More and more companies are discovering the benefits of a well-executed PPC program.
PPC can be so much more than just a lead generation tool.
With many different campaign types available in Google and Microsoft Ads, a sophisticated PPC program can support potential buyers at every part of their journey.
However, competitive keywords can be extremely costly in certain industries, particularly technology.
$50 cost per click (CPC)? No thanks!
Don’t let expensive keywords stop you from developing a PPC strategy that will help you achieve your goals in this industry.
Below are five top PPC tips for effectively using search platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads to effectively reach your target audience in the competitive technology space.
1. Use detailed demographic data in Google Ads
Detailed demographics is an audience type available in Google Ads at the ad group or campaign level.
This audience type allows advertisers to target their ads beyond the standard demographics available.
This is particularly beneficial for the technology industry as it allows you to target:
- Small employer (1-249).
- Large employer (250-10,000).
- Very large employer (over 10,000 employees).
- Education sector.
- High school graduate.
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Higher degree.
More detailed demographic data can be added, but is probably better used for B2C companies:
- Parental status.
- Marital status.
- Home ownership status.
It’s important to understand what campaign types are available for this type of targeting.
Currently, the Company Size and Company Industry segments are available for the following campaign types:
- Power max.
They are not available for display or app campaigns.
With these demographic options, the possibilities are endless!
You have the option to use it Targeting (This means that you only target users who belong to this category).
Another possibility is surveillance (This means targeting these users as well as anyone else who doesn’t fit into this category).
If you’ve never used detailed demographic targeting before, start by adding the demographics that match your audience as “observations” to current search campaigns.
By adding them as an “observation” first, you can better understand how these audience segments interact differently than those who don’t fall into these demographic categories.
Once you have enough data, try switching segments to “Targeting” to really narrow down those customers.
2. Keep keywords broad when targeting
If you switch audiences to Target instead of Observation, your reach in these campaigns will undoubtedly decrease.
Constricting and restricting is not necessarily a bad thing. By placing target group segments on campaigns, you further qualify the target group.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your targeting, test broad match keywords that are specific to those audiences.
First, don’t go too wild and target terms like “tech news” as a broad term.
Another note about keywords: Everyone searches differently.
Conversions in B2B campaigns can be achieved through low-volume, high-intent searches, and broad match keywords allow campaigns to capitalize on individual users.
Another added benefit of targeting more broadly is that you collect more data about how users actually search to get to your product or service.
It can shed light on language or purchasing behavior that you may not have thought of before!
I see this a lot between product marketing teams and digital marketing teams – There is a difference between the way you talk about your product and the way the end consumer searches for it.
3. Don’t forget about Microsoft Ads
As competition on Google Ads becomes more intense, it’s no wonder that companies are becoming more aggressive on other platforms as well.
Microsoft Ads can be a hidden goldmine for tech companies due to its exclusive LinkedIn profile targeting feature.
Microsoft is the only platform other than LinkedIn that can offer this targeting.
Advertisers can target these characteristics of a user’s LinkedIn profile:
- Company. Select as few or as many individual businesses that meet your criteria. Over 80,000 companies are currently being targeted.
- Industry. Examples include “Software and IT Services,” “Hardware and Networks,” “Manufacturing,” and more.
- Field of activity. Examples include “product management,” “operations,” “marketing,” and more.
Currently, this targeting is only available as bid only. This means you can increase or decrease your bids for these demographics, but you can’t exclusively target users who meet these criteria.
To get around this limitation, try setting your keyword bids extremely low and significantly increasing the bids for these target demographics.
This is by no means foolproof, but it is a way to only show ads to those who meet your criteria.
4. Introduce your brand to YouTube with video ads
Gone are the days of targeting search terms with a CPC of $50 and hoping your budget was enough to get a few clicks per day.
This type of marketing is useless if you don’t have an unlimited budget.
If you assume that video ads only work for B2C companies, this is a good time to be wrong!
Technology and other B2B brands are leveraging the power of video ads as a cost-effective way to reach receptive and relevant audiences.
The ability to target segments with detailed demographics and custom segments allows marketers to feel more confident that they are reaching users in their target audience.
Custom segments were previously called custom intent audiences in Google, in case you’re not familiar with the new name.
Try to build a new custom segment audience by adding a mix of the following characteristics related to your product or service:
- Specific keywords.
Even a daily budget of $20 to test the effectiveness of YouTube for your business is sure to give you brand exposure.
Remember that the goal of YouTube ads typically isn’t to generate immediate conversions; The main goal should be to measure brand awareness. This is why attribution and remarketing are so important for this campaign type.
Test multiple audiences at a low cost per day ($10-$20). From there, the remarketing possibilities are nearly endless!
Examples of how marketers can create video remarketing lists include:
- Users who watch specific videos.
- Users who watch a certain percentage of a video.
- Users who subscribe to the linked YouTube channel.
- Users who visit the YouTube channel page.
- Users who liked or shared a video.
These video remarketing lists can be used in a targeted display campaign to retarget these specific users.
Pairing YouTube and Display campaigns with this strategy can be a cost-effective way to fill the top of your funnel with qualified users.
Additionally, you can overlay these video audiences on top of search campaigns and increase bids on these segments.
However, video target groups cannot be specifically addressed in search campaigns.
5. Make sure your technology brand’s marketing assets are clear and compelling
This is perhaps the most important recommendation of all and should not be overlooked.
I’ve seen many companies identify multiple target personas for their product, but only produce one message for each persona.
Then they are stumped when they see poor ad engagement or responsiveness.
If you have multiple audiences, shouldn’t you target them in different ways?
It’s no secret that the economy has had its fair share of ups and downs in recent years.
Marketing messages have inevitably become more emotional as the goal is to address each user’s pain points.
Think about every pain point of your target audience. What problem can your brand solve for them? Start your message with this.
Keep in mind that you may reach different roles in a given company depending on how you use targeting.
A CMO of a company has different vulnerabilities than a product manager.
The second point to think about is your offer. Should all marketing offers be the same across all advertising platforms?
Let’s say you want to reach a software developer or an IT person who uses your product every day. Your message should offer something tangible that they can use or try.
While they may not be the decision-makers in choosing your product or service, they likely have some influence over which products are used to make their job easier.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach the CEO or someone else at the C-suite level at the same company, they probably won’t be the ones who use your product on a daily basis.
You probably don’t want a trial. All you need to know is that your product or service works.
For example, provide them with messages that show you are a thought leader in the field.
Create a smarter PPC strategy
If you’re in the tech industry and have been relying on traditional PPC methods, it’s time to try something new.
Especially today, marketing budgets are usually the first to go when performance falters.
Knowing this, no matter your industry, it is up to you to innovate to reach your ideal consumer.
This might include trying out new campaign types like video ads or different platforms like Microsoft Ads, Quora, or Reddit.
Others can benefit from these PPC tips, even outside of the technology industry.
Once you know your options, you can combat those high search CPCs for more effective marketing strategies.
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