target-marketThe golden rule in marketing and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is to “know your market.” However simple as that sounds, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. In fact, PPC can be darn complicated, especially if you have the following views:

“My market is the world!”

“Anyone and everyone is my customer!” or

“What I have is universal.”

Sorry, but every business needs to have a specific target if they want their PPC (or any other type of marketing effort) to work. The bottom line is that what you want is to get your money back on your investment, whether it be in developing your product, maintaining operations, or spending on PPC marketing. A business entrepreneur willing to throw away valuable resources and not receive a return aside from that “feel good” feeling will soon find the need to close shop.

In order to make PPC efforts worth it, here are some suggestions on how to target your PPC efforts:

Review Your Brand Then…Change Your PPC Keywords

You need to ask yourself if your target market is still your target market. Being in business, we often find it surprising that the original target market is no longer our key customer.

Many companies have rebranded and shifted their target market to become a top success story like Hershey’s, which decided to make candy lower in fat for adults, or Harley Davidson, which opted to throw out the “boys only club” and cater to women.

Once you have reviewed your product, you can make the necessary changes in your PPC keywords. Make sure they are relevant, categorized, and tight. If your keywords are not closely related, users will hesitate or be confused about your message.

Keywords Are Not Be-All, End-All; Consider Persona-Based Targeting

The branding is very critical this 2016 because while keywords are important, one trend in PPC is persona-based targeting. Persona-based marketing has been around for many years. It used to be called psycho-graphic or demographic marketing; with the technology we now have, users can be more accurately profiled. That being so, you can reach your market and predict their response to your ads with a higher degree of effectiveness. This gives you an enormous edge and helps you stay in the game.

Improve Your Landing Pages

It is highly possible that you have the perfect PPC campaign but the results are dismal. Could it be that your landing pages are difficult for users to navigate or find the product/information they want? Try to get some feedback on your landing pages from objective users and see where you can improve the experience.

Provide Great Content, Solid SEO

Your PPC efforts will do better if it comes with great content and exceptional SEO. In fact, because PPC provides instant results, you can use it to help you improve your content, provided you have good analytics.  Analytics will help you find that sweet balance between using the right keywords and providing the information users want.

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One thing’s for certain in 2016 and onwards: e-commerce will continue to grow. In fact, it is predicted to grow by about 12% per annum for the next three years. With this in mind, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is going to be one critical factor in the success of your online and offline businesses.

Here are the latest trends and news in PPC for 2016.

The Growth of Social Commerce

It cannot be denied – social commerce or selling through social media is reshaping business.  There are many ways social commerce works and PPC is alongside each and every one of these, helping to boost and sustain your business so that when you lose customers, you have multiple opportunities to generate leads and find new ones.

  • Social network-driven strategies like the use of referrals
  • Peer-to-peer platforms where people can contact sellers directly
  • Recommendations
  • Curated shopping
  • Wholesale buying
  • Crowd funding
  • Social shopping

PPC can be used in social commerce and still be unobtrusive. Here’s how: the majority of social network users are browsing. They are looking at new updates, information, and yes, the latest buzz. However, did you know that Internet users tend to trust consumer reviews 12 times more than product descriptions? In fact, a product with a positive review from a consumer increases the chances of that product being bought by 18% across all e-commerce sites. In addition, impulse buying has skyrocketed in the past year, especially with the “Buy Now” button. For instance, on Pinterest, 93% of its users make purchases based on what they see pinned. Lastly, social users are highly influenced by promotional content they see because it keeps them updated on the latest trends.

From Single Channel to Multichannel to Omnichannel

Omnichannel refers to the same online brand experience regardless of what device is used, and works towards having a positive interaction with the customers. Single channel is using just one platform or marketing strategy. Multichannel refers to a business using different platforms with one main objective: to reach out to customers. Thus, a business can have several social media accounts, a website, offline shop, and a blog, and try to reach as many people as possible.

With PPC as your strategy, the 2016 trend is similar in the sense that PPC cannot stand alone as your marketing plan. You will need to have PPC, SEO, and email, among others, to push your business up front.  In addition, with an omnichannel approach, you can actually budget your PPC plan more accurately if you use good analytics.

Mobile PPC

With the world more engaged with their mobile devices, mobile PPC is expected to generate double the number of sales and ad spending by 2018 to almost $59 billion. This is possible because experts predict that there will be over 6 billion smartphones worldwide by 2020, and almost 50% will be using their mobile devices to access the Internet and search for services or products.

