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Read this before you invest in PPC marketing

PPC marketing can benefit your business—but not in the way most marketers think

Thinking of investing in PPC marketing? Your curiosity is justified; when executed correctly, PPC ads (pay-per-click advertisements) campaigns can deliver high-quality, high-volume traffic to your website and generate a huge ROI for your business.  

Note that the ‘executed correctly’ part is key. There are some common misunderstandings about what PPC marketing can and can’t deliver and mistakes can end up costing you. 

Before you put those hard-earned marketing dollars to work, let us clarify three of these misconceptions for you, so you know exactly what to expect.  

What is PPC marketing?  

PPC marketing, or pay-per-click marketing, is an advertising model where you pay PPC platforms only when people click on your ads. CPC, or cost-per-click, is the metric you use to measure the highest amount of money you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad.  

There are two types of pay-for-click ads: 

  1. Search engine advertising. Google Ads are the most popular type of PPC ads, primarily because most people use Google as their search engine (Ads published on the Google Display network reach up to 90% of all internet users).  
  1. Social media advertising. Ever seen those display ads when you browse Facebook, LinkedIn, or watch a Youtube video? Those are examples of social media ads. 

Online advertising gets a bad rap, but PPC marketing is not about bombarding anyone and everyone with ads they don’t want to see; It’s about strategically getting your brand in front of the people who already have a need for your product or service.  

How can PPC marketing benefit your business? 

Because pay-per-click ads display for those who actively search for a product or service you sell, this channel can deliver more qualified leads than organic marketing channels. 

Ways PPC ad campaigns can help: 

  • They can increase your brand awareness by as much as 80% 
  • 50% of visitors who discover you via a paid ad are more likely to convert than organic visitors 
  • 75% of people say that paid ads make it easier to find what they need 

Pay-per-clicks ads are also a way to test new content (in your ads or on your website) and assumptions you’ve made about your customers. You can look at your campaign data to identify customer behaviours and trends, which can give you insights into how to improve your content and SEO strategy. 

These benefits sound pretty awesome. But before you invest thousands of marketing dollars in a Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn ads campaign, it’s important to know what PPC marketing can and can’t do for your business so you can set accurate goals. 

3 common misconceptions about PPC marketing  

Misconception 1: You can rely on Google or Social Ads as your main marketing channels for driving conversions. 

TRUTH: Google Ads and other pay-per-click ad campaigns are actually the least effective marketing channel for creating conversions. Their  function is not to engage or delight your audience but instead accelerate your existing conversion rates. Think of PPC marketing as a way to get people to discover your content faster (but at a much higher cost). 

Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn ads don’t inherently offer any value; they simply direct your audience to your website, where content like blog posts, case studies, lead magnets should be driving conversions. That’s why, before starting any PPC ad campaign, you first need to build a strong foundation of compelling content and transitional CTAs in your main marketing channels. If visitors aren’t already converting on these pages, throwing money into promoting them won’t solve the issue.  

Misconception 2: Visitors will convert on their first visit to your website after clicking on your ad. 

TRUTH: Very few people will convert during their first interaction with your brand. Why? Because buying cycles tend to be longer (90+ days) in B2B industries.  

Think about the marketing funnel: The most valuable leads aren’t the ones who will commit to an expensive deal on the first visit. They’re the ones who research multiple brands, make return trips to your website to learn as much as they can about you, then make the calculated decision that you’re the business they want to partner with. It’s like dating: you wouldn’t expect someone to propose to you after one date, right? 

Instead of expecting leads to convert after one website session, you must provide multiple opportunities for them to engage with you as you funnel them through the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey. A great way to do this is to prepare remarketing ads and follow-up emails so you can continue to market to leads after their first website visit or lead magnet download. 

Misconception 3: You can drive more conversions by increasing your ad budget. 

TRUTH: Increasing your ad budget might help your ads gain more visibility and drive more traffic, but that’s just one part of the equation. Acquiring more conversions requires you to understand your lead quality, measure buying intent, and monitor time-to-convert.  

Understanding what content drives the right conversions and how your advertising influences future buying decisions will directly impact your PPC strategy.  

Ask yourself: Are you displaying your ads to a qualified audience? If the people viewing your ads aren’t interested in your product or service to begin with, you’ll have a much smaller chance of getting them to convert. How often do people coming from organic channels convert? It’s also helpful to look at the conversions you get from organic traffic, as PPC ads offer a similar but accelerated version of that. 

How PPC marketing should fit into your big-picture marketing strategy 

Pay-per-click marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. So before starting any ad campaign, you need to know the value you’re offering to your customers and have clear pathways your customers can follow to convert.  

That means you’ll need to first develop: 

PPC ad campaigns should be used to amplify your existing marketing strategy, not to drive conversions. 

Final note 

PPC marketing is an incredibly useful marketing channel, but it’s not a magic cure-all solution for low conversion rates. It requires first having engaging content and a clear brand message in place. That’s why it’s important to work with an agency like Paper Sword; we understand PPC is a big investment, and we can help you create a plan that sets you up for success.  

Want help figuring out your PPC marketing strategy? Get in touch here.