PPC pros and cons

PPC Pros and Cons

If you’re a small business owner or marketer, there may be a huge battle going on in your head.

You might be thinking how are you going to grow your business reach, expand brand awareness, and bottom line.

As you might know, there are two main opponents that are battling it out in the online marketing realm: content marketing and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

On one hand, content marketing has convincing statistics on its side:

Content marketing adopters enjoy website conversion rates that are almost 6x higher compared to non-adopters.

On-page content is the most effective technique for SEO.

Branded content initiatives are considered by marketers as more effective than advertising in TV and magazines, direct mail, or PR.

On the other hand, PPC can immediately get you on top of the SERPs, in front of people who are almost always ready to buy.

But is the cost worth the return?

If you don’t know what to do, relax – we will give you a straightforward answer to the content marketing versus PPC question.

To give you an idea of what to do with your business, let’s go over the pros and cons of both. Then you can make a decision that’s right for your specific situation, brand, and target audience.

Content Marketing vs. PPC: Decoding the Pros & Cons

Is there a clear-cut winner, here?

We’ll help you find out.

Content Marketing: A lower-cost solution that keeps building your visibility. However, it takes time. Too much time, for some.

If you’re willing to stick with it and accept the upfront costs, content marketing can be a real winner for higher-quality leads and better conversions.

It takes dedication to the right success factors:

But it can be so worth it.

Here are the PPC pros and cons.

  • Con: Content Marketing Takes Longer to Net ROI

Content marketing takes serious commitment and time investment. On average, you won’t see results until months after you publish your content.

However, once you do start seeing ROI, it snowballs.

For example, if you use content marketing, HubSpot estimates old blog posts on evergreen topics account for 38 percent of your total web traffic. Those posts published months and months ago eventually start reeling in targeted visitors as they climb the rankings.

Content takes some time to start building momentum. But, once it does, it’s unstoppable

  •  Pro: It earns you better leads

Once your content starts ranking, the leads you get from organic search will be higher-quality than those you buy with PPC.

According to Marketing Sherpa, among online lead generation channels, organic search generates the greatest volume of leads and the highest conversion rates, with paid search ranking third for both – just behind email marketing campaigns.

Quality leads are more likely to buy, and content marketing draws them in better.

  •  Pro: It’s more cost-effective

There are upfront costs for doing content marketing, but they are one-and-done.

Once you publish the content, it will continue to climb the search results, earning clicks and leads, and you won’t have to pay another cent.

  •  Con: It’s Hard to Find Qualified Writers & Content Creators

A good writer is always hard to find.

In addition, it will take valuable time to get writers yourself and figure out if they’re a good fit for your brand

  • Pro: There Are Content Agencies for That Exact Problem

The good news is you can let an agency handle the vetting for you. They’ll match you up with a writer who can seamlessly slide into your brand voice and handle your written content.

Agencies also demand a certain level of success from their hires, including skilled writing and research, so you can rest easy that you’ll be getting high-quality content that fits your business.

PPC Pros & Cons: Targeted Reach for Immediate Visibility That’s Fleeting

Content marketing has a lot to offer. But what about PPC?

What does PPC marketing bring to the table, and what does it leave out?

  • Con: PPC is a Costly Long-Term Strategy

Unless you ooze out money, you’ll never be able to sustain a long-term PPC strategy.

It is because you get charged every time someone clicks on your SERP listing. If your goal is to steadily boost traffic and stay at the top, you’ll be paying a lot just to stay visible on Google.

  •  Pro: PPC gets you on top – literally

Do you want to shoot to the top of Google immediately?

Well, if you use Google AdWords, the first thing you need to do is to bid on your target keyword. If your page is relevant, and you bid enough, Google will put you on top:

As you can see, the visibility is through the roof. The traffic you get from paying for a top spot could make the cost-per-click worth it.

  • Con: Once you stop paying, your visibility disappears

This is the major con of PPC. When your money runs dry, you disappear from the top spot.

Poof. Gone.

This is in drastic contrast to content marketing, where you earn your SERP spot slowly, over time.

Once you rank, and as long as your content remains relevant, it will never disappear, and you won’t pay a cent more than your up-front costs for producing and publishing.

  • Pro/Con: PPC is more affordable for certain industries

For PPC ads, the amount you pay (cost-per-click, or CPC) varies across industries. To put it simply, some fields (like legal) just have more competition for keywords.

