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13 Effective (And Low-Cost) Ways to Promote a Product



13 Effective (And Low-Cost) Ways to Promote a Product

Promoting a product while low on cash—every company goes through this phase.

But the good news is you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get your product in front of the right audience.

We’ll start with things you can do for a product launch and move on to promotion tactics you can use at any stage. 

1. Build excitement on social media 

Social media can be used for pre-launch marketing in many ways. 

For example, if you’re launching something you know people are going to be super excited about, you can capitalize on that by “leaking” product information before the launch. 

This will help turn that potential demand for a solution into anticipation for your product. 

Even simple means can do the job here, such as a countdown to launch day or a special pre-launch giveaway. 

Pre-launch giveaway example

One important thing to note is this tactic has little chance of succeeding if you have zero networking. 

However, this is something you should definitely try out:

  • If you have at least some following on social media. 
  • If you’re an active member of relevant communities. 

2. Send PR notes to industry websites 

Oldie but goodie. A PR note, aka press release, is an official statement delivered to members of the media. It’s used to share something newsworthy with the aim of securing media coverage.

Brands have been sending out PR notes before you and I were born—and it still works today. 

Why? Part of the job of news websites is to inform their readers about new and exciting products they can use to help them at work or make their life simpler—and that product could be the one you’ve been developing. 

News based on a press release

The key to this tactic is to send your press release ahead of your launch to give journalists time to prepare. 

Moreover, you may want to shortlist a few important media outlets and offer them to be the first to get their hands on the product. 

To learn the art of creating and distributing PR notes (and get a free template), check out our guide: How to Write a Press Release

3. Launch on a listing platform

Product Hunt, AlternativeTo, Hacker News. These are some of the listing platforms you can use to tell the world about your product. 

They’re great for product promotion for two reasons: the community and the distribution mechanism. 

When adding your product to those platforms, you’re not launching to the void. People gather around those platforms to see new products, try them, and share their experiences. And when you launch something users truly appreciate, you get rewarded with more exposure on the platform. And so, the cycle continues: more viewers, more comments/upvotes, more exposure. 

Product stats on Product Hunt
Product Hunt helped us promote our free Webmaster Tools.

Some other benefits of listing platforms: 

  • Feedback – If you want to learn how to improve your product to get more customers, you’re likely going to get some. Of course, everybody will be able to see the comments, so keep in mind this is a double-edged sword. 
  • Credibility – The platforms act as social proof that can build trust in your product.
  • Virality – In the best-case scenario, your product becomes really popular, and the community starts to recommend it outside the platform. 

Check out Product Hunt’s case studies. They show how the above benefits helped grow popular products like Notion and Loom. 

While most listing platforms will have that same community aspect, they will have their differences and unique features, so make sure to learn a bit about them.

For example, Product Hunt gives you the ability to advertise on its platform, while AlternativeTo allows you to list your product as an alternative to a staple in the industry and piggyback on its popularity. 

SERP for "photoshop alternatives"
Photoshop alternatives get an estimated 6.5K searches in the U.S. alone every month. Some of that search volume goes to products listed on AlternativeTo.

4. Partner up with influencers 

Influencer marketing is about working with popular internet personalities to promote your brand’s message, products, or services.

Just to be clear, not all influential people in a given niche will be open for sponsored content. But for those who are, and there are a lot of them, sponsored content is one of the monetization methods without which their channel probably wouldn’t exist. 

There are influencers “suitable” for just about any kind of budget and most industries. Since we’re talking about low-cost tactics here, I’d recommend reaching out to nano and micro influencers. 

Five types of influencers

Their reach may be relatively low, but they may sit in the right niche for your product and have a strong engagement with their audience.

As a matter of fact, even big brands work with micro influencers. For instance, Peugeot, the European car manufacturer, invited micro influencers to the Brussels Motor Show to share their experience and promote the brand (case study). 

Micro influencer campaign example

While we’re talking about costs, it’s worth mentioning that some influencers may be open to non-cash compensation, such as:

  • Sponsoring a giveaway for their audience. 
  • Receiving freebies/swag. 
  • Getting invites to exclusive events. 

