5 Reasons Why PPC is Crucial to Social Media & Brand Reputation

At a conference on social media before Christmas, one of the presenters suggested PPC wasn’t relevant to brand reputation management as “nobody clicks on the ads”.

It was a plainly wrong assumption given Google’s whole business model is based on them, and look how much money they have in the bank!

A straw poll on my Twitter feed, and some internal numbers, state that between 10% and 50% of clicks occur on paid ads versus organic “free” listings depending on the industry and the brand.

That’s a lot of clicks and 56% of digital marketing spend in the UK going on search speaks volumes.

So here are 5 reasons why PPC is important for brand rep and social media campaigns and monitoring:

1) Some search engines let you bid on competitor brand terms. Who’s bidding on yours and appearing in your place?

2) In a crisis, you can use PPC to get a message out in a few minutes. British Airways did this well just before Christmas when all the strike shenanigans was going on. They bought the keyword “ba strike” and had a message directing desperate passengers to a dedicated page on their site with up-to-date info on the situation.

3) A disgruntled customer could write a damaging blog post about your brand that ranks highly in the search engine results pages. While you work on a strategy to bump that story down the organic listings, a PPC ad could be a stop gap to detract from the negative sentiment further down the page.

4) Sometimes it takes time for a page on your site to be crawled and gather authority. Let’s say you have a new brand of widget you want to promote. A potential customer might see your offline marketing, go to a search engine and search for it. If they can’t find it because your sites not been optimized or crawled, then that’s one unhappy customer, one less sale, one brand damaged and who’s to say they won’t tell their friends not to bother either. Using a PPC ad as a short term tactic would win out in this case.

5)PPC plus a good organic ranking leads to positive brand uplift. Gord Hotchkiss published a white paper a while ago using Honda as a case study.

Key findings of the white paper:

“A significant lift in brand affinity: Online consumers who saw Honda in the top ad placement and the top organic search result were 16 percent more likely to think of Honda as a fuel efficient car than when the automaker’s brand didn’t appear on the page at all.

A significant lift in brand recall: Online consumers were 42 percent more likely to recall Honda if the company appeared in both the top ad placement and the top organic search result, rather than just the top organic listing.

A significant lift in purchase intent: When Honda was featured in both the top ad and top organic listings, purchase intent for Honda increased. However, other automaker brands absent from the page suffered a significant decrease in purchase intent.”

So it does go to show that paying for clicks through PPC platforms is about more than just generating leads.

These are just 5 reasons. If you can think of any more, please do so below…

Next week I promise to finish my Twitter tutorials!

PS: You can also follow me on Twitter & Facebook

  • Portugal Wijn

    Good article Mel, there is one spelling error on point 1 though. “let you big on”, surely you mean biD on :)

  • Mel Carson

    Well spotted! I should have said “bing on” shouldn’t I !? Have corrected thanks!