SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

Make Your PPC Ads Work Like Dogs for Your Marketing Campaign!

January 26, 2015

This article originally appeared in the blog published by Pacific Biomarketing.

Sled DogsYour PPC ads need to work for you; like sled dogs!

There are lots and lots of ads everywhere—including online, of course, and even in life science marketing. Even if your customer is interested in the subject of the ad, their natural reaction is likely to be "No thank you."

How can Google Adwords, an increasingly saturated market that allows only 3 tiny lines of ad copy, help your marketing campaign develop viable leads and make sales?

To make your ad productive, you have to gain—and hold—the right customer's attention; and you have to get them to take action. This is one of the things HubSpot explores in their valuable ebook about advanced PPC strategies. When used correctly and efficiently, PPC ads can be an important component of your inbound marketing strategies.

Here are a few quick pointers on how you can stand out and convince searchers you're worth more than just a couple seconds.

Get to the point

Different offers require different types of ad content. Regardless, the reader should be offered something of value that will incite them to action. Often, the incentive is pricing (see below). But if you are not in a position to offer pricing in your ad, you should think about offering compelling content—a white paper, a video, a guide, a checklist or a demo, for example. Something that gives the viewer a reason to click. Don't just repeat your marketing message. Give the viewer a reason to act.

Learn to pack the value of your offer into 95 characters

Once you know the point of your ad, the second question is, "Why should they click you?" This is a question every marketer has to ask to determine a solid value proposition.

Resolve this conflict by giving searchers more value than they think will be possible elsewhere. Effective marketing requires a good sense of the audience you're targeting and a message that can actually reach them.

Still, you just have 95 characters to work with. A miniscule 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines require concisly crafted, utilitarian ad copy. All wheat; no chaff.

In order to meet the needs of your target audience most efficiently, you'll need to incorporate as many of the following elements as possible and as concisely as possible:

Qualifiers: Make sure that the people clicking on your ads are qualified customers that are truly interested in your product or service. For many product types, the most effective way to qualify your traffic looking to make a transaction is by including price explicitly in your ad. If you are not able to use pricing (capital equipment, for example), make your ad copy as clear as possible about the scientific subject matter.

Call-to-Action: This one is simple—tell your consumer what you want them to do! Incorporate a sense of urgency or a specific sales process like: "Download this new white paper!" or "30% off XYZ reagent this month."

Risk Reduction: Oddly, some few customers may still be a bit uneasy buying scientific supplies online. Reduce any worry of risk involved in an online purchase by mentioning special shipping deals, as well as free return policies or lifetime warranties in your ad—these make customers more comfortable and encourage them to take action.

Credibility: Further trust is engendered by building credibility. Have you been in business 50 years? Are you recognized by any highly regarded associations? Any awards? Put anything you can in the ad that will solidify that you are a legitimate and trusted vendor.

Product Features: More than likely your customer already has a good idea of what your product is and what it does. If you have a particularly unique or new product, though, you'll probably need to explain some features in the ad.

Seem impossible? Not really. Here are a few good examples we picked up from some casual ad searching. These will give you a good feel for best practices. See how many of our recommendations you can find in these ads.

Ad Samples

These kinds of strategies can help your ad stand out without the need for aggressive over-bidding. Google makes money every time consumers click on PPC ads. You, however, only make money if the revenue gained from sales through PPC is higher than the total costs accumulated while getting that customer.

Be clear about what makes you special, and whatever it is, make sure the message gets through. You have 95 characters ... you can't include everything in one ad. So make a few different ads that incorporate different elements, and test them against each other to see what works best. Save the music, choreography, and fancy witticisms for your blog 😉

Price competitiveness: show them your value

Earlier, we touched on pricing. There's no way around it, particularly if your business relies heavily on eCommerce. Being price competitive should be a top priority when you're trying to get transactional clicks from PPC ads. Buyers have become increasingly smart and savvy online, especially when, in an instant, they can sort results by the lowest price and compare similar products.

You don't always have to be the absolute lowest price, but be close enough to allow other factors that set you apart from the "other guys." Play a role in a searcher's decision-making process.

However you do it, incite action!

A PPC ad is not informational. Its entire purpose is to incite the click. Designed properly, these ads can be great tools for gathering leads and making sales. Your ad needs to give viewers a strong reason to take action—immediately. That means targeting a specific and defined segment; creating an offer of substantial value, and expressing the offer succinctly and concisely.

Guy Page

Guy PageGuy Page has a long history in the science and the business of Life Sciences. After an extensive research career, including post-doctoral appointments at UCSF, Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT, he entered the Life Science business world. Beginning his career at Promega, he has created and led Marketing and Sales programs at diverse companies, including Gelman Sciences (now part of Pall Corporation), Genisphere, BD Biosciences, Amnis Corporation, AMG, Adaptive Biotechnologies and IntegenX.
Most recently, Guy created the Pacific Biomarketing Group to serve the Life Science marketing and sales community with a suite of strategic and tactical marketing and sales support services. Pacific Biomarketing has helped numerous clients with strategic marketing planning, messaging and branding, web site design and implementation, communications planning, content management, marketing automation, tactical marketing marketing/sales integration and more.
SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
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