More and more companies are discovering the benefits of a well-run PPC program.
However, competitive keywords in certain industries, especially the technology industry, can be extremely costly.
$50 CPCs? No, thank you!
Do not let expensive keywords prevent you from developing a strategy to reach your target audience in this industry.
In this column. I’ll share my top tips for effectively using search platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads to effectively reach your target audience in the competitive technology space.
1. Make Use of Detailed Demographics in Google Ads
The detailed demographics category in Google Ads is technically still in beta, but most accounts can be whitelisted into this beta.
This is especially beneficial to the technology industry because you can target by:
- Company Size:
- Small Employer (1-249).
- Large Employer (250-10,000).
- Very Large Employer (10k+ Employees).
- Real Estate.
It’s important to take note of which campaign types are available for this type of targeting.
Currently, these attributes are approved for Search and Video campaigns only; it’s not available on Display.
With these demographic options, the possibilities are endless!
You have the option to Target Only (meaning you are only targeting users who are in this category).
Another option is Observation (meaning you are targeting these users, as well as everyone else who doesn’t fit into this category).
Try adding these audiences to current Search campaigns as Observation only first.
This can help you understand how these users engage differently than those not categorized in those demographics.
2. Keep Keywords Broad When Targeting By Audience
Because Detailed Demographics is in beta, it’s difficult to understand how many users fall into these categories.
Even so, if you only target these users under your current campaign structure, you could be limiting your reach.
By layering audiences on to campaigns, you can further qualify your target audience. Try testing out broad keywords specific to these audiences.
Don’t go crazy and use keywords like [tech news], for example.
But we know that everyone searches differently.
Conversions in B2B can come from low-volume, high intent searches, and with broad match keywords, campaigns can capitalize on the individual user.
Another added benefit is that you gather more data on how users are actually searching to get to your product or service.
It can shed light on language you may not have thought of using before!
I see this a lot between product marketing teams and digital marketing teams – there is a disconnect in how you think of your product vs. how the end consumer thinks of it.
3. Don’t Forget About Bing (Microsoft)
As the competition in Google Ads continues to grow, it’s no wonder that companies are starting to be more aggressive in Bing (Microsoft).
Microsoft Ads can be a hidden goldmine for B2B companies because of its recent LinkedIn integration feature.
Now, Bing Ads campaigns are able to layer on certain aspects of a LinkedIn member’s profile to target them. These include:
- Job Function.
Currently, this is only available as “Bid Only.” That means you can increase or decrease your bids on these demographics, but you cannot exclusively target users who match these criteria.
This may change in the future, but there is no known timeline (yet).
To get around this limitation, try setting your keyword bids extremely low and using a significant bid increase on those demographic targets.
This is by no means foolproof, but it’s one possible way to show ads only to those who meet your criteria.
4. Introduce Your Brand With YouTube Ads
Gone are the days of targeting $50 CPC search terms hoping you might have enough budget to get a few clicks per day.
That type of marketing won’t move the needle unless you have an unlimited budget.
Now, maybe you’re thought of YouTube Ads as only for B2C companies. Good news—it’s not!
Technology and other B2B brands are discovering the power of YouTube Ads as a cost-effective way to reach a receptive audience.
And with Google’s addition of new audience types (such as the Detailed Demographics above) and Custom Intent audiences, marketers can feel more secure that they’re reaching users in their target audience.
Even a $10 per day budget for testing YouTube’s effectiveness for your company is bound to win you brand recognition.
Remember, the goal of YouTube Ads typically isn’t to generate immediate conversions; this is why attribution is so important.
Try testing multiple audiences at a low cost per day ($10-$20). From there, segment remarketing lists based on users who have watched certain videos.
Those remarketing lists can be used as a Display campaign (another cost-effective campaign type).
Or, you can layer those audiences on top of Search campaigns.
5. Make Sure Your Tech Brand’s Assets & Content Are Clear & Compelling
This may be the most important recommendation of all.
I have seen many companies carve out multiple target personas for their product, but produce just one message for all of them.
They are stumped when they find that users aren’t engaged or responding.
If you have multiple target audiences, shouldn’t you be speaking to them in different ways?
It’s no secret that 2020 has had its ups and downs. Marketing, inevitably, has become more emotional because the goal is to speak to each user’s pain points.
Think of each of your target audiences’ pain points. What problem can your brand solve for them?
Start your message with that.
The second piece to think about is your offering. Should all offerings be the same across the board?
If you’re a tech company and trying to reach a software engineer or someone in IT who would use your product every day, your messaging should give them something tangible that they can use or try out.
They may not be the decision-maker but chances are they have some influence on what products are used to make their job easier.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach the CEO or another C-suite level person in that same company, they likely aren’t the ones who will be using your product every day.
They probably don’t want a trial.
They just need to know it works.
Provide them messaging that shows you’re a thought leader in the space, for example.
Smarter PPC Strategy for Technology Brands
If you’re in the tech industry and have been relying on traditional PPC methods, it’s time to try something new.
In unprecedented times, the marketing budget is usually the first to go.
Because of that, regardless of your industry, it is up to you to be innovative in your approach to reaching your ideal consumer.
This may include trying new campaign types like YouTube, or trying different platforms such as Bing, Quora, or Reddit.
These recommendations can be of benefit to others even outside the technology industry.
Once you know your options, you can combat those high CPCs for more effective marketing strategies.
- Developing a Sustainable PPC Strategy: What You Need to Know
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- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to PPC Marketing Basics
All Screenshots taken by author, January 2021