Pay per click is exactly what it sounds like: advertisers pay a small fee each time their ad is clicked by a user. With earned media, the marketers are essentially drawing their customers in with alluring and relevant content. However, PPC marketing is about buying visits to your site.
A great example of PPC is on your Facebook page. Ads on the ‘Sponsored’ column of your page will show the businesses who payed for adverts that Facebook feels might be relevant for you. Aside from Facebook, search engines such as Google will also show ‘sponsored ads’ based on the relevancy of the keywords searched.
When your ad is clicked Google will charge as nominal fee and both parties involved will essentially win: The search engine will make a small profit, and your business, hopefully, will convert a visitor to a customer.
To use PPC, you must first ‘bid’ on the keywords that you hope to use in your ad. You bid what you want to pay for a click on the ad. If you bid high for a keyword you are very likely to be ranked first in the search engines sponsored links. When someone clicks on this ad you pay the amount you bid for this click. This is an ideal marketing tool for fast moving (sales offers) strategies that have a limited run, therefore limited expense.
PPC has it’s drawbacks: a lot of users ignore them as spam, having a negative effect as users might consider your business as trying to ‘buy’ their visit rather than having the relevant content the might need. This strategy can also get very expensive, especially if you have a high click rate but low turnaround on sales.
However, if your content is genuinely relevant, interesting and a vital source of information for your perspective client, PPC is a powerful marketing tool and should be considered as part of any marketing strategy.