10+ years proven experience in PPC / AdWords & direct response advertising, including work at: Blast, Razorfish, dfcb, Digitaria, Resultrix, accordant, MediaBoost, doremus, WebMama, Endai.
Google AdWords lets you bid on keywords (rather than ranking for them, as with SEO) to appear on the Search Engine Results Page. You create ads and set targeting, and then you're entered into an auction with other advertisers who are also trying to show their ads.
I've been running AdWords for more than a decade, and I'll say - it's not for everyone. I have clients that are getting $1MM+ in revenue from their small AdWords program, and I've managed other clients where it would probably be a better business decision to stop marketing until they fix their funnels and landing pages.
If you're set up to grow your business online and you've got a good site or process to accomplish that, then using Google AdWords can be a very profitable way to get targeted visitors who are ready to buy from you.
Hi, I've been running paid media campaigns for companies since 2004. There are some definite advantages to using online ads. It's a great way to build awareness right out of the gate (even pre-launch). You can test messaging & value props much more quickly and effectively when you're paying for exposure than when you're waiting to be discovered.
Paid ads shouldn't be the ONLY channel you use: earned & owned are important too, and to your point they continue to reap benefits over time. Earned & owned may be the marathon to paid media's sprint, but don't overlook the value of paid in driving awareness & feeding the funnel for other efforts.
One final bit of advice if you're considering paid search as part of your paid media; PPC on the Search network tends to be a lot more costly than on Display, and it's not a great tool for awareness generation. Search can be insanely effective if you have either an established brand or a super strong offer in a low-cost niche, but it's a very expensive channel to simply "get the word out" or attempt to scale.
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