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PPC Advertising Beyond Paid Search

Marketers turn to social media for PPC advertising

Marketers reflexively think of search engine-based advertising when thinking of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which is not surprising given paid search’s tenure and continued effective use among online marketers.

Yet the latest annual findings from Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Econsultancy indicate paid search marketers are increasingly turning to PPC advertising on social media channels to complement traditional search engine placements.

More than half (52%) of companies worldwide vouched for the “moderate” or “huge” impact social media has had on their search engine marketing programs within the last year. Add that to the growing number of social media channels offering a PPC advertising model, and it’s no wonder 47% of North American companies are running PPC campaigns on Facebook, and more than a quarter (27%) are doing so on LinkedIn. In addition 18% of companies are PPC advertising on YouTube, and 15% on Twitter.

Although these percentages are dwarfed by those of North American companies advertising on Google and Bing/Yahoo!, major search engines aside, it’s clear companies prefer PPC advertising on social media channels to smaller engines like AOL and Business.com.

Web Properties on Which Companies in North America Run Pay-per-Click (PPC) Campaigns, March 2011 (% of respondents)

Data from Covario further illustrates that marketers are keen to take advantage of this opportunity: social media advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn was rated the top 2011 priority for US paid search advertisers.

Top Priorities for US Paid Search Advertisers in 2011 (% of respondents)

The SEMPO/Econsultancy data takes into account all PPC advertising across web properties, not just paid search-based advertising. Therefore, usage metrics above can also include display and video purchased on a PPC basis.

Still, North American companies continue to rely on traditional placements on Google AdWords (95%) and Bing/Yahoo! (70%). More than half also remained true to Google-specific properties like its search network (74%), and non-search properties such as Google’s keyword-targeted content network (66%) and site-targeted content network (50%).

Similar usage metrics across Google properties were reported by SEMPO and Econsultancy in 2009 and 2010 among companies worldwide, including North America, showing the increased use of PPC advertising on social media channels is neither at the expense of paid search on the main search engines nor at the expense of non-search ads bought on Google.

Clearly, as internet users continue to browse the web—expanding their search activity both on and beyond traditional search engines—so too will marketers continue to try and capture their intent through traditional paid search advertising and newer PPC ad models on social media channels.

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Check out today’s other article, “Are Consumers Interested in Finding Deals on Social Sites?.”


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