8 Creative PPC Strategies To Overcome Today’s Challenge Landscape

8 Creative PPC Strategies To Overcome Today’s Challenge Landscape


PPC best practices, such as targeting and segmenting your audience, selecting the right keywords and optimizing data, are very timeless. However, as platforms change, companies grow and customer behavior shifts, the strategies that we use are often not relevant.

We’ve also seen many challenging changes in the last year from Facebook, Apple, Google and Apple in the name automation, privacy and pandemics.

That’s why I am going to share eight PPC strategies with you today to help you overcome the many challenges that we face today.

creative ppc strategies to overcome today's challenging landscape

These strategies include the following:

  1. Modified broad match workaround
  2. Beyond Google Analytics: Reporting
  3. How to find new keywords
  4. Display ads in a different way
  5. Data collection from the first party
  6. Create accurate buyer personas for B2B
  7. Facebook Event Measurement:
  8. Unique way to use click–to-Messenger ads

Let the fun begin.

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PPC strategies that you should be using in 2021

The strategies and tools discussed in this post are almost all old. What is unique is their role in the current PPC landscape. Google removing modified broad match and low volume search terms, Facebook Ads restricting us to eight conversion events and the eventual cookiepocalypse changing pretty much everything, means that some strategies and tools are no longer effective or make no sense.

1. To succeed, you need to match broad audiences with people who are aiming for success.

Google’s retirement of modified broad was based on their claim that “broad match is now more effective at driving performance” and that modified broad and phrase match often have the same use cases. PPC experts were largely open to a different conclusion. Even if it is more effective, broad match will always carry the risk of wasting money on low-converting traffic.

This workaround allows you to enjoy the benefits of broad matching at a lower risk.

How to do it

With this strategy, you’ll create a workaround by pairing the broad match keyword type with larger affinity, in-market, and custom audiences.

google ads audiences tab, used for layering audiences onto broad match keyword targeting

You’re basically telling your ad that it will show for any search that contextually matches your broad match keyword.Only If it comes from someone within your targeted audience,

Even if your query isn’t the most relevant, this will ensure that you are at least showing up to the right person and getting some brand exposure. The “risk” of broad matches is reduced because the audience will be searching for more relevant queries. You may also find new audiences or terms to target.

If you are looking for:

Review your campaign setup before you start to ensure there are no restrictions or exclusions which could make this strategy ineffective. You’ll also need a solid negative keyword list to begin with.

For more help with this strategy, head here.

2. YouTube Studio can be used as a video- and display ad optimization tool.

YouTube Studio is widely known as a hub for Creators, but when connected with Google Ads account, it becomes an invaluable tool for more than just video ad optimization.

Why? YouTube Studio provides insights and data that you won’t get in the standard Google Ads reporting.

Here’s what you can do

  • Fix leaks in your spending:To find out which device types are showing your ads, but not receiving card clicks, you can use the Device type report to add the “Cardclicks” and the “Average percent viewed” columns.
ppc strategies for 2021--youtube studio report

Here, the “Card clicks column” shows that your TV, Tablet, and Game console placements may be a waste of money. __S.55__

  • Build custom audiences:The External Sources report will identify other sources that send content to YouTube.Traffic to your videosThese audiences can then be used to create custom audiences for Display, Videos, or Other.DiscoveryCampaigns
  • Find placement ideasFind out what videos are being recommended in the Suggested Video report. Use them to help with channel placement or video production ideas.
  • Make your video ads perfect:The Key Moments report shows you exactly when viewers dropped off or engaged in your videos. You can’t get more precise than this!
youtube studio key moments report

For more ways to use this PPC strategy, head here.

3. Microsoft Advertising Intelligence offers new keyword ideas

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence allows you to access a keyword planner tool by downloading an Excel plugin. The amount of information it provides can be dizzying, but when used right, you can discover new keywords that would otherwise slip through the cracks (or that you may not be able to discover through the limited Search Terms Report).

How to use it

Simply paste your list of keywords into Excel’s interface. The tool will then give you a list with keyword recommendations, volume, bid estimates and many other metrics.

ppc strategies for 2021--microsoft advertising intelligence interface

This is just the beginning. You can now get even more detailed with different views.

  • TrafficTo avoid duplicates, organize by device (not match types) to obtain a list of keywords that are free from duplicates and have total searches within the last month.
  • Gender and age group:You should identify keywords that are searched, but not by the right audience.
  • URL:To get keyword suggestions, paste a list URLs into the box. Next, check the device and keyword match type for these keywords.
  • Keywords that are related:Look for similar keywordsOther advertisers are also biddingSeek out if it is possible for you to compete.

You can now plug in the Google Keyword Planner the list of keywords that you have come up with. And don’t exclude low-volume keywords. It will be surprising to learn how popular keywords with low search volumes in Bing can actually be on Google.

Also, make sure you upload your Microsoft keyword list to Google and Google keyword list to Microsoft. (P.S. You can also use our Free Keyword Tool to get Bing and Google performance data in one place.)

Learn more about this PPC strategy here.

4. Display ads can be used to increase brand awareness.

Advertisers can use this PPC strategy to show clients how display ads impact their campaign performance (i.e. to prove that the money they spend on Display ads is worthwhile).

