In financial services and markets, one of the most rapidly growing digital marketing methods is PPC—also referred to as paid media or paid advertising.
But it’s a deep hat, and particularly for financial services, PPC can be a bit of a minefield.
It’s all too easy to get bogged down in the details, when what you really need is to take a step back and get to grips with the basics.
That’s why we wrote this.
Read on to find out the 5 things to know about financial services PPC.
1. PPC vs Paid Media vs Paid Advertising: what’s the difference?
The short answer is: semantics.
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It involves using marketing spend to bid for strategic placement of advertising messages online.
Initially, it involved paying a fee each time your ad was clicked on by a visitor, hence the name.
Since then though, the scope of such advertising has expanded.
Today, marketers can create campaigns that are optimized for a wide variety of different metrics (which we’ll cover shortly).
Paying to maximize clicks is one option, but you can also pay to maximize the number of people that see your ad, or even specify which people see it.
Paid media and paid advertising are simply newer umbrella terms that refer to this full scope of strategic online ad placement.
PPC is technically speaking just one form of paid advertising, but many marketers still use it interchangeably with these broader terms.
2. Different bidding and targeting strategies
There are many ways marketers can use advertising spend—whether it’s to reach a specific audience, or get a desired reaction.
Broadly speaking, there are four main strategies for targeting audiences and bidding for advertising space…
This helps you get the highest clicks possible for your budget. You can customize your campaign to set a cap on your budget, or the max amount you pay for each click.
This uses your specified budget to get the most conversions possible. However, it does not differentiate based on the value of those conversions.
Maximize Return on Investment
Rather than optimizing for the volume of conversions, this uses your specified budget to generate conversions that bring you the highest possible revenue.
This involves bidding for a target number of views on your ad. You can also target who your ad appears to.
3. PPC comes in many forms
As well as different bidding strategies, there are also many different formats of paid media.
Because we want to keep things simple here, we’re just going to dip our toe into three of the biggest areas: Search Ads, Display Ads, and Social Ads.
Search Ads are essentially paid-for search engine results.
Instead of optimizing your website to get to the top of Google, you bid on a keyword, and if your bid is successful, Google places your ad (containing a link to your website) at the top or bottom of the results page.
If you want fast results, have a good budget and a high-converting product or service, or want to make your mark while your SEO strategy takes off, paid search can be a good option.
These are the ads you find at the top or to the side of web pages. They look like this:
They’re less expensive than search ads, and can have very high visibility.
Unfortunately, they can also suffer from low click through if they are not well targeted. This doesn’t mean they’re pointless, you just have to use them purposefully.
In terms of financial services PPC, they work exceptionally well for account-based marketing campaigns that home in on well-researched target prospects.
In today’s landscape, social ads are some of the most valuable ones money can buy.
And because of the nature of social media accounts, you can get really specific with who you want to target.
On LinkedIn for example, you can target professionals by job role, the industry they work in, the size and turnover of their company, and more.
If you have a deep understanding of your customer, social ads can deliver incredible ROI.
4. Know the regulations
The arenas that financial markets compete in are highly regulated. And financial services PPC is no different.
Dedicate time to researching this, and find out what hoops there are to jump through before you get started.
If you want to discuss this with a professional, you can always speak to someone here at TRG.
5. Getting good takes time
Here’s the truth about PPC: you’re not going to nail it the first time.
Particularly for marketers in financial services, PPC is a data-driven process, and that means that success is achieved in increments.
The more campaigns you do, the more you learn about your audience. The more you learn about your audience, the better you can make your campaigns.
Your first campaign is usually nothing more than a low cost pilot run to gather data, and gauge people’s responses.
So be patient. Don’t let pride dictate your strategy, and don’t expect astronomical results straight away.
Keep a close eye on your paid advertising activity, and let the data be your guide.
Shape your campaign around what works, and be sure to continually optimize and improve things as you go.
5 things to know about Financial Services PPC: Key Takeaways
- Getting the best out of paid advertising means taking the time to figure out what’s right, then adjusting your approach accordingly.
- Whether that’s finding the right format and channel, delivering a message that resonates with your audience, or ensuring your advertising efforts are compliant.
- But it’s a balancing act—you have to get stuck in and analyze your performance data to figure out what’s best, but you also need to be smart with your budget.
- There’s a line between gathering valuable data, and throwing money at something that’s ineffective. And that’s the line you must learn to walk in order to reach success.