In addition, PPC will be using more content than product description to market a business because studies show users will click on an ad because of its content, not necessarily because they want to buy the product. More importantly, almost 80% of those who click on an ad end up buying the product, subscribing to the website, or bookmarking the link for future use.

Finally, the use of ad extensions provides an opportunity to simplify your marketing. Ad extensions include a clickable phone number, store locations, and links to web pages, promos, or product pages, among others.

email-marketingEmail marketing is a very effective tool when used correctly. It can expand reach and engagement with clients and help build support for various causes or products that may be of interest or value. There are many things to look for when building an effective email marketing campaign. The following is a short guide to five important email-marketing tips for non-profit organizations.

1. Make your email easy to read.

People can be very busy in this day and age. In the midst of it, they will check text messages, social networks, and email a little less often. In the hustle and bustle, individuals have little time to focus on information that comes to their inbox. When an email is opened, it should be simple and easy to read. By wisely using word choices and fonts, the reader should be able to easily identify that main part of your message with a very quick scan of the email. Make your headlines clear with its benefits highlighted.

2. Have a clear call-to-action component within the email.

Once you construct a clear and straightforward email, do not forget to insert a call-to-action. Make the message clear as to what the next step is going to be. Your message should be compelling enough for individuals to feel a need to follow up through the call to action. If the message is not clear and the call to action is not easily found, your email will be ineffective.

3. Send emails often but don’t spam.

Many email marketers fear angering subscribers by sending too many emails. If you’re spacing out your content and sending content that is insightful, helpful and truly valuable, your target audience will not only love it but pass it on. If someone unsubscribes after the first message, they were likely not your target audience in the first place. Always make sure that your messages are interesting and connect with the reader. Steer clear of boring messages that drag on saying absolutely nothing at all. People want to help sound organizations reach their goals and if you provide good information, they’ll jump on board. Focus on creating meaningful conversations and building solid relationships with your clients instead of bombarding them with a sales pitch all of the time.

4. Create text versions to replace your images.

It is very important to use an alternative test with your email images. Sometimes there are times when pictures will not load in the email, or when an email subscriber may not have that capability. Other services may need the client to initiate the showing of images before they download. Whatever the case may be, the alternate text will take the place of the picture. Encourage the user to enable images or encourage the call to action.

5. Links, links, links…and images too!

Providing strategic text and image links is very important within an email. Links and images draw the attention of the reader and make them click, click, click. Text links can lead to a call to action or a related website. Image links can also reinforce the same. This will make your email much more effective.

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With social media taking the Internet by storm, it is easier for non-profit organizations to utilize the sites and their capabilities. Facebook and Twitter are two of the many social media groups that business owners use to market their products and/or services. This is also a great way to advertise without all of the expenses. Below you will find five tips for marketing on a social media site.

1. Know what your communication strategy is or will be.

This will be based on how you will connect the organization’s social media with the website or blog associated with the organization, as well as how are you going to market different promotions that may be on the actual website or blog to the social media site.

2. The organization’s goals in communications should be clear.

You will want to remember to:
a. Engage the community.
b. Retain followers.
c. Acquire new followers.
d. Generate an awareness for the non-profit organization.

3. Get to know who your target audience will be, which can be determined by looking at demographic data and information of the members or customers of your organization.

There is a program that you can use to connect each of your profiles. The program will then determine the demographics of your audiences to make marketing a little bit easier. You can find the program here: Sprout Media.

4. Choose the right social media networks and create a content strategy.

Using a few social media sites to promote your non-profit organization may be more efficient than trying to use many sites at one time. This will allow you to focus on your target audience. To determine what type of content you will be sharing with your audience, always engage your followers and potential new followers. Determine what type of things you want to share. This could be customer ratings or highlights of the business. Also remember that using images or short videos is another great way to attract attention to the non-profit organization. Not every post will need a link; however, this is a great way to drive traffic to the main webpage or blog. Also remember that you won’t want to post so often that you overtake someone’s social media page with marketing information, but you want to post enough to keep the organization fresh in everyone’s mind.

5. Respond to posts, comments, or questions promptly.

Even though there is limited time for non-profit organizations to spend on social media, it is important to respond to your followers, as this cultivates a connection to the non-profit organization and lets the followers know they are being heard. Responding to a comment or question does not need to be formal on social media. However, you want to ensure that you answer any questions or concerns to the best of your ability in the allotted space that is provided to the organization.