Utilizing the Ads platform can be a tricky experience. Utilizing it effectively can be even trickier. One of the questions we receive most often is "Which campaign type is right for my business?". To help you see through the muddy, Google-y waters, we've put together some general guidelines about selecting the right campaign type. Keep in mind these guidelines cover the most commonly used campaign types - several other options are available and may benefit your business goals. Not sure where to begin? Start a conversation.
Search ads are triggered when a user enters a query containing the word or phrase for which you are bidding. There are a few other elements required, but that's all Search is when boiled down to its essence. This campaign type is effective at meeting users with purchasing intent along multiple stages within their buyers' journeys. How? Well if a user is searching for "local landscaping companies," it can be surmised that they're researching companies in their area that can help with their landscaping needs. The great part about Search Ads is that they can be presented at the discovery, consideration, and decision-making stages of the purchasing funnel.
First and foremost, Search campaigns are useful for brand awareness. Of course, you want to be there during the discovery phase of a buyer's journey; it is during this phase that they become aware of your brand after all. Appearing at the top of the search results when a user is looking for the kind of services or products you offer broadcasts your business name. If you're looking to increase overall brand awareness, fill those headline spaces with the services and products you offer.
The next step in the purchasing journey is consideration. This is the time to showcase those competitive advantages. Offer the highest rated landscaping within 50 miles? Let the searchers know.
The last and most challenging stage at which to meet buyers is the decision-making stage. If your potential leads have done their research and know about the unique features of your brand, search ads can be a great way to turn those leads into conversions. How? Use ads to explain your value or create urgency.
We generally recommend display campaigns to increase awareness. Through placement, audience, and location targeting, display campaigns can show your brand or products to the right people at the right time. Think of display as a visual introduction to your business.
Many people are drawn to Display over Search due to its low cost. While it is a more affordable way to earn lots of impressions, diligent targeting is required in order to produce results. A company could serve 1,000,000 ads for its luxury watches, but if those ads are shown through children's tablet games and cartoon youtube channels, the chances of valid clicks and purchases are virtually nil.
Video ads are often overlooked or unconsidered because they can be time-consuming and expensive to produce. But as we've stated at least 9 trillion times, video content is on the rise. Don't miss the wave. We recommend video advertising for products or services that can be explained visually. One of our clients, Lawnganics, is an organic-based lawn care company. Video ads made sense for them since healthy, green, lush lawns are a visual experience. You can view the commercial we created for them below:
We've touched a bit on the buyer's journey, but it's important to remember that this journey is frequently non-linear. People go to and from the awareness to the consideration to the decision-making stages several times before purchase. In a now-famous case of this indecisiveness, Google observed a user making over 250 touchpoints over 73 days before finally purchasing a pair of jeans.
Remarketing works by adding previous visitors or converters to your site to a targeting list. As long as the user doesn't delete their cookies, Remarketing campaigns can follow these users for up to 540 days after the initial visit or purchase. If your product or service is something that requires consideration before purchase (hint: this is nearly every product or service), then this campaign type is a great way to stay front-of-mind.
Google Ads is not a one-size-fits-all deal. With very few exceptions, paid ads are most effective when you utilize a combination of the above campaign types. Both businesses and the people they advertise to are multi-faceted. Often, our clients have goals of brand awareness, differentiation, and increasing sales all at once. The pros of utilizing more than one campaign type simultaneously far outweigh the cost savings of advertising using just one Ads method.
As long as the campaigns you serve ads through are well-structured, maintained, and targeted to the right people, it's hard to choose the "wrong" type of campaign. In most instances, it comes down to how you advertise vs. the advertising channel itself. I hate to give you the high-school-English-teacher answer of "there is no right answer"...but there is no right answer.
In most cases, you can follow these rules:
- Use Search Campaigns to meet potential buyers/leads at several steps in the buying funnel
- Use Display Campaigns to increase awareness of your business and serve a visual representation of your products or services
- Use Remarketing Campaigns to keep your brand front-of-mind and buyers navigate through the purchasing funnel
- Use Video Campaigns for products or services that can be explained visually
Still have questions? JH Specialty is a Certified Google Partner. We can help answer your pressing questions about Google campaign types, ROI, and more.