Breaking News: I don’t think that PPC should be your sole marketing strategy.
I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth would someone who has built a reputation on Pay Per Click Advertising share why PPC shouldn’t be your entire strategy? ?
Don’t worry. I haven’t gone completely crazy ?. I said that PPC shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy, not that you shouldn’t use it! I still believe in PPC for the MAJOR benefits it can bring your business and I still offer PPC services.
However, I don’t think it should be the only tool you utilize to build your business and grow sales online. I’ve gathered the top four reasons why it shouldn’t be your entire plan.
1. PPC Can’t Create Demand
If we boil advertising down to the bare essentials, we can say that there are two basic steps: 1) demand creation and 2) demand capture.
For the second part, PPC is amazing. With paid search, you can narrow your demographic to get your ad in front of a very specific audience. So individual that your ad can appear in front of an individual person that asks for a specific keyword in Google. That’s incredible!
^This scenario^ is where PPC really shines. For example, a user searches for “pizza in Toronto”. You are a pizza parlour in Toronto that has invested in Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and your ad appears. The user is at the perfect place to convert to a customer!
Whether you offer digital services, have a brick and mortar storefront, or anywhere in-between, PPC can get your ads in front of people at the right moment to convert. ? It’s super effective!
BUT for PPC to work, a user has to enter a search. The individual has to have an idea of the keyword to search. If you’ve never heard of glitter sunscreen, you can’t Google it. (It’s real, and it’s amaze-balls ✨)
In order to create demand, you need more than PPC. In every business, and especially if you are introducing a new product or service to the market, you need to introduce your brand to people! To truly initiate demand creation, you need more than paid search.
PPC is super effective once demand has already been created, but you need to utilize other methods to capture initial interest.
2. PPC is Only a Channel Within Marketing
It’s possible to be really good at paid search advertising without understanding marketing as a whole. There are specialists who are so focused on PPC that they forget about the rest of the marketing strategy.
The problem with that is even if you rock at paid search, other parts of your marketing can lag behind, which can stunt your sales. Like I talked about above, PPC is fan-freaking-tastic at demand capture but not demand creation.
There are so many layers of marketing strategy, including finding the audience, positioning a product/service to the target market, building confidence in the brand, engaging with people on a regular basis, offering value to your audience, and investing in growth.
If you’re reading that list and thinking, “PPC doesn’t offer all that,” you’re right. There’s a reason that email, social, and SEO marketing exist. These channels create demand that then works with PPC that captures demand. Voila! Sales! ?
If you only invest time, effort, and money into PPC, you might not get very far. As your PPC expert, I don’t just want your paid search to go well (although obvs I care A LOT about PPC!). I want your entire marketing strategy to go well.
It’s not about getting great stats for a month or two. It’s about building a brand.
3. PPC Can Change
I have invested countless hours to researching PPC and best practices for paid search. I have strategies that work to boost client sales and the campaign results to prove it.
However, PPC can always change.
I know. I know. It’s possible to invest years and $$$ into something like Google Ads, see great results, and then have Google change their features. With one change, your ads can see a sharp decline in effectiveness.
For example, in 2019 Google expanded text ads from a single 25-character line to two 30-character lines. That dramatically changed the PPC game! A business may have had a single line paid search ad doing really well, but if they failed to update the ad to add more text, clicks for the business may have fallen behind other brands.
Even with an incredible PPC campaign, it’s important to remember that things can always change. Keep an eye on updates, especially from Google! ?
4. The Stakes are High
I work in PPC because I love it. I am a major nerd who enjoys researching the algorithms and what works best on different platforms. I also love helping clients win using my paid search strategies. ?
As much as I love PPC, it cannot stand up to the pressure of being the only part of your marketing strategy. The stakes are simply too high for every test, experiment, and disapproved ad.
Imagine the disappointment you’ll feel if your Click Through Rate (CTR) drops one day seemingly inexplicably. If that’s your brand’s only method of advertisement, you may start to panic about whether your sales will suffer.
If a client only has PPC, it can lead to obsessively checking stats to see if there has been any progress. Let me share an easy way to drive yourself insane: call your PPC specialist every single day to change your campaign, alter your keyword, ask about your bounce rate, or pause the campaign because you decided it’s not working just two days in.
By relying solely on paid search, you put too much pressure on this marketing strategy. ? Diversification will lead to better marketing and less stress on your online marketing as a whole.
Paid search advertising is absolutely wonderful. So wonderful that I have devoted my business to it. I not only believe in the ah-mazing results it can have, I have proven over and over again with my clients that it can drive conversions.
However, when I work with my clients I always talk about PPC as part of an overall marketing strategy. As I have outlined above, PPC is effective in some ways and lacking in others. When paired with other strategies (like email marketing, SEO, social)? It absolutely knocks the ball out of the park.
You don’t have to worry about every little detail of your paid search campaign, because I have your back. I know every number and follow every metric. But you have to think about PPC as part of a larger plan and include other marketing tools as needed.
Are you ready to build your brand? After this blog, I hope you are ready to use PPC and some other key tools as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy to grow your biz online!