In praise of PPC: Five benefits of pay-per-click advertising

In praise of PPC: Five benefits of pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) is advertising that you pay for when someone clicks and are typically associated with search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. PPC has been around since the ‘90s and had sometimes been discounted by modern marketers looking for the sizzle of social or other digital ads. But there are real benefits to PPC, particularly now. Here are five—and how to get started if you’re not currently doing PPC advertising for your products, service, or company.

Five benefits of PPC

1. It’s cost effective: With PPC advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and it takes less budget to make a dent. A good rule of thumb is to spend $75 per day in order to get a good read on traffic and then conversions. Compared to other types of advertising, that’s a bargain. Companies set the budget so they can control costs—which is even more critical during uncertain times.

2. It’s targeted: Your PPC ads aren’t shown to just anyone: They’re served to the audience you choose through targeting. You can remarket to people who have visited certain pages on your website or downloaded one of your offers, and target people who match your current customers or have the right interests. You can also choose what time they’ll be served the ads, so your dollars aren’t wasted.

3. It’s flexible: PPC advertising is incredibly nimble. You can turn it on and off quickly—and adjust ads on the fly based on how well certain ads are performing over others. Compared to traditional media like TV spots, PPC ads give you a lot more control. In an environment like we’re experiencing now, when messaging needs to change quickly as not to appear tone deaf, this becomes particularly important.

4. It’s resource light: PPC ads are text based, so there’s no heavy design time needed to get them ready for prime time. All you need is a wordsmith, a call-to-action (CTA), a target audience and a budget—and you’re really to roll.

5. It’s easily trackable: PPC ads incorporate with search engine monitoring tools like Google Analytics to give you real-time data on how your ads are doing. This can help you determine whether to scale back or ramp up budget in accordance with target response. In addition, this real-time data can help you A/B test larger campaign messages so you can make a more informed decision about wording to use for digital radio spots, virtual collateral, and other materials that are costlier to produce and harder to change.

Getting started with PPC
If you’re thinking of incorporating PPC into your advertising campaigns, start small with a test campaign in the beginning to see how it goes. Identify your goals, such as whether you’d like to increase clicks to a product page on your site, generate sign-ups for a trial, or just drive people to your company page overall.

Decide which PPC network to use, be it Google AdWords or Bing Ads—which is responsible for ads for both Bing and Yahoo search engines—or one of the smaller networks like Bidvertiser. AdWords is the most used of the options—and for that reason, prices can be costlier when compared to other networks. But its tools and incorporation with the largest search engine make it attractive.

With your network in place, set your keyword priorities based on your thoughtful keyword research that you likely did to optimize your website. Haven’t revisited your keywords lately? We can help.

Next, create your content according to the content guidelines for the network you’ve chosen. They all have character limits and it’s a good idea to A/B test different message options to see which gets better traction.

After adding your target audience, set your budget and launch your campaign. It’ll take anywhere between one and three days for your ads to be approved. Be sure to log in to your dashboard and monitor ad performance so you can see what is working and what isn’t and adjust budgets and messages accordingly.

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Creating a careers website for a new technology and engineering division of Providence

Creating a careers website for a new technology and engineering division of Providence

Providence Global Center (PGC) is a newly launched technology and engineering division of Providence, the third-largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. Based in Hyderabad, India, PGC is responsible for enabling the technology that connects caregivers and patients to health care applications – and it was looking for careers website design.

Providence Talent Acquisition turned to GA Creative to create a careers site for PGC that explains who they are and why candidates should join them. The site highlights both the mission and values and the impact of the center’s work, which enables caregivers to provide fast, quality care to patients.

The group was looking for a clean, modern, and informative careers website design that would entice job seekers to get in touch for more information about PGC.

In ten weeks, we created and launched a careers site that works for the group’s needs today and is flexible enough to grow with them tomorrow. The clean design, straightforward copy, and light and bright imagery work together to draw in engineers, data scientists and more, offering ways to connect with recruiters.

In support of the new site, we also created social advertising to drive views, including LinkedIn and Facebook feed ads and Facebook and Instagram Stories ads.

The global team, including Providence leaders in the U.S. and in India, were pleased with the process, from the initial kickoff to the day the site launched, as well as the finished product.

“I am positive this will be a good tool to attract some fine talent and importantly, help everyone know more about us, our work and aspirations.”
– Murali Krishna, SVP and Country Manager, Providence India

Is it time for a website refresh?

