If you are passionate and have enough budget, starting a small bakery is a piece of cake. Literally!
But are you sure that your compact yet enticing menu, cute seating, and the bewitching aroma of bread that fills the atmosphere are enough to make your bakery profitable?
Let me tell you. It’s not.
Think of it as having all the ingredients needed to make a croissant. But you’re missing out on that secret ingredient needed to make pain au chocolat. And that’s chocolate. Or, in this case – the right kind of marketing.
Digitalization has entwined itself in our lives and how. Gone are the days when pamphlets or maybe advertisement billboards on the highways were enough to bring footfall to your bakery.
You now need to add a little spice to your advertising and give your marketing recipes an additional oomph by going digital.
So, what exactly is PPC marketing?
The star ingredient
‘PPC Marketing’ is a marketing strategy where you bid for your bakery’s ads to rank at the top on the search engine result pages (SERPs) when a customer searches for keyphrases or words that are relevant to your industry.
Apart from that, these ads could also include retargeted ads where you show up in front of those customer’s social media accounts that once paid a visit to your website. You can also retarget your customers using website banner ads where your ads are displayed on the browsers of your prospects.
Now, when we talk about PPC, it is ‘Pay-Per-Click’. It is a model where you, the marketer, will be paying an amount to a platform as and when a user clicks on your ad. This amount is dependent upon a lot of factors including the quality of your ad, keyword relevance, and even the number of people clicking on your ad.
Was it too much to consume? Let me break it into smaller chunks for you.
So, building a website is the first step you take for your digital marketing. Think of a website as a replacement for your brick-and-mortar bakery but on the web.
Just like you would want your bakery to be in a location that’s easily accessible and visible for your patrons, you would want your website to be easily accessible and visible on the web. And that location on the web could be the first page of the SERPs or the extra space for ad displays on websites your prospects are browsing. It could also be the videos or images of your brand that show up when your customers are scrolling through their Facebook account.
PPC marketing is your broker to reach that location.
You don’t have to be scared if it sounds a bit confusing. There are plenty of PPC tools and exotic menu items (ahem, strategies) that make it a cakewalk. Just be open to serving non-conventional tactics to your marketing strategies and PPC will certainly bring you the desired results.
We now know our star ingredient but how does one use it? What is it best paired with? Let’s find out.
How does PPC marketing work?
Your main objective with PPC marketing is to show up in front of your prospective consumers. It could either be on their social media pages or on the result pages of the key phrases they type in the search engine.
There are several types of ads for you to choose from including paid search ads, display ads, remarketing ads, and Google sponsored ads for PPC.
Now, what’s so special about these ads when compared to the huge advertisements on the billboards? To start off, the freedom you have when it comes to making your ads more targeted is exceptional. You can choose who should be seeing your ads and when.
Let’s take paid search ads, for instance.
Paid search ads are perhaps every beginner’s favourite. This is the option every novice starts with.
Paid search ads work on keywords and auction of those selected keywords.
‘Keywords’ are the secret sauce of your PPC marketing recipe. These are the phrases or words that your customers search for on the web. You can find keywords relevant to your bakery by using digital tools like Rankwatch.
Your goal should be to show up on the first page when these keywords are searched by your prospective guests.
You are right if you are wondering there will be plenty of other bakeries trying to target the same keywords as yours. That’s why Google came up with the auction system.
But since you will be paying for every click by a user, it’s imperative you bid on keywords that are truly relevant to your bakery. This is because there is no guarantee that you will be converting every visitor into a customer. This means the probability of you recovering the amount you paid for getting the customer to your landing page is low.
That’s why be very careful when stepping into the auction.
Similarly, if your plan is to ‘retarget’ your customers on social media platforms, Facebook Ads are perfect for you. Retargeting is basically appearing on social platforms of those that paid a visit to your website. If you keep showing up, it will help improve your recall value during the consideration stage for your customer.
