Battle of the PPC Campaigns: Paid Search v. Display Advertising

When it comes to marketing, several mediums fight for your attention. With budgets restricting what you can use and leaving little room for error, you as a marketer have to consider the pros and cons of different channels. For online marketing, that means making the choice between two rivals: paid search and display advertising.

To help you decide, we've put pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns toe-to-toe with display advertising so you can decide which would work best for you. Let's get ready to rumble!

Paid Search


In one corner we have paid search, a PPC method that displays an ad at the top and sides of search engine results based on targeted keywords. Since 61 percent of global Internet users research products online, you can reach these consumers in the early stages of the buying process and drive them to your content. Let's see what paid search brings to the ring.

Strength


Paid search allows you to have control over your brand perception. This means you're able to manage the impression of your brand to consumers when they are actively searching for services you offer. You choose what keywords pull up your ads and what the ads say about you, so for the most part, you'll get action from people who are genuinely interested in the specific products or services you offer.

Weakness


To get consumers to see your brand, you must bid the highest for your targeted keywords (in addition to having a killer quality score). Paid search can get expensive for your marketing team if it's not approached properly. Fortunately if you optimize your keywords and continuously measure your results, you can maximize your investment and therefore your ROI.

Signature Move


Paid search has a secret skill that gives it a boost: negative keywords. If there are certain keywords you don't want to trigger your ads (e.g. "free"), you can add them to your negative keyword list. This allows you to significantly cut down on irrelevant searches and accidental click-throughs. Negative keywords provide an added level of control that helps ensure your ads attract as many relevant leads as possible.

Display Advertising


In the other corner we have display ads, which are graphic ads that appear on consumers' screens after they search for a product or service. They target consumers that have already begun perusing certain companies' websites, which means they're further down the sales funnel and therefore closer to making a purchase. Google's display ads now reach 80 percent of global Internet users and are optimized to reach relevant customers based on previously visited sites. Let's see what display ads have to offer.

Strength


Display ads have the upper hand when it comes to brand awareness. Since display ads appear repeatedly to consumers when they visit relevant sites, these ads a great way to get people to consistently see your brand and recognize your company name, logo and graphics. The more you advertise, the more awareness your brand receives.

Weakness


The major downfall of display ads is the clickthrough rate. Weighing in at a dismally low 0.1 percent, they don't seem worth it compared to paid search campaigns. However, that is just an average and your company could find through testing that display ads work better than paid search advertisements.

Signature Move


Display advertising's secret weapon is remarketing. This impressive maneuver occurs when a cookie tracks users that click on your ad so you can advertise to consumers while they browse the Internet for products relevant to what you offer.

And the Winner Is...


Well, you tell us! Consider the strengths and weaknesses of both paid search and display ads and let us know which one you decide is better for your company!

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Good and the Bad of Social Media Marketing

Did you know that 46 percent of web users turn to social media when making a purchase? With this being the case, it might be a place you want to start marketing. But you can't pull the trigger without weighing the pros and cons.

Fortunately the folks over at Outmarket have put together this infographic to show the benefits and downfalls of social media marketing so you can decide if it's a good fit for your business.


If you've settled on starting up social media marketing, check out the predicted trends for 2015 as a starting point!

How March Madness Can Prepare You for Marketing Madness

It’s a basketball fan’s favorite time of year: March Madness is right around the corner! Selection Sunday is March 15 and the tournament is already creating literal madness over who will be the number 1 seeds after so many teams have had great seasons.

basketball players clamoring over ball near net
Just like the tournament committee has to decide which teams deserve the highest seeds, your prospects have to decide which companies rank highest in their minds. Here are a few tips you can take from the true NCAA contenders to make sure you’re the best in your consumers’ minds.

Fill Your Roster with Strong Players


It’s no secret that the best teams are made up of the best basketball players. Just take a look at The University of Kentucky and Duke University, who consistently bring in great players that propel them to the top of the rankings.

Your business is only as good as its employees, so you want to fill your positions with strong, qualified candidates. Once you have a dynamic roster, make sure your employees are always providing exceptional customer service. Use a call recording tool to evaluate their phone conversations each month to make sure they’re performing up to your standards.

Always Prepare a Game Plan


No team wins without strategies. Coaches plan for days or weeks to come up with plans for each individual game. Without one, a team would have a hard time winning enough games to earn a high seed.

You need to have that mindset in business, too. You can’t win over consumers without trying. If you don’t have a marketing strategy for each of your campaigns, consumers won’t know what your brand stands for — much less what your company does. Take a look at these marketing strategies to get some tips on how to win over consumers.

Keep Your Win-Loss Ratio High


The March Madness tournament committee isn’t going to attribute a number 1 seed to a team with a sub-par record. You need to obtain a high win-loss ratio to earn a high seed. The same is true in business: You have to keep a good ratio to rank high in consumers’ minds.

Nowadays, the easiest and quickest way for a consumer to find the right company is to do research online. A staggering 90 percent of consumers trust online reviews before making a purchase, which means you need to make sure you have considerably more positive reviews than negative ones. For some tips on how to trim down the negative reviews, check out this post.

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to cutting down the nets. Now that you’ve conquered the court, take to the green to learn how to hit a hole in one with your marketing.