Every now and then a company will come to me wanting to start doing some PPC for their business. Most of these businesses are small and usually relatively new, thus they have limited budget and are targeting smaller niche areas in their target market. The obvious starting point is Google AdWords. Google has nearly 70% of the search market, an advanced platform, a robust off-line editing tool, and a large online community (I highly recommend #ppcchat on Twitter).
While AdWords may be a great place to start, I often see companies get tunnel vision and focus only on optimizing their AdWords account. Here we'll talk about how to expand your PPC efforts beyond AdWords.
Step 1: Get Friendly with Bing
You've doubtless heard of Bing (due to their millions of dollars in advertising), but you probably haven't ever used the search engine consistently. However, Bing has quite a few things going for it:
- Access 30% more search volume - If you're running into diminishing returns on your additional AdWords spend, getting access to 30% more virgin searches is a gold mine.
- Easy import from AdWords - If you're running campaigns on AdWords, you can easily import them into Bing via their offline editor or directly in the interface. It's easy and virtually seamless.
- Customer support is very eager - They respond quickly to inquiries and will do whatever they can to help you get going.
- 51 million unique search users - That's the number of US search users that you can only reach through BingAds (the combined Yahoo/Bing network). Here's an image to let that sink in a little.
Step 2: Think Social
You want your ads to be where potential customers can see them. And where are these potential customers when they're online? Chances are good they're on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. So why not reach out to them?
- Facebook - You can get more than just likes here. Facebook just introduced their Partner Categories targeting and it is powerful. Want a few examples? You can target by Home Market Value, the brand of car they're likely to buy next, how often they travel, where they travel, what they buy, etc. You can see a full guide to Partner Categories here.
- LinkedIn - This is the Facebook for professionals and job seekers. Target by job title, seniority, skills, age, etc. The benefit here is that you're reaching people when they're thinking of their professional development and their business. They're not posting pictures of their cat or meal.
These are just a couple examples, but there are numerous opportunities out there for even the most B2B company to advertise on social networks. You just need to know the audience you're trying to reach and then leverage the targeting options of each network to reach those people where they're hanging out online.
Where else would you recommend for expanding your PPC beyond AdWords?
Robert Brady is the head PPC wizard at Righteous Marketing, a Google AdWords Certified Partner and Microsoft adExcellence Member. He manages PPC accounts for both small and large businesses and offers a PPC training program for the DIYer.