Now, if you are planning to begin your online advertising journey, there are a few key terms that you must understand. After all, in marketing, just knowing the difference between ganache and truffle won’t be that helpful.
So, I’ve mentioned below all the main elements that you will come across when you start with your PPC campaign and what they mean.
Basic raw materials of any PPC campaign
Here are a few terms that you will come across when you start your journey. It’s best to know these terms even if you have hired professional SEO services. This will help you understand what they are talking about, instead of making your mind boggle.
CPC or cost-per-click is the amount that the marketer pays for each time a prospective customer clicks on the link. It is also your bid (the maximum value you are willing to pay) in the auction to rank for a certain keyword.
Your actual cost is determined by the following formula:
(Competitor’s Ad Rank / Your Quality Score) + 0.01 = Actual CPC
- Ad rank
Ad Rank is the maximum value you are willing to pay x your quality score. As the name suggests, it is the placement of an ad on the SERPs.
- Quality score
Quality score is your report card. It is the score that search engines give your website based on your past performance on the SERPs, the quality of your landing page, and keyword relevance in your ads.
Your campaign is a theme or a concept circling the message you want to send across to your prospective patrons. Your campaigns and messages must align with your objectives.
Cost-per-mille or CPM is a majorly used term for paid social or display ads. It is also known as cost-per-thousand and determines the cost you paid per thousand impressions (the number of times your ad was displayed or it appeared on the screen).
- Ad text
Your ad text is the written message on your ad. It’s important that your text in ads and landing pages match the keywords you have identified. This helps improve your overall quality score.
It is the page where your customers end up after clicking on your ad. It could be a dedicated single-page URL, your home page, or your product page. Just make sure you are keeping landing page best practices in mind when creating this.
These are the basics that you must know about. But just knowing the ingredients without truly understanding the methods can lead to the wastage of plenty of good raw materials.
Hence, I have mentioned the basic recipe of PPC marketing for you to follow below. But unlike your cake batter, in this method, you can add more sugar or reduce the amount depending on your taste preference.
The basic recipe for creating a PPC marketing plan
Here is a basic step-by-step method that you can use when starting out with your PPC marketing. Please note, you can modify the same and get more creative as and when you develop more skills.
- Start by establishing goals and expectations
The first step to creating a delicious PPC marketing platter is by answering the question ‘why’. Why are you doing what you are doing?
There are two most crucial questions that you need to answer before you can start with your PPC campaigns:
- What are your goals and objectives?
- What are you looking to achieve?
Your goals and objectives need to be established because it will make it easier for you to identify a direction for your messaging, target audience, and act as a basis for all your PPC campaigns. Your objectives could be to spread awareness about your bakery, generate high-quality leads, or maybe to keep your existing customers delighted.
These goals will inform what you are hoping to achieve. You can set your key performance indicators based on these goals. Suppose you wish for more people to fill an online form so that you can collect data and retarget these customers with your email campaigns. Here your KPIs would not be the number of clicks. It would be how many people actually ended up filling that form.
This is one of the most crucial steps. Think of it as preheating your oven for your cakes. Now, you can’t miss that, right? Similarly, establishing your goals is not something to be overlooked.
- Set a framework
A framework help ensure your ads are effective and targeted well. These parameters should align with your goals and objectives. In fact, their main aim should be to help you achieve the targets identified above.
So, this is the step you start working on the main dough – the strategy. Take this step to put everything in a system or a framework. It will make sure you are not missing out on anything.
Here is a list of things your parameters should include:
- Your target audience
- Your selected platforms for distributing ads
- The concept or theme you have decided on for your campaign
- Your key performance indicators
- Plan your budget
When done right, your paid ads start driving results quickly as compared to your organic strategy. This means you will start seeing your ROI sooner than later.
Looking at the ROI can often make it easy to overspend or go way over the budget.
Now, you might have a marketing budget for your bakery already kept aside. The first thing to figure out is whether there’s enough budget to fit paid advertising or not.
