Young Start-ups and Small Businesses seldom have the luxury to hire full time sales staff or run page length advertisements in newspapers. In this digital age the ubiquity of the internet however provides us with really effective ways to circumvent this predicament.

Online Marketing methods today offer numerous options to market ones products and services. One such method is pay-per-click advertising on Search Engines. Let me impress upon you how this channel can be best leveraged to achieve your Sales Goals without burning a hole in the pocket.

Pay per click

Why choose Search Engine as your Marketing Channel

More often than not, the buying cycle today begins with a Google Search. Search Engine gives you an opportunity to stand up when a person searches with a commercial intent. Contrary to Social Media, Email, and others Search Marketing gives you the chance to pitch to a wanting audience. Thus, making it an ideal platform for Direct Response Marketing, especially suited for Small Businesses.

What’s more? There’s a great deal of precision and flexibility available. Assuming that you’ll choose Google Adwords as your marketing platform…you can show your Ads by location, in the desired time window, for a specific user query and so on. And most importantly you can run ads on a budget that you are comfortable with.

Ways to Run it on a tight budget

If it sounds convincing so far, then the next step would be deciding on how to execute your marketing campaign. Let me highlight 3 probably ways in the order of the cost effectiveness by which you can do this –

1. D-I-Y

Yes you can Do-It-Yourself! Setting up and running a Google Adwords Campaign is no rocket science. There’s a neat line-up of short videos in the Adwords Help Center that do a good pretty good job in explaining the concept and the nitty-gritties. And of course there’s Google Phone Support available for Adwords (unlike their other free services) to hand-hold and guide you through.

A high-level rundown on steps that you’ll need to take are –

  1. Create an Adwords Account, which will be tied to your good old free Google Mail Account
  2. Choose the Account settings and organize your campaign based on your product/service taxonomy. This includes grouping your targeted keywords into common themes
  3. Write short, compelling Ad Copy for your Ads
  4. Research, identify and bid for keywords (search queries) that you wish to target
  5. Review the setup and enter the billing info (your Credit Card)

After a quick approval, your Ads will begin to show up when users search. When they click your Ad, you pay the amount you have set for each click.

Google on Mac

2. Get Help for Setup, then Manage Yourself

Of Course there’s professional help available and it may be worthwhile to hire an agency/expert to come in and do the initial setup. An Adwords expert can help you gain high Quality Score for the Ads, Optimize Bids with the right CPC, correct usage of Ad Extensions, etc. These can certainly affect the returns on your spend.

Once the campaign is setup well and tweaked after a few runs it can then be managed by spending a few minutes weekly by anyone who has basic level familiarity of Adwords.

So, if you are not fully confident to D-I-Y then this can be a good option for you.

3. Hire an Agency

Lastly, there should be Digital Marketing Agencies that can be hired locally to fully manage your Adwords Campaigns. Look for Google Partner Agencies or Adwords certified individuals, if you wish to take this route.

Before Getting Started

Before you take the plunge do ensure that you are equipped with –

  • A Website
  • A Google Account
  • Clear Idea of What, When and Where to market
  • Your product/service USP and the Sales Pitch
  • The daily budget to bid for keywords that your Ads will show for

Finally, to drive home the point and boost your confidence here’s a recent Case Study about a Singapore based Cleaning Company that got it right with Search Engine PPC Ads.

How a Small Business achieved an ROI of over 350% on its Marketing Budget with PPC

All the best!