How To Stretch your Digital Marketing Budget for PPC Advertising

There are so many ways to put together a marketing plan and a marketing budget behind it.

But what if your advertising budget were up against some real constraints? What would you do to cut down on pay per click advertising costs?

Although the trend in Google advertising is moving more and more towards automation, there are still ways to move around your budget limitations.

This article will focus on tactical activities around successful PPC marketing campaigns that help you save money. Here are five tactical approaches for digital advertising campaigns that make both marketing and financial sense.

Get granular on your targeting 

Going granular just means placing razor focus on your ad objectives based on your Buyer Personas and audience segmentation data. Remember your campaign’s 5Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  • Who: Who are your target audiences
  • What: Demographic and psychological characteristics of your target audiences
  • When: What times of day are they most active online
  • Where: Location
  • Why: Why does it make sense to target these audiences

Drill down on other sources of customer information, like your email marketing or social media data, to glean more insights.

Want to truly protect your ad spend budget? Use first party data. First party data is as granular as it gets.

Launch ads with high quality scores only  

You and your digital marketing or PPC marketing specialists should be comfortable with the quality of the design and copy of your ad materials. Collaborate with your creative team to get the best ad material out there.

When the time comes to load your campaigns onto Google Ads, aim for nothing less than a quality score of “Above Average” from the platform.

Remember that this score is based on three things:

  • Expected click through rate (CTR)
  • Ad relevance, or how well your ad satisfies a user query or search intent
  • Landing page quality, or the usefulness and relevance of your landing page in relation to the search.

If you’re getting “Average” or “Below Average” scores, go back to the drawing board and make changes to your ads before launching them.

Refine and weed out non-performing segments 

Online advertising campaigns are a process of constant improvement and refinement. It takes a week or two to start seeing results and patterns on newly launched campaigns, and by the end of a month, you already know if certain segments of your targeting are doing well or not.

Review your targeting strategy based on your 5W’s. Once you see less clicks on particular audiences or demographics, and almost no activity on certain parts of the day or on the weekends, change your tactics.

If a significant part of your campaign budget is on Search, zero in on broad match and negative keywords in your ad campaign targeting.

It’s tempting to want to reach everyone with broader match phrases, but does catching their attention mean winning a conversion? Maybe not.

Irrelevant keywords are just as important as targeted keywords. Are people seeing your campaigns because of similar but contextually irrelevant keywords or phrases?

Watch your Analytics and Search Console reports carefully. Strike keywords you don’t need by adding them to your negative keyword lists. If you don’t watch for them, they can turn into a painful source of ad spend leakage.

One more thing you can do is pause and re-enable your campaigns. That’s right – turn your ads off around dead activity periods or for certain segments. Then think of your next move.

Routinely reallocate your budget on performing segments 

Once you know which audience segments are doing well and driving your PPC marketing conversions, maybe it’s time to expand your targeting base and spend a bit more money.

Scaling up can be tricky if you’re on a tight budget. Treat budget reallocations like allowance increases to give your campaign increased reach.

Here are two suggestions:

  • Increase your monthly budget cap,
  • Increase your bids on keywords to increase your chances of better ad rankings against your competitors.

Run tests and evaluate results based on cost efficiency

If you’re winning clicks but not enough conversions, your landing pages might be the issue. Check if your market budget allocation gives you leeway for A/B testing, and test different sets of creatives to see if it’s not a matter of targeting but messaging.

Also, review your campaign channels within the Google Ads ecosystem against your objectives. Did Search cost you less and win you more clicks and conversions compared to Display? Are you happy with the visibility you get on YouTube or Google Discovery? Were you and your PPC team able to maximize the capabilities of the conversion rate optimization strategies you set out?

Watch your Ad Reports 

Analytics data holds the key.

Although the pandemic has changed a lot of customer behaviors (customers working from home and “always on”), look to Google Ads’ Audience Insights panel for valuable information.

In the end, deciding your PPC marketing budget allocation rests squarely on your objectives. If you are firm and getting good results, then you can add to your spend – or cut back on digital marketing costs until the next major campaign comes along.

Gideon Gallardo and Heriel Reyes contributed to this piece.

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