Marketing and sales budgets are almost always the first thing to be cut when “times get tough”. While I don’t really “get it”, I guess I understand it because marketing expenses are seen as discretionary rather than essential.
One area that I strongly suggest to my small business clients that isn’t cut is their expenditure for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With judicial use of budget and management of keywords and geographic targeting PPC advertising can still be the best way of reaching the maximum number of potential clients with minimum outlay. (My focus here is on Google AdWords but the same principles hold true for Bing Ads) Here are the five reasons I recommend my small business clients start or maintain a PPC program:
#1 PPC allows close and careful budgeting
Unlike traditional marketing arenas (newspaper ads, trade shows) there are no hidden costs with PPC advertising. You can start with costs and budgets that you are comfortable with and then adjust them on a daily or hourly basis to get the biggest bang for your buck. While Google would love you to give all your money to them if you work your budget correctly you really don’t have to.
#2 PPC brings your message directly to your potential clients
Getting onto the first search engine result page with your organic (free) listing is hard – ask anyone. But with PPC you can pretty much guarantee that your message will get on the first page (assuming that you are willing to bid enough on a particular keyword). And if you are lucky to be listed on the organic side too – you are 50% more likely to have a link clicked than if you appear just in the organic or just in the paid ad sections.
#3 Local targeting
Is your market just within your own zip code? Set up your PPC campaign just to show up inside that area. Is your market just in your county or within 50 miles? Set up your PPC campaign just to show up inside that area. Is your market worldwide? Set up…well you get the idea. Want to try other markets – you can do that too, there’s no need to just stick with contiguous areas allowing you to test market before rolling out on a full launch.
#4 PPC brings high ROI
Every business is different and every set of results from PPC will be different but Google’s own numbers on this are pretty amazing. They claim a 19:1 ROI for their average client, not just their power users. My own research puts this figure lower – one client of mine has a calculated ROI of 3:1, not 19:1 for sure but still not shabby! If I could bet $1 and win $3 every time that’s a bet I would take.
#5 Total control
With traditional marketing once you’ve pulled the trigger you are pretty much locked into whatever you’ve booked. Winter storm cancels your trade show? Sorry- you are out of luck. Need to change your TV ad to reflect a price change? Not going to happen until the next ad cycle. With AdWords you can turn campaigns on or off as needed and you can start new campaigns instantly based on current events / weather / whatever pushes your client’s buttons!
Need help with your existing PPC campaign or want to get started on one? Contact me today and I’ll show you how to get $100 back from Google on your first campaign!