In an earlier blogpost, we discussed how PPC complexities often lead to partially wasted campaign budgets. And while that fact remains true, there are some underrated ways you can use PPC to enhance other areas of your digital marketing efforts. Content and social media, for example, are two areas where non-traditional PPC methods can go a long way towards boosting your overall campaign results.
So what do we mean by 'non-traditional PPC methods'? Well, most people who don't know much about PPC beyond that it stands for pay-per-click advertising usually assume it runs exclusively through Google. But the truth is there are other ways to integrate PPC with your marketing tactics, and in some cases, you can even feel comfortable implementing these methods yourself. That's not to say traditional Google AdWords PPC campaigns aren't worth it as they can improve your marketing in more ways than one. In fact, the suggestions we're about to make will actually help you develop a further understanding of the inner workings of PPC, no matter the scale or platform.
Let's get to it, shall we? Here are three relatively simple and underrated PPC related tactics you can use to get an edge on your competitors:
1. Use Google's Keyword Planner (But Not How You Think)
Okay I admit, it's a little funny that I'm leading off with Google after I just finished saying we were going to think outside the Google box. You can point and laugh now. But bear with me because we are going to think outside the box by using a PPC tool to generate ideas in an unorthodox way. I recently came across a genius article by Dan Shure where he discussed how to use the landing page function of the Google Keyword Planner to brainstorm for keywords. The full piece has more granular details on all the awesome things you can do to exploit various landing pages, but I'll just show you the basics.
So, start with the Keyword Planner and search for new keyword or ad group ideas. Let's say that you have a movie review website you want to get up and running. First, let's see the results from a big industry site's landing page:
The tool is intended to help discover the words and phrases that I should be using in ads that land on the page I've entered. So I expect that Google will understand the page indicated is about movies.
Which is exactly what happened, so we know Google understands. Just from entering a landing page of a competitor's site, we've already generated some content ideas. And remember, these ideas aren't necessarily for ad keywords (although they could be). We're primarily looking for content ideas; things to write about that people are interested in and searching for but don't have high competition (at least in AdWords - don't forget where the data is coming from). For example, Kevin Costner has a new movie coming out and he could be trending this month, so an article focused on 'Kevin Costner movies' could do well.
You can also do much more with the landing page function, including things like entering a Wikipedia page for an industry term.
The above search was also filtered with the negative keywords 'free', 'stream' and 'watch', which were all part of the highest searched phrases. But given that a movie review site is entirely informational, it might not even be a bad idea to generate a link-bait article about "Streaming Movies Online". Other ideas stemming from this list include an in-depth piece on Ebert & Roeper and a page or section on 'current movie reviews'.
Again, these basic examples are just to highlight some new ways people are using the Keyworld Planner to generate fresh ideas. The best way to take advantage is to go and experiment with it yourself!
2. Experiment With Facebook Ads
Facebook ads work. Facebook ads are cheap. If you're doing any kind of content marketing and social outreach, you really need to at least discover whether Facebook ads can help promote your stuff and increase brand awareness. The minimum spend for Facebook ads is $1 per day and the cost per 1,000 impressions is incredibly low. Next time you write a piece of really good content, set up a Facebook ad and see what happens. It's easy:
Choose the purpose of your ad (in this case, to get more clicks through to the article we decided to write on the 10 best Kevin Costner movies of all-time):
Upload an image, choose your headlines, and target your add based on demographics and interests:
Pretty easy, right? That's pretty much it and you've got a simple, targeted ad that's going to get extra eyes on your content for next to nothing. Even if you spend $1 a day for a week, it'll be worth the results. And don't tell me you can't handle $7 for a few Facebook ads! Give it a shot, you might be surprised by the results (which you should, of course, track).
3. Test Twitter Ads
Now that you've given Facebook ads a try, don't stop there! Keep the PPC ball rolling and give Twitter ads a chance. Twitter is a relative newcomer to the ad scene, but in limited testing we've experienced success on the platform. The problem with Twitter for most people is that it moves too quickly. You might post once or twice a day and wonder why you never generate any engagement; the truth is, even if you've got 100 or 200 followers, hardly anybody is going to notice your once-a-day tweeting. With a very small budget, you can use Twitter ads to boost outreach and engagement, which will get you started in the right direction.
Like Facebook, Twitter ads are pretty cheap and very easy to set up. So in addition to the Facebook ad you're running for the Kevin Costner piece, you could also run a short Twitter ad campaign to increase awareness. It could be as little as $10 for one day, just to boost initial outreach:
Choose target keywords to reach people that search, tweet about or engage with your selected phrases. Also choose location targets and where you'd like like the add to appear (in users' timeline or just search results):
Finally, you can set your budget and bid levels and test away. You can even choose to promote different tweets (which are really ads) so choose your words wisely:
You won't know whether these often underrated tactics can boost your marketing efforts until you try, so give it a shot! At worst, you'll have spent $50 to get your answer...but again, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results (and the cost).