opinion

Beyond Paid Search

Joe D

Traffic is King! When you’re preparing to launch a pay-per-click or PPC advertising campaign, most of you may typically go straight to Google or some other search engine to get started. But let’s think again; there is another very viable option available for PPC marketing I want you to consider that has proven to be very effective in the last few years.

According to a study this year conducted by SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) and Econsultancy.com, many of today's top paid search marketers are turning to PPC options at social media networking sites as a complement to their more traditional placements at the top search engine ad networks. In fact, as many as 52% of those surveyed claim to have successfully boosted their PPC results over the last year through the use of social media PPC advertising in conjunction with a search engine PPC advertising campaign.

As more opportunities come available to marketers throughout 2012, and more and more social media networks offer PPC advertising options to their advertisers, the study also reveals that 47% of all North American companies surveyed were currently running PPC campaigns on Facebook, and 27% were running PPC campaigns on LinkedIn. As many as 18% of these companies were also running PPC campaigns at YouTube and another 15% claimed to be advertising at Twitter. In adult this is mimicked by the continued expansion of Exoclick, Ero-Advertising, and AdXpansion to name a few and a host of mobile PPC traffic generators as well. Investigate all the newly developing social options within adult as well. There has been a real consolidation in board traffic, the original adult social option, but alternatives are springing up and gaining traffic; Xbiz.net among them.

Of course these figures are still relatively modest when compared to the sheer volume of companies that utilize PPC advertising campaigns at the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! 95% of all companies surveyed stated they were using Google AdWords and 70% stated that they were using Bing and Yahoo! for their PPC advertising campaigns. I know Yahoo! is friendly to Adult search business, but an issue some of my friends had after driving and successfully converting traffic was that their confirmation mails with usernames and passwords were blocked by their filters causing some real customer service issues! I will investigate to see if that has been resolved. Over half of those Google users also claimed to have used Google's other marketing tools and products, with 74% using the search network, 66% using the keyword-targeted content network and 50% using the site-targeted content network to increase traffic and visibility. These figures for ad dollars spent at the major search engine-based ad networks are consistent with spending seen in 2009 and 2010, as uncovered in the SEMPO and EConsultancy.com report.

However, there are still a lot of companies that spend their PPC ad dollars on smaller search engines such as Business.com and AOL - so there is a trend here that proves that bigger isn't always better. Today's marketers need to make these "roads less traveled" a priority in 2012 in order to make the most of their advertising campaigns. The SEMPO study showed a large increase in the use of social media channel PPC advertising without a decrease in spending on ads in the major search engines or the Google network. The future of PPC looks good ;-D

Key to your success in 2012 will be your ability to cross-utilize the social PPC and traditional PPC networks with complementary campaigns that raise visibility for your brand and drive traffic to your sites. We’ll talk about what to do with that traffic throughout the year. Now get busy!

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