Have you been beating your head against the wall, trying to make Adwords work for you?
Google Adwords is for chumps…or at least for people without an eye on the advertising ROI.
Google Adwords used to be easy… easy to use and easy to make work. But things have changed and not for the getter. Winning with Google Adwords today is hard. If you’re winning with Adwords, then you’re in the minority.
The reality is that it’s REALLY hard to make Google Adwords work for the average small business owner, especially the one whose business isn’t internet related.
For example, I have a web development client who spent THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of dollars over the past year running Google Adwords. She has hired consultants to help direct her Adwords campaigns, one of whom set her up to spend $1500 in one month without so much as a single new lead, let alone a customer as a result.
When she turned to me in frustration, I did an analysis of the number of people searching for her “ideal” keywords. The research clearly showed that there just aren’t enough of her target customers searching for her solution via the internet.
It’s not a matter of tightly targeting her customers… she’s done that.
It’s not a matter of her customers not NEEDING her product… they do.
It’s not a matter of the quality of her marketing materials… when she speaks in person and promotes her product, customers flock to the website and the orders POUR in.
The problem is that her tightly targeted target market just don’t know her product exists. If they don’t know it exists, then we can’t expect them to go searching for it on the web. We need to find a way to let them know it’s available.
We need to look to other avenues to promote her product.
I’ve begged her try traditional media to promote her product, but it’s way too much “work”. The fact is, Adwords is easy and familiar. Direct mail marketing on the other hand is “new” and therefore “hard”.
The basics of direct mail marketing are amazingly similar to the principles behind running a successful Adwords campaign. The difference is Adwords is reaching the “active” user… the user who knows he/she has a problem and is heading to the internet for a solution.
However, there is another type of customer… the type who knows he/she has a problem and has no idea where to start. This “passive” user needs to be reached via “active” media… such as direct mail, radio or television.
Meanwhile, I have another client who hired me for marketing consultation. He read my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results and wanted one on one help.
We first defined who his audience was and why they would hire him. We then created a tightly targeted message specifically for his audience. We invested in producing a television commercial to deliver that message and then started running his tightly targeted message on a cable network which squarely targets his ideal target client.
So far this year, my client has spent less on production + ad time than my Adwords using client spent on just adwords alone. Oh, and the client running television saw his website traffic figures grow to 5X their pre-ad traffic figures PLUS he’s seen new clients as a result.
The 2nd client got measurable SUPERIOR results for less money thanks to the smart use of traditional media.
Yet another one of my clients built her business on Adwords… but that was four years ago. She called today to ask my advice about traditional media. Her latest Adwords invoice was sky high and while her click through rates were dropping at an equally dramatic rate. Meanwhile she’s noticed that more and more “local” people are finding her. That’s probably thanks to her prominently displayed address on her web site. Her keywords plus her location = top SERPS in natural search for a long tail keyword.
So that got her thinking… what if there were a better way? What if she could reach people who hadn’t begun to search for her solutions via the web. After all, 5 out of 6 people in the world aren’t even ON the internet!
My formula for success with traditional media is as follows: Make sure the call to action is to visit the website. That way, you can watch the logs to see if the message is making an impact. If it is and the phone isn’t ringing, then you know to tweak the web copy. If visitors aren’t showing up at the website, then it’s time to tweak the traditional media message.
The same it true with Google Adwords. However, instead of paying for your message to be delivered to a broad television or radio audience, you’re paying for your message to be “hand” delivered one at a time to individual customers.
Sure, there are still some campaigns that can be run for a “reasonable” sum. However, if you’ve noticed all the banner ads on blogs lately… there’s a lot of discouragement amongst Google Adwords faithful and they’re turning to other avenues to present their marketing message. If your audience is internet users, then that’s your other option. On the other hand, if your audience is geographically local, then give your local media a stab at delivering your marketing message.