PPC Marketing stands for ‘Pay-Per-Click’ Marketing. It’s a form of digital marketing in which an advertiser places an ad via a PPC marketing channel like Google and pays a fee each time someone clicks it. You might do PPC marketing for a variety of reasons, be it to build brand awareness, a social media following, or more commonly, to get a sale.
If you do PPC marketing right, it can substantially boost your revenue. For example, say you pay $3 when a customer clicks your ad for an espresso maker. You’re out $3 for that click – but that same customer spends $300 for said espresso maker, you just made a hefty profit. And who are we to deny someone of a $300 espresso maker? (It’s no secret that coffee keeps us going here at Fairwind!)
How PPC Marketing Works
You’re probably most familiar with Google Ads as an example of PPC marketing, but it’s important to note there are other PPC marketing channels out there too. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok all do various forms of PPC marketing and generally follow this process:
- Choose your campaign type based on your objective
- Specify your settings for your target (i.e. audience, device, location)
- Enter your budget and bidding strategy
- Enter your landing page (the URL where you’ll direct people who click on your ad)
- Create your ad
Once you’ve done this, most PPC marketing platforms will take care of the rest based on your budget, bid, and campaign settings, along with the relevance and quality of your ad.
Now let’s look at 4 platforms that do PPC marketing, and how and when to use them for your business…
It’s pretty hard to talk about PPC marketing without Google Ads. You’ve definitely seen these before, whether by doing a Google search for ‘organic’ keywords, visiting a website with ads in the content or simply watching a YouTube video.
Google Ads are a very well-oiled machine, and allows you to really drill down and target a specified audience. You can do this by age, location, interests, geography and a variety of settings that allow you to reach out and put your ad in front of eyeballs.
Say you want to reach dog owners in Tuktoyaktuk on Android phones who are interested in made-in-Canada pet toys and who visited your website in the past week without making a purchase.
You can set that up, and while it wouldn’t be a huge audience, it would also be highly targeted. Advantage: you (and dog owners in Tuktoyaktuk, of course).
Google Ad Types
You can break Google Ads down a variety of ways, but they generally come down to the following ad formats: Search, Display, Video, Shopping, App, Smart, Local, and Discovery.
Each of these ad formats serves a function. However, for someone new to PPC marketing, we would probably start with the first three:
- Search Ads
These are the ads you see when you Google products or services that are competitive among advertisers. For example, do a Google search for ‘Coffee Maker’. Do you see textual ads at the top and bottom of the page? Those are search ads.
- Display Ads
These are the Google Ads you see on a website, often within the content. If you recently visited a site that sells cast-iron pans, for example, you might see display ads on a different website for—you guessed it—cast-iron pans. This is called ‘re-targetting’, although display ads aren’t limited to this format.
- Video Ads
Ever been on YouTube? If yes, you’ve probably seen ads before and/or during the video content. Voila! Those are Google Video Ads, although they’re not limited to YouTube and can be seen on Google Video partner content as well.
Keep in mind this is a very basic breakdown of PPC marketing with Google. Should you have success with Google Ads, you may want to explore other formats. Google Shopping and Local in particular may be of interest once you’ve got the basics of this powerful marketing tool.
When To Use:
With Google controlling an estimated 92% of organic search at the time of this writing, Google Ads would likely be the logical starting point for your PPC marketing campaigns. If people are searching for it, you’ll find them here.
While we’re on the topic of monopolies – er, tech giants (that’s what we really meant to say, we swear!), let’s talk about Facebook for a minute. Like Google, there’s a good chance you love Facebook or have a different response to it, but with an estimated 2 billion daily visitors, and despite a rather precipitous drop of its stock value in 2022, this behemoth of social media isn’t going anywhere.
Like Google Ads, Facebook Ads have a huge audience, which allows marketers to once again target customers by age, gender, location, interest, Facebook group… heck, even their favourite movie. Want to target Facebook users who like the film Dumb and Dummer To? (You can do that, really.)