On the other hand, if you’re in industries like e-commerce, education, or employment services, according to Wordstream, PPC is totally affordable.

As you can see, the average CPC across industries hovers around $2.32 compared to the legal industry’s CPC which is around $5.88!

So, Which Channel Wins?

Let’s recap:

Content marketing involves producing content with the aim of building trust and loyalty with your target audience, which eventually leads to profitable results.

PPC advertising involves paying for a prime spot in search results and the resulting traffic boost. Each time a visitor clicks your link, you pay.

Both methods have pros and cons, but you really can’t choose one over the other. Putting all your eggs in one basket is always a risky strategy.

Instead, PPC and content marketing are each situation-specific:

Sometimes, you need targeted visibility and the immediate power of PPC so more people can find your content. (But, if your content sucks, forget about conversions.)

You also need awesome, stable content assets that can rise through the SERP ranks and build ROI month after month, year after year.

One thing you’ll notice about the above scenarios: They both require valuable content as the foundation.

PPC can’t help you with conversions – content marketing can.

CMI perhaps worded it most succinctly:

PPC and content marketing are both viable strategies that can work. But content marketing does have an edge with regard to long term plans, cost-effectiveness, and stability.

Plus, with quality content, your PPC ads will pay off better, because you’ll be nurturing your incoming traffic.

See? These two strategies can and do play nicely.

If you have any questions or you need digital marketing services for your small business or company, contact us at Logical Assembly

PPC Marketing

What is PPC? – The Basics of SEM Marketing Campaign

When you’re a small business owner, it is pretty easy to be enticed to have a professionally designed website before anything else. After all, that’s what the big players do, right?

You then want people to receive the core message that will compel people to patronize your products and services through your website.

In order to achieve that, you need to create traffic. Web traffic that is.

There are so many ways on how websites can attract targeted visitors. But for now, we will give you the basics of the staple Internet marketing campaign, Pay-per-Click Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

What Is PPC or SEM Marketing?

  • Pay-per-Click (PPC) search engine marketing, or what is sometimes termed paid search, is the process of generating traffic to a particular website by purchasing ads on search engines using keywords that are relevant to their target site visitors. The cost of an ad typically works through a bidding system that is participated with other advertisers targeting the same markets.
  • The term SEM refers to Search Engine Marketing which used to be an encompassing term that includes both paid searches and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As the Internet further developed, SEM came to be known as directly related to paid search.
  • The heart of PPC Marketing is composed of keywords. How advertisers choose and group keywords can make or break the entire search engine marketing campaign. 
  • Search engines where your PPC ads are registered with will showcase them on websites or search results once someone searches the keywords your ads are based in. 
  • This paid advertising service will ensure that your ads will only create targeted traffic that will allow you to have a bigger chance of converting them into a customer or client.

Top 3 PPC Networks

Google’s AdWords dominate the market and is the largest PPC provider for obvious reasons. Users couldn’t just live without Google.

Yahoo! Search Marketing is another network holding its own in the PPC market. Yahoo later teamed up with Microsoft, which eventually launched Bing, and formed AdCenter as a PPC platform that will compete against Google in this arena. 

The following provides an overview of each of these top three PPC networks.

  • Google AdWords
    AdWords is undoubtedly the most popular PPC network in terms of market share and in terms of delivering the most traffic to a particular campaign. It is Google’s main advertising product and this search engine giant can deliver you the results that you want.

    The network enables you to have local, national or international distribution for your campaigns and you may even include location-based or even IP address exclusion for a more streamlined campaign to ensure reaching out only to targeted audiences. 

    AdWords also offers advertisers site-targeted advertising facilities for various kinds of ads including text, banners and rich-media advertisements depending on a daily budget that you can set. 

    The network also assists advertisers by offering them different tools that they can use to enhance their marketing campaigns including keyword research, tools on improving conversions, etc.

  • Bing Ads (MSN AdCenter)
    Bing Ads is the latest iteration of the MSN AdCenter network that caters to both the Yahoo! and Bing search engines, which offers PPC advertising for your campaigns. In terms of CPC or cost-per-click, Bing Ads can is a considerably cheaper alternative than AdWords.

