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Navigate Competitive PPC Markets Through Cross-Channel Collaboration

by David Shonoiki | 14.08.2020

PPC auctions can be competitive and expensive. It’s commonly known that to get ahead in PPC you don’t always have to pay more. It’s also not news that supporting search campaigns through other marketing channels can give your search campaigns an edge. However, having recently seen this done using multiple channels effectively, I thought I’d highlight this once again.

Supporting paid search through alternative channels – Historically

For some time, businesses have used different channels to increase search interest. For example in the early 2010s, Sonos – producers of wireless speakers and home sound systems – used ads on the London Underground. Their ads used the call to action (CTA) “Google ‘Sonos Reviews’…” , creating search interest. This could then be picked up by search campaigns, enabling more website traffic and sales. People have written about this before, but how have things changed?

How are companies using different media channels to support paid search campaigns now?

EE – The Telecommunications company – presented another example more recently that was similar to Sonos. During the 2020 FA Cup semi-finals, on the advertising boards of Wembley Stadium, EE used ads with the CTA “Search 5GEE”. These campaigns worked well because they had a clear CTA that could be aligned with search strategy. Keywords and ad copy can be created to pick up these searches and promote products further.

Alternatively in 2020, Shudder – the online video subscription service – used unskippable YouTube audio ads to support search interest. Shudder used text from ‘their best performing PPC ad copy in the script’ of their audio ads (The Drum, 2020). As more people became aware of Shudder and their available movies, this led to an uplift in Brand search interest.

In all of these instances, these companies were able to differentiate themselves from the competition. They created campaigns across different channels centred around a unique message. Their distinctiveness helped increase interest, leading to an uplift in search volumes. Therefore creativity is key, so what might you need to consider?

How can you use different media channels to support paid search campaigns effectively?

The message of your campaign must be something that people can easily search. Once you are set on this, tailor your keywords, ad copy and landing pages. This way your ads will be highly relevant when people begin searching. With strong relevancy, your PPC quality scores will be higher than competitors. This can enable you to pay less per click. 

Additionally, ensure the messaging is consistent across your marketing channels. This can facilitate a smooth user journey. For example, as people search for ‘5GEE’ having watched the football match,  incorporating ‘5GEE’ in PPC ads creates a connection between TV and PPC. This also makes the PPC ads more relevant, providing an advantage over competition.

What impact could competition have on your paid search campaigns?

If the message of your campaign is unique, competitors may not be bidding on similar keywords. Furthermore, by creating search interest for terms that your competitors may not be bidding on e.g. ‘5GEE’, you essentially create an auction where you are the only player. Moreover, if competitors do try to enter, it will be harder for them as they will not be as relevant as you. This will make it more expensive for them to compete, giving you an advantage.

Therefore, working collaboratively with other channels could boost your search interest and make it cheaper for you to gain clicks. As competition can make clicks increasingly more expensive, collaboration could allow you to get ahead without necessarily paying more.

Finally, don’t forget the PPC fundamentals

So, if you can generate search interest for your campaign’s message using different channels, paid search can leverage the support. Fundamentally, make sure you have the most relevant keywords, ads and landing page for your campaign’s message/theme. With this, you can reach more of your clients at a relatively low cost.