Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Program

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Strategy Documentation & Implementation Tutorial

3.2 Introduction

Hello, this is Brad Geddes, the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the founder of Certified Knowledge, and the PPC Faculty Chair from Market Motive. In this video, we're going to look at strategy documentation and implementation and how to create a marketing plan for the accounts you want to launch.

3.3 Strategy Documentation

Now throughout this course we've examined features such as keywords, match types, and ad group organization based upon landing pages and ads and keywords you're choosing. We've talked about campaign organization based upon goals. And setting and tracking those goals. We've mentioned how to not only create an account, but also manage it post setup. So you should be armed with the information you need to create and execute successful PPC accounts. So there's many ways you can make an account that can be successful, even from the same data. And with all these options, if you just start working without a plan, you'll get lost in all the features, strategies, and possible options you have to reach these goals. So to avoid this, it's best to create your own roadmap to solve for these issues. So a strategy document is an item that can really prove your value to clients beyond just a roadmap. And that's the ability to put together a marketing strategy. Those who show their knowledge extends just beyond using features and pushing buttons but to a strategic level, will prove themselves invaluable to their teams and clients. So if you can create a marketing plan, you can show to your clients that you just don't use best practices, but you think about best practices and about their business and their business goals. So you can put together a strategy to help them achieve their overall marketing goals. Now, for the purposes of this discussion, we're just going to refer to your client. Now, your client could be a third party, such as agencies and consultants have. It could be your boss or other division within your company, which is common for in-house marketers. Regardless though if you're an agency, consultant, or in-house marketer, you have clients, people you report to. So throughout this video, we're going to walk through the three aspects of creating marketing plans. The first is the interview. That's when you sit down with the company, your client, and ask them questions about their business and what they're trying to achieve. This will give you insight into the company and give you the opportunity to ask the questions that you need the answers to. So you can create a successful plan. The second is the thought process. This is a cerebral part of the plan. Thinking through all the options available, the notes you have from interviewing with them, and then how the plan's going to be created. So you might not document at this stage, but some find it useful to use flowcharts or diagrams, and thinking about the overall strategy. The culmination of these efforts is the actual documenting of the plan. Now marketing plan starts at the interview phase.

3.4 Interview: Business and Marketing Overview

Now there's a download available that lists many possible questions. You can read those on your own, so I'm not going to touch on every question. We're going to highlight the more important ones. First, you need to know the company's specific information, their business and an overview. Things like how do they make money, how does money flow through the company, what services and products do they provide? Are there services and products that are more valuable or more important than others? Do these products or services change throughout the year? For things like products provided, this can just be a bullet point list, it doesn't have to be in paragraph form. Especially, if it's an e-commerce company with hundreds, or thousands, or hundreds of thousands of products, you can just provide an overview of the products or brands that are most important to them. Now it's also important to ask if these change throughout the year. For instance, it's common in the North to see a small business who fixes porches in the summer but in winter time, it's too cold to do that work. They may be basement refinishers during the winter season. Sometimes businesses change throughout the seasons. In other cases, the products that are most important to them may change based upon holidays or other events. Next, we need to get into a marketing overview of the company. What did they do previously? What worked for them? What didn't work? This will give you some really good insights into the ad you need to create. Other questions, what are their strengths? What are things you definitely want to promote in the ads? What are their weaknesses or some of their marketing problems? For instance, a weakness might be they're e-commerce but they don't offer free shipping. The way they overcome that is with discounts. Or another might be they offer luxury jewelery, really expensive items but most searches for jewelery are for cheaper items. They need to find ways to differentiate themselves to their market to show that they're high-end jewelry and reach high-end customers. Who is that ideal customer? These questions will help you start thinking about the ads you need to create and some of the targeting you're going to use.

3.5 Interview: Buying Cycle

Now next we need to know their buying funnel. What does the buying cycle look like for them, because this is so different for every single company. What are their main customer touch points? What are their conversion options? Does the buying cycle change by device? Is it different on a desktop or a mobile? Does someone use both? Does the buying cycle change by product or by service? So this will give you an idea into the tracking you need to do. What are those conversion options? Other services you might offer such as e-mail marketing if that's part of their conversion touch points. Future planning and of course how you want to target users. So if a company has got a really long sales cycle, re-marketing is great to try. If they need more total entrances in the buying cycle then interest or topic targeting across the display network can be useful. If they're driven just by web based leads, then consider where in the buying cycle those keywords are choosing false. You can increase those leads.

