Since the dawn of AdWords, PPC ads have been a staple for digital marketers. But as competition has tightened and prices have rocketed, the game has started changing.
A new form of PPC advertising has emerged, and it has opened up a whole lot of opportunities for digital marketers. In the short time that social PPC has been around, it has become a trusted source of leads, prospects, and customers for a broad range of businesses. This article will introduce you to this form of marketing, show you how it differs from search PPC, and highlight some of the benefits it offers.
What is Social PPC?
Social PPC is slightly different than PPC. PPC or pay-per-click advertising is one of the many models of online advertising where you pay a fee to an advertiser to place your ad at strategic locations. Actually, it’s not the ad placement that you pay, but the clicks on the ad. In other words, PPC ad placement costs little or nothing unless the ad prompts a viewer to act by clicking on the ad.
Social PPC refers to a new class of ads that are available to advertisers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The ads are displayed to that particular social media’s users and, afterwards, you are billed the price for the ad clicks.
How Does Social PPC Differ from Search PPC?
The AdWords type of PPC is also called ‘search PPC’ – which reveals how this type of advertising works. A person opens a search engine (in this case Google, since we’re talking about AdWords), types in a desired search term and the AdWords system serves them relevant ads based on the keywords they used.
The point here is that the ads which appear in search results presumably have relevance to what people search for, increasing their effectiveness. A bidding process determines the ads that display at any time, so clicks delivered by search PPC often vary in cost.
Now, social PPC works in a slightly different way. It does not target users based on what they’re looking for (expressed through keywords) but based on precise variables that can be defined through the control panel. In other words, you pay the social network to show your ad regardless of what the user is looking at the moment.
Since you can define audience by a significant variety of parameters, rather than just a limited number of keyword combinations, the competition is lower – and so is the price. Depending on the platform, you can buy ads by setting a budget as small as five dollars. End result? Getting quality results without breaking the bank.
The Major PPC Platforms
Although many social PPC platforms exist, the most familiar ones account for almost all the social PPC activity:
Ads on Facebook can appear on the rail along the right side of user newsfeed. Advertisers can also choose to sponsor a page or a post. Either way, the ads can lead to advertiser content on Facebook or an external website, usually their business website or e-store.
LinkedIn offers advertisers to place text and image ads, as well as to sponsor status updates or job listings. All these ads will appear in user news feeds. The price per click on LinkedIn can vary depending on the targeted audience. For example, reaching general audience categories costs less than reaching audiences of company decision makers.
Advertisers can promote Tweets, profiles and the so called lead-generation cards. They can also target specific users or keywords. Twitter ad model is slightly different from Facebook and LinkedIn models as it charges advertisers for any sort of engagement, from replying and retweeting to clicking on links and images.
Why use social PPC?
Here are some attractive benefits to consider:
- Laser-focused targeting
Failing to define a target audience is one of the biggest marketing mistakes a business can make. However, with social PPC you can define your target audience using more than two thousand parameters – on Facebook and Twitter only. For example, you can choose to segment your audience by age range, work position, particular interests, hobbies, life events – even household composition.
This reliance on demographics and psychographics rather than on keywords ensures that ads are appearing only in front of their potential customers.
Social PPC gives advertisers the ability to retarget prospects who haven’t completed a particular action on their business website; for instance, prospects who leave items in their shopping cart but never check out. Retargeting nudges those shoppers to return to an advertiser’s site to complete their purchase.
- Shortening the sales funnel
Social PPC ads can go a long way in reducing or even bypassing the traditional marketing funnel. If you take a look at some of the possibilities that come with Facebook ads, it’s possible to place a “call” button directly on the ad so that a prospect doesn’t need to first visit the advertiser’s website but can make a direct call instead. Each phone call is considered to be at least three times as valuable as any other type of inquiry, be it an email or a message sent through a contact form.
The ability to precisely define who sees an ad, rather than simply relying on search keywords is every digital marketer’s dream come true. You shouldn’t just stand and watch while your online competition is dragging your potential customers away. Take advantage of social PPC and join fellow marketers who are already leveraging this increasingly important part of the online marketing toolbox.
Author Bio: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, Joe enjoys spending time with his family, reading about latest tech gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters