How to Develop a Solid Pay Per Click Strategy for Software Marketing
Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are scary, especially when you consider the average small business owner pays between $9,000 and $10,000 per month for PPC ads.
Take a deep breath and pause for a moment while you soak that in.
That's about $100,000+ per year spent on ads that may or may not work. If they don't, it's $100K in software marketing funds you may as well have used to take your entire team on a Caribbean cruise.
Design PPC Strategies That Pay You Back
Don't be disheartened, SaaS marketers, because we have awesome news for you. The truth is, you already know how to strategize a PPC campaign that works.
You've already learned so much about successful inbound marketing over the years, and the bottom line is that all of those marketing strategies translate directly into the PPC world.
Here's how to apply inbound marketing fundamentals for a PPC strategy that pays you back over and over again.
Target the Beginning and Middle of the Funnel
When you're spending notable sums of money on ads, you want it to work. And in order to work, you need sales, right? So it makes sense that marketing teams typically direct their PPC focus on qualified leads who seem ready to spring.
However, this strategy often backfires because if they aren't quite ready to spring, you just wasted money. As the clever folks at Kissmetrics explain, targeting all of your PPC ads at the funnel's bottom is like trying to kiss a stranger at the beginning of your first date.
It's worth it to invest in some "get to know you" conversations (connecting to sweet, short, informational landing pages that link to next-stage content) and perhaps some hand-holding (connecting to product comparison sheets, matching specific products to company needs, etc). From there, you can start expanding ads for deeper, buyer-oriented materials and offers.
Nurturing visitors and leads from the very beginning is one of the most successful PPC tactics of all, and that includes spending money on PPC ads targeting prospects at the beginning- and middle-stages of the buyer cycle.
Be Smart About PPC Keywords
You'd think the keyword element would come first. And that's exactly why well-intentioned marketers do crazy things like pay $26 per click for the phrase "cloud storage" and then link that ad to a "15% Savings..." offer.
Ahem! You just took someone who might only need the definition or a little more info about cloud storage and shot them out the funnel's backside, where they panicked and bounced back to the SERP.
Instead, sales and marketing teams should get together with Google Ads reports and figure out which keyword phrases connect to which stage of the buyer cycle. Aha! Now you're on the way to creating ads that greet soon-to-be qualified leads at the right time along their journey.
Connect to an Awesome Landing Page
There are a shocking number of PPC ads out there that simply drive searchers to a general Home Page or some other general purpose content that is simply not engaging enough to make visitors want to dig deeper.
You are much better off creating PPC ads such that the visitor clicks through to a beautifully formatted landing page. The page should be related specifically to the keyword phrase(s) used to find you and, of course, the ad itself. Successful landing pages load quickly, are easy to scan, have relevant images or graphics, and gracefully lead the visitor to the next bit of information, which will educate them further.
These PPC strategies will put PPC revenues back in the black.