In many ways, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is the ideal marketing solution for small businesses. When done right it is remarkably cost-effective, and as well as generating sales it can be used to increase brand awareness among a desired consumer demographic. PPC should generate leads that can be converted into sales, and it can also be the least expensive way of establishing your brand in the right marketplace.
One aspect of PPC that should be considered by cash-strapped small firms, and particularly start-ups still trying to get noticed, is that the value of PPC isn’t just in generating leads. If keywords and visual imagery are properly deployed then the ad will increase awareness among many more members of your target demographic than just those that click through. You are raising brand awareness among this larger audience that may lead to sales somewhere down the line, and this extra brand awareness is not costing you anything, as you only pay for those customers that have clicked and actively entered your sales funnel.
Optimizing your campaign
Small businesses often don’t have the resources to employ a dedicated marketing department, much less one that’s up to date with the latest search engine optimization and digital marketing techniques. If your business is essentially a one-man band then you probably don’t have the time or resources to tailor your advertising exactly to your needs and you might be wasting money on ineffective marketing.
The beauty of PPC is that the effectiveness of an ad can be accurately measured and analyzed, and improvements made to your campaign based on the findings. Small businesses may need PPC help from a dedicated outside agency to get the most from their marketing. Working with an agency to determine your goals, identify your customer needs and behavior, and to tailor keywords to these findings, can greatly increase the effectiveness of PPC.
Getting the balance right
The big question with PPC is often whether it’s better to generate as many leads as possible, or whether you should concentrate on leads that are most likely to be converted into sales. There is no right or wrong answer. Too narrow a focus may be limiting your possibilities. You can target your advertising too much and miss out on sales from a previously unconsidered demographic or search query.
Aim too widely, however, and you end up paying for a lot of clicks that never become sales. Bear in mind though that even if a lead doesn’t immediately generate a sale, with the right kind of lead nurturing it could still result in a good sale eventually, or even turn into a brand-loyal regular customer.
PPC is especially effective for local businesses. These firms may have previously thought that the internet, with its global reach, was irrelevant to their market, which consists solely of people in the immediate neighborhood. But your immediate neighbors still search online to find the products and services they need. PPC can be used to target potential customers in a specific geographical area and to funnel them towards your business, store or service provider.
Many small businesses succeed by targeting a niche market and successfully meet their needs in a way that bigger companies can’t or won’t do. For these businesses, it’s important to reach their customers where they live. Paying for big banner ads in mainstream locations is a huge waste of money. Correctly focused PPC advertising, on the other hand, will ensure that you come to the attention of the enthusiasts, hobbyists, obsessives or collectors you want to attract.
Stay in control
Small businesses don’t traditionally have huge marketing budgets. PPC lets you stay in control of that budget, using it effectively by only paying for active leads. For those leads to turn into sales it’s important that your landing page conveys the right message. Those that click on your ad should see your site and immediately think yes, that’s what I want; where do I pay? While they quickly and easily find the answer to that question they should also be thinking what else can I buy while I’m here?
Stay in control of your budget and your customers’ sales journey to achieve the results that you desire.
Choosing PPC as the marketing solution for your small business is the best option as it’s the most cost-effective way to reach the customers looking for you. But your ad campaign needs to be properly and professionally optimized to give the best results. Think hard about your objectives and analyze your traffic to get the best possible returns from your marketing budget.