Digital Marketing Priorities: #5b Search Engine Marketing

This is the sixth post exploring my 8 digital marketing priorities in greater detail. This post will focus on essential and basic online direct response advertising campaigns.

1- Strategic Plan

2- Site Web  

3- Email newsletter

4- Social Media

5- Base Campaigns – directories

5- Base Campaigns – classified ads

Before launching an image or brand building campaign, it is necessary to capture every possible easy sale you possibly can online and via mobile platforms. By “easy sale,” I mean those consumers who have decided to proceed in buying something you have to sell – whether it is from you specifically, from one of your competitors or the vendor is not yet decided upon but you do make or offer what it is the consumer is looking for. You must then be there where and when they are in research mode, or in the moments (hours & days) before they actually pass at the cash register, to influence where they actually go to spend their money.

Last week I outlined the need to be present on all relevant online directories for your brand and region. You also need to exploit online classified ads as there are sales to be made there too.

Going after the easy sales includes a base pay per click campaign of search keywords and phrases in line with what consumers about to sells hat you sell might search for.

5c- Base Campaigns Direct Response: SEM / PPC

SEM is an acronym for Search Engine Marketing. We often interchange SEM for PPC. SEM encompasses all of search marketing strategies including SEO we covered in an earlier post (Website & SEO). PPC means pay per colic advertising which more often than not is done by buying keywords and key phrases on search engines.

Establish a permanent, 52-week base campaign with SEM / PPC for each product or service.

Your base campaign must answer the query your potential customers would pose a search engine. What search term would they use? What variations? Would they specify a region or location? Would they include any specific characteristics? Ask your clients directly what how they search for you to ensure you cover all bases, including specifically behaviors that are not our own (personally).

This campaign does not seek to develop new markets or new sales, just to capture sales that are going to happen regardless, to ensure your company is the one making at sale and not your competitors.

How does it work?

This post will only cover basics as I am not an SEM specialist. You may wonder, “how hard can this be?” the organization I work for, IAB Canada, offers several 8-hour intensive course among which are one specifically on SEM and another on SEO. Both of these will open up many strategies and tactics involved with each, they you will not yet be an expert.

You can start with a minimum monthly buy of $200 with Google AdWords. This is by no means sufficient to generate any kind of ROI, but enough for you to practice setting up a campaign, generating ads and targeting them to keywords and phrases. Gradually you will increase your monthly spend to $1,000 and beyond, all the while learning what works for you and constantly tweaking your SEM to increase your ROI up to a point where either you’re meeting all the demand out there (for the key words and phrases you’re targeting) or your cost per new lead or customer becomes too high to generate a profit.

There are numerous strategies you can employ with your PPC campaign to optimize our ROI and to better target your ads against your desired clients. You should start reading some newsletters or blogs on SEM to further your knowledge. If your needs are vast, such as if you have many different brands or have many different uses for your products, thus catering to many different types of clients, then you should consider hiring an external specialist or specialty firm to handle this part of your marketing for you.

Next week we will look at priority #5: retargeting campaign

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below: would you change the order of digital marketing priorities I’ve put forth? Have I forgotten anything significant?

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