5 must-try pay-per-click tactics for start-ups and SMEs – Marketing Interactive

This post is sponsored by KPI Media.

Trying to make the most of a limited budget before your start-up hits the big time? We can relate.

But even if you must resort to penny-pinching occasionally, that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on doing what’s best for your start-up, especially when it comes to marketing.

In such cases, it’s extremely important for you to be as efficient as possible with your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) budgets. Here are five advanced pay-per-click (PPC) tactics that you can implement to achieve maximum efficiency with your paid search campaigns.

1. Layering affinity audiences

It is no secret that a campaign will perform best when you clearly define who it’s meant for.

By using the combined power of Google Ads and Google Analytics, you’re able to give your campaigns a better chance of success by targeting those most likely to convert.

Affinity audiences are passive “who they are” classifications that reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions and habits.

For example, the screenshot below shows current site visitors who fall into the affinity category of “business”. These specific customers convert 36% better than the average (0.79% versus 0.58%). All the more reason for you to start engaging them through bid adjustments.

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2. Layered audience: In-market

While affinity audiences are grouped based on “who they are”, in-market audiences are defined by “what they are doing”.

In other words, these are audiences who are exhibiting certain online behaviour consistent with individuals who are actively “in the market” for a particular type of product or service.

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Once you’ve identified promising in-market audiences from your Google Analytics account, you can start layering your existing search campaigns with these audiences (remember to set your flexible reach to “targeting”). We recommend trying this out only if your in-market audiences have enough scale.

3. Move away from last-click attribution

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With so many attribution models to choose from, how do you know which is the perfect one for your start-up?

Newsflash – there’s really no way of knowing for sure beforehand.

The wide range of attribution models available in Google Analytics was created with the precise intent of allowing advertisers to adapt them to their own needs and the unique conditions of their businesses.

Instead of trying to guess the perfect attribution model for your business, you are probably better off analysing different models, using them as hypotheses and comparing how the share in conversions changes for different advertising channels. If this sounds too complicated, feel free to reach out to us at KPI Media and we’ll gladly help you out.

4. Invest in Microsoft Ads already, will you?!

Microsoft Ads have come a long, long way since the early days of Bing, when a lot of us in PPC treated them like an afterthought to check out only when we had some free time.

Of course, there are no guarantees they’ll be effective for your brand, but we are seeing more consistent success in using Microsoft Ads across our account base than we did five years ago.

They even have some features that Google ads don’t (and can’t) have – such as LinkedIn audience targeting.

Microsoft Advertising is the only advertising platform (other than LinkedIn) that allows you to target potential customers based on their LinkedIn profile information. You can target customers based on their:

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If you’re new to Microsoft Advertising, reach out to Microsoft Advertising partners such as KPI Media (that’s us!) to help you get started. With costs-per-click so much cheaper than Google, this is one decision you won’t regret (even if you can’t scale much).

5. Review and (most likely) revise your campaign structure

This last tip isn’t a tactic per se, but it is something you’ll most likely have to do before you can successfully implement any of the tactics above.

A campaign restructure is often one of the first things an experienced PPC professional ends up recommending once an audit is complete.

A poor campaign structure is much like a badly written introduction to an article – if you mess it up, not much else matters.

That’s because a proper campaign structure is absolutely critical if you want to take advantage of the automation capabilities from Google Ads to optimise and scale your campaigns.

In order to let the automation handle the grunt work and get you out of the weeds, you must be very strategic about how you structure your campaigns.

There’s no one correct way to structure a campaign for all types of businesses, but in general, you need to take into account:

  • Geography
  • Seasonality
  • Product mix
  • Core terms
  • Budget ownership
  • Your ability/bandwidth to manage it all

Keeping tabs on all of these factors requires a lot of heavy lifting, but you’ll be rewarded with the fruits of your labour such as a long shelf life and programme scalability.

At KPI Media, we’re all ex-global ad agency professionals which means we know exactly how the top brands in the world structure their campaigns.

And now, we want to bring that knowledge to start-ups and SMEs just like you, and without your needing to break the bank. Get in touch with us to see how we can use expert-level campaign structures to help your business scale new heights.