It is often suggested you initiate a mix of organic and paid advertising if you are just starting out. This ensures that you find your target audience, irrespective of where they are in the digital world.
Although, you must be very careful. You don’t want to plan a paid ads budget that’s too high because it will then consume your entire marketing budget. And you also don’t want to set the bar too low or you’ll miss out on potential customers.
This is where your research will help you out. You should figure out the cost per click for different keywords on different platforms.
Let us take Google (paid search ad) as our example.
Google Keywords Planner is the perfect tool to find out the estimated cost per click that you should bid to get to the top position. It is also a great tool to identify potential keywords for your bakery.
Now, for all the potential keywords that you are planning to target, find an average CPC. You can even try to create two budgets. One could be for all the highly competitive keywords and the second one could be for average-ranking keywords.
To start out, you must also identify the cost per 10 clicks per day. You can obviously play around with this number but 10 is a good number to kickstart.
So, if you have identified 30 keywords with cost-per-click ranging between $1 to $5, your average would be $3. This means your per-day cost would be $30.
- Select the campaign type
You can choose the ad type based on how you want your audience to find you and of course, what platforms fit well within your budget and align with your goals. Now, you don’t have to find just one platform.
You can create some delicious pairs, just like strawberry and cheese, provided you are ready to revise and test your ads consistently.
Here are the top types of campaigns that you can choose from.
Search Ads: This is the most commonly used type for PPC marketing. The search engine that is popular for paid search ads is Google. Search ads show up as text ads on the first page of the results.
Social Ads: With social ads, you hijack your customer’s social experience and show up on their social media profiles including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. It is perhaps the best to use for your bakery business. You can use different forms of content including images and videos for these ads.
Display Ads: Display ads are what pop up on external websites that your customers are browsing. These can also be displayed on social platforms. These ads can be of different sizes and formats like photos, videos, or GIFs.
- Do the keyword research
Keyword research is where you absolutely cannot go wrong. It can make or break your PPC marketing campaign.
You will be creating ad groups, which are nothing but a set of ‘n’ number of ads (creatives) sharing the same target audience and campaign, just different content. Each of these ad groups is then given a set of keywords.
Quick tip – it’s best to select a maximum of 5 keywords per ad group. This way whenever your consumer searches for a keyword from an ad group, an ad from that particular group itself will pop up.
That’s why it’s crucial to ensure the relevance of keywords. Don’t just create a vast list and try to aimlessly target random phrases or words. It will not be of any benefit because your customers won’t actually be searching for you at that point in time. And so, they won’t really show interest.
Use keywords that go with your campaign theme.
Once you have relevant keywords for each ad group, make sure to add these to your ad text. Bidding on these keywords will make sense only then.
- Measure, revise, and test again
So, if you think your first ad attempt will bring you the ROI you are expecting, you are wrong.
There are plenty of tests and revisions that await this PPC marketing journey. But don’t let this affect your enthusiasm. These revisions will take you closer to your goals in an extremely cost-effective manner.
You must keep a track of how your ads are performing. The best thing about digital marketing is the data you get for each campaign you run. You can identify keyword performance, cost-per-click, total clicks, impressions, ad performance, and more.
You should keep a track of all of this. After reading the data, you can find the gaps and areas of improvement.
You can switch between keywords, reshare different forms of content, and even try different messaging for different ad groups. Keep testing all these variables. There will come a point where you can easily identify your winner ad and run the same campaign till it gets saturated.
Thus, you should make it a point to measure, revise, and test on repeat.
The PPC marketing recipe is like that of a slow-cooked dessert. You need the right ingredients, temperature, patience, and passion if you wish for it to turn out scrumptious and offer delight.
PPC marketing requires you to put in your efforts in the initial stages. If you do it right, you can bring an improved ROI in terms of high-quality leads and even footfall. Just your extensive menu might not be enough to entice your customers who have plenty of options to choose from.
Hence, if you wish to beat your competition, you have to show up in front of your prospective patrons and there’s nothing better than PPC marketing for you to do the same.