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May 29, 2013

5 Techniques for Effective PPC Communication

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When conveying critical information about your PPC campaign to your client/supervisor, clarity is often lost in spreadsheets, strategic jargon, and mountains of statistics. As an SEM manager, it is your duty to aggregate data from numerous sources and craft a narrative so that executives who aren’t knee-deep in PPC every day have a solid comprehension of how your campaign is going.

technical guy looking at code

What are you doing to clearly communicate the technical health and requirements of a PPC campaign to your supervisor or client?

Picture yourself as a medical professional. Doctors need to be able to convey complicated information in an easy-to-digest manner with a palatable delivery. After talking with your doctor, you should have a clear understanding of the problem, the solution, the next steps, and the expected outcome.

Ideally, if your doctor has a good bedside manner, you will come away with a sense of peace knowing that the person you trust has a handle on the situation and they are looking out for your best interests. You should approach communication within the SEM field in a similar manner.

Why Clear Communication for PPC Managers is Critical

PPC is your world. It is in your blood. You live and breathe PPC every day. However, other people in your organization don’t feel the same way. Maybe they understand that paid search advertising is critical to the growth of the business, but they probably don’t want to wade into the minutia of bid modifiers and Quality Score. That’s why they have you.

Keep in mind that your supervisor/client is busy. PPC isn’t the only thing they have to think about on any given day. They want to be able to get a snapshot of account health, current initiatives, and future endeavors.

When your reports, summaries, and other forms of communication are clear and concise, they should feel that you have everything under control – very similar to a doctor visit. Even if you have seen poor performance recently or there have been unexpected fluctuations, the objective is to create a sense of trust with your client/supervisor.

The Communication Techniques You Should Master

Control the Narrative: Statistics and trends need to be put into context. They need to have reasons and explanations. Similar to a painting, graphs and charts convey information but they can also be left open to interpretation. This is where your SEM knowledge is extremely important. Whether trends are positive or negative, you need to provide a frame of reference.

Provide Strategy Details: Determine the level of detail your client/supervisor needs in terms of strategy. Some supervisors/clients want to get into the weeds regarding strategy, and if this is what they need to feel confident, then guide them into the thicket. Your supervisor/client may want just the high-level details; if so, make your summaries brief.

Celebrate Big Wins: Don’t be afraid to boast your successes. Be somewhat judicious so as not to declare every positive occurrence as a major victory. This will lead to positivity overload and could eventually become static chatter. When you reach a milestone tied directly to your current PPC goals, make sure these receive special attention. Remember, don’t be shy! Just don’t overdo it.

Raise Red Flags as Needed: At some point something will go wrong in your account. It may be external such as a seasonal shift or a change in the competitive landscape, or internal such a test or bid change that didn’t go as planned. Either way, this is when your communication should be sharpest.

No one wants to receive bad news. But the manner in which the news is delivered can significantly cushion the blow. Don’t look for flowery language or excuses or blame others. Give details on what is broken, how you plan to fix it, and how long the plan will take (just like a doctor!). Have all of these details determined before initiating the conversation.

Re-Sell Yourself: Every interaction is a chance to re-sell yourself to your supervisor/client. Even simple emails can reinforce your supervisor’s/client’s feeling that you are the right person/agency to be managing this PPC account. Don’t take this opportunity lightly.

In Summary

Every element of PPC campaign management is important. As an awesome campaign manager, you bring great value to the internal elements of PPC: keyword research, ad writing, bidding strategy, analysis, etc. The external element of campaign management, broadcasting what is happening within the accounts to your client/supervisor, is just as important – perhaps even more so.





One response to “5 Techniques for Effective PPC Communication”

  1. Jeroen Maljers writes:

    Great article and good tips Joe,

    Very recognizable.

    What I often see is that PPC professionals are half extravert marketers and half introvert geeks (myself included) . Sometimes the introvert part wins and I forget to celebrate wins or overwhelm the client with too many details. Also be keen on consistent communication. Don’t send in month A tons of info and the next month have radio silence.

    Best regards,
    Jeroen



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