PPC (pay-per-click) is the term given to digital advertising to which the amount a business pays is determined by – yep, you guessed it – by how many users click on your adverts’ call-to-actions. They typically take place across search engines (we recommend you start with Google) and social media platforms.
One of the best and cost-effective ways to digitally market your business is through Google advertising. Google offers a number of ways for you to reach your target audience, and there are money-saving techniques you can use for each of them.
Search ads are pretty much what they say on the tin – adverts that come up when you use Google search. For these, businesses can input a range of keywords, which could relate to your product, service or business itself, for which your website will appear at the top of the first page of Google when searched.
For more popular search terms that many other businesses will be bidding on, the higher the cost-per-click will be. For those of you working with a smaller budget, it’s important to conduct thorough keyword research, using tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush. By doing this, you could come across more cost-effective search terms that your competitors are not capitalising on.
While these ads are mainly used to drive clicks to your website, an alternative approach could be to drive brand awareness. There is an old, but not necessarily outdated, rule of marketing whereby people have to see your brand seven times before it sticks in their mind when coming to purchase a product. By removing call-to-actions and using your ad to showcase your brand as a whole, you can regularly appear in front of your target audience while greatly reducing the likelihood that people will click on your ad, therefore reducing costs. While the ROI on this method is more difficult to determine, it is an effective method of getting exposure for your brand for pennies.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, is the world’s most-popular website and second-biggest search engine (behind, you guessed it, Google). As such, advertising potential on YouTube is huge, and also highly cost-effective.
If your in-stream YouTube ads are longer than 30 seconds in duration, you will be charged once the viewer watches it to the 30-second mark, while any ads that are less than 30 seconds will be charged if the viewer watches the whole video. This could be lucrative for your business if you make the opening of your ad highly engaging with your key messages put across early, as you could appeal to your audience without having to keep them watching all the way through, therefore reducing the impact on your budget.
Social media advertising
Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn facilitate PPC advertising. While there are similarities across the board, there are differences in each platform’s ability to target your audience and their general cost of advertising. Twitter, for example, is typically one of the cheaper platforms to advertise on, and allows you to target users based on general characteristics such as age and location, but also the accounts they follow and interact with, as well as what they’re searching for. LinkedIn, on the other hand, can be considerably more expensive. However, given its nature as a professional platform, it provides accurate targeting based on people’s skills, job role and seniority, as well as the industry they work in.