    The catch is that there is a large difference when it comes to traffic share between Google and Bing networks. But there are also some facets where they are similar. Like AdWords, Bing Ads offers various tools for advertisers that can help them gain a better insight into the market they are campaigning. 

    This will assist users to develop strategies on how they can get a better ROI by responding accordingly like restricting or increasing ads and bids on keywords based on exposure to a particular demographic.

  • Yahoo! Search Marketing
    This is the internet advertising service provided by Yahoo! that offers PPC or sponsored search advertising based on keywords

    Although the traffic rates for this network is not as extensive as that of AdWords or the MSN networks, it is often suggested to use this network to have an even wider reach and more traffic for your website

Basic Terminologies of PPC You Should Know

If you’re contemplating on using PPC/search engine marketing as part of your overall Internet marketing campaign, it would be to your greatest advantage to come and learn more about the terminologies and abbreviations that you will often encounter when using this tool. This includes the following:

Pay-per-Click or PPC – As discussed earlier, PPC ads are paid ads based on targeted keyword combinations and are posted on websites or search results. Payments, however, will be charged only from click-through, or when people actually click on the ad. If the ad is displayed but no clicks on the links occurred, no payments will be charged.

CPM or Cost Per Impression – Unlike PPC, this one allows you to pay the PPC network per 1,000 views or impressions regardless if people will click the ad or not. We don’t recommend using this in a PPC network.

Advertiser – Business owners promoting their websites through PPC ads will fall under this category, either buying or bidding on particular keywords or sets of keywords relevant to their brand, products or services. Ads will be displayed on advertising spaces on a network of websites as well as search results where the particular sets of keywords appear as content or typed in during searches.

Publisher – This is where advertising spaces are showcased and where the paid ads may appear depending on keyword relevance. Paid ads on Google’s search results make the search engine a publisher for these particular ads. In a similar manner, websites that are integrated with Google AdSense will run paid ads from AdWords depending on the keywords used.

CTR or Click-Through-Rate – A click-through is made whenever a site visitor clicks on a displayed ad from the website or a search result. The cost of a particular PPC campaign may be affected by the number of clicks made through that particular ad. CTR can be computed by clicks/impressions then multiplied by 100 to make it a percentage. So let’s say 500 people viewed your site and 10 people clicked on it. So your CTR is approximately 2.0% which is very high (10/500 = 0.02×100 = 2%).

Cost-Per-Click or CPC – is a system used by the PPC network to determine the minimum CPC that you need to bid before your ads can run. CPC differs greatly from market to market, it usually depends on how competitive the market and keyword is. CPC can also be affected by your campaign performance.

BID – a term for setting the max amount of money that you are willing to pay on the PPC network. Either CPC or CPM, it’s advisable that follow the minimum bid that the PPC network is suggesting.

Budget – The max amount of budget that you are willing to spend per day for your campaign. Some networks like Bing allow you to have a monthly and daily budget while Adwords focused on a daily budget.

The Five Most Important PPC Components

To have an effective Pay-per-Click SEM campaign each PPC component should be carefully taken into consideration and every aspect that would make that particular component an effective tool for your PPC campaign well addressed. The following provides a brief overview of each of these top 5 components and their importance to your campaign

  •  Keywords
    This is the single key component of your PPC campaign. Failing to identify the most relevant and most targeted words or phrases for your business can be a great disaster in your PPC campaign. 

    To keep this from happening, make sure to use the top keyword research tools out there to aid you in finding the best keywords for your business.

    Pointers when searching for keywords:

    Avoid using very generic words
    Find specific keywords with decent traffic
    Start with the name of your products or services
    Top Keywords Research Tools

  • Landing Page
    This is where the action takes place. They are linked from your PPC advertisements which serve as the page that your visitors will be redirected after they clicked on your ad. The main purpose of the landing page is the conversion of visitors either into sales or leads.

    For lead generation – These types of pages can also be called squeeze pages, where you extract contact information from your visitors in exchange for a subscription to a newsletter or a free eBook offer.

    More often than not, squeeze pages will provide another link that goes to a Sales Page.

    For sales generation – A landing page designed to generate sales can also be called a Sales Page. This is where you pitch your sales copy where the call to action which is usually to purchase an item or enroll in a program and is strategically placed throughout the page.

  •  Campaign Budget
    PPC Campaigns run on a particular budget set on a monthly or daily basis depending on the settings you specified at the network you are using. 

