So there you are, with a thorough understanding of the client’s business, done with a detailed keyword research, having a complete campaign structure ready with highly targeted keywords, nice and creative ad texts, but… You don’t seem to have any clue how to utilize that budget your client allocated to your PPC marketing. You are not sure, if the budget is more or less than you require achieving the target number of conversion and how to use it strategically, judiciously and yet creatively. Worry not! Following are ways to help you plan the budget allocation and effective utilization.
1. Prioritize the Marketing Goals
As always, going back to basics. Decide what marketing goal is priority for your clients. Whether your goal is to generate inquiry calls to your client’s business or you want to generate the traffic to your client’s website. Deciding the priority can simplify your confusion as to which campaign should be allocated more budget and which campaign be allocated less. If your goal is to drive app installs, you can quickly decide to allocate the budget to UAC campaigns and not any other campaign type. This way you can allocate separate budget to separate conversion goal based campaigns.
2. Acquisition verses Retention
This is another way to decide your budget strategy. Fundamentally any business should retain a once acquired customer. Customer retention not only helps your business to increase the customer lifetime value, but also saves your cost of acquiring a new customer from scratch. A strategy will help you allocate budget in proportion to how much new customer acquisitions you are targeting and how much existing customers you intend to retain. In case of PPC campaigns, remarketing happen to be the best campaigns for customer retention. You can then decide how much do you want to spend on targeting the existing customers with special offers and how much you want to spend to acquire a fresh customer.
3. Brand and Non-brand
In case of paid search marketing, it is advised to run brand campaigns, depending on your overall budget and scale of the client. Brand campaign is nothing but campaign targeting the brand related search queries. As we can expect a higher relevancy and less cost per click for these campaigns, it is best to capture these search queries which otherwise potentially will be targeted by your competitor. When it comes to allocating budget for such campaigns, you should allocate the budget such that search impression share for brand related keywords is above 90%. As for non brand campaigns, larger portion of budget should be allocated to campaigns with most generic keywords which generate majority of your web traffic and provide satisfactory conversion rate.
4. Review the Daily Spend Rate
This is PPC 101, but still no harm in reiterating. The primary goal of your PPC search or display campaign is to generate traffic to your website (For campaigns with conversion goals to be completed on website) as a penultimate step to conversion goal completion. Hence it is imperative that you keep a tab on how much percentage of your daily budget is utilized. Businesses for which a high search query volume is available, this shouldn’t be a worry (For on demand services, seasonal services like insurance, jobs, etc.). For businesses providing niche services, generating clicks should take some time and hence they should maintain a sufficient daily budget and also keep the keywords bids high enough to achieve a healthy daily click volume.
On the other hand watching daily spends also ensures that you do not end up overspending. The last thing you want is the email from a client demanding explanation, why you spent the budget more than it was allocated to you.
5. Take Help of Estimates But Don’t Take Them as Final Word
You may have seen the message "Limited by budget" in front of your campaign name:
Yes, this is not so uncommon to see Adwords telling your campaign is limited by budget. Adwords will also show you the estimated clicks that you may get for slabs of additional budget you allocate to the campaign. You can use these estimations to decide if your budget needs to up or not. This estimation, although good enough from data point of view, is designed for you to spend more on the advertisement and not necessarily aimed at better conversion rate. It is advisable to maintain your campaigns above a minimum acceptable budget, especially the brand campaigns.
6. Shared Budget Strategy
If you were not aware of this option provided by Adwords already, this comes as a happy relief to you if you don’t know how much budget to allocate to which campaigns. Adwords allows you to allocate a common budget to cluster of two or more campaigns. This not only allows you to pool the budget but relieves you of pain to monitor daily budgets for each campaign. This is most useful if you are running large number of campaigns and wish to efficiently manage the budget.
You can share the budget between multiple campaigns based on your budget strategy. For instance, if your client has given you some budget for fresh acquisition and rest for remarketing or retention, you can club the remarketing campaigns together under one common budget and do the same for fresh acquisition campaigns. Similarly you can make the clusters of same campaign types such as search, display, UAC etc.
Budget happens to be one very critical point of discussion with your client and it is entirely in PPC manager’s hands how creatively he/she utilizes the budget for best possible returns. The above tips surely will help you define your budget strategy best fir for your goals.