Spraying and Praying - Why your PPC needs more thinking

Evelyn Wolf by Evelyn Wolf   09 Feb



Paid advertising on social media and Adwords is guaranteed way to get your product or service in front of an audience. It’s fast, the setup is simple enough and you can see results. You spray paid ads and pray for a good return. What if your startup could use your budget more effectively and you could get a bit more thinking behind your PPC?

Accurate Spraying

Spraying your message is great, especially if you have the budget to do it. But, there is a better way to get more bang for your buck when it comes to paid advertising and this is all around understanding your target audience. All paid tools allow you to segment and dive deep into behaviour and demographics of your persona. Make this work harder for you.

Here a few ideas:

  • If you understand when your audience is online, ensure your ads show at those times.
  • If you know your target market commutes, work with videos on social channels.
  • If you understand your target market’s pain points, work these into your keywords for Adwords and your general ad copy.
  • If you know their location, target it closely.
  • Even if you are B2B, understand your audience’s personal interests too. If you want to get your ad in front of them on social channels, this is a good way to do it.

In short, get to know your buyer persona intimately. Remember, there are likely to be more of those people out there who already bought your product. So go after these types of people first. If you are brand new, go back to your research and who you built your solution for. This needs to be part of your marketing strategy.

Quit Praying

Accurate spraying already means that you can quit part of your praying. What then becomes important in this second phase is growth. You want to get better at PPC, make it work even harder.

To achieve this, you need to consider closed loop reporting. This means having a way to accurately measure which paid channels your leads use and at what rate each of these converts to lead and then to customer. You will also need to watch your quality scores on Adwords closely to keep making your ads better.

And then you need to act. Here a few examples:

  • If your ad gets a lot of views, but no clicks, you need test whether the ad copy isn’t working or whether your targeting is not close enough.
  • If your ad gets clicks but you don’t get conversions on your site to lead, then check whether your offer on the page matches the ad.
  • If your ads get right through to lead conversion but you can’t move the process along to closed customers, you need to look at the nurturing you perform and whether the leads are getting the right information to choose to buy from you.

Instead of praying, you want to work with your data to get the best possible result.

Taking your budget further

Generally, startups in the early stages go for paid advertising because it’s fast, simple to implement and you can see some results. It doesn’t require great marketing skill to get a campaign up. And, it shouldn’t really. Where the skill does come in is understanding your audience on a much deeper level and setting the time aside to target, measure and tweak your campaigns on a regular basis to get the most bang for your buck. Thinking through this will ensure that your budget will go further and your efforts lead you to the right audience.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

Evelyn Wolf

Written by Evelyn Wolf

Inbound strategy specialist and content creator. She will turn your web presence into a magnet and always has wind in her sails.