    The monthly feature will let the campaign run and qualify for particular auctions and will stop once the budget has been fully exhausted. Daily budgeting features allow you to set a particular budget each day, letting you spread your campaign across each day of the entire month.

  • AD Message
    Your ad message is the spearhead of your PPC advertising campaign. These are short, text-based messages or flashy images that should be carefully planned and chosen to make the ad as powerful and appealing as possible. 

    The key is to make your ad stand out from your competitors, getting the attention of readers and enticing them to click on your ad to have more info. A whole new article can be written to show you how to write good AD messages but a summary can be given here to give you an idea:

    Eliminate unnecessary words
    Focus on compelling benefits
    Make use of power words
    Avoid generic copy and clichés
    A good call to action statement

  •  Campaign Performance Metrics
    Monitoring the performance of your campaigns is important to give you a gauge to measure how effective your ads are and if interventions and adjustments are necessary to produce better results. Some of these metrics include:

    Average CPC – Cost Per Click
    CPM – Cost Per Impression
    CTR – Click Through Rate
    Quality Score

The Benefits of SEM or Pay-Per-Click Marketing For Your Business

If a particular Pay-per-Click SEM campaign is done properly, with all preliminary components, addressed such as choosing the right keyword or set of keywords to use in the campaign, paid PPC can deliver very high quality targeted traffic that has higher chances for conversion or sale.

Businesses can get the most benefits from their SEM marketing particularly in reaching out to targeted people who you are actually intending to connect with your brand, product or service.

From the clicks that your visitors will make through your PPC ads, you will also gain an insight of what your target audiences really want or prefer, how they search for particular products and the search terms they actually use, and what particular information on the landing page or website will actually entice them to purchase a product or service.

Conclusion

It is important to reiterate that significant traffic is still generated through search engines, and the use of Pay-per-Click search engine marketing ensures the influx of targeted traffic from the intended market of a particular brand, product or service. People are always looking for information and search engines help them look for this information – which they can eventually find through your Pay-per-Click ads.

If you need digital marketing services for your company or your small business, contact us at Logical Assembly.


Instagram for Business

How to Advertise On Instagram for Small Businesses

Using Instagram ads for your Small Business is a no-brainer.

Not only do more than one billion people use Instagram every month, but engagement numbers for the app are way higher than both Facebook and Twitter.

That’s why we want to introduce you to Instagram advertising, which gives you the chance to aim your content to the Instagram users who count.

Let’s get started.

How to Advertise on Instagram for Small Business

What are Instagram ads?

In 2013, Instagram first began offering limited ad services after being purchased by Facebook.

It wasn’t until 2015 when they allowed advertising of all shapes and sizes. Companies and businesses found Instagram to be a huge factor for growth.

And because Instagram is integrated with Facebook Ad Manager, brands can leverage Facebook’s massive cache of user information to advertise directly to their target audience.

If that’s not enough to convince you that Instagram ads are great, here are a few numbers: 75% of users interact with Instagram ads like purchasing a product or going to a website.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

The cost of your specific Instagram ad will be unique to you. After all, not all ads are the same. the average cost-per-click for Instagram ads is around $0.70 – $0.80. This figure comes from the data of more than $300 million of ad spend.

Keep in mind that this is just the average cost-per-click. Your Instagram ad might end up costing less or more depending on plenty of factors. For example, the costs can fluctuate based on the ages you choose to target.

Types of Instagram ads

Instagram offers five ad formats:

  • Stories ads
  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads

Each of these ad formats is woven into users’ Feeds and Stories and offers a non-disruptive user experience.

Instagram also offers different types of call-to-actions that can help you collect more leads. We’ll include these in the description of the ad formats.

Let’s take a look at each of these ad types and see how they work.

Stories ads

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Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen ads that appear in between users’ Stories.

With 500 million Instagram users viewing Stories every day, you will receive the potential to reach a massive audience with your ad.

Stories ads, you can target your audience and select how often they see your ad. Because Stories will expire after 24 hours and they’re the ideal format for sharing limited-time offers and promotions.

Small businesses can also take advantage of all Instagram Stories features such as adding face filters, video effects, and text to create fun and creative promotions.

This allows you to make Instagram Stories ads that look and feel like your normal posts which creates a seamless experience for your users. The call-to-action takes the form of a swipe-up feature that takes audiences directly to your website from your Stories ad.

