Launching a new product is an exciting time for a business. Plenty of hard work has surely gotten you to the point of bringing a new product to market, but that work is only going to pay off if the product is well-received and sales meet or exceed your expectations.
One of the best ways to get the word out about your product is pay-per-click advertising (PPC). In this article, we discuss why PPC can be such an effective product launch tool and offer some practical tips on how to get started. Whether you regularly run PPC ads for other purposes or this will be your very first time buying clicks, we think this guide will be helpful. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Including PPC in Your Digital Strategy
Before we dive into the topic of how PPC can specifically be used for launching a new product, let’s zoom out and discuss why PPC ads are such a popular option in the digital marketer’s playbook. There is a lot to like about how PPC works, including the following points:
- Speed. This is perhaps the best feature of a well-organized PPC campaign. Unlike many other forms of digital marketing, such as content marketing, you can expect to see results quickly with PPC ads. As soon as you turn on your campaign, your ads will start to run for relevant search queries, and you should start to pick up some clicks. If you need to gather traffic in a hurry, which may be the case for a product launch, it’s hard to beat what PPC has to offer.
- Excellent targeting. Since you can carefully control the keywords that are used to determine when your ads are shown (more on that later), you’ll be able to get targeted traffic that is more likely than a general audience to be interested in what you have to offer. Quality targeting should help both your click-through rate and conversion rate, allowing you to get a nice return on your investment when your campaign is managed properly.
- Control over scale. You can get started running PPC ads with a tiny budget. Or, you can dive right in and spend tons of money to buy up a huge number of clicks. Wherever you land on the investment spectrum, it’s easy to control how much you spend on PPC ads on any given day or week, and you can adjust your spending up and down throughout the year as your needs change.
- Endless testing possibilities. One of the great things about running an ongoing PPC campaign is the data you will collect along the way. With each passing day, you’ll learn more and more about your audience through their behavior and how they interact with your ads and your web pages. Using variations of your ads in testing campaigns can help you refine the performance of each ad category and you should gradually unlock better and better results in time.
It’s not an accident that PPC is so popular on the web, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Even as other forms of promotion come and go, PPC is one of the steady techniques that seems likely to stand the test of time. Whether you are going to use it for a product launch or just for general advertising purposes, adding PPC to your digital marketing strategy is a no-brainer.
Create a Keyword List That Closely Relates to Your Product
As we mentioned in the previous section, PPC ads are driven by keyword lists. The better your list becomes, the more you will be able to achieve with PPC. Plenty of digital marketers invest countless hours in getting their collection of keywords just right because this is such an important piece of the puzzle.
There is no one single approach that is going to work to find keywords that you should use in a PPC ad campaign to support a product launch. Instead, you’ll want to get familiar with some of the techniques used in this pursuit, and then you can experiment and tweak as necessary to get the desired results. The list below highlights some of the techniques that you should keep in mind at this stage of the project.
- Start with the big one. There is likely one clear-cut keyword term that you want to target with your advertising efforts. You’ve probably built some content around this keyword as you’ve been getting ready to launch your product, and you might have even been inspired to create the product as a result of the potential that this keyword demonstrated. Significant search volume for this term could have given you the confidence needed to decide to invest in a meaningful way in this new product. So, naturally, you are going to want to lean into this keyword and make it a central component of your PPC efforts. In addition to the exact search term you have been targeting, be sure to use variations on that theme to capture all related traffic.
- Lean on analytics. Assuming you have had a website for some time and you have been using analytics to collect data on your site, you may already know what people tend to search for before they land on your site. That information is extremely valuable in this process. Search terms that lead to traffic – especially traffic on your sales pages – should get strong consideration for use in your PPC campaign. You don’t have to guess or hope that these keywords will be a good fit because the market has already demonstrated that they are just that.
- An emphasis on purchases. Some keywords are more informational in nature, while others are used by people who already have information and are ready to make a purchase. When using PPC to promote a product launch, you want to use keywords that are closer to the bottom end of the funnel. You want the people who are ready to buy, so you can put your new product in front of them and make a great offer. Some of the words that tend to be found in buyer keywords include “best”, “reviews”, “price”, and “options”.
- Use negative keywords. The keywords you don’t want to bid on are almost as important as those that you do want to target. So, building up a robust negative keyword list is going to be a critical part of getting your campaign right. Negative keywords are simply words that will exclude your ad from showing up on the search results page. These are largely used in areas where confusion can exist between types of products – in other words, when someone is searching for something you don’t sell but happens to go by a similar name. For example, if you sell golf irons, you might exclude the word “clothes” and “steam” from your bidding, because a clothes iron is something entirely different than a golf club, and you won’t want to bid on those searches.
The bullet points above are far from a comprehensive guide on how to build a keyword list for a PPC campaign, but they are a nice starting point. Once you get started, you can see how your campaign is performing and make adjustments to rule out keywords that don’t seem to be performing well, or expand categories or keywords that are giving you great results.
The Power of PPC Forecasting
In business, you never want to feel like you are flying blind. In fact, you want quite the opposite feeling – you want to be in control, knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there. So, just tossing up a PPC campaign for your product launch with a group of keywords and a random budget isn’t really a recipe for success.
We’ve already talked above about how you can work on the keyword side of the equation. For the budget, you’ll need to take in a couple of factors – how many clicks are expected to cost, and how many clicks you can reasonably expect to receive based on the keywords you are going to target. Google will provide you with the information needed within your Ads account to put together a reasonable estimate of how much you can expect to spend. Of course, you can always set a limit to keep your spending within reason, and the ads will simply stop running once you hit that mark.
Other Considerations for a Successful Product Launch PPC Campaign
If you have a great list of keywords (and negative keywords) and have done some forecasting to set a reasonable budget, you’ll be well on your way to getting started with this campaign. However, there are a few other notes we’d like to pass along:
- Start early. Yes, one of the big benefits of using PPC advertising is the ability to get traffic to your site right away. But why wait until your launch arrives to start working on making sales? Before the product launch occurs, you can use PPC ads to bring people to a landing page that will present information and ask them to register for a mailing list to get future updates. The bigger you can make that list in advance, the more sales you are sure to secure when the time comes.
- Spend a lot of time on ad copy. As always, ad copy is going to play an important role in how your PPC campaign performs for a product launch. Get started on writing copy early in the process, and have a variety of options you can test out once your ads go live. On this point, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – look at some of the other ads you see displayed for your desired keywords and take inspiration from their approach.
- Don’t forget about the landing page. If you focus too much on dialing in your PPC technique, you might forget that a great landing page is even more important. Securing clicks from interested parties is just the first step – you want them to wind up making a purchase once they land on your site, and an effective landing page will make that much more likely.
Running a strategic PPC campaign is a great way to support some of the other methods you plan on using to promote your new product when it launches. We hope the information above will help you get started on the right foot with this exciting project. Get started right away so you have as much time as possible to fine-tune your campaign before launch day arrives. Good luck!
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