When the May 2020 Google Core Update rolled out and search results stabilized, the analytics left marketers worldwide unhappy.
Diversify Platforms to Optimize PPC
Diversify Platforms to Optimize PPC
As PPC (pay-per-click) marketers, we are always on top of the ball when things change, and advertising evolves in leaps and bounds. Year after year, new tools are available on various platforms, making diversifying PPC efforts and funds more and more vital.
Up until recently, Google was the primary platform for PPC advertising and the place where you’d see the most action and reaction to ads. Now, however, many different platforms have developed tools and support to help marketers and companies reach a new audience in a way that is engaging and profitable.
Diversifying platforms for PPC efforts will help garner new results, engage a different audience, and even create different Digital Experiences relevant to the platform itself. Advertising on YouTube, for example, will require a video campaign, whereas, with Google, you’d be focusing on the copy.
By diversifying platforms for PPC, you’ll have to push yourself to be more creative in a way that is unique to get the most out of that specific platform. Putting all your eggs in one basket with Google is not only dangerous in the current environment, but it is also very restrictive. Now that there are other options for PPC advertising opening your strategy and budget to them will surely bring about great results.
While Google will remain the most prominent advertising platform, along with Facebook, many other platforms can also support PPC ad spend in 2020.
Depending on the company and the product, advertising on different platforms can help gain new exposure and employ different and more specific tools that will amplify the results of a PPC campaign. Diversifying will also help build a cushion if one platform stops performing well or if there are violations to policies, etc.
Diversify Platforms to Optimize PPC
Not all platforms are created equal. The disparity is why so many marketers put all their eggs into the Google basket. However, other major platforms have invested in creating tools and solutions for better PPC advertising that is drawing in a lot of traffic. Additionally, not all people use all platforms, so finding a balance between the spread is critical.
What are the different platforms which marketers use to connect with audiences?
There are many benefits to diversifying platforms for PPC advertising.
Reaching New Audiences
Because not everyone uses every platform, diversifying ad spend between a few platforms will help to engage a new audience and use different tools with different outcomes. Beyond selling products and services, different platforms help marketers engage a new audience and employ new techniques and tactics to join that community.
Just like different people hang out at various places in real life, people also hang out online based on their interests. The best thing to do is to research your target market and perform a brand study to discover who all the different people are who come to your company. There will be one primary target audience and multiple secondary, and they’re all important.
Once you narrow down the customer, looking into where they hang out online will be huge in giving you insight as to where to invest ad spend and creativity to engage them. The time your business foundation solidifies is a crucial stage at which to scale. Scaling is dependent upon new customers and new perspectives. Your research efforts can also help you put less money into platforms that may be slowing or becoming stale. For example, if your target customer used to spend all their time on Instagram but have now moved the bulk of their social media time to TikTok, then you’ll have a clear direction to make some changes that you know will be beneficial. It’s also always important to stay on top of trends. New platforms pop up all the time. You need to know what’s drawing people to them.
New & Upcoming Platforms
The more new platforms come into the world, the more opportunities there are to get creative and figure out what tactics work best for PPC ad spend. People’s attention span is dwindling, and when there’s something new, fun, and entertaining to tap into, making a move away from one platform and towards another is done without even thinking.
Users are loyal to platforms because of what they gain and how they connect. Brands are loyal to platforms because that’s where their people are, and they’re getting engagement, which leads to conversions. Loyalty to a platform for a user is not the same as it is for a brand, so moving from Instagram to TikTok, for example, is a no brainer.
Again, putting all your eggs in one basket as a marketer is a quick way to lose everything when a new, hot platform gains popularity. Diversifying across platforms is vital, and engaging with a new platform will make all the difference as you see engagement drop on a tried-and-true platform like YouTube.
Trends hit fast, and if you’re not an early adopter or very open to doing the groundwork to establish a presence on a new platform, you’re dead in the water.
