It’s 2019, and digital is the new black. Some advertisers are jumping in headfirst and dumping their entire marketing budgets into PPC campaigns. As someone who works in paid search, this should be exciting, right? Well, it’s not. Take some of your eggs out of that basket and put them back into more-traditional and top of the funnel marketing.
To be blunt, paid search doesn’t create demand. However, it does an excellent job of capturing that demand at the exact moment someone is searching for your product or service. Paid search allows us to place the most relevant ad in front of someone who is likely to purchase your product or service.
PPC campaigns can fall short when it comes to demand creation. While you could, in fact, use paid search to create demand by bidding on top of funnel keywords, with some clicks costing over $100, this is rarely cost-effective.
According to Eugene Schwartz in his book Breakthrough Advertising, your potential prospects are separated into five separate levels of awareness. These levels, starting from the top of the funnel down to the bottom of the funnel, are unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, and most aware.
Unaware: People who aren’t even aware that they have a problem or even that a potential solution exists.
Problem Aware: People who know they have a problem, but have never dealt with this type of problem before.
Solution Aware: People who know about solutions like yours, but are not familiar with your specific product or service.
Product Aware: People who know your product or service but have never purchased.
Most Aware: These are the cream of the crop, your repeat, loyal customers.
Because PPC is intent-driven marketing, these campaigns can only realistically capture prospects in the bottom three segments, solution, product and most aware. By putting all of your marketing budget towards PPC you are potentially missing out on 40% of the funnel!
Potential customers who are “problem aware” have never dealt with this type of problem before. They are likely searching for top of funnel keywords that would not provide a positive ROI on PPC.“Unaware” prospects are not even searching on Google. They are simply blind to the fact that an easier, better way exists.
For example, subscription cooking services recently started trending online. If these companies placed their entire marketing budget on PPC keywords like “subscription meal service” or “organic meal kit”, they would have gotten little to no traffic because the demand had not been created yet. Instead, these companies grew in popularity through brand awareness campaigns, run via podcasts, magazines, television, social media, and radio. After creating demand through more traditional, top-funnel marketing avenues, they were then able to capture the intent-driven searches on PPC. Currently, the average CPC for subscription cooking service-related keywords on Google is more than $20. These companies we able to effectively market to “unaware” and “problem aware” prospects as well as all the other levels of awareness to generate market demand and repeat customers.
What about the prospects that are “solution aware” but have never heard of your specific brand? PPC can do a great job at capturing leads from non-branded keywords, but these can be the most expensive. Running brand awareness campaigns through TV, radio, Facebook or Instagram can give you a leg up for non-branded keywords.
For example, Joe gets in a car accident. After the accident, Joe needs a car accident lawyer and searches “car accident lawyer” on Google. The first ad is for a law firm he has never heard of, however, the second ad is for a lawyer he has seen over and over again on TV. As he recognizes the brand of the second lawyer, he calls the lawyer from TV to take on his case.
Traditional advertising and branding campaigns can help your click-through rate and improve the effectiveness and ROI of your paid search campaigns in the long term. While digital is the future, there are still thousands of touch points outside of search results where consumers can learn about and interact with your brand.
Don’t get me wrong, PPC is a vital and important part of any marketing strategy, but it should not be your whole strategy. Keep your PPC campaigns running, but don’t forget about the other 40% of the funnel who lack the awareness to find you in the search results. Help yourself stand out from the other guys by running a branding campaign on Facebook or through traditional media. Most importantly, don’t put all your eggs in one basket
If you need help developing a successful and profitable PPC strategy, Clicks and Clients has proven success across a variety of industries. Call us to see how you can leverage your traditional ad spend in conjunction with your digital spend.