This week, our paid advertising experts’ advice continues. If you didn’t read Part 1 of the round-up series, I invite you to read it here. Luckily, I drafted each part of the series in a way where you don’t have to read them in any particular order. That being said, both posts offer unique insight you might not find in the other — so might as well just give both a read.
In Part 1 of the series, we had 8 of our PPC managers provide insight on the lessons they learned in 2017 that will drive efforts and improvements in 2018. We didn’t want to leave anyone out of the equation, as each PPC manager has their own unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t — so let’s get the lowdown from our other 8 PPC managers now.
8 PPC Lessons Learned in 2017
“One of the things that separates KlientBoost from other agencies, and even PPC agencies, is that we don’t stop at just driving traffic to your landing pages — we seek to convert. There’s a power in what you can do on the traffic side on the PPC platform itself — but your biggest wins will be on the conversion side. And ultimately, you want big wins for your clients.”
To get more insight from Matt, read some of his KB blog posts here.
Lesson #2: Content Is King…Yes, Even in the PPC World
“For SaaS, there isn’t a shortage of companies offering a free trial or booking a demo. While getting a conversion is quick and can shorten the funnel, without the knowledge of the product, those offerings can churn quick as well. Though the funnel may be longer when you offer ebooks, webinars, case studies, white papers, and other lead magnets, the free knowledge you offer is valuable in that it shows your expertise and doesn’t go for too big of a request to a cold audience. It can help increase the conversion rate from those trial and demo users to paying customers even more so, in some cases. Basically, don’t be in a rush if you want those quality leads and don’t make assumptions about the length of your funnel.”
To get more insight from Kim, read some of her KB blog posts here.
Lesson #3: Don’t Forget Your Big Needle Movers
“A big lesson for me, transitioning from in-house to an agency, is how much the landing page could potentially affect performance. You can do everything right on the PPC side — but if your landing page isn’t up to snuff, you won’t move that needle. Increasing conversion rates and conversion volume will fix a lot of ailments in your account. CRO is king in lifting performance and can even come full circle to help quality score for your PPC campaigns. It’s a little different point than what Matt said — his was more about not stopping with providing value for your clients just at traffic, but don’t forget that CRO improvements can also drive value back to the PPC campaigns.”
To get more insight from Brian, read some of his KB blog posts here.
Lesson #4: Trust in the Expertise You Bring to the Table
“Clients come to you for a reason; you’re supposed to be an expert at what you do. One mistake a lot of agencies make is fulfilling every whim of their clients — but if you carry out a task you know won’t bring them value, what’s the good in that. You lose their confidence that you have everything under control. You may be challenged and you may lose some clients who aren’t willing to hear you out — but in the end, if you’re not providing them value, you lose them anyways, so it’s a risk that you should take.”
And if you haven’t read it yet, definitely check out Spencer’s blog post on how to utilize Facebook Audience Insights.
Lesson #5: Be Proactive in Your Own Education
“At KlientBoost, we really value education. Team members attend ongoing training sessions and even have to pass KB Academy courses. But where you’ll learn the most is on the job, because every client is different. Sure, there are standard best practices you can follow, but sometimes you get requests that are outside your current knowledge base. You’ll have to be proactive and resourceful to get answers and implement changes quickly. Celebrate the “little wins” as you continue learning. We even have a “winning” Slack channel, so that everyone on our team supports each other in our efforts to grow and become the best at what we do.”
“You don’t want to shy away from new challenges or requests from your client. Sure, part of it is continual learning for yourself, as Nidia mentioned, but also it’s about the reputation you build with your clients. We all want to identify and solve our clients’ biggest pain points, and we want to do so early on to lay a solid foundation for success and trust. If they see this from the get-go, you might have more liberty to test and make improvements quickly, without having to run everything by the client first — because they know they can count on you to solve the problem.”
And if you haven’t read it yet, check out Jon’s KB blog post on YouTube advertising.
Lesson #7: Utilize All the Options You Have at Your Disposal
“We’re lucky that within platforms like AdWords and Facebook, there are so many options for targeting and optimization that if one way doesn’t work, there’s always another — and that you potentially have unlimited ways to optimize, which means there’s a continuous need from our clients for our services. Perhaps, the greatest lesson I have learned is how to organize all these options in my “tool box,” so their effective for the varying cases we run into. Whether its ad copy, functions, countdown timers, ad customizers, dynamic keyword insertions, in-market audiences, test our the combinations to get more qualified leads until you find that perfect mix.”
And if you haven’t read it yet, check our Mitch’s blog post on call tracking.
Lesson #8: Don’t Forget Your Teammates
“So we mention all the options, educational opportunities, and resources we have available to us. One of the most underutilized in a lot of agencies is communicating and leaning on other co-workers. Remember, that they are or have been in the same boat you’re in now, and we all want each other to succeed. We talk a lot about client communication, which is very important, but what’s also important is communication with others who work on accounts or even those who might work on similar accounts. We organize ourselves into what we call “pods,” so that accounts get their own team of designers, account representatives and tech wizards. This is so each pod becomes very acquainted with accounts involved with and clients get the attention they deserve. If you’re not relaying key client information or deadlines with those who you’re dependent on in some way to complete an account task, you’re doing a disservice to the client.”
8 PPC Tips for 2018
Now it’s time to put walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We want to provide some tips not only for other employees, but for those who really want to drive results from PPC in 2018.
Tip #1: Trust in the Process
“Whether it’s on the agency side or the client side, people are expecting more and more immediate results. You won’t always be able to hit a homerun on your first at-bat. Sometimes it takes a few swings and misses to learn what works and what doesn’t. If you trust the process, apply best practices and trust in the expertise of you and your team, eventually, you’ll end up on base. Patience is key. You and your clients will, hopefully, continue to grow together.”
Tip #2: CPA Is Not the End All Be All
“While CPA is something that can be easily measured by marketers, it doesn’t give you the true and ultimate measure that a successful company wants or needs: ROI. Manipulating landing pages and ad copy can drive CPA down, getting tons of leads. But then, those leads may not convert to MQLs. It’s like lighting your money on fire. Have those tough conversations with clients. If they’re telling you all they want is leads, dig deeper. Refocus your efforts on driving MQLs and do this by asking for access to CRMs, understanding their business, and not being afraid to push back.”
Tip #3: Set Up Smoke Tests
“Working with a lot of SaaS clients, there are some that are small, where the availability of content is scarce. By setting up smoke screen tests, we can help test which content or offer the visitor truly wants before it’s even created. That saves time and money, making the team more efficient and concentrating efforts in a more focused direction. But also make sure when you launch a new test, you monitor and report on results as soon as you have sufficient data to do so. If you see it not performing well, be quick to pivot.”
Tip #4: K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple Stupid
“With all the options you have, you do want to continue testing — but you don’t have to add everything under the sun to see a top performing campaign. Sometimes the solution is a simple change like the call to action copy. With limited time to drive results, you don’t want to be wasting time overcomplicating. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself building out a huge keyword list, full of long-tail terms and a million different variants, only to find that the majority of those fancy keywords have no search volume whatsoever. Focus on the key terms that will bring in the most traffic, and then go on from there. Use your Search Terms report to see if people are actually searching for these terms.”
Tip #5: Automate & Scale When You Can
“At KlientBoost, we do a lot of manual management, because this is our forte. But that doesn’t mean you should work hard, and not smart. There are tools and platforms available to help you get the job done faster. Save time by using Excel, AdWords/Facebook/Bing Editor, scripts, and automated rules. These tools are invaluable for maximizing your effectiveness, allowing you to focus on your priority action items.”
Tip #6: Over Communicate with Clients
“If you’ve ever heard the saying ‘less is more,’ it’s not in this circumstance. Clients may forget you had a conversation or may be surprised if results and changes arise when they didn’t have any forewarning of trends. Don’t just talk to your point of contact, but the CEO as well. You want everyone on board with the partnership you’re trying to form. Communications style may vary from client to client, so make sure to ask what kind of reporting they want to see and how often. But on the side of caution, underpromise and overdeliver.”
Tip #7: Keep Expanding Platforms
“Sure, your client may have started on AdWords, you know it well, and are seeing great results. It’s easy to get comfortable in one platform, especially when you experience success or have greater familiarity with it. But know that clients may get the same or even better results from other platforms. While they may be on the fence about expanding out, managing 2 or 3 more platforms can make you seem more valuable and harder to let go of (if the client is seeing results from all).”
Tip #8: Sweat the “Small” Stuff
“Initially, this might seem to go against K.I.S.S. that we mentioned earlier, which is why we put ‘small’ in quotes — because sometimes what seems small is actually what’s most important. The bigger overarching ideas are nice, but actual implementation is what’s going to make the difference. We can theorize until the cows come home, or we can start turning some thoughts into action. Remember, if you monitor well, you can quickly tell if something is working or not.”
Paid Advertising Experts Advice Wrap Up
Well, there you have it folks, we’ve concluded our round-up series of lessons and tips from our top paid advertising experts to put you in the mindset for success with some action-oriented items to consider.
By all means, if there’s any bits of advice that you would like to share or have questions about, we’d love for you to respond in the comments below and have one of our awesome PPC experts help you along the way with increasing your PPC performance.