There are all sorts of ways an influencer can promote your product. These include hosting giveaways, doing product reviews, sharing your best content, or just doing product placements. And they don’t necessarily need to be one-off campaigns. They can be the start of a long business relationship. 

How do you find the right kind of influencer? Luckily, there are tools for that: Social Blade, Heepsy, and SparkToro, among others. 

Next, you need to vet them in terms of things like recognition and resonance, reach out, and develop an influencer agreement. We share some tips on how to go through all that in our guide to influencer marketing for beginners

5. Create an optimized landing page 

By an optimized landing page, I mean a page optimized for search engines like Google. 

An optimized page is set up to rank for relevant keywords and generate free, passive, and consistent traffic. It’s just like the landing page for our free website traffic checker, which was optimized for, you guessed it, the “website traffic checker” keyword. It ranks in the top 10 for this keyword and over 400 other relevant keywords. 

Organic keywords report in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Taking all keywords together, Google sends us about 31,000 visits each month without any ad spend from our side. 

Organic traffic data, via Ahrefs

The key to optimizing a landing page for SEO is finding a relevant keyword with the right kind of search intent. This means that the current SERPs for this keyword should imply that the searcher might be looking for a page offering a product and not, say, curated lists of products or guides. 

Let me unpack this with an example.

Below you will find a comparison of two keywords. The one on the left shows a strong presence of product landing pages—a good sign you may rank for this with a product landing page. The one on the right shows no product landing pages. Thus, trying to target that with a landing page is not impossible, but certainly hard. 

Search intent comparison of two keywords

Here’s a breakdown of how optimizing a product landing page works:

  1. Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to find relevant keywords that imply that the searcher may be looking for a product 
  2. Design the page for search intent; include information that should be helpful for the reader
  3. Optimize on-page SEO technicals (such as title tag, URL, and images) 
  4. Add relevant internal links
  5. Build backlinks

Head on to our guide on optimizing landing pages and learn all the details. 

6. Promote to your existing audience 

Got some social media following or an email list? Great! Use it for promoting your new product.

These contacts already know your brand, and that’s the first step to them becoming paying customers. 

On top of that, if you already have some satisfied customers, chances are they’ll be interested in the next product just because they liked the previous one. Statistically, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60%–70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5%–20% (source).

To illustrate, Apple values returning customers so much that it offers to buy back their old iPhones.

Apple trade-in program for returning customers

A couple of things to keep in mind when promoting to your existing audience. You should: 

  • Consider segmenting the audience before messaging them. You may want to craft messages adjusted for the stage of the buyer journey
  • Be careful with any special deals for selected groups; instead offer something for everyone. 
  • Follow up with the most engaged people directly. People who gave you constructive feedback or were vocal about new features are the ones you’d want to message directly. 
  • Be prepared to pay for reach boosts on social media. They likely won’t cost you a fortune, but don’t expect to reach your entire following for free (social media doesn’t work that way anymore).
  • Make sure your followers and subscribers are not the last to learn about something. 

7. Create educational SEO content 

Educational SEO content is content designed to rank in Google and show users how they can benefit from your product at the same time. 

This kind of content promotes your product by bringing free, passive traffic from search engines to your website. 

The key here is organic traffic potential. While typical educational content can be created around any topic that supports product adoption, for SEO content, you need keywords with search demand to start with.

For example, since Ahrefs is an SEO tool, we can create educational SEO content for topics such as keyword research, link building, technical SEO, online marketing, and so on. 

Traffic Potential of keywords, via Ahrefs

When you add up hundreds of keywords together, you get a considerable sum of consistent traffic that brings you visitors even years after publishing the content. 

Creating content like that follows the same, typical search engine optimization path:

  1. Find good keywords
  2. Create quality content
  3. Build links to it

The unofficial fourth point of that list is “wait.” Because the downside of optimizing for search engines is that it takes time to rank—typically three to six months. So while this is a great way to promote your product, it probably shouldn’t be the only one. 

Also, the thing is this: If you don’t try to rank for your relevant keywords, your competitors will. And if so, you’re going to miss out on all of that traffic. So check out our guide to SEO content for beginners and learn how to bring home some of that search demand. 

8. Leverage affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is when a third party (the affiliate) promotes a product of the merchant (you) and earns a commission. 

