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“As a consultant and a person, Nina operates with unvarnished integrity. She’s an honest communicator, knows her material, and puts the needs of her clients above all. Whether you’re a big firm or a small organization, I would give her an unqualified recommendation.” — Sam Richter, Former President James J. Hill Reference Library

Paid Media: SEM (PPC) Advertising

Minneapolis Google AdWords AgencyAs with any search engine marketing, audience definition and keyword research are usually the absolute first step in paid placement: pay-per-click advertising. Determining the most receptive audience targeting and choosing the right keywords, carefully constructing all the tactical variations, then measuring like crazy is our key to optimization success.

Paid Placement advertising (PPC / SEM) is not something you can start, then put on auto-pilot: we’re in our client accounts overseeing the campaigns on a constant basis. We don’t outsource this function, and don’t rely on software to make decisions for us. But we do utilize an excellent team at Google who helps us strategize and allows our clients into many of their beta programs. We also use third-party software in order to have one view of all your PPC, and to create reports. Some of our platforms include Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN, SearchCenter, DoubleClick, and AdRoll.

We are a Google AdWords Certified Partner for their display and PPC advertising programs. We have thirteen Google AdWords Certified Individuals with many certified in multiple disciplines within Google AdWords. We currently manage close to $20 Million per year in Paid Placement, PPC advertising spend on behalf of our clients. The average spend per client is $20,000 per month, but we have some much higher or lower than that. Although our main focus has been on Midwestern companies, we like traveling. If you want some of this hard-working Minnesota work ethic, give us a call!  View a full list of our marketing services.

Search Engine (Keyword Based) SEM

While the most common and often best starting place for PPC is Google Adwords, paid click advertising is much broader than the home page of Google. We define PPC as any pay-for-performance advertising where you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. By carefully choosing a set of keywords, and the parameters for them, you can precisely measure and optimize your campaigns for conversions, whether lead generation, eCommerce, or other goals such as email signup or page views. We use sophisticated options of geo-targeting, day-parting, ad copy and landing page optimization to ensure that you get the most revenue from your budget.

Paid Social

Paid social is truly emerging as an exciting venue for advertisers, and it integrates perfectly with strategic goals for SEO and content strategy. By using paid methods to keep your posts ubiquitous in peoples’ streams, you get more engagement, which then also boosts your SEO. 

Facebook continues to grow its base of active users: according to the site’s own numbers, 500 million people log into their accounts at least once a week, and Facebook recently outpaced Google as the most popular website. Facebook PPC is based on a “pull” from the database of user-stated interests. There is also specific demographic and geographic targeting, and more recently Facebook has a host of very specific targeting options including based on offline credit card spending, retargeting to previous website visitors, or doing a blind match against your email or phone database. We almost always test Facebook for clients if we believe it is appropriate for their goals. We prefer Facebook for consumer advertising more than for B2B.

Twitter has a wealth of emerging targeting paid social opportunities as well. Most recently these include targeting people to follow your account, targeting by keywords or hashtag, promoting your posts to a specific set of people. You can upload or list Twitter users and target posts to people who follow them. There are some emerging lead generation “cards” that automatically allow people to opt into specials or emails by a simple click. There is even a match that if you’re an advertiser on a specific TV show, if someone tweets about that show, you can show your Tweets to that user (so slick!)

Contextual PPC Advertising (Display Network)

There is a world of PPC advertising that goes beyond the home pages of Google, Yahoo! and MSN. These networks partner with a huge array of websites, placing ads on pages where the content matches the keyword themes. Precise targeting exists in the display and content networks, including defined audience interests, and cookie-based advertising that retargets ads to your site visitors on other websites they visit, or based on their proven surfing interests. Text ads, Display ads, Video Ads, Click-to-Call, ads on Maps, specific devices and an array of options on videos are all available with precise geo-targeting and audience targeting on a pay-per-click basis. We have deep experience in PPC Display advertising and will help you utilize this option in a profitable manner.

Specific Paid Placement Advertising for B2B

Google and Yahoo! may be the best pay-per-click advertising channel for B2B, but other opportunities exist. Where appropriate we will include Business.com, GlobalSpec, or other PPC channels in implementations. LinkedIn can also be a good way to target specific job title, gender, location, or industry (and can also work for B2C).

Emerging PPC & Betas

PPC is constantly evolving, and we’re always looking for that edge for our clients. We’re often involved in beta programs and are always looking out for emerging opportunities. When we see these, we jump on them for our clients, often resulting in “golden” periods before the advertising masses rush in to normalize the ROI. Because we are a hands-on agency, dedicated to PPC and SEO, we’re always focused on new search opportunities for our clients. We’ve also been lucky enough to participate in many emerging Beta programs in Google AdWords.