Here’s what you should do:

  • You can set up your Display campaigns to include the word “display” in all of them. This will allow you to create a Traffic Source Audience. You can also manually tag Display URLs with a particular source and medium.
How display advertising can impact search network performance traffic sources
  • Your Traffic Source audience should be added to Google Ads as well as Google Analytics. This will ensure that the metrics are included in the Audiences report.

Now, the numbers in Google Analytics will show you which users, who did not convert from your Display campaigns, eventually returned to your site via other channels and converted.

These audiences can be used in observation mode to add them to your campaigns or ad groups in Search. This way, you can get information on what users are searching for after interacting with your Display ads.

Learn more about this PPC strategy here.

5. To scale first-party data collection, run lead generation ads

As third-party cookies are in their final stages of life, collecting first-party data is now a priority for advertisers. While you can (and should) include lead magnets on your site that collect email addresses and other information, you can scale that data collection by using lead form ads, particularly on Facebook.

There are two ways to go about it:

  • The first is by adding custom questions to your Facebook lead ad Instant form. You might choose to auto-populate fields based on information that the user has made available in their profile. However, more fields could lower the completion rate.
b2b marketing strategies to collect first party data through custom questions in google ads
  • The second is to ask for only their email to capture a large volume of leads. Then, enroll them into your email marketing campaigns that both build trust and send them to your site. These trusting visitors will now be more likely to fill out forms there with additional [first-party-data-collecting] fields.

You will need to have a solid email and content marketing plan in place so that you can offer offers that your target audience finds worthwhile.

For more tips on this strategy, head here.

6. LinkedIn Website Demographics can be used to refine your B2B buyer personas

Even though this tool was released in 2017, it has not received much attention. It allows you to capture first-party intent data that can be used for B2B PPC.

It can be used in many ways:

  • Segment the users that clicked on your linkLinkedIn adsByJob function. This data can be compared to your pixel data in order to measure conversions according to function. If you get a lot of traffic from BDRs, but not conversions, you can adjust your offer or exclude them from your LinkedIn audiences.Microsoft Ads Profile Targeting.
linkedin website demographics--screenshot of report comparing job function and conversions
  • Analyze the performance according to company size. So if you get a high volume of traffic from small businesses who don’t have the budget for your services, you could adjust your ad copy to include a starting price.
  • Filter by job seniority to identify the best types of content to use in your B2B marketing strategies. Low-seniority prospects may respond well to high-level overviews or educational content, while senior prospects might be more responsive to leadership topics and ROI-focused content.
  • These insights will help you identify niche sites that your top buyers would like to be placed on.

For more tips on using the LinkedIn Website Demographics tool for PPC success, head here.

7. To deal with Facebook [aggravated] Event Measuring, you can use custom conversion events

From endless to-dos to just eight? It’s fun.

How do you go from unlimited Facebook conversions to just eight? It’s not fun.

Let’s say Facebook Ads for webinars are your top-of-funnel bread and butter. You can also have separate conversion events for each vertical because you offer six different industries. Now, there are only two conversion events for your entire domain.

disappointed face meme

What to do?

Make the next ad for your Facebook funnel. Copy the same for all industries. You can now create one Custom Conversion Event for all webinar signups and then select that one Custom Conversion to be just one of your aggregated events.

facebook ads custom conversion tab for aggregated event measurement

There are many ways to combine events in a way that suits you best, such as:

  • Offer (content vs consultations vs discounts)
  • Stage of funnel (top vs mid vs bottom)
  • Seasonal actions can be done together (you have the option to swap out any eight events, if necessary).

For more ways to deal with Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement, head here.

8. Make click-to-Messenger advertisements into chatbots that generate leads

You could also steer clear of conversion events and pixels altogether by using Facebook campaign objectives that don’t send users to your site–like leads (mentioned above) and messages (mentioned below).

The messages objective not only saves you from the complications of a conversion event, but it also allows you to do more with the current version. You can transform it into a conversational lead advertisement.

How to do it

Once you select the messages objective, go through the standard campaign setup (media type, primary text, headline, etc.) Scroll down to the Message Template section, and click “Generate leads – Messenger only.”

Click Create to set up a conditional chat series that will gather information and qualify leads.

Conversational information gathering can engage users who may not be able to respond to direct responses. This method is also more creative and may be more appealing for tired audiences.

For more help with this PPC strategy, head here.

These 8 PPC strategies will help you move in the right direction for advertising in 2021.

These strategies and the tools that enable them have been around since the beginning, as I said. They are resurfacing because the PPC industry is moving towards privacy-first (and, from the looks of things, heavily automated).

  1. As a modification to broad match, you can pair broad match with audience targeting.
  2. YouTube Studio can be used as a video editor and a tool for ad optimization.
  3. Microsoft Advertising Intelligence can help you find new keywords.
  4. Display ads can be used to increase brand awareness.
  5. To scale your first-party data collection, run lead generation ads
  6. LinkedIn Website Demographics can be used to improve your B2B buyer personas.
  7. Combining events with Facebook Event Measurement [aggravated]
  8. Make click-to-Messenger advertisements into chatbots that generate leads