This is a guest post by John Lee, Learning Strategist at Bing Ads/Microsoft.
When a consumer starts the buyer journey for your product or service, it is rarely a one-step process. Often, a consumer will solicit advice or input from friends and influencers. But most frequently, the consumer is going to research and compare the product or service with its competitors – and that research is done through online search.
Are you utilizing search marketing as one of the tools in your toolbox? If the answer is no, then you are leaving money on the table.
Here are four reasons why search marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy.
1. Increased Average Order Value
There is a halo effect across marketing channels when utilizing paid search marketing. As we see in this digital marketing data from my colleagues at Bing Ads, direct marketing has the biggest increase in average order value (AOV) at 27%. Email, organic search, and social media all saw an increase of 14%, and affiliate marketing jumped 12% just by having Bing Ads as a part of the purchase path.
Even if another channel is the closer in the purchase path, customers exposed to paid search advertising spend more on average. AOV is a great metric to track to determine if your paid search strategy is working, as you’ll know very quickly whether it’s moving the needle on your bottom line.
2. Shortened Purchase Paths
Prior to a conversion, a consumer may have several digital touch points. The first event in the purchase path is typically the introducer. This is your chance to make a great first impression, so it’s crucial that the messaging in your paid search advertising aligns with your multi-channel digital marketing campaigns and strategy.
The average one-step close rate for paid search platforms is 35%. How does your business stack up to the average? The right messaging will build your brand recognition. Utilizing a strong and consistent search marketing strategy gives you the opportunity to introduce and sell your products at the same time. Consumers are going to research, compare products and talk to their friends and influencers, and you want to be top of mind when they do. The right messaging combined with the right paid search advertising can help you achieve that goal.
When paid search is involved with an email path, there is a 17% improvement in shortening the length of the purchase path. For social media paths, the average path length is decreased by 10% on search marketing platforms. What this means is that by coordinating the keywords and messaging of your digital marketing campaigns across channels, and by purchasing the right branded and non-branded category keywords to complement your social or email campaign, you’ll be in a much better position to close the leads you generate — and maybe even close them faster. In doing so you will reach more customers as they research, compare, and purchase your products or services.
3. Impact on Brand
For small business, big business – and everything in between – your brand matters. Why?
As previously mentioned, your potential customers are on the buyer’s journey. In every step of the path-to-purchase, recognition of your brand plays a role. Knowing how your customers utilize search, from their first introduction all the way to their experience with the product or service, can help you craft the right message at the right time.
Search advertising can provide impact to your brand from Initiation-to-Research, from Comparison-to-Transaction and even in the Experience phase of the buyer’s journey. Carefully constructed PPC campaigns that consider these phases pay close attention to keyword intent, ad copy and targeting. All of which affect the impact PPC will have on positioning your brand in the marketplace and mind of the consumer.
4. Support and Extend Your Other Marketing Channels
From childhood, we’ve all been taught not to put all of our proverbial eggs in one basket. This holds true in marketing and digital advertising.
There are a number of tactics and channels that make up your overall marketing mix. Search advertising is not only a part of the overall mix but plays an important part in supporting and extending the reach of your other marketing channels.
Whether you are running TV commercials in your target market or serving up ads on Facebook to drive interest in your brand, product or service – your PPC campaigns can be set up to provide a safety net for these marketing efforts. Tailor your location, device, demographic and audience targeting settings to align with your other campaigns. Remember that search is still the primary source for customers to find information. Be sure to capitalize with well-constructed PPC campaigns!
Putting It All Together
Boost AOV? Check. Shorten purchase path? Yes. Increase brand recognition? Boom, baby! Support your other marketing channels? You betcha there, sonny. If you are not yet convinced in why you should invest in search advertising, rest assured these four reasons to invest in PPC are just the tip of the iceberg!
Continue reading great blogs like this one here at Clix – or any of the MASSIVE wealth of educational (enlightening) PPC content being distributed every day. Happy reading – and happy learning!
About the Author
John Lee is a digital advertising professional with experience in PPC, display advertising, social advertising, SEO and analytics. At Microsoft, John is a Learning Strategist creating training experiences for Bing Ads customers. He has been in the digital advertising industry since 2006 working with Hanapin Marketing, Wordstream and as co-owner of Clix Marketing. John is a regular contributor to Search Engine Watch, The SEM Post, Acquisio Blog, Clix Marketing Blog and was instrumental in the creation and launch of popular paid search advertising blog PPC Hero. In addition to his writing, John has been a speaker at SMX, Pubcon, SocialPro, SES, ClickZ Live, HeroConf, Acquisio User Summit, State of Search, MN Search Summit, Ticket Summit, Zenith Conference and Bing Ads Connect conferences.