There are basically two ways you can go about this marketing tactic: 

While the latter option allows you more customization and you won’t be paying anyone any fees, the first option is probably the best choice for beginners. It’s less time consuming, less prone to errors, and it can likely be the most cost effective (fees are usually low, and you won’t need to build any infrastructure). 

Prepare to hand out from 5% to even 50% of the revenue you get through affiliates. This may sound expensive. But remember: You don’t need to pay up front, and the affiliate does all the work. 

Plus, until that affiliate makes a sale, that’s basically free promotion. 

How do affiliates promote products? Similarly to influencers, they create the kind of content they are best at and distribute it on various channels. 

Some of the most popular affiliate content formats are how-tos, tutorials, and reviews. Here’s an example from the prominent finance blog, Making Sense of Cents. 

Affiliate marketing example

9. Get featured in directories, rankings, and reviews 

The demand for top products in any category is consistently high. You can see that in search queries. Here are some examples: 

Volume in the U.S. and global volume of sample keywords
Volume in this case refers to the search volume in the U.S., and GV refers to the global volume.

This means a lot of people are already looking for products like yours. 

But the problem is the ranking difficulty for these search queries will be too high to try to rank with your own content. Because these kinds of queries are usually dominated by authoritative websites with tons of backlinks. 

Solution: Get included in what’s already ranking. It’s your shortcut to the #1 page on Google for all of those hard-to-rank keywords. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. It all depends on how good your product is, and the editors will always have the final say. However, what can definitely help is to work on your pitch: 

  • Show them why your product is a serious contender in comparison to what they already have on the list
  • Make a strong case of why their audience will love your product
  • Flash the recognition you already got 

Also, note that people don’t just look for the “best” products. They also look for products that fill a specific need: for beginners, for marketers, for teams, under $100, etc. 

Those keywords will likely have less search demand but could still have a high conversion potential. You can use a keyword research tool to find these keywords first and then pitch the sites that rank for them. 

Keywords showing search demand for specific type of software
Data via Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

You can also find great opportunities if you follow links to your competitors. Here’s how it works in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer

  1. Enter your competitor’s URL 
  2. Go to the Backlinks report
  3. Enter the word “tool” in the Ref. page URL filter 
  4. Set the mode to Group by similar and sort the pages by Page traffic (to show the pages with the most organic traffic first)
  5. Open referring pages and see if you can get a good angle to pitch your product 
How to find pages to pitch by tracing backlinks


You can also turn on the “Dofollow” filter to prioritize pages that are likely to give a “followed” link, which will have a bigger impact on SEO than nofollow links. 

"Dofollow" filter in Ahrefs Backlinks report

Guest posting or guest blogging is when you write for other blogs. 

Guest post example

The trick here will be to pitch only those topics where you can naturally feature your product. You don’t need to make the entire article literally about your product. A good, contextual mention can also create awareness about your product. 

Another thing to consider when guest blogging is the SEO aspect. In fact, a lot of marketers pursue this tactic only for the links. 

This means you can prioritize websites that can give you a good link. 

Six traits of a good link

You can learn how to tell the difference between high-quality and low-quality links in our full guide to link building. But for now, let’s focus on arguably the two most important link quality factors: authority and relevance.

While relevance is something you can quite easily infer from the topics that the site covers, authority is not that transparent. 

To get a good idea of a site’s authority, you’ll need an SEO tool. You can use Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar as you use Google or check each site you want to pitch for free with our website authority checker

Website authority checker by Ahrefs

11. Pitch yourself as a podcast guest 

Using podcasts as a promotional tactic works similarly to guest blogging: You talk about a topic relevant to your product, and that gives you an opportunity to introduce it to the audience. Plus, you can land a quality link too. 

Podcast example that acts as product promotion

But the difference here is that the mere fact you’ve been invited to star on a podcast makes you and everything you do interesting. So I’d say it can help to generate awareness of your product even if it’s mentioned only in the description of the episode. 

That said, the best podcast topics will be the ones that:

  • Appeal to the podcast’s audience.
  • Haven’t been covered already.
  • Align with your experience.
How to find the best podcast topics

And here’s a neat trick for finding uncovered topics (courtesy of Respona): use Google search operators. For instance, AND "omnichannel marketing" shows that this topic hasn’t been covered by the host of the show. 

