One of the main challenges of breaking into the digital marketing field is that many of the positions are not as "standard" as other jobs. They often don't have specific training, certifications, or degrees, which means if you are interested in breaking into the industry, you might not know where to begin. As well, they have an unusual mix of skills that can range from being extremely creative to highly analytical. If you are looking for an area you can consider in digital marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising could be an exciting place to start. Here’s a look at a day in the life of a PPC Specialist to give you an idea of what to expect in this industry niche.
A PPC Specialist manages internet pay-per-click advertising campaigns including the strategy, design, implementation, SEO, and analysis of ad performance. It is a challenging role that is also highly sought after because it takes a unique skill set to nail a PPC campaign. Some of the main roles a PPC Specialist will assume include:
According to Stephan Sarandrea, Director of Strategy for the PPC firm Siteflood, “PPC combines the artistry of marketing… with the science of signage.”
That addresses the creative mind of the PPC Specialist, but there is so much more required to master the art of PPC. Throughout your day you will be balancing a bevvy of traits including:
A successful PPC Specialist understands the importance of the psychology of language in PPC. It will be the driving force that keeps you investigating and looking for ways to generate click-throughs all day long. The slightest difference in the way you word your ads will make or break the success of your campaign. So, you will always be getting to know the consumers and targets for your campaigns.
The art of persuasion involves some PC thinking in hand with a bit of pushing the envelope, just enough to keep things interesting. You don't want to stir up too much emotion because that can turn ugly fast. So, understand what to say and how to say it perfectly.
The art of persuasion will allow you to trigger emotions to get the results you want. Consumers need to feel they have to learn more, and most importantly, they need to feel that they MUST have what you are selling. You need to remain consistent, and therefore an understanding of brand development is critical. Your experience has to develop so that you understand how to write a tagline that remains true to a brand, is repetitive but not stagnant, and that gets an emotional response.
According to Sarandrea, “The combination… can be very challenging to work with, but can also be a very fulfilling puzzle, not in least part because PPC is so metric driven!” Your life as a PPC Specialist will require a lot of juggling, but it should seem effortless and become second nature.
Your ads will have to create a sense of urgency, be creative and clever, and incorporating keywords that can often prove awkward to position. The use of your keywords, copy, and visuals have to work together beautifully to encourage people to click through to your perfectly designed landing page. As you create each ad or campaign, you then get into your metrics and see where you can improve the campaigns you had already deemed ready to go. It can be a bit of a hit to your ego, but a true PPC expert knows this comes with the job. You will look forward to making improvements to the creative in order to see better metrics in your next analysis.
According to Digital Strategist, Andrew Medal, you must learn the ropes for both Google Ads and Bing Ads. “The two systems are similar and both ... offer certifications for their programs," says Medal. There are also industry-specific platforms to consider, but this will vary greatly depending on the industry you are targeting for a job. Many of them are social media platforms. "These platforms will be the tools you use to build your campaigns, so you should be comfortable enough with each to factor in each one’s strengths and weaknesses for various uses,” says Medal.
PPC advertising is a career where you have to learn by trial and error. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty and also be prepared to fail. Medal advises rookies to check out the competition to see what they are doing well. “Look at what they’re doing that’s unique and what seems to be an industry trend," says Medal, "It will be up to you to determine what’s a common theme that, if you ignore, will help set you apart, and what’s a pillar that actually works, which means you should do it too.” Learning the ropes of PPC can be tricky but will lead to a challenging career in a high-demand industry.