One new platform that is taking the whole world by storm, especially as we are all sitting inside to help stop the spread of COVID-19, is TikTok. Once primarily used by Generation Z, this entertainment platform built on short, engaging videos is all the rage right now
Since its launch in 2016, Tiktok has grown exponentially, especially in the past year. Here are some brief stats on the new app that is becoming a must for marketers:
- 500 million active users worldwide and growing
- 1.5 billion downloads of the app in the Apple iOS App Store and GooglePlay
- #1 downloaded app in the Apple iOS App Store – more than YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat
- 60% of users are female, 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16-24. 26% are between the ages of 25-44. 80% are between the ages of 16-34. This data comes straight from TikTok
- Average users spend 52 minutes per day on the app
- 155 countries have access to the app, with India being the leader with 467 million downloads
- 90% of users use the app daily
- More than 1 billion videos viewed daily
TikTok is not only changing the way people consume content, but the app is also changing the way brands can reach their audience. The app has always focused on bringing in influencers to connect with brands, and with the TikTokCreator Marketplace, this is now easier than ever. By creating a space where brands and influencers can meet and search for each other based on industry and interest, TikTok is changing the way advertising is awarded.
TikTok ads can send users to a website, an app page in the app store, or promote a specific hashtag challenge on the platform (TikTok, 2019).
Spreading ad spend and effort across a few different platforms will help you get a good read on where your people are, what they’re engaging with, and how you can create content that speaks to their wants and needs. You’ll also have the security one being able to run ads on one platform if the other goes down, you experience a policy breach on an ad, or if it merely runs cold. A little cross-pollination can do a lot of good and increase results.
Once you’ve laid out your specific business needs (sales, email capture, sharing, etc.), you’ll be able to craft a strategy across platforms that speak to those needs. You can retarget across social platforms to visitors from your website, and engage people on social platforms to go to your site.
The back and forth “shuffle” that a user does provide you with lots of information on their behavior. This learning allows you to cater to that behavior.
Tentative? Do it Anyway.
Investing in something new can be nerve-racking. Everyone is working on a budget, and a few tries here and there on a new platform can add up quickly. Time is of the essence, however, and at least six weeks of trials are standard before you decide to pull the plug. Even if what you’re doing is working well, investing in something new will only give you more information than you had before.
If the investment doesn’t necessarily translate to conversions, impressions, or sales, then you’ve paid for market research that is directly related to your customer’s behavior. There is always a silver lining. Depending on your perspective, you’ll realize that you are going to either win or learn.
If you’re savvy enough to pull the trigger on joining a new platform like TikTok early in the game, then it’s only up from there for you. Early adoption of a hot new platform is genuinely the savviest business move you can make. It’s 2020, and things are changing rapidly. Trying to keep things the way they were or resisting the inevitable change will not only harm your business, but the perception people have of your business as well. Loyal customers love to see their favorite brand do something new in the world of social media. You just have to be willing to take the risk and step into the uncertainty for a short amount of time.
How to Get Started on Platform Diversification
First, set aside some budget to start testing and seeing how campaigns perform. If you need to save up for a few months, do extensive research while you wait to pull the trigger. That way, when the funds are ready to go, you’ll be able to act quickly. Things change fast in the advertising and marketing world, and it can be a different climate in even just six months.
Start small, see what works, and then go from there. The research you do is going to be the driving force of where you put your ad spend. If you need to survey current customers to get an excellent read on where they’re hanging out, then do that. Even before you start an advertising campaign, create a profile, and start posting and engaging on the profile that you’ve chosen. Having a presence is just as crucial as running ads in the right places.
You’ll find that having a presence will build trust with users, and you won’t seem like a spammy company just in it for the sales.
Once you know where you need to spend time and money, get creative. Attention span is super low, so you’ve only got a few seconds to catch the eye of a prospective customer and make an impact. Digital Experiences are an unconscious expectation from users now, and if you’re not stepping up to the creative plate, you’re going to get passed up without a second thought.
Split testing is also a fast and straightforward way to test what works. With the advancements of most platforms, their tools allow for capabilities like split testing and more to help you succeed. Ultimately, if you’re making money, they’re making money.
And if it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. Don’t beat a dead horse hoping for different results. If, after six weeks, you don’t see the movement that you want and need, move on, or try something different.
Here are some quick tips to get rolling:
- Start with two to three new platforms maximum. You don’t want to go from having all your eggs in one basket to forgetting where your eggs are.
- Start slow.
- Do tons of research before you make a move.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- Try split testing creatives, copy, and CTAs.
- Be open and willing to do something new.
- Get professional advice and support if needed.
Starting something new can seem daunting, especially when your bottom line is on the line. It’s always advisable to seek professional guidance before doing something that may not be in your best interest or the best interest of your customer. At Pico Digital Marketing, we are here to help you from brainstorm to execution.