Small and medium sized businesses often look for no-budget to low-budget marketing and promotion options to reach and acquire their local customers. They usually depend on organic online search rankings to build their online presence. So paying for online searches, through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is often seen as an expensive option. Moreover, PPC is often thought of as helpful only to e-commerce players, to lead consumers to shop for products. That is, of course, a misconception.
SMEs have a lot to gain from PPC, especially when it comes to businesses that need lead generation through targeted advertising. Lead generation is meant to get potential customers into the lead-tracking system in order for them to begin an information period with the company, in which the company learns more about customer’s needs, while the customers learn more about the company’s products and services. The ultimate goal is to strike a deal, and thus, acquire a customer.
How does PPC fare against other lead generation methods?
A typical lead funnel utilizes a variety of ways to generate leads. Let’s look at some of the prominent ones and analyse how PPC may be more effective:
- Blogs: These are a good source of leads, but need constant replenishing with high shareability quotient and a good user base, which often takes a lot of time.
- Email: Communicating with existing subscribers, or targeting a new set of people through bought databases is possible via email, but often you can only hope to add new leads for your business.
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks can get business new followers build exposure to a large audience. But followers may not necessarily be your target audience who need your product or service.
- Organic search: 4 out of 5 search clicks come from organic listings on the first page, with the advantage of free clicks. But then you have a lot of competition, and it may take an unusually long time for your business to earn a place on the first page.
- PPC: This allows your business to appear instantly on the first page to the most relevant audience, those who are searching for a solution to their problem. PPC increases awareness of your business to much higher levels than before.
Yes, PPC is a paid search channel. But considering the costs involved in managing social media, blogging, search engine optimization, and e-mail marketing, PPC is comparatively an effective option for most businesses to reach a targeted audience online with full control of expenditure and return on investment.
How to use PPC effectively for lead generation?
- Direct potential customers to a landing page instead of the home page – While your home page may contain comprehensive information about your offerings, a well-designed landing page will generate a direct action from the customers for them to be converted into paying customers. A good PPC landing page may be independent of your website.
- Offer something to your audience – Since you’re not leading your customers to shop instantly for any product or service in a lead generation campaign, and you’re asking for their information, you may as well offer them something they might find useful, like a whitepaper or a brochure.
- Keep focused communication across touchpoints – The landing page should be able to continue the same story as you’d told your customers in the PPC ad. It should provide more information on the product or the service mentioned in the ad that they’ve clicked.
- Optimize communication on the landing page – A PPC landing page will be the customer’s first point of contact with you it needs to have just the right information in a concise and visually appealing manner. Also, the lead generation form needs to just the relevant fields which can be filled up easily by the customers without any reluctance.
PPC or Pay Per Click advertising is a dependable method of generating targeted leads to your business, provided you optimize the customers’ journey from point they click your PPC ad to the point they exit the landing page.