Un-silo your PPC campaigns: 4 tactics for more cohesive marketing

Align your PPC initiatives with broader marketing strategies with these four tactics for harmonizing campaigns across channels.

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It’s rare to find businesses executing a cohesive strategy across all digital marketing channels. This lack of coordination is understandable, as even senior strategists often struggle to align their requests with other channels.

So, if you’re a PPC expert looking to tie your campaigns to other marketing efforts, here are four ways to start doing that. 

1. Ad copy and assets

Some businesses are excellent at delivering the same ad content to all their paid marketing channels. They usually have a dedicated creative team or agency creating their ads.

However, many companies don’t have those resources. Instead, they distribute images and buzzword-filled phrases and expect their marketing staff to take and run them. 

If this is what you’ve been doing, stop and schedule some time with the paid social team to address the following:

  • If you can edit and write new copy, your platforms should be aligned on key phrases and approaches. Consider making a central repository of copy ideas, even if it’s just a shared spreadsheet you can all edit. You don’t have to try to write it together (what a nightmare that can be), but you do need to make sure you’re using similar copy across channels
  • Discuss and strategize how your teams will share audiences for prospecting and remarketing efforts. There’s nothing like seeing an ad on Google Search, only to spot the same ad on Instagram and then having the same image follow you onto an ecommerce site. You want your users to follow a sensible path and see stage-appropriate ads based on their behavior across platforms. 
  • Share results and how the findings can impact each channel. For example, if you are advertising on Google Display and you’re not checking in regularly with what images and assets are working on Facebook, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Yes, these platforms can have different audiences, but that doesn’t mean the same ads won’t work (or not work). 

2. Organic and paid keyword overlap

PPC and SEO have a complicated relationship. They’re both targeting the Google SERPs, but one pays for each click and one doesn’t.

While it would be great if your business had a killer SEO team and an unlimited budget to target all the keywords you wanted with a “Target impression share” bid strategy, I’d guess most companies are not in this position.

That means you need to be efficient and strategic with your ad spend, which means not doing double-duty on keywords that organic can handle on their own. 

You’ll need a keyword-level report from both channels to craft a strategy addressing keyword overlap. Include the organic average position and the best metric to judge PPC performance (whether that’s return on ad spend, cost per acquisition or conversion rate). 

You’ll want to combine this data into a table (joined on the keyword) or a dashboard like Looker Studio or Power BI that can show you, at minimum: 

  • Only the keywords that show up on organic search and are targeted by PPC. 
  • The page the organic listing shows up on for those keywords.
  • Organic clicks.
  • Your end-all PPC metric.
  • PPC clicks.

You’re looking for keywords that rank well organically and are not hitting your PPC goal. 

In the example below, we can see rows with a great organic average position and a strong paid conversion rate but failing to hit the primary PPC goal: conversion value/cost. 

You can potentially pause these keywords on paid and trust that organic will pick up the slack. 

Source: Real PPC client data
Source: Real PPC client data

Like any test, you’ll want to pull the same report again later to ensure that the organic keywords are picking up those clicks that PPC used to be paying for.

Dig deeper: SEO vs. PPC: Differences, pros, cons and an integrated approach

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3. PPC event marketing

If your business hosts an event, a PPC campaign with strict targeting can be a great way to drum up additional interest and registrations, as DigiMarCon does here when I search for “marketing conferences.”

DigiMarCon PPC ad

However, most businesses don’t have the resources to host their own event; they simply exhibit or rent space at industry conferences or events.

Even if you aren’t hosting, this is an opportunity to capture high-intent keyword searches with strategic keyword selection and tight geotargeting. 

For example, if I had a booth at DigiMarCon Pacific Northwest for PPC consulting (full disclosure: I don’t!) I would make sure my April PPC strategy included a campaign that both targeted Seattle and focused on PPC-related keywords such as: 

  • “In-person PPC workshop”
  • “Seattle PPC conference” 
  • “Digimarcon agenda”

These high-intent keywords are searched by people in the area who may attend or are planning to attend the event. I want to reach these people and have them see my company name at the top of the search results and again at the event.

4. Blog content for Demand Gen campaigns

If you aren’t plugged into what your content or blog team is putting out and you’re looking for ways to drive awareness and traffic, consider a bimonthly or quarterly sync with whoever owns the editorial calendar.

Blog content is great for Demand Gen campaigns on Google Ads. Though blog posts are usually relegated to organic social channels, Demand Gen campaigns are a fairly low-cost, high-reach way of attracting new users to your site with enticing content. 

Demand Gen campaigns via Google Ads

This campaign type is affordable for nearly every budget. It also encompasses non-video ads on YouTube.

YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google, is twice more likely than any other video service and social media platform to be used for researching products and brands.

Don’t have the resources to put toward compelling video content? Then, Demand Gen campaigns can be a way for you to advertise other content types (like intriguing blog posts that your content team is churning out).

Breaking down PPC silos

Some, if not all, of these tactics may seem obvious to seasoned PPC experts.

In my experience, dedicating time is the biggest hurdle to incorporating PPC with other channels.

A cross-channel strategy means you must collaborate with others without any idea about character limits or campaign types. 

You need early, earnest discussions about synchronizing efforts to make your approach cohesive.

And to remove silos, you need regularly scheduled meetings or stand-ups with the rest of marketing, along with proactive inquiries about what they’re working on and how you, the PPC expert, can help support their success. 

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Ann Robison
Ann Robison has been in the digital marketing industry for over a decade, starting with writing meta descriptions for Google's then-new Panda update. She currently serves as the Client Services Manager at Portent, a digital marketing agency. She has a strong background in PPC, Paid Social, and digital marketing strategy across B2B and B2C verticals, from Fortune 500 companies to one-woman shows. Robison also provides free-lance consulting to small businesses on digital marketing strategy and analytics. When not working, Robison spends time with family, sings jazz with her local vocal jazz group, and dreams up new adventures for her D&D group.

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