3.6 Interview: Marketing Details

The next one's again is marketing details. This is going to give us insight into not only in our ads, but some landing pages and conversion metrics as well. So number one is, what are the marketing goals? And to get more leads is not an acceptable answer. You want to be specific. How many leads, or how many sales do they want per month? What is a target CPA or return on ad spend? So a good answer is we want 100 leads per month at a $61 CPA. You want something specific that's measurable that you can put in a report and prove that you're hitting their goals. because you want to ask them the question. What do they consider as a successful account? If you can't hit these targets, then you have things to look at it again. Now, when you get this answer you also want to look in, say, does this line up with how they make money? Because if the way they make money does not line up with the sales processes, you might need to revisit this, you also want to look to see if this is how success is measured in the company. So I've seen agencies fired who hit their goals, because internally, the company was using a KPI as return on ad spend, but they gave the agency the goal as a CPA. And so the agency had a goal that didn't line up with how the actual company measured success. So you really need to look at these two things. So often with paid search, month one is getting good quality traffic. Month two is refinement. By month three, maybe you can really start hitting these goals. So, what's the timeline for success in this account so that you're both on the same page with the evolution of how things are going to occur over the life of this paid search account.

3.7 Interview: Budget Planning

Now next, we need to get into budgets. So what is their monthly budget? Does the budget need to be split up in any specific manner? So if they have multiple locations, does the budget need to change by location? Are there co-op marketing dollars involved? Do they have branded products which are theirs, they want a higher budget for, and they sell third-party products as well, they have lower budgets for. And then, how often are budgets reviewed? Are they reviewed monthly, quarterly, annually? And then, how flexible are they? If you hit a specific target, or something happens in the news and they really start selling. Do you have the ability to increase a budget? Or are they fixed every single month? So this is going to give you insight into campaign organization, your account budgets, and campaign budgets. Then next, geographic information's important. Where they want to advertise. Do the products or services change by region? Are there any regional considerations? So this tells you about your location targeting and potentially campaign organization. And then finally, are there seasonality items they need to look at? So does the business or marketing need to change based upon seasons? Are there certain days on the calendar that need to be highlighted that are very important times? Do any products or services change by season? So if some products are very consistent throughout the year, and other products go up and down a lot throughout the year. Then, from an organization's standpoint you might consider putting the consistent products in one campaign with a flat budget. And then you have other campaigns, which use these yo-yoing products, in their own campaign so you can manage the budgets real easily on those. And then legal. Some companies have legal restrictions, others don't have any legal restrictions whatsoever. So do ads or landing pages have to be reviewed by legal? Are there certain keywords you can't use or certain claims you can't use?

3.8 Interview: Website & Graphics

And then the website, and potentially graphics. So, is there one website, are there multiple websites? While often people think, oh we just have one website, you get into conversations, there's 8 or 10 or 12. Is there a specific tablet or mobile site they like to use over a desktop site. Then who controls the website? Some companies control their own, some use a third party. So if they're using a third party how are changes made? In some cases the third party might charge your client every time they make a change. So your client saves money by bundling changes and handing them all over at once as opposed to one change this day and one change that day. So that's a budget consideration for them. And then who's in charge of landing pages? You, or them? Who's going to test landing pages? Are there any specific tracking needs, such as business call tracking for these types of sites, or this form is used over here, so we need to track these forms? So forth. So this will give you good insight into landing pages, potentially ads, and definitely conversion tracking. And then graphics. If you're going to use the display network. Are you using video, are you using images, are you making the images, are they making the images? Where does this media come from?

3.9 Interview: Reporting

And then reporting. So you again want to set expectations for the clients about how often reports happen and what needs to be in the reports. because one of the big questions, again is, what will the report show in order for the advertiser to consider this successful campaign? And, and, yes we've actually mentioned this a few times. But the reason you keep kind of want to ask this question two or three times, is to make sure the answer's consistent. If they say success is this early on in your interview. And later on they changed the answer, you want to realize that this changing, and you have to have a bigger conversation around measuring success. So this is the interview process, just getting information from your client so that you can then think about how the campaigns need to be organized. The types of ads you need to write, the types of keywords you want to use, how budgets need to be defined and changed throughout your different campaigns. So the second step is really kind of thinking about all this information and what a completed account looks like when it's ready to launch. So once you've done thinking, and again, at this point in time you may go ahead and do some diagramming or use some Excel sheets to figure out the campaigns and how budgets switch and purposes of campaigns so forth.

