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Archive: May 2016

The Value of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

The last time you searched for something online, you probably noticed some sponsored results. Those companies were running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, a simple tool that most businesses can incorporate into their marketing plan. Pay-per-click campaigns are exactly what they sound like: the amount you pay per sponsored search engine listing depends on the number of people who click on your ad. This is a balanced way to market yourself through Google because really, you’re paying for your success—the better you do, the more you pay and vice-versa. In this way, many marketers rely on PPC when it comes to testing certain campaigns and promotions. The balanced simplicity of PPC makes it attractive, but there are three other big benefits to using these ads. PPC is fast and efficient

PPC is a great entryway into the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) marketplace. It takes mere minutes to set up an account in Google AdWords. From there, you can immediately start running ads to your target audience. You have complete control over the budget and can start and stop ads as needed.

Because you can deploy PPC so quickly, it’s perfect for rapid response advertising. You can react immediately to competitor campaigns or current events that impact your business. For companies running flash sales or who consider themselves agile in their marketing, this quickness is a major asset.

PPC targets the right audience

While SEO is key to long-term success, sometimes it’s helpful to know you’ll reach the right people right away. That’s where setting up effective PPC audience filters can make a difference.

When you run a PPC campaign, you choose exactly where and when your ads will appear. You can tweak ads based on location, keywords and even the time of day! No other SEM tool gives you that level of flexibility.

We find that PPC ads are particularly effective for local businesses. When customers in your area use a search engine to seek out a service, your targeted ad can be waiting for them, instead of buried underneath search results that might not be as relevant.

PPC gives you an opportunity for testing

Because you can be confident your target audience is seeing your ad, PPC is a great tool for testing keywords and ad copy. Take what you learn through your PPC data and apply it across other advertising mediums. And, as mentioned above, the pay-as-you-go nature of the campaign means you’re really only investing in your successes, which can be a huge budget savior as opposed to other “all-in” testing options.

Leverage PPC to your advantage! PPC can add a lot of value, but like all marketing strategies, it’s only worth pursuing if it actually works for your business. Luckily, PPC allows you to measure valuable metrics, including your costs, views and clicks. Before launching your PPC campaign, decide on your benchmark ROI. If you find yourself missing your goal, simply make changes to the campaign. This is where PPC’s efficiency benefit shines – you have the ability to immediately adjust target keywords, ad copy, and even the landing page. With PPC, you have complete control. If you’re not leveraging PPC to help grow your business, it might be time to start. Use the rich data and reporting to take your entire SEM program to the next level! Read article →
May 16 / 2016
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Using Social Media in B2B Marketing

As a B2B business, do you feel left out of most social media marketing conversations? Without flashy new products to showcase or mass market appeal, it can seem like social media just doesn’t make sense in the B2B world. We have news for you: social media has matured, and it’s absolutely worth the investment for B2B companies! In the B2B world, there are three ways to strategically use social media:
  • Expand your brand’s reach
  • Engage your existing customers
  • Offer relevant expertise
  • Focusing on these three goals to leverage social media to your advantage means bolstering your business’ appeal to potential clients—even if your prospects aren’t directly active themselves on social platforms! ExpandSocial Media Social media can accomplish many things, but presumably you’re hoping to create more qualified leads. Social can be a great tool for lead generation, but only if you treat it as a long game and invest resources to create robust, regular, and relevant content. Analyze where your current customers are spending time and seeking information. You may already be interacting with them on social media without a formal strategy, and that’s a great place to start! Beef up your interactions and content creation on those platforms, and focus on quality of engagement over the quantity of social tools you’re using. Engage A big difference between B2B and B2C is the length and complexity of sales cycles. Converting a lead to a sale often requires multiple touches over time, rather than motivating an impulse purchase. This means keeping current on your social media campaigns and working to develop them over the long term. For this reason, we recommend not thinking about your social media engagement as a series of specific campaigns. Rather, think about using social platforms to build on existing conversations. How can social media tools make that relationship management easier and more robust? Expertise Since the sales cycle in B2B is longer than in B2C, you need to keep your potential customers coming back for more. Social media is an ideal medium to establish yourself as an industry thought-leader or a highly responsive resource. To showcase your expertise, establish a content management plan that makes sense for your brand. If you’re already publishing resources like whitepapers or writing a blog, social tools can expand your readership. Consider offering premium content to email subscribers or your social media followers. As you use these strategies, don’t overlook the importance of collecting data about your potential customers. Invest in a CRM tool that can sync with your social media efforts to track engagement and secure valuable contact information. While you build your social media strategy, identify what metrics you will measure. A good CRM database can document your interactions and tell you about the effectiveness of your social tactics. Does a LinkedIn follower have more value than someone who likes your Facebook page? Are your Twitter conversations leading to qualified leads? Understanding your ROI will help keep you focused in a crowded social media world. The end result to a more sophisticated social approach is a better lead pipeline. Read article →
    May 06 / 2016