How To Think More Creatively About PPC

It’s easy to get stuck in strategic PPC.

Maybe you just stick to proven tactics rather than testing.

You may be used to using creative design rather than adapting it to different target personas and research purposes.

Or maybe you hold off on a channel because direct tactics are disapproved of.

In this segment of Ask the PPC we help Marcus from Idaho Falls, who asks:

What is the unusual way in which you have found success with PPC? I think to clarify, how do we think outside the box with PPC in fun and different ways?

This post will be more focused on how to think creatively than specific tactics. For details, check out these great suggestions for paid search, social, video, and more:

  • 5 Innovative PPC Tactics
  • How to get more views on YouTube
  • Ways to deal with social media messages

Get comfortable with your probationary period

Creative strategies require support from your team, clients, and yourself.

Often the biggest hurdle for an innovative PPC is the approval of testing timeframes. If you have a smaller budget, you will need to allow for longer tests, which invites an additional level of risk.

At a minimum, any exam should have two weeks to prove itself.

Ideally, your tests will run for 30 to 90 days, depending on the scope of the test and the statistical significance of the data it produces.

Oftentimes, PPC professionals abort testing after 1-2 days due to lack of campaign ramp-up or ad network learning periods.

Overcoming this rapid reaction to miscarriage is critical to adopting more creative PPC strategies.

Budget for wild and crazy ideas

Paid media campaigns cost marketing time and money, but we are diligent in eliminating waste and inefficiency in budget allocation.

Current performance innovation requires you to be comfortable with a managed degree of “waste”.

Testing keyword match types requires you to have a willingness to harvest data from grab bag quality volume.

You’ll need to build active auditing of search terms into your workflow, as well as calculate your fluctuating costs per click (CPCs) and costs per acquisition (CPAs).

Every ad network algorithm has a learning period, and budgets that work on one channel may not work on another. Learning how the new channel will behave is as important of insight as which ad is going to work – and that takes time.

There will be some “waste” while going through these lessons.

Costs become investments when you collect and improve data.

Ideally, 10% to 20% of your monthly budget will be devoted to your “wild and crazy” ideas – that is, everything outside the status quo. This ensures that you have a dedicated testing budget that you don’t mind losing.

Over-documenting everything

The best way to ensure comfort and confidence in innovative strategies is to have a documented paper record of what works and what doesn’t. Make sure you keep weekly records of key metrics, as well as the “whys” behind strategic choices.

Too often, innovation budgets and initiatives are taken over because there is no clear understanding of why certain choices are made.

By documenting data and strategy, you protect against over-efficiency and create a framework for new ideas.

This is especially important because analytics and search terms reports no longer trace back to the age of the account.


Be bold in your wild and crazy ideas.

As long as it is documented and you include the budget (time and dollars), it will help you unlock new levels of profit and victory on your account.

Do you have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me at @navahf using the hashtag #AskPPC. See you next month!

More resources:

  • 7 Out-of-the-ordinary PPC Advertising Ideas You Should Try Right Now
  • These 8 Pay-Per-Click Best Practices May Not Be Best for Your Business
  • Top 10 Pay Per Click Trends To Know In 2022

Featured image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal, Mentalmind/Shutterstock

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