Global PPC spending is up by 23 per cent, according to Covario.

Windows 8.1 Smart Search will also have a function that will greatly help PPC advertisers, so says Microsoft.

Facebook, though, had 701 million global active users last month alone. Twitter has seen an astonishing 40 per cent growth in its active users over the last nine months while Google+ has seen a 35 per cent increase over the same period.

What’s even more amazing is that 46 per cent of consumers use social media channels to help them make a purchasing decision.

These facts are incredibly important to businesses looking to grow online. But PPC advertising and social media budgets need to be managed carefully. Often there isn’t enough room for both. So which one is best for your business?

What is PPC?

It’s understandable why people can get confused with PPC when starting out.

 

It’s understandable why people can get confused with PPC when starting out. Allow us to break it down for you:

  • PPC is an acronym for Pay Per Click, a practice where advertisers bid for certain keywords to show up on a search engine’s sponsored results
  • PPC search results are placed above, and to the right of organic results and can also be displayed on other 3rd party websites as text ads, banner ads, video ads and more
  • People bid a set amount for a certain keyword. The higher the bid the more likely they are to rank above competitors in sponsored results (there are however many other ‘quality’ factors considered)
  • Everytime a searcher clicks on your PPC ad you pay Google a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) fee, dependent on the maximum bid price you’ve set, and the ads quality score
  • PPC is a fantastic way to target searchers that wouldn’t necessarily visit a site organically due to poor visibility with organic (SEO) rankings, a lack of social media presence, or otherwise

Hang on a minute… isn’t PPC a Google thing?

A number of search agencies in the past suggested sticking solely with Google for their PPC campaign simply because of its market share in the search field.

But the above Smart Search story shows how much effort rivals such as Bing have been making in the PPC market to not only try and rival Google’s presence but to make it easier than ever before for advertisers to create far-reaching campaigns and increase their ROI.

PPC pros and cons

The pros:

  • PPC is a brilliant way to become almost instantly visible for certain keywords and to drive high volumes of traffic to your website
  • If the landing pages that the PPC campaign is leading to are clean and have an impeccable user experience then a good campaign can increase the rate of on-site conversions and provide an incredible ROI
  • For the sake of branding appearing top of search results for common keywords that a site wouldn’t usually rank for is worth its weight in gold and shows you have the clout to compete with the very best
  • PPC campaigns also have a huge variety of analytical options to consider. Putting conversion tracking reports in place allows users to gauge the effectiveness of one campaign against another, allowing marketers to refine their cost strategies and maximise their income

PPC pros and cons

The cons:

  • A PPC budget needs extreme management as it can be so easy to spend a lot of money on an unsuccessful campaign
  • A lot of research needs to go into consumer search habits and targeting the right keywords before pouring investment into keyword bids that might not be profitable
  • If you have terrible landing pages that don’t convert product sales then a campaign can fail before it’s even begun. An attractive, streamlined user experience must be considered on-site before constructing a PPC campaign
  • PPC campaign management can be a full-time job in itself. It may be wise recruiting an extra pair of experienced hands to oversee the campaign and devote all their time to it

In short

A PPC campaign is a great move for people with products to sell online that want to raise exposure and corner the right keywords for an instant traffic boost as opposed to a long-term SEO campaign.

It’s a brilliant option to consider for those with a budget that want to step up to the next level of search advertising and the huge returns it can provide.

What about social media advertising?

 

What about social media advertising?

 

You may not want to go down the search engine route, though, and instead want to cultivate a targeted social following that will buy into your overall brand message who are likely to evolve into loyal, long-term customers.

But how do you tap into the consciousness of close to a billion people?

Do you really need a billion followers?

It’d be nice wouldn’t it! But all you should be looking for to start with when social advertising with a budget is a slow burn, attracting a few targeted people with a smaller investment before stepping it up and letting your brand loose on a wider scale.

The beauty of social media advertising lies in its intricate ability to target incredibly specific users to your business. The three most effective networks are:

Facebook Ads

Facebook social advertisingFacebook social advertising for instance allows advertisers to be incredibly specific with their ads thanks to the amount of information Facebook collects from its users. Ads can be targeted based on users’ gender, on their interests and the pages they’ve liked, where they live and much more.

Facebook advertisers can choose to be billed on a CPC or CPM basis, and they can test their ads before putting them live to fully perfect them as campaigns are launched. Both images and text can be used for full impact, and is an excellent way to increase brand exposure as well as sell products.

Twitter Sponsored Tweets

Sponsored tweetsAdvertisers can promote sponsored tweets based on search results, geographically, based on people’s timelines and other options. Tweets are labelled as sponsored, can be retweeted and replied to by users to help tweets go viral if the message is right.

Advertisers can choose between Cost Per Engagement (for individual tweets to reach new users – owners pay a bid price when somebody retweets, favourites or replies), Promoted Trends (offered for a flat fee which can run into thousands on a daily basis) or Promoted Accounts (shows the account at the top of ‘Who To Follow list to targeted users – cost per follow basis).

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn AdsLinkedIn ads are perfect for people looking to expand their B2B horizons with their advertising budget. The LinkedIn audience is incredibly specific and professional, allowing advertisers to concentrate on ads targeting specific industries and people. Ads work on a CPC and CPM basis.

Social advertising pros and cons

The pros:

  • Incredibly targeted ad campaigns that allow advertisers to cultivate a core user base of people that really matter to the business
  • Can offer more visibility than a PPC campaign thanks to the huge amount of data stored by social networks
  • Allows advertisers to be more creative with their ads and build a more profound brand identity with potential customers
  • In-depth metrics (especially with Facebook) allow advertisers to see the reach of their content and how many people interacted with it to help refine future ads

The cons:

  • Again, it’s easy for advertisers to spend an awful lot of money on a social PPC campaign wasting time and money if they haven’t done their research
  • Multiple campaigns across a number of social networks can become messy and lack brand consistency if not managed properly
  • Social privacy can be a sore point with people, especially in regard Facebook data. Angling your campaign wrong can upset a lot of people with specific likes, and turn them away your brand
  • Twitter especially has a number of bot accounts around. Be unlucky enough to get your sponsored activity targeted and you could be paying through the nose every time a bot favourites or retweets your campaign

In short

A social advertising campaign gets a brand’s identity in front of people on an instant basis allowing them to build up a loyal following through more likes and an increase in followers – if they have a budget and are consistent.

Social advertising allows for more creativity and can be viewed as more successful in the long-term than a PPC campaign, especially if the campaign targets the right people and conveys the right message.

 

If you’d like to create a PPC or social advertising campaign for your business contact us today at Webpresence and speak to our expert search team.