Old joke: Two hikers are in the woods and they come face-to-face with a hungry grizzly bear. They decide to make a break for it and run like hell. Before they start, one guy reaches into his backpack and pulls out a pair of running shoes and starts to put them on. “What are doing?” says the friend. “You’ll never out run that bear!” “I don’t have to,” he says as he ties the laces, “I just have to out run you.”
That’s the perfect analogy for spending money on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. All you have to do is out run the other guy. But, doing so is tough and a full time job these days because it’s a fight to the death for those clicks. Not only that – it’s expensive! The 2014 holiday shopping season was an all out war for retailers with search advertising reaching record levels. Those of you who decided to save the money and not participate paid even a bigger price. I’m Goole certified and I know the pain of PPC.
How you spend your money when it comes to e-commerce is a skill that is grossly under valued and in order to compete over the Internet, a business needs to get very good at feeding the hungry bear, but you have to get in the game. The business owner can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines.
Clicks need to mean something when the visitor lands on your site. In a recent report from Kenshoo Inc., paid search spending had a 31% increase compared with 2012 during the 2013 holiday season and 14% of that increase came from mobile devices. The spending figures cover the period from November 1 and January 2. This report was from information compiled from Google, Bing and Yahoo. The report covers the analysis of 28 billion search ad impressions, 350 million clicks and 12 million online transactions.
The real figure you should be looking at is the 14% increase in mobile shopping. The figure is too powerful to brush aside and forget. Your customer is mobile and by the year 2014 this figure will double again. Getting ready for the wave of mobility is important and if your website doesn’t look good or function properly on mobile devices, you’re going to miss a huge opportunity for growth.
What all of us at RPG have found interesting lately is the lack of real advertising income coming from Facebook. We understand that Facebook is publicly traded company and you can view the numbers information but everyone knows that Facebook really hasn’t figured out a way to really monetize the 1.2 billion subscriber list. What do you think would happen if Facebook decided to charge every person who has a Facebook page $10.00 per month? I can tell you right now that I would no longer have a Facebook page. I barely use it now so why would I pay $10.00 per month to barely use something?
Netflix tried tried to raise it’s monthly fee and that caused quite the uproar and I know it’s two different things but the lesson here is that it’s not smart to irritate your customers. People are finicky and they resist change. They also don’t want to pay for things that were free in the past. Actually, they don’t want to pay for any thing anymore and they don’t want to be bombarded with advertisement. Facebook is a powerful company who will buy their growth and I wouldn’t count them out but I’m also not conducting searches on Facebook, either. In our opinion, Facebook has the potential to become one of the most powerful companies in the world. Amazon recently announced an increase in Prime membership. I use the King of the Internet all the time so I paid that.
What’s really interesting is that more and more large companies are reducing their website exposure for their Facebook pages. This is a mistake in my opinion. Social interaction and spending money are two different things. They want the touchy-feely customer interaction that social media delivers getting away from their brochure like websites. Not only that, keeping up with a website is expensive and when they use Facebook more and more the technology upgrades are paid for by Facebook and not them. This exposure is free advertising for Facebook but it doesn’t really bring in the money. Take a look at all the television commercials today by State Farm, All State, Ford, etc., that don’t even mention their website but want you to follow them on Facebook. Who predicated that a few years ago. However, I feel this will change and no mention of either will happen. The problem with Facebook for these huge companies is that it gives angry customers a voice never really heard before.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is important for retailers but it doesn’t stop there. You have to use so many other areas to market your business including but not limited to Facebook, print mail, email marketing to name just a few and you have to use them all together to be successful.