Using Google search operators to find uncovered topics by any podcast

12. Introduce a referral program 

A referral program is a marketing tactic that encourages users to advocate your product in exchange for rewards such as cash, freebies, or product upgrades. 

You’ve probably heard about some big companies like Dropbox, PayPal, or Uber using referral marketing. But don’t think this tactic is only restricted to big companies like them. In fact, referral programs were implemented in the early stages of these businesses and were found to be a crucial factor in their growth.

PayPal referral program: 2001 and now
PayPal in 2001 (left) and now (right). Even after over 20 years, it still uses the referral program.

Statistically, a referral from a friend, family member, or colleague is one of the most effective ways to acquire customers since word of mouth is one of the most trustworthy marketing channels (source). 

It can also be one of the most cost-effective ways to acquire customers, but it all comes down to the cost of your program. 

To make your referral program successful, you need to consider three things.

First, the attractiveness of the reward. What will be more attractive to your users: a discount on their next purchase, an upgrade, or maybe a charity donation? Consider also two-way rewards: for the referrer and the referee. 

Secondly, be careful about the cost of the reward to your business. PayPal basically gave out cash for signing up because the company figured out it’d be less expensive than ads. Indeed, it led to rapid growth, but you can imagine how much they spent without a promise of revenue. It’s a better idea to reward users who perform a specific action closely tied to your revenue. 

Also, consider the customer acquisition cost (aka CAC) of other marketing tactics. Use this as a benchmark; ideally, you want to keep the CAC of your referral program lower than other tactics. 

However, discretion is advised here. If you see that the users who come via referrals stay longer or spend more, a higher CAC could be justifiable. 

On a last note, referral programs may be tough to operate without dedicated software that generates referral links and allows you to track them. So consider a tool like ReferralCandy or Viral Loops

13. Show what early adopters say 

Last but not least, you can share positive feedback from early adopters of your product.

This way, you’ll build social proof that will establish your credibility and increase the likelihood of people signing up for your product or even buying it. I’m talking about sharing:

  • Quotes
  • Rankings
  • Awards 
  • Case studies 
  • Photos and videos from customers 

Some popular spots for placing social proof are sign-up forms, pricing pages, and product feature tours. But you can also experiment with their placement and see their impact on conversion. 

Customer testimonial example

It’s great if you have testimonials from high-profile influencers or celebrities, but the truth is the voice of “regular users” matters too. I’d argue that a product’s ability to consistently meet the needs of its regular users is more valuable than a few endorsements from famous people.

Final thoughts 

If you can’t spend a lot of money on product promotion, don’t fret. You’ll find more than enough ideas that don’t rely on ads.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to give up ads completely. Something you can consider is reinvesting part of your revenue to try advertising tactics such as: 

  • Advertising on non-obvious platforms like Quora (case study). 
  • Targeting niche keywords with low cost per click but possibly high business potential.
  • Using dayparting (available in Google Ads). 
  • Optimizing conversion on your landing page. 
  • Increasing ad quality score to reduce the cost of bids.

Got questions or comments? Ping me on Twitter or Mastodon.

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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App




New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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How Do I Get A Job With A PPC Agency




Conversion Tracking In PPC Campaigns

This month’s “Ask A PPC” question is particularly significant because the job market has been quite volatile.

“How do I get a job with a PPC agency when I have only worked in-house. What experience would they want?” – Karl Toronto

It’s understandable that people want to know which skills employers seek when hiring for a PPC team. There can be a disparity between what people think they need and what the market actually demands.

We’ll delve into some data and commentary to explain why various traits are valued.

It’s crucial to understand that the ideal candidates will be versatile and have an aptitude for all aspects of digital marketing.

However, no one can excel at everything, so leveraging your strengths or preferences is beneficial.

Ensure that you’re securing the best role for yourself while the company hiring you finds the best fit for them.

Here Are The Essential Skills

  • Analytics.
  • Creativity.
  • Ad network knowledge.
  • Willingness to test/learn.
  • Culture fit.

Discrepancy Between Market Demands And Perceived Needs

I conducted a poll on my LinkedIn to gauge the skills desired by current employers and practitioners.

Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Analytical skills emerged as the most sought-after trait. Employers seek individuals who can interpret numbers and discern the story behind them.

However, relying solely on analytical prowess may overlook the importance of creativity.

Creative skills are vital in today’s ad networks, especially emphasizing visual content like videos and campaign types that force visual content (Performace Max/Demand Gen). Neglecting creativity can hinder a company’s branding efforts.

Unexpectedly, ad network skills and cultural fit were deemed far less critical than analytical skills. Brands should prioritize team cohesion for long-term success, yet this aspect is often undervalued.

The disparity between job descriptions and actual skill requirements contributes to the difficulty in the job market.

Agencies that hire for how PPC used to work will be left wanting. Practitioners who only focus on popular skills instead of needed ones will be made obsolete by the privacy-first era obscuring data and AI owning creative.

Analytical Skills

Analytical abilities involve knowing where to find relevant data sources and understanding how they contribute to success.

While PPC historically relied on measurable outcomes, the landscape is evolving, necessitating adaptability in data analysis. Technical proficiency and strategic acumen are crucial for navigating different data sources.

These include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
  • Ecommerce platforms.
  • Content management platforms (CMS).

Empathy for various ad channels improves your candidacy, and knowing how to work with post-click data will give you an edge over those who can only work with ad platform data.

While being highly technical isn’t required, having empathy for coding and scripts will give you a better chance to stay current with evolving data mechanics (especially as APIs become even more important for accessing data blocked by privacy-first regulations).

Here are some takes from PPC experts on why analytics is the most important:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn comment by Georgi Zayakov, who describes himself as analytical Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A LinkedIn post by Kathryn B., a paid media specialist at a PPC agencyScreenshot from LinkedIn, April 2024
Screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Nikolaos B., discussing how marketers must become data-savvyScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024


Creativity is essential for crafting compelling ad content, yet many PPC agencies struggle in this area.

Clients are often tasked with providing creative materials due to cost or complexity constraints.

You’ll get a competitive edge if you have these skills:

  • Video Editing: With the rise of PMax, as well as many ad networks leaning heavily into connected TV, having video editing chops will be a huge asset for any team. If you’re not comfortable using conventional editing tools, AI tools like Descript are a great way to take on those tasks.
  • Graphic Design: No matter the ad network your potential employer is hiring for, you will need some ability to design static images. Whether you use stock photos or AI-generated images or come up with the creative yourself, the days of purely text ads are over. Tools like Canva can help bridge the gap for less technical designers, but don’t discount ad network AI.
  • Content Creation: While the first two categories leaned toward visual content, written content is still important (i.e., most ad formats include some text). Having the ability to understand how diverse audiences prefer to be addressed while respecting the specific requirements of each format is a great skill to hone.

While some roles may prioritize analytics or ad network knowledge, emphasizing creative abilities can distinguish you during the hiring process.

Here are some experts who value creativity:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Erik PetersonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a Linkedin post by Amy HebdonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Ad Network Knowledge

Ad network expertise is valuable, but adaptability is paramount as platforms evolve rapidly.

Some agencies will have specialists, while others hire folks they expect to be passable at every network they service. It’s important to understand what workflow will enable you to succeed.

If you’re happy working with all platforms, then don’t shy away from it. However, if you do better in focusing on one aspect of PPC, that’s totally valid. Just know it might limit your ability to get hired into smaller “familyesque” agencies.

Understanding auction dynamics and bidding strategies is crucial.

Many of us who entered the industry when manual bidding was more popular have an unfair advantage over those who came in during the Smart Bidding era (i.e., anything from 2020).

This is because manual bidding requires you to think about the mechanics of each ad platform’s auction and how you could use those mechanics to your advantage in building account structure.

Knowing what to track and allocating appropriate budgets are key considerations.

Understanding that some networks require more conversions than others to run (e.g., Meta Ads’ 50 in a 7-day period vs. Google Ads’ 15 in a 30-day period) should influence what you choose to track, as well as how you report the data.

Additionally, if you are under or over budget, you’ll set yourself up to fail. Knowing which channels require a big investment upfront and what the breaking point for each network is (either on underspending or spending too much) is critical.

