We’ve all seen the ads that are popping up all over the internet, but how much do people really know about where they come from? To the general public, Google AdWords is like the Kleenex of the digital marketing industry. Although Google AdWords is the largest and most commonly used, it is not the only form of pay-per-click advertising. Other search engines have their own unique forms of cost-per-click marketing. For instance, Bing uses Bing Ads, and Yahoo uses Yahoo Search Marketing. Major social media platforms, like Facebook Ads, have even joined the paid search trend. But how exactly do these paid advertisements work?

Zahara Swim and the New York Times have social PPC ads displayed on social media platform, Facebook.

To see how the American Marketing Association defines pay-per-click, click here. PPC is a great way for companies within every industry to promote themselves and raise brand awareness. Society as a whole is becoming more tech savvy. People are spending more time on the internet each year and are heavily relying on desktops and mobile devices to give them answers quickly. Whether someone is looking for business related information, looking to do some shopping for a new product or service, or they simply want to order something for dinner, they turn to the internet for answers. In doing this, they use search engines as the tool to navigate through the millions of websites on the internet to narrow their search down to what is relevant to them by using specific terms, words, and phrases. This is where pay-per-click marketing kicks in, allowing every business the opportunity to advertise to their target audience.

When using PPC on a search engine, a company bids for the keywords that generate the ad. The goal is to bid on words that are the most relevant to a product or service so the ad will be listed as one of the top four paid ads on Google or whatever search engine the company chooses to place their ad. Due to the low cost, even small, local businesses can compete with national power house brands, even if they can’t afford to be the first ad, they can still show up in a search.

Social media is also a great place to utilize PPC advertising. Facebook has done a great job with this tool. Member demographics are segmented in so many categories on Facebook that it allows companies to reach many different users. In developing PPC strategy for social media, if you wish to place your targeted ad on Facebook, you must first decide what you want your ad to accomplish. When creating an ad for Facebook you must identify a goal, the demographics of your audience, and the run time of the ads.

One of the biggest differentiating factors in deciding when to use paid social and paid search is that social ads are used for retargeting users. These ads can be displayed on a user’s screen even when they are not actively searching for them, unlike search PPC. Social PPC ads will also pop up in various locations unlike search that show up at the top of the page. To learn more about the newest method of PPC, social PPC advertising, check out this article on Tech Advisory.

Paige Townsend