Photo ads

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Photo ads allow brands to showcase products and services through awesome and compelling images.

If you’re already crafting good visual content, Instagram photo ads allow you to share it with even more people.

One example of this comes from Parachute Home, a home linens business. They successfully promoted a 60-night trial of their bedding with a “Shop Now” call-to-action button.

Parachute’s Instagram posts also have a distinctive look and feel. They created this by often displaying their products in authentic, beautiful bedroom spaces—and their photo ads were consistent with this style.

The ads were targeted to men and women aged 18 to 54, with audience profiles based on their core customers’ profiles.

The result? A 3.7x return on advertising spend, and a click-through-rate that was twice as high as their ads on other platforms.

Businesses can borrow Parachute Homes’ strategy by creating Custom and Lookalike Audiences on Facebook Ads Manager.

Video ads

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Instagram users love video.

In fact, time spent watching videos on Instagram was up more than 80% year-over-year in 2017.

And Instagram has taken notice. That’s why they’ve made it easier than ever before for advertisers to utilize videos for their brands.

One great example of a successful video ad campaign comes from Lionsgate UK for their film “La La Land.”

To promote one of the biggest movies of the year, Lionsgate UK team knew that they had to target a younger audience (age 18 to 24). But younger people are mostly unfamiliar with big Hollywood musicals.

Luckily, the team knew that Instagram users were drawn towards themes like romance, travel, and fashion. They used these themes to create 10 short, bite-sized videos. Then they targeted their exact audience.

The results were astounding:

24 point increase in ad recall

8 point increase in brand awareness

4 point increase in movie viewing intent

12 point increase in movie viewing intent among females

Check out the case study on the successful ad campaign here for more.

Carousel ads

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Carousel ads allow users to swipe through a series of images or videos (like a carousel) with a call-to-action button to redirect them directly to your website.

They do a number of cool things:

Highlight multiple products

Share a multi-part story

Dive deep into a single service in up to 10 images or videos

Kayla Itsines, the founder of fitness empire Bikini Body Guide, utilized a series of video carousel ads to raise awareness and downloads of the workout app Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness.

The carousel format allowed her to display short fitness sequences showing how users could exercise anywhere (and anytime) with the app.

The campaign was targeted to women aged 18 to 42, reaching 6.4 million people and leading to an incredible 21-point lift in brand awareness.

Carousel ads are perfect for a brand that wanted to show the versatility of its content and would be a good fit for other brands with diverse creative assets, like food and fashion companies.

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Purchase

Introduced in early-2018, Instagram Collection ads are a relatively new addition.

The way they work is simple: When users see an ad from your brand, they’ll have the option to purchase products directly from the ad.

They combine the power of photos, videos, and direct-response marketing all in one powerful advertisement.

One brand that used Instagram Collection ads to great success was Zattini, a clothing e-commerce store.

Using Collections, they showcased their products and discounts with the goal of increasing sales. The result was a 6.3% increase in conversions. Their Collections ad also came at a 41.9% lower cost compared to other ad formats.

To help you decide which Ad style you’d want to try, we prepared this segment for you.

What is my goal?

Your social media goal is the North Star for all decisions when it comes to your Instagram ad campaign. It will help you decide what to pursue and, more importantly, what not to pursue.

For example, if you’re trying to raise brand awareness, you want to avoid something like Collection ads, as they directly sell products. Instead, you should choose a photo or video ad with a CTA that directs to your website. Doing this not only helps you with your sales but will help you elevate your brand through captivating content.

But if you’re simply trying to sell products, you will want to use a Collections ad that will allow users to purchase products directly from the ad itself.

Or let’s say you have multiple products that you’re launching and you want to show them off. A Carousel ad will be perfect for this as you can show users several captivating images of your products.

No matter what ad format you choose to go with, make sure it’s in line with your goals

Now that you know the different types of Instagram ad formats—and how to choose a good one—let’s jump into how exactly you can launch a successful Instagram campaign.

Conclusion

There are a lot of features over social media apps and websites that are useful for your business and Instagram is one of these.

If you decide to include Instagram in your advertisement platform, there is no question that it will significantly affect your business in a positive way.

If you need digital marketing services for your company, or if you own a small business and need a digital marketing agency, contact us at Logical Assembly.