The March session of our AMA Madison Signature Speaker Series featured Joe Martinez, Director of Client Strategy for Clix Marketing and one half of the Paid Media Pros YouTube channel. Joe shared his favorite PPC channels and the strategies you can use to build awareness campaigns and nurture users by creating a true multi-channel approach to advertising.

It’s Not Just About Google

Advertising on Google is still valuable, but people also visit other websites to search. As Joe said, “Google does not create demand. Google search can only satisfy the demand that is already out there.”  If your product or service isn’t well-known, focusing on certain keywords may not serve your business well, but investing in other channels that offer additional targeting options can help you build awareness and maximize your reach.

YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine and Joe’s favorite PPC option.  More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices, so it’s a great way to capitalize on mobile traffic and it can be very cost-effective.  With TrueView in-stream ads (the most common PPC on YouTube), you only pay if a user watches at least 30 seconds of your ad or if they engage with it, so if you put your important messaging in the beginning of your video ad, you can make an impression without spending any money.

How do you target the right users?

You can start with Custom Audiences, targeting users based on their Google search history.  From there, start testing specific target criteria.

  • Converting Search Queries
  • Converting keywords
  • Users who have searched for your competitors
  • Look at your Google Analytics – what are your top-selling products? Target people who have searched for similar products.
  • What are people searching for on your website? Use those search terms and the timing of those searches to target your YouTube ads by season.
  • Life event targeting – you can target users based on milestone events like “graduating soon”, “recently married”, “retiring soon”, etc.

Be careful with placement targeting

You can search for specific YouTube channels or videos where your ad would be most relevant (e.g. CNET, Bloomberg Technology, etc.) or you can place your ads on specific websites.  Keep in mind that when you add YouTube placements your ad may still run on eligible locations across the Google Display Network, and vice versa.

Test different lead form extensions to boost traffic

Lead form extensions allow you to get leads directly from your YouTube ads without sending users to a separate landing page.  You can duplicate your video and test out different headlines and calls to action within these extensions to see which version drives the most traffic. 

Facebook

Facebook is a great way to get in front of new users.  You can target for high-probability demographics and then look for related interests under Detailed Targeting:

  • Target users whose purchase behavior identifies them as an engaged shopper
  • Target people who like affinity brands similar to yours (to steal some impressions from competitors)
  • Lean into identity modeling by targeting interests and causes that are related to your product or brand, but not directly product-focused

Lookalikes

Lookalike audiences are Facebook’s bread and butter.  You can generate lookalikes from engagement, website, or page audiences, or through a custom audience upload.  The key to remember is “good data in, good data out”.  If you have a specific list, that will create strong modeling, and finding meaningful segmentation can help you make sure that you’re matching the original intent of the root audience.  An audience size of 1% is the most common, but you should test to see what works best for you.

Campaign Placement

The desktop news feed is typically the most expensive placement on Facebook, so you may want to think about other options.  Keep in mind that you can customize your ads by placement to make them look their best, so don’t dismiss a placement option just because it doesn’t initially look right.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers some of the best targeting tools available, but some of them, like targeting by Job Title, can be expensive.  Because of that, it’s helpful to get creative with how to reach users.

Layer target audiences – for example, include people with “VP” as a Job Seniorities attribute and “Marketing” as a Job Functions attribute when trying to reach senior marketing executives

Leverage skills to extend reach – target people by the attributes they list under Member Skills

Target exact companies – upload a list of specific companies you’d like to target

Target the whole team – the owner or CEO may not be your best initial target.  If you’re trying to sell marketing software, you may want to target the Advertising or Marketing Manager first so they can influence the ultimate decision maker.

Quora

With over 300 million unique monthly visitors, Quora offers a broad audience of users that visit the Q&A site to learn, be entertained and do research.  Quora Q&As rank highly in search results and present marketers with the opportunity to generate organic SEO by simply responding to a question, or the chance to get in front of a relevant audience using ads.

Ad Targeting

Search results on Quora can be filtered by Type, Topics, Author, or Time.  You can see how many people are following certain questions, set up notifications to see when a new answer has been posted, check the history log for question views, and use all of that data to target your ads.

Contextual targeting – ads can be targeted to specific topics or questions

Audience targeting – match web traffic, lookalikes or contact lists

Behavioral targeting – target based on interests, or retarget based on user history

Broad targeting – ads are shown across Quora; only useful if you have strong conversions

A multi-channel PPC strategy is an important part of your overall marketing plan, but there’s more to it than just Google ads.  Spend the time to find out where your target audience is and check out Joe’s Paid Media Pros YouTube channel for in-depth videos on how to build your PPC advertising.