PR and PPC: Lessons From the Trenches

Before joining Clement Communications this summer I spent a year and half working at Nextag, the internet’s largest comparison shopping website.  You may have gone through Nextag to buy something and might not remember it.  Nextag’s just fine with that; up until very recently their marketing was all based on pay-per-click campaigns.  (They’ve recently added some social media initiatives.)  Nextag’s financial success over the last decade (even through the down economy) has been largely due to the quality of their PPC campaigns.  They realized the value that came from writing effective and clear ads, targeting the right audience, and optimizing their landing pages to make conversions more likely.

Nextag is one of the top-five AdWords spenders in the United States, but the tactics I’ve learned there are applicable to companies regardless of size.  PPC is increasingly becoming part of the PR agenda.  This makes perfect sense, since online advertising campaigns are financially trackable and can help smaller companies reach an audience that PR might not be able to reach.  For example, one of our clients created a PPC campaign with only a very basic landing page asking for information from people interested in the product, before the product had even launched or a press release had been written.This resulted in over 100 leads, many from people who probably wouldn’t have come across the company through traditional PR methods.

There’s no shortage of important facets to a successful AdWords campaign, but the following three are essential to keep in mind when creating you online advertising initiatives.