In digital marketing, it’s easy to get excited about pay-per-click ads (PPC).
Thanks to Google Ads, PPC is one of the most reliable channels for digital marketers. It also offers the kind of analytics that marketers love, with clear and immediate data on what works and what doesn’t.
This can lead some brands and businesses to over-invest in PPC, with marketers pouring more and more dollars into PPC campaigns. Meanwhile, they ignore channels that are harder to track or take longer to develop.
But PPC should never be a solo performance. Focusing too heavily on paid search ads can make you invisible to most of your target audience, impeding your ability to generate awareness. It can also put your brand at risk by taking an all-eggs-in-one-basket approach.
By making PPC part of a group effort, you’ll avoid these problems. In fact, several case studies have shown that PPC campaigns benefit from a coordinated and holistic approach to digital marketing.
The Risks of PPC as a Solo Performance
Overinvesting in PPC ads carries a number of risks for brands and businesses.
RISK #1: Missed Funnel Stages
When users are already interested in a product, service, or brand, PPC ads can capture this interest and translate it into conversions. But PPC doesn’t work as well for generating that awareness and interest in the first place. Other digital channels, like social media and programmatic, do a better job with up-funnel prospects.
RISK #2: Eggs in One Basket
When you over-invest in PPC marketing, your marketing strategy becomes more and more risky. Variations in consumer preferences, increased competition for keywords, or changes to the Google Ads platform itself could tank your PPC efforts. Without a diversified strategy, your web presence may be at risk.
RISK #3: Narrow Web Presence
While Google is one of the world’s most powerful and popular websites, users only spend a fraction of their time on Google properties. When they’re on social media networks like Facebook, or when they’re browsing content on their favorite websites, your PPC ads aren’t there. To maintain a broader web presence, you need a broader strategy.
RISK #4: Shallow Pool of Data
Marketers love PPC for its rich data and the strength of its analytics. But if you’re not pulling data from other sources, you’ll miss out on key insights about your audience. You’ll also lack data sources that can power your PPC campaigns, like remarketing lists that allow you to target past visitors to your website.
How to Make PPC a Part of the Group
It’s one thing to say that PPC needs to be a part of a larger group. It’s another thing to put that into practice.
To get you started, here’s a look at how to coordinate PPC with other digital channels…
PPC + Social Media
While PPC is great at capturing down-funnel prospects, social media thrives at capturing an up-funnel audience. It’s also great for sustaining interest in your brand and moving users down your sales funnel. When they’re getting closer to a purchase decision and start conducting Google searches, your PPC ads will be ready.
At the same time, social media gives you valuable audience data that can be used for PPC campaigns. Audience insights on social media can provide you with new PPC keywords, identify new target audience segments, and help you tailor your ads to your audience. And if you can direct social media followers to your website, you can retarget these users with PPC ads.
PPC + Organic Search
In the area of search engine marketing, PPC should only be one part of your overall strategy. You should also be targeting organic search results, targeting national or local rankings, depending on your business.
A strong organic search presence takes longer to build. But with routine site maintenance, it can be maintained for years and years. At the same time, it can help boost your PPC campaigns, as users are more likely to trust your ads if they see organic results for your business on the same page.
Organic search is also more effective than PPC at capturing up-funnel prospects. Once on your website, these prospects can be added to your remarketing lists, allowing you to serve them with uniquely tailored PPC ads.
PPC + Programmatic
PPC ads work great at capturing search traffic. But users spend less than 5% of their time on search engines. But with programmatic ads on the Google Display Network and the Facebook Audience Network, you can serve ads to users across millions of websites, social media networks, and apps.
Both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network are controlled via Google Ads. This allows you to create coordinated campaigns where you target users with PPC ads after interacting with programmatic ads and vice versa. And if you coordinate your messaging across PPC and programmatic ads, you can increase your click-through and conversion rates on both types of campaigns.