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10 practical tips for working at home

10 practical tips for working at home

Many of us have been working remotely due to COVID-19 for a while now. Regardless of how long you’ve been enjoying a 10-foot commute, here are ten tips our team has assembled for working effectively at home.

  1. Update your email signature It may sound simple, but the email signature tends to be “set it and forget it.” If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to swap your office phone number to your cell phone number so you don’t miss any important calls while working remotely.
  2. Change your voicemail. If your office doesn’t already have a voicemail system that automatically sends a transcript via email, it’s a good time to look into it. That way, you’ll be notified of voicemails that hit your office line while you’re at home.
  3. Take a moment for your modem. Everyone, from adults trying to conduct conference calls to kids attempting to access online learning, is suddenly bogging down your internet connection at the same time. If it’s been awhile since you’ve refreshed your modem, consider an upgrade to make everyone’s lives easier. Also, it’s a good time to change passwords and make PCs in the house undiscoverable to help protect from opportunistic hackers.
  4. Set up Click-N-Ship. If you need to mail things for work this handy USPS service is free to set up and offers batch and individual shipments using your own packaging or flat-rate boxes orderable online. You can even schedule a pickup, so you don’t need to drive to the post office.
  5. Download Scannable. This easy-to-use app makes it incredibly simple to take high-quality scans of documents and images and email them off to partners, vendors, and clients in seconds while working remotely.
  6. Be heard. By now, we’ve all probably experienced those conference calls when we can only hear every other word that someone is saying. As fun as it is to play, “Guess the assignment,” it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality headset or headphones with a built-in microphone to ensure that virtual meetings run smoothly.
  7. Schedule me time. Work-from-home offices look different—and so do office hours. We’re hearing from many professionals that they’re feeling like they’re working longer and more grueling days from home. That’s why it’s more important than ever to schedule time for exercise and breaks throughout the day and commit to following that schedule. This will help relieve some of the stress associated with trying to manage work and life while everyone’s at home.
  8. Connect with colleagues. The office is a place for work, sure, but it’s also a place to connect with your coworkers. Retain some of that togetherness while you’re apart by setting up a virtual water cooler group on Facebook where you can share funny links and memes and stick to your office social calendar—virtually.
  9. Take note of what’s behind you. Avoid windows, whiteboards with confidential info, and clutter in the background while on video calls. In this ZDNet read on effective video conferencing, blogger David Gerwirtz says, “I’ve done national TV interviews on the floor of a bathroom during the middle of a move, where only a plain wall was visible behind me. I’ve done video conferences in the middle of a doctor’s appointment simply by putting the door to the examination room behind me. I’ve done video interviews in hotel room corners, just sitting in the guest chair. The corner added a bit of dimension to the shot.” It’s worthwhile to note that programs like Microsoft Teams offer a “blur background” feature.
  10. Practice kindness. To be sure, this is a trying period for all of us—but we’re in it together. The more we can help each other by practicing kindness and empathy, the better off we’ll be. Now’s the time to channel that famous quote from Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” In business and in life, the best tip we can share right now is this: Be a helper.

Yeah, we get it. We’re talking to the walls, too.

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Are your buyer personas science or science fiction?

Are your buyer personas science or science fiction?

Creating buyer personas is like painting pictures of your ideal customers. It’s worthwhile to invest time and effort into creating them in order to help you determine which of your existing customers fit—and which don’t—and to help you identify the best way to reach new prospects.

Make personas seem real
When creating buyer personas, you should make each persona seem as real as possible. Assigning the persona a name and image will help shape who he/she is. Think about this person’s job, career path, family, mindset, communication preferences, media habits and hobbies. Note his/her demographics including age, gender, income and location. And, note what his/her key goals are—as well as obstacles to acting on your call to action (CTA)—plus what your company can do to help them achieve or overcome them, respectively.

Create multiple personas
Your customers are a diverse group and your personas should be, too. Create as many personas as you need—but only make as many as you can back up with research.

Base personas on data
Your persona information shouldn’t be pulled from thin air. It’s important to gather real data so that personas are a representation of your real audience. You can find this data by:

  • Surveying existing customers
  • Surveying a targeted list of people on social media who are similar to your existing customers in terms of demographics and psychographics
  • Creating pop-up surveys on your site about the experience, products and/or company
  • Creating a customer panel and talking to customers in person or over the phone

Increase your marketing effectiveness with buyer personas.

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