Awareness of potential pitfalls, such as false positives or negatives, enhances campaign effectiveness. For example, it’s important to know how to check if automatically applying recommendations is on and what tasks it’s on for.

It’s worth noting that none of the experts who chimed in on the poll made a clear case for ad network knowledge specifically.

Willingness To Test

Success in PPC requires openness to experimentation and a willingness to adapt. While this wasn’t one of the criteria in the poll, it was one of the most popular traits experts look for in hiring.

Perfectionism can hinder progress in a fast-changing environment. Testing new ideas and embracing failure as an opportunity for growth are essential.

While analytical skills aid in test design, empathy and creativity are equally vital for devising effective experiments.

Here is an expert who favors a willingness to test:

Screenshot of a social media post by Mike RhodesScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Cultural Fit

Cultural alignment with an agency fosters productivity and job satisfaction. However, you can only achieve that by being honest with yourself about what you want and the mechanics of how you work.

Agencies demand intense effort and collaboration, making compatibility with colleagues crucial.

Anyone looking to make the shift from in-house to agency needs to be prepared for a much faster pace of work and a lot more agency.

Open communication with leadership regarding preferred management and learning styles will ensure a positive working relationship.

Respect for peers and a supportive atmosphere contribute to a fulfilling work environment.

Here are a few thoughts on cultural fit from polled experts:

The image shows a LinkedIn post by David Zebrout containing text discussing the importance of integrating PPC network knowledge with intertimed optimizations in generating profitable growth.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
LinkedIn post by Lisa Erschbamer discussing the importance of cultural fit and individual personality in team dynamics for effective performance at a PPC Agency.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Aaron Davies discussing the importance of cultural fit, individual skills, and team communication in marketing for a PPC agency. The post has reactions and a question comment by NavahScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Final Thoughts

Navigating the current job market can be challenging, but understanding industry needs and honing relevant skills increases your chances of success.

Balancing technical proficiency with creativity and cultural fit is essential for thriving in a PPC role. By aligning with market demands and showcasing your strengths, you can secure rewarding opportunities in the field.

Have a question you’d like us to address? Fill out the form!

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit




Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

In its nearly 20 years of existence, Reddit has built a robust, dynamic, and highly engaged community.

It has cemented itself as not only one of the key influencers for the internet culture we have come to know today, but also as one of the top 10 social media sites in the world, with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across more than 100,000 active communities.

Despite its size and influence, marketers have long avoided, overlooked, and failed to establish a presence on what is arguably one of the most influential social media sites today.

To be fair, Reddit has always been known as one of the hardest communities to have marketing success with, requiring months (if not years) of dedicated commitment to actually being a part of the community and engaging with your audience through meaningful, genuine, and honest interactions.

To many, that is just too much risk and too much work, but let’s be honest – most amazing things take risk and hard work. And for all of you who put in that work to be successful on Reddit, you already see the payoff it brings.

Regardless of the reasons, marketers who continue to overlook Reddit’s potential are missing out on an extremely influential community with ideal targeted demographics, where authenticity and genuine connections lead to valuable information, positive branding, and marketing success.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at Reddit!

Reddit Stats You Cannot Ignore

Reddit users are dedicated to their use of the platform, with a reported 82 million (16.4%) of its 500 million users visiting the site daily, sharing over 1 billion posts, with over 16 billion comments across 100,000+ active communities, making it easily one of the top visited and most active sites in the United States today.

The user base is so loyal that they spend, on average, 20 minutes on the platform each day (and over 45 minutes a day for long-time users of more than 7 years) and, in many cases, are inactive on other social platforms.

This makes Reddit one of the only places to actually get in front of this massive audience, with 32% being inactive on Facebook, 37% on Instagram, 41% on TikTok, and 53% on X.

When it comes to demographics, a 2019 survey concluded that the overall Reddit audience was majority male (59%), ranged in age (36% aged 18-29; 25% aged 30-49), and well educated (42% college degree; 31% some college) making them an ideal audience many businesses looking for success.

They also helped Reddit improve revenues by 21% to $804 million in 2023, with a global addressable market for advertising estimated at $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Thought by many to be mostly a North American audience, