welcomed me with open arms, I’ve been more involved with PPC these past two years than I have been with the rest of my career combined.
Like any savvy marketer, I’ve been listening intently and taking notes.
Between that and managing my own campaigns, I’ve amassed a relative wealth of PPC knowledge.
These are the five most important lessons from my time leading the marketing of a PPC-enabled brand.
1. Treat your advertising budget like your investment budget
Dungeons, monopolies, platforms – whatever you call them, the different places companies can advertise are not known for playing well together.
Between the reduced visibility of data and shifting controls, true omnichannel advertising isn’t really a viable approach.
But just because each platform’s campaigns are fenced in doesn’t make it a good idea to rely entirely or overly on one ad platform:
- New features (such as changes to Google Performance Max and keyword match type) You can get rid of your advertising program entirely.
- Check out potential customers who are blocking/ignoring ads on your platform Or not use it in the first place.
- External influences such as market economies and regulatory changes can do anything From increasing costs to offering a platform full of discussion.
Between platform-side automation and increasingly demanding online audiences, it’s important to diversify your PPC mix if you haven’t already.
2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
In your quest to spread your budget across multiple channels, don’t rush to the other extreme of investing in many different channels.
Not only will you end up with campaigns that don’t have enough money behind them, but you risk pushing your team too hard.
Since I joined Optmyzr as our first Marketing Officer, we’ve grown our team at a healthy rate for our revenue run rate.
No one on the team is expected to put in a 60 hour week, own 10 different channels, or push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits.
Accordingly, we approach advertising (and marketing in general) with the understanding that we do not have the same power as a heavily funded organization.
For example, if the entire marketing team consists of three people, it is not wise to advertise on six channels.
It will affect your testing and campaign efforts, while neglecting the additional cost of other needs in marketing.
Internal teams should start by testing everything, then switch to a 1-2-1 approach:
- 1 base platform that give you the best results And it requires the bulk of your budget (for example, Google Ads across multiple inventory types).
- 2 secondary platforms for niche audiences or goals (for example, YouTube to grow your video audience and Twitter to expand your mailing list).
- 1 An experimental platform for testing new ideas (For example, running stories ads on Instagram).
Then, as you grow your team, layer each layer from top to bottom.
3. Brand matters, even in PPC
I know a lot of PPC professionals feel otherwise, but I’ve always been a fan of branded search terms for several reasons:
- Already a certain level of intent towards your product.
- Space claim That your competitors now can’t.
- Room to test different offers and messages.
Branded search traffic is cheap, easy to win, and allows you to take advantage of a range of business opportunities.
I’ve used branded terms to capitalize on traffic spikes after high publicity events, tailor offers to specific queries (such as those involving “reviews” or “pricing”), and lower your cost of customer acquisition by shortening the time between detection and conversion.
4. Focus on presentation, targeting and creativity in this arrangement
I earned my own marketing lines as a creative (specifically a copywriter with an art director partner), so I’ve always placed great value on having well-designed ads.
But the more I work as a strategist, the more I realize supply takes priority.
The shows include aspects of both messaging and positioning, and often appear in the form of scripts – whether that be a title, dialogue or voiceover.
This is what allows you to occupy a specific place in the minds of your ideal customers, playing to your unique strengths rather than the weaknesses of your competitors.
As for the designers themselves, the longer I do marketing, the less I can expect ads to follow brand guidelines or even look like ads.
Customers get defensive the moment they feel they’ve been sold, so interrupting a pattern can be positively disarming.
I’ve seen unconventional ad formats like testimonial videos win battles that “on-brand” static images just can’t.
Without a strong rendering and precise targeting, even the most amazing design will have a hard time converting.
In my experience, getting these three things right is easier said than done, but essential to PPC success.
Mediocre creatives, complex account structures, and less-than-perfect targeting can still work great.
It rarely works out like this for poor offers presented as attractive ads in well-constructed accounts and campaigns.
5. There is more to it than Google and Meta advertising
Both platforms provide a level of reach and versatility that most advertisers find difficult to ignore.
Google’s inventory extends to search, email, YouTube, and more of the Internet’s most visited properties; The Meta network includes some of the world’s most popular apps on Facebook and Instagram.
But there is a whole world of advertising options outside of these two networks:
- Microsoft Ads offers a lot of visibility and control What advertisers miss about Google.
- Amazon is a market you just can’t ignore If you are selling a physical product in retail.
- TikTok and Snapchat are great ways to reach younger audiences.
- Spotify lets you play with audio In a way that some other digital channels allow.
- Sponsorship of a newsletter or community provides consistently higher user intent Even if PPC ads are not strict.
Several years ago, I was on a team advertising on one channel for a limited market.
Once the available audience on that platform was depleted, all future leads were people who had either converted in the past or had been marked as closed and lost.
Moving to a second channel meant starting over and learning the nuances of an entirely new ad platform, while delivering a quantity and quality of leads far below expectations.
The single most valuable attribute in PPC Marketing
I sometimes remember what digital marketing and PPC advertising looked like in 2010 when I started my career, and realize that not a single person back then could have predicted what it would look like today.
Almost all of the best practices — many focused on achieving goals and nothing else — have given way to practices more focused on automation, user experience, and accessibility.
If you had told me in 2012 that going into a blog would be frowned upon someday, I would have laughed.
With how quickly our industry is changing, adaptability is the single most important trait to cultivate.
Being tied to one ad platform, format, technology, strategy or mindset can stagnate your progress as a marketer without you even realizing it.
Then one day, you realize that everything around you has changed and everyone but you has turned the playing field in their favor.
In all my conversations with PPC strategists and account managers – agency and in-house – this may be the one piece of advice I hear consistently and frequently: adapt or replace.
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