If I were to ask you, ‘What’s the Holy Grail of Marketing?’, what would you say?
- To create an emotional connection?
- To deliver a ‘wow’ moment?
- To differentiate your offering to the extent that you carve out an unassailable competitive position in a ‘field of one’?
I don’t discount any of these. But most business owners have more prosaic desires. They just want a tactic that works. A means of promoting their business that’s accountable, low maintenance and generates profits.
And if that sounds about right to you, too, then my recommendation is that you make it your mission to master pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which I consider – in all seriousness – to be a miracle of the information age.
Simply by doing so, you can steal a march on many of your competitors, because most small businesses are not generally using PPC at all. And of those that do, only 18 per cent believe they recoup the cost of their investment. The remaining 82 per cent say they are either not recouping their cost in terms of online sales, or simply don’t know if they are or not.
I understand why. The reason is lack of knowledge. PPC can seem complicated – and it’s certainly possible to get it wrong. You must take the time to learn about it.
But with that knowledge in place, a well-run PPC campaign almost always offers the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective means of building your business around.
As I explain in my new list building workshop, there are 12 reasons your business needs pay-per-click advertising in its life:
- PPC advertising is pay for performance. You, as the advertiser, only pay when a potential customer actually clicks on one of your ads and is directed to the webpage of your choice. Forget the days of billboards and hopeful directory listings – this is the real deal, paying only for something tangible.
- After some initial set-up activity, PPC can be automated. This is HUGE. After you set up a campaign, PPC can be working for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, delivering you targeted traffic, signups, and business. This, truly, is a miracle of the information age!
- Gives you direct access to a massive audience – with a need. Most PPC advertising runs alongside ‘natural’ (i.e. unpaid) search engine listings, a massive global audience but also one where by definition everyone who sees your ad is actively looking for a solution to a problem.
- Ultra-targeted by keyword. Most PPC opportunities have complete control to ensure that your ads are only seen by those searching for pre-defined ‘keywords’ directly related to your offer.
- Ultra-targeted by demographics. You choose who sees your ads by geographical area, day of the week, time of day, even age and gender (and, with PPC from LinkedIn, job title) so you can home in on your ideal prospect.
- Cost-effective. Being well-versed in a great many advertising and promotional methods, both on and offline, I can tell you that well-managed PPC campaigns must be THE most consistently economical advertising there is.
- Easy to get started. You can have your first PPC campaign up, running and delivering targeted traffic via text ads in minutes – no programming, design skills, or software necessary.
- Low cost (often no cost!) to get started. PPC allows anyone to get started with a tiny amount of money: a mere £10 or £20 can deliver you considerable traffic, depending on your niche. That’s if you don’t first take advantage of the massive number of free vouchers available that give free credit to new accounts.
- Completely accountable. If you take the time to set up proper conversion tracking, you’ll be able to tell exactly what each ‘conversion’ costs you, which ads and keywords make you money, and which don’t.
- Targets buyers. By choosing ‘long tail’ keywords (very specific words or groupings of words) in your campaigns, PPC allows you to target people who are well ‘down the sales funnel’, or in other words, looking to buy right now.
- Generates a wealth of data useful for natural SEO and more. The volume of useful data thrown up by even a basic Google AdWords campaign is incredible, and the insights you’ll gain from it go way beyond PPC into market intelligence, search engine optimisation, content strategy, landing page optimisation and more.
- Great for testing. With its fantastic reporting and management tools, and immediate access to a potentially massive audience, PPC is the ideal way to test different marketing approaches reliably, quickly and at minimal outlay. Want to get a steer on the ideal product name or email subject line? Smart use of PPC gives you that opportunity.
In fact, there’s so much to be said for the smaller business using PPC that I’d go so far as to say that if you’re just starting out with your online marketing, you should just forget natural SEO (which becomes harder to win at by the day) and focus on PPC to get going.
Natural SEO is great but for most smaller businesses, a good PPC campaign will win on a cost-benefit basis every time over the short term, and quite possibly the long term too.
So how do you get started?
Learn about PPC, then open an account with Google AdWords, allocate a small budget (you can get a lot of information, and, depending on your market, traffic out of £250 if you do it right) and start experimenting with what it can do for you.
My new list building workshop explains in great detail how even a beginner can create an automated list building system using PPC.Website owner? Google+ is a complete no-brainer for you. Connect with me there now...