Reinvigorating Your PPC Campaigns With a Multi-Channel Approach

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Pay-per-click advertising has actually only been around for a few years. But in the grand scheme of the internet, it’s basically a dinosaur. And it’s seen its fair share of criticism. In fact, a lot of businesses shy away from PPC because they’ve heard that it’s really difficult to achieve success unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at it.

Sophisticated Data and Analytics Make PPC More Robust

But things have changed a lot in the PPC game as data and analytics have become more sophisticated. PPC is still a valuable marketing tool, but its effectiveness is amplified when used in conjunction with a multi-channel marketing approach. Really, when you look at pay-per-click advertising, it’s the start of your funnel. It’s a means to attract attention and drive traffic to your landing pages. From there, it’s up to you to convert those visitors to loyal customers, subscribers, social media followers, or whatever your goals.

That’s why it’s important to think of PPC as one component of a larger sales and marketing strategy. Where does PPC fit in to your process? You probably have a few different sales funnels, since there are multiple ways to attract potential buyers who have never been introduced to your company before. For which of those channels would PPC serve as a valuable traffic driver?

Are Your Visitors Previously Engaged?

There’s another way to look at PPC within the context of today’s multi-channel marketing approaches. In some industries, prospects are far more likely to click on a PPC ad after having previously engaged with the advertiser through another channel. Call this brand awareness if you like. It’s worth a detailed analysis of your traffic sources to determine whether the visitors clicking on your ads are likely to have had a previous contact with your company through another channel.

The reason this is important is that you can tailor these advertisements and landing pages to specifically address the unique perspective of a consumer who is already, at least on an introductory level, been exposed to your brand. A brand-new prospect, or a cold lead, if you will, requires more convincing and more explanatory information than a visitor already familiar with your products and services.

Say you’re an affiliate marketer introducing a new program. The keywords you’re targeting with a PPC campaign have a high likelihood of brand awareness – that is, that the people clicking on those ads are doing so because they recognize your name and have used your programs in the past. In this case, you could draw on the success of previous programs to convince these prospects to invest in your latest offering.

Consistent Customer Experiences and Targeted Messaging

Multi-channel marketing platforms with built-in analytics offering a single view of each customer are incredibly valuable tools for the multi-channel business. This is the easiest way to obtain the data you need to determine where your customer entered the sales funnel, how many previous experiences she’s had with your company, and what messaging will be the most effective at each touch point to drive the visitor further through the sales funnel.

It’s also extremely important to provide a consistent customer experience across all your marketing channels. If your prospects are familiar with the brand experience on Facebook and end up on a landing page that offers a totally different experience, the result is often bewilderment and confusion – and bounces.

So when you’re crafting your PPC campaigns, knowing whether the prospects likely to be using those search terms and clicking those ads are also likely to have been exposed to your brand on Facebook, you can target your landing page content specifically to provide a cohesive, consistent user experience.

AdWords and Analytics Offer Key Cross-Channel Marketing Tools

The shift towards multi-channel marketing is already reflected in AdWords options. Advertisers can now use tools like ad extensions to add coupons to PPC ads, which integrates the online and offline experience. Or provide a click-to-call number, successfully integrating PPC and mobile marketing. Think about the importance of a mobile-optimized landing page for those campaigns.

Google Analytics’ Multi-Channel Funnels reports are helpful in gaining an understanding of the typical customer path and the various touch points at which customers interact with your brand before converting. You can filter these reports to show visitors whose first or last interaction is a paid advertisement, providing valuable data on the process through which these customers navigate.

Armed with this information, you have a clear view of the other touch points your typical PPC visitor experiences – and you can successfully create a consistent brand experience at each of those touch points. You can also create entire campaigns targeted to the prospects who experience a PPC ad as the final touch point, crafting your landing page copy, headlines, offers, and targeted keywords to make the final, critical push to turn warm leads into paying customers.

Likewise, custom campaigns for first-touch interactions can be configured to engage these cold leads and create a connection that will increase the likelihood that they’ll actively engage with your brand at other touch points, such as following your company on Facebook or Twitter, or clicking on an organic search listing when your website appears in a relevant search.

Thinking of PPC as a component of a larger, cross-channel marketing campaign will help you identify key areas for improvement, develop more targeted campaigns, and convert more visitors.

 

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