If you are new to online advertising and searching through the many options available to publicise your business, sooner or later you will encounter what is known as Pay Per Click, or PPC as it is more generally termed.
The first thing to note and to be constantly aware of is that PPC is a paid-for advertising service, which requires a thorough understanding if it is to be used cost effectively. Many businesses dive into PPC without studying how it works and can waste part of their advertising budget before they have had the chance to properly evaluate its ROI.
The purpose of this article to provide you with a general overview of what PPC is and how to determine if it is likely to be an appropriate advertising medium to help meet your business objectives.
Meet the two PPC heavyweights
Although there is a seemingly constant stream of new arrivals in the PPC market, the two most commonly used and the biggest by far are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. Apart from a mainstream awareness of the ownership names behind them, both Google and Facebook have far more data to draw on to assist their advertisers than lesser known competitors.
This of course cuts both ways. You pay more more for a more comprehensive service and some smaller services may prove to be more economical once you know what you’re doing.
That said, most advertisers tend to opt for either or both of the big two when first venturing into PPC, if only because they may have some history with them and already have related connections in place. Google Adwords requires a gmail account to get on board, whilst you need a Facebook account to use their platform.
Digital direct marketing
If you have a background in direct marketing, you’ll have a head start in understanding the way PPC can be used profitably. If not, it may prove helpful to use some historic direct response basics to highlight some of the advantages inherent in the use of PPC advertising.
Taking Google Adwords and Facebook Ads as examples, they each offer you a way of finding the customers you want to reach – through data gathered in online searches in the case of Google, and interests and membership preferences on Facebook’s side.
Long before the internet was dreamed up, advertisers placed direct response ads (those requiring a measurable action by the reader) in publications most commonly read by the people they regarded as potential customers. These advertisements still successfully run in publications today, but now there is also the option of putting them online.
In this respect, PPC is often considered the most accurate means of reaching prospective customers. If you know your market well and understand what your prospective customers are looking for, PPC may be an advertising option you could benefit from exploring further.