3.10 Marketing Plan: Brief & Initial Build

And when you're done with that it's time to write a plan. So a marketing plan is a written document that's usually six pages long at least. I've created some that are multiple hundreds of pages. That's not a good one for this class to start with, but usually an eight to ten page document's a great starting place. Now the first part of the marketing plan is a brief. The brief just gives you the quick overview of the advertiser, what their business looks like, the goals for the campaign, and then how goals are measured. And then the bulk of your writing is going to come in the initial build area. So, first you want an overview of the campaigns you're going to build. So what are the campaigns and what's their purpose. So then for each campaign you want to write out the targeting method, the ad groups being used, the keywords being used, the ad types, how they're going to be tested, landing pages, how they'll be tested, so forth. You don't have to write every keyword in the documentation. What you want to do is say something like, well this is a plumber service, and we're going to build two different campaigns for this plumber. One campaign is going to be based upon all the individual services they provide and serve to just the city where they're based. And a second campaign is going to target the entire state region. But every ad group's going to use geographic modified keywords or just plumber plus that geography. And so we're not writing the keywords here. We've said in campaign one our keywords are the individual services. In campaign two our keywords are going to be plumber plus the geography for that ad group. So don't think you've got to write out every keyword or ad group here, you want the purposes of the keywords and the ad groups in there. And then, what are the extensions used for each campaign. What's the budget for the campaign, and what's the bid method that's going to be used. What's the geographic reach. And then how is it going to be measured. So I find it's really useful just to make a spreadsheet of all your campaign settings. And then fill it in for each campaign. That way, its easy to sum up in Excel. Have we hit our budget, are we over budget? Do we have a budget we think is higher than we need? So this is the campaign we can probably pull budget from. And so, by having a simple campaign spreadsheet, what you have a document that you can just copy and paste and when you create the account then you know exactly what all the settings are. Then the next part of marketing plan, which again goes on under the initial launch area, is other any special conditions. Such as this campaign is only going to be run on the weekends. This campaign only gets run in the summer time. Do budgets need to be changed, or if condition this is met then we need to change this part over here. So any special conditions.

3.11 Marketing Plan: Launch Monitoring

And then next, once this is launched what would we need to do to monitor it correctly? So initially we're going to launch the campaign. And we're going to measure the queries, the bounce rates, the match types. And we just want traffic that's spending at least two minutes on the site and visiting three pages. And that be would a successful week one and week two. And then by the end of month one, we want to get to one-third of the goals they proposed. And after three months, we want to be at the goals proposed and so that's something important to list of what needs to be done from a launch monitoring standpoint and then how do the goals fit into the expectations of time post-launch. And then optionally you can get into things like future planning. So how will the overall account grow over time? So we might say, at first we can't start with CPA bidding because we don't have enough leads or conversions to turn it on. So initially we're going to start with bidding based upon CPC of these estimations we created. If we hit 45 conversions then we're going to turn on conversion optimizer and measure for two weeks. Once we start seeing seeing how our display works, we're going to layer in re-marketing. And so these are just things to think about how you can expand it over time because launch might take quite a bit of work. I mean one of the largest time constraints is the launch area. That's going to take your longest amount of time is building the campaign. So sometimes you can't build every possible feature into it at launch. So what's the next steps?

3.12 Launching & Monitoring the Account

And then, again, optionally, you can make a checklist. And this is just a short checklist, but here's all the things that have to happen. Now if you're working inside of a large agency or within a large in house team, then you have that checklist, and you give the various check points to each person who is responsible for getting that particular aspect on. And then since you have this launch monitoring, then you can even take that information and put it into your calendar, or project management system. Make sure it's all getting done. The future planning in account management here. You don't have to put it into a marketing plan. It's just a good extension of a plan post launch to think about how you're going to monitor everything appropriately. So that you know how it's growing, what it should be doing, who should be doing what, and that nothing falls through the cracks with all these moving parts.

3.13 Recap

So to kind of recap our strategic documentation. First, strategy plans, marketing plans, they're essential to create. You can receive insight from the advertiser, from your clients, and getting information you need to create these plans. You want to make sure you understand how success is measured. You have a roadmap of what needs to be created and how it's going to be created. You can also then see any holes in the tracking or get ideas of what's possible for future planning. Now when creating a marketing plan, you want to make sure you show the overall goals, how the campaigns, ad groups, ads, so forth will be created. And you don't have to list them all, you need to have an idea of how they're going to be created and their overall purpose. Then how ads and landing pages will be tested. So create a spreadsheet of all the campaign settings. Really useful just to have that single document of all the campaigns and the main setting points. And a download of a sample plan is available, so it's not like you have to create one of these from scratch without ever seeing a sample. There's a download you can take a look at. It's a shorter plan but walks through all the major highlight points for you to think about. Now when creating a marketing plan, you don't have to write all the interview questions. That's something you sit down with the advertiser, you take your own notes, and that doesn't have to be formal documentation. But you need notes that are comprehensive enough so you can make a full marketing plan, because creating a plan, it shows professionalism. It shows the ability to go just beyond using features to you have an ability to create a cohesive marketing strategy. And it's these types of plans that allow you to not only create successful accounts, but it showcases your abilities. You ability to think and think about strategy and the client's goals to clients or to your boss. So that you can grow within your organization and advance your career by thinking not just about features, but holistic marketing strategies. And have the ability to not just think about it, but put it down on paper. And that's something marketing plans can accomplish for the accounts and for you personally, as you grow in your page source career.

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