How Might PPC Fit Differently in Your Funnel

Tunnel showing view of mountains in the distance

In today’s world of digital billboards, social media clutter, and countless other forms of advertising, how do your PPC efforts fit in anymore? You might want to step back to evaluate how to deliberately cut through the noise to improve your results.

What is Your Funnel?

In the original Marketing Rule of 6 from the Weekly Constitutionalist (Augusta, Georgia), June 1, 1859, the funnel was defined as:

  1. The first time a man sees an advertisement, he takes no notice of it
  2. The second time he looks at the name
  3. The third time he looks at the price
  4. The fourth time he reads it
  5. The fifth time he speaks of it to his wife
  6. The sixth time he buys.

If it truly takes 6-7 touchpoints, then you have to examine how many touches in each step along the way your prospects need for your desired goal. Of course, it varies for each company. Some things that will make this vary include:

  • Price points
  • Reaching decision-makers
  • B2B vs B2C
  • Purchase decision times
  • Shipping delays
  • Essential vs non-essential

It can also vary as your prospects might come into the funnel in a variety of ways. And, depending on that first touch, some will need more nurturing than others. A broad Google search for someone just getting ideas is vastly different from someone else who found you from a referral.

If your company and strategies don’t have clearly defined funnels, your PPC efforts will be less defined and possibly hap-hazard. Even if you’re a smaller company that doesn’t have these clearly defined, taking the effort to map out funnels possibilities and how your current efforts fit in is key. Doing this will help you evaluate gaps in your company’s overall marketing efforts and how these trickle down into where your PPC efforts fit in (or leave a gap).

Let’s take a look at how you can diversify your efforts to make it fit for PPC.

Diversify Your Calls To Action

If all your PPC efforts have the same calls to action (CTAs), you might be missing out. You can’t expect someone with a first touch to your company to react the same way as someone at their seventh touch. That’s where you need help broadening the actions you want to someone to take. Depending on the buying cycle and how long the purchase process takes, you might need to vary your CTAs even more. This might mean you have to work on creating materials to meet the new CTAs. Here is a brief list:

  • Read this free something (blog post, whitepaper, etc)
  • Download this gated content
  • Sign-up for our something (newsletter, webinar)
  • Free trial
  • Free demo
  • Buy one (two or three), get something (free item, free shipping, % off)

Notice how many include “free”? It’s such a magical word! There are many more CTAs out there and you can see more of them here.

Diversify Your Ad Types

If you only have one ad type, try expanding into other ones. This can work well, especially since some ad types might better fit certain CTAs. You have to test it out to be sure.

For example, if search expanded text ads are your standard, test out responsive search ads or expanded dynamic search ads. If you have shopping ads, have you tried showcase ads? If you’re on Facebook and only running single image ads, test out video, carousel or collections ads.

You just never know what might resonate with your audiences until you try. If you need some inspiration, check out what your competitors are doing.

Diversify Your Approach

You can’t expect someone who has never heard of you or your services before to find you the same way as someone who has an idea. For each step in your funnel, take a look over your audiences and keywords to help broaden or narrow your approach.

For example, for search efforts, you can test higher-level keywords for a first touch component and longer tail keywords for a last touch one. Think “cleaning services” vs “home cleaning services” vs “affordable home cleaning services near me”.

In social, you should relook at your audiences to see what you can try to test out new ones to fit your funnels. Here, you can think about “Self-Help” vs “Self-help groups” vs either of those two + another interest such as “reading” or a job title or business industry. You can really play around with these to get specific. Search for synonyms of your interests, contemporaries for people or simply review the suggestions Facebook provides.

Diversify Your Conversion Attributions

This is linked to your CTAs and your audiences. You might need to create some new conversion actions to track your CTAs, but more importantly, you might need to create new audiences with different time periods. These are key not just for targeting, but also for exclusions from other efforts to make sure you keep moving people down the funnel. This is key for your remarketing audiences. You might need a longer or shorter period of time for people in each stage of the funnel, so don’t be afraid to test that out. This will vary based on price point and buying cycle, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re looking to capture repeat buyers.

More importantly, look at your tracking to give credit where credit is due. Looking at assisted conversions in Google Analytics is key. If you haven’t looked into this data, it’s pivotal in this approach and you’ll just miss out if you ignore it.

Diversify How You Think

My best recommendation here is to map out several scenarios of how you can use PPC to first come in contact with your prospects and then keep in touch to bring them closer to the brand and decision-making process. It’s typically not a once-and-done touch for most business models. The more scenarios you build out, the more ways you can think of to reach your customers. Before you know it, you’ll hit those seven touchpoints and be bringing in more sales faster and more efficiently.

If you’re interested in other reads on funnel marketing, check out

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