In this guide, we take a look at the steps to creating a successful PPC marketing plan. We start by defining and understanding your company’s current competitive landscape so you know where you stand. We will then discuss how to set the right goals to define your target market and then move on to developing strategies to help you achieve your goals. Finally, we will discuss the steps to set up and manage an advertising program. Follow these steps and you will achieve success in PPC marketing.
Step 1: Analysis of the current situation
The first step in creating a successful PPC marketing plan is to take a good look at the current business situation. This includes analyzing your target audience, defining your competitors (understanding your competition), and defining your current competitive situation based on these two factors.
Market segmentation: define the target audience of your PPC campaign
If you run a reputable business, you already have a pretty good idea of what a typical customer looks like. Depending on your business model, this could be a specific consumer market or a business segment. The success of a PPC campaign starts with a clear understanding and idea of whom you need to target, so that’s where a PPC marketing plan should start.
When segmenting the market for your PPC campaign, the typical segmentation types still apply:
- Geo: This means targeting a person or business in a region, country, city, or region.
- Crowd Profile: This includes factors like age, gender, income, occupation, education level, etc.
- Psychology: This includes measures of consumer behavior such as lifestyle, interests, and attitudes.
- Behavior: This includes past purchase behavior (including website visits) and purchase intent (including research behavior).
Define your competitive market
Now that you know your target market, consider who your competitors are. Even if you are starting a new business, you will still face competition and it is important to understand who they are and how they can affect your business.
The threat of new entrants: This is the threat posed by new companies entering the market and offering solutions similar to yours. To assess the magnitude of this threat, you need to look at the barriers to entry in your industry, which you need to know about because you’ve overcome them all. There are five main barriers you need to be aware of, namely:
Capital Requirement: The amount of capital required to start and operate a business in the industry.
Switching Costs: The costs (including time, money, and effort) that customers incur when they switch from your product or service to a competitor’s product or service.
Economies of scale: The advantage that large companies have in reducing unit costs due to their size.
Brand loyalty: how loyal customers are to a particular brand and how unlikely they are to switch to a competitor.
Regulatory barriers: refers to government policies and regulations that make it difficult for new companies to enter the market.
A good example of barriers to entry is when you are in an industry that has to overcome multiple legal hurdles, for example, certain financial services are highly regulated by other government agencies.
Substitution threat: This is the threat posed by products or services that meet the same needs as your product/service, but may be cheaper or better. A great example of alternatives is when a new technology emerges that threatens to disrupt your industry, like the arrival of the iPhone which revolutionized the cell phone market.
Buyer Bargaining Power:
This is the buyer’s power to negotiate lower prices, demand higher quality, or switch to a competitor’s product or service. Buyers have a high bargaining position when:
- They buy in bulk or make up a significant portion of your company’s revenue.
- Your product is standard or undifferentiated.
- There is a risk of backward integration, allowing the buyer to produce the product or service himself.
For example, Apple has high bargaining power with its suppliers because it is a large customer and the loss of Apple could jeopardize the supplier’s entire business.
Bargaining power of suppliers: This is the power of suppliers to negotiate higher prices and demand better payment terms to provide you with goods or services.
In the world of PPC, only a few companies (mainly Baidu and Tencent) dominate the market, so companies have few options on where to place their ads. This is an example of a provider with a high bargaining position.
This is what most people think of when they hear competition. Competitive competition is the intensity of competition within an industry and depends on factors such as the number of competitors, how well they match their products and services, how much they spend on marketing, and how aggressive they are.
Before running a PPC campaign, one of the most important things is to analyze your competitors. This means researching what your competitors are doing and what works for them and what doesn’t. This allows you to learn from your successes and mistakes and identify key weaknesses in your business that you can exploit.
The key factors to prioritize in your competitive analysis for PPC marketing are:
- Keywords they target through SEO
- Keywords they target with the PPC advertising program
- Types of ads did they run?
- What does the landing page for each ad look like?
- Channels do they use?
- What PPC platform do you use?
By knowing your competition, you can develop a strategy that will set you apart and outperform them in your funnel.
Define your current competitive landscape
After following the steps above, you will have a good idea of where you stand in the competitive marketplace. You can also determine your position relative to other competitors. Each specific situation requires a specific set of logical goals and short-term and long-term strategies.
Now is the time to define your company’s strengths and weaknesses against these competitors. The following step is helpful in this situation.
Step 2 – Next Generation PPC Marketing Plan Analytics
This step is mainly about determining what works for your competitors and what doesn’t and identifying your main weaknesses through analysis. For example, you may notice that your top competitors are ranking for keywords that you are not trying to rank for to capture the majority of the market.
By identifying your competitors’ weaknesses, you also create opportunities for yourself. For example, you may find that a significant portion of your target audience is currently looking for blockchain-based solutions to integrate their business with the emerging metaverse, but find that no one meets that need, so an opportunity presents itself.
Describe your unique selling point or competitive advantage.
Based on your strengths and the opportunities the market presents, you should have a clear idea of your unique value proposition. In other words, you need to know what makes your business attractive to your target audience.
Why is this important for PPC?
Because it guides you through the creation of any creativity. Know what you can offer each user that other companies can’t, and they’re more likely to click your ad and ultimately make a sale.
Step 3 – For your PPC campaign, set Smart targets.
The steps above will help you set realistic goals for your PPC campaign. They make it easy for you to understand what you want your business to achieve and what you can achieve with your PPC campaign.
What are SMART goals and how are they set?
The SMART goals are as follows:
- Objectives cannot be vague; they must be clear.
- Measurable to ensure you can measure your performance to assess what you have achieved over time and whether you have achieved those goals. You can make sure your PPC goals have measurable PPC metrics by setting them up.
- Doable to make sure you don’t waste time and energy on things that won’t happen. You can judge this by looking at their current performance and what successful companies have accomplished in the past.
- Relevant, relevant to you.
- Set a time limit and give each goal a sense of urgency that drives you toward it.
Examples of SMART goals for PPC campaigns
Here are three examples of SMART target PPC Marketing Plan campaigns:
- Site traffic for PPC ads increased by 120% in the following quarter.
- Increase the number of leads from PPC campaigns by 50% by the end of the year.
- Increase the conversion rate of leads generated by PPC by 30% in the next six months.
Step 4: Define your PPC strategy
Now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to plan how to reach them. Your competition analysis will be useful in this situation. Understanding what keywords and platforms your competitors are using and understanding what works for them and what doesn’t, will make it easier for you to develop a PPC advertising strategy in your industry.
The strategy also depends on your specific goals, as wanting to increase brand awareness is not the same as aiming for more conversions.
How to determine your strategy based on your goals
If your goal is to get more website traffic, then you need to increase your CTR and decrease your CPC. You can do this by identifying the right keywords for your advertising program and creating more attractive ads for users.
To generate more leads, focus on high-intent keywords and create landing pages specifically for lead capture. You should also use a retargeting strategy so that people who have already visited your site pay attention.
If conversions are your goal, make sure the user experience on your landing page is as seamless as possible. You also need to bid more aggressively for this.
Step 5 – Set a budget for your PPC advertising program
Many companies make the mistake of not setting a budget for their PPC campaigns, which can lead to rising costs and low ROI. It’s important to get the right idea of how much you’re willing to spend on your PPC campaign and set limits on how much you’re willing to spend on each goal. This means defining three separate budgets:
- Daily expenses
- Total budget
- budget per click
How do you determine your PPC budget?
How much you want to spend on your PPC campaign depends on several factors, such as the size of your business, your industry, and the level of competition. You should also consider the goals of your advertising program.
There are three different templates you can use to set a budget for your PPC campaign:
- Budget of the previous year: The budget is determined as a percentage of the total billing of the previous year or the average billing of the last year.
- Industry Standard Budgets – PPC Marketing Plan budgets are determined based on industry or competitor standards.
- Mission-Based Budgets and Goals – PPC budgets are determined based on planned marketing and advertising efforts.
Step 6: Define a schedule for implementation, evaluation, and adaptation
Like any other marketing program, your PPC Marketing Plan campaign needs to be constantly monitored and regularly evaluated to ensure it is running properly and delivering the desired results. This means setting a schedule for regular reviews and making any necessary adjustments.