One advantage Facebook Ads have over Google Ads is the former has a user-friendly interface. You can do Facebook Ads as social media posts, which may be more visually pleasing to your audience. You can also do Facebook Ads in Facebook Messenger and even have them display on Instagram as well.
While the average 23-year-old might refer to Facebook as something their parents use, almost half of Instagram users are between 25 and 34. And with almost 1.5 billion people on Instagram alone, it’s safe to say Mark Zuckerberg runs the planet—or at least his company, Meta, can help you reach just about every person on it.
Facebook Ad Types
You can do Facebook Ads as an image, video, carousel, instant experience or collection. You can place them directly on Facebook (where they’ll appear to your audience as a paid social post), in Messenger, Instagram or the Meta Audience Network.
When To Use:
Facebook Ads are an excellent way to target top-of-funnel customers. That is, people who aren’t familiar with your brand, product or service. With that said, it may help to think of Facebook Ads as an expansion of your Google Ads campaigns rather than your primary revenue channel. At Fairwind, we would do this:
- Start with Google Ads
- Expand to Facebook Ads to raise brand awareness, then do a Google Ads campaign for people who clicked on your Facebook Ads.
Less ‘social’ than Facebook, LinkedIn is a networking tool for working professionals. It’s much smaller than Facebook and nowhere near as granular. Still, with an audience of 875 million users, LinkedIn has a lot of eyeballs. And they’re focussed eyeballs at that. LinkedIn connects companies and organizations with co-workers, CEOs and thought leaders on work-related topics.
LinkedIn Ads are a great way to do objective-based paid advertising. It can help you create ad campaigns around specific business goals, whether that’s to create brand awareness, connect with someone who already knows your product or to perform a specific act, like apply for a job, visit your site, or join your email list.
In short, LinkedIn Ads are a good option for Business to Business (B2B) companies to build leads and raise awareness of their brand.
LinkedIn Ad Types
You can do LinkedIn Ads as Sponsored Content, Sponsored Messaging, Text Ads or Dynamic Ads. Text Ads may be a good place to start as a beginner, particularly if you’re looking to cast a wide net.
When To Use:
Think about LinkedIn Ads if you’re a B2B business and/or looking to develop leads. LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. But if you want to target working professionals, it’s arguably the best tool out there to do just that.
All work no play makes Jack a dull boy. If you want to reach millennials and/or the burgeoning demographic of hyper-influential Gen Z-ers, this is where you do it. TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app where users create, watch and share 15 second videos on any topic. They’re often fun, dance- theme videos, along with stunts, pranks, tricks, and stuff intended to inspire joy and creativity.
TikTok is growing – fast. It was the sixth most popular social media platform as of January 2022. However, given that it’s the platform of choice for Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2012, who are just entering their spending years, and who aren’t afraid to lend their influence to brands they like, and are even using TikTok as a search engine, and, well, you see why there is so much potential in 15 second videos on TikTok.
TikTok Ad Types
There are currently 6 TikTok ad types: In-Feed Ads, Spark Ads, Top View Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads, and Branded Effects.
When To Use:
Think about doing TikTok ads when you want to reach Gen Z-ers. They’re young, and they’re mighty. Keep things light and fun, with a little bold thrown in for good measure. There’s a time and place for everything, and while LinkedIn this ain’t, TikTok is where to speak with the future.
What is the Best PPC Marketing Channel?
What’s your objective and who do you want to reach? Google Ads is the biggest platform, and if you’re looking for a broad PPC marketing channel to cut to the chase and boost your revenue, you may want to start here. Think about Facebook Ads to introduce your brand with unparalleled targeting, and consider LinkedIn Ads if you’re a B2B Business.
And don’t forget TikTok Ads either – especially to reach Generation Z and/or you’re really funny or a really good dancer. Or if you want to make cute puppy videos. Because honestly, who doesn’t love cute puppies?
Have further questions about PPC marketing. Contact us here at Fairwind Creative! We do cool digital stuff here, including PPC marketing, with green web hosting and a 20% discount for non-profits.
Reach out to us about PPC marketing in Victoria BC, Portland Oregon, Seattle and/or, heck, anywhere. We’d love to work with you!