Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an online advertising method in which clubs can show ads on search engines, ad networks and other digital platforms while only paying a fee when their ad is clicked. In its simplest form, PPC is a targeted way to buy website visits with the ultimate goal of those visits becoming conversions. PPC can be a highly effective marketing tactic for clubs, but even if a PPC program is driving member joins, there is likely still room for optimization.
Choose the Right Platforms
A club’s PPC platform is massively important, and the choice of which ones to focus on depends on a club’s unique circumstance. The two primary PPC platforms in the club space are Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Google Ads is the most prevalent platform for PPC and allows clubs to pay for various ads on relevant web properties, like search engine results pages. The different types of ads available on Google Ads are display, search, app and video (YouTube). Facebook Ads allow clubs to build an audience based on the target demographic and place sponsored posts on the news feeds of those target market individuals. Both Google and Facebook present unique advantages, and many organizations choose an optimal blend of both.
Pro tip: If clubs want to highlight a program that targets a specific demographic, Facebook is a powerful PPC advertising platform. Clubs can also upload member lists, and Facebook will create an audience profile based on those members.
Build a Research-Based Audience
Targeting the right group of potential customers is critical to efficient PPC budgeting. A club’s PPC audience includes location, interests and online behavior. Clubs can extend this level of detail by creating custom audiences. The more research clubs perform prior to building their audience, the more return-on-investment (ROI) they get from PPC advertising.
Pro Tip: Determine a bidding strategy. On Google Ads, bidding strategies include cost-per-acquisition (CPA), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-view (CPV) and cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM).
Establish Clear Goals and Track Performance
One of the benefits of PPC advertising is that it’s measurable and trackable. Clubs can view campaign performance on these primary platforms and adjust their strategies accordingly. With that, it is important for clubs to define success upfront and create an ongoing schedule for tracking performance. This goes beyond the objectives of a campaign — this is clearly documenting what a successful PPC advertising campaign looks like. Establishing clear goals should include metrics, like cost-per-lead (CPL), for example, and will differ based on the platforms being used. Much like a club encourages goal setting and member assessments, a PPC program must have goals and regular assessments.
Like most business functions at a club, PPC advertising requires intentionality and consistency. Most clubs don’t have unlimited digital marketing budgets, so maximizing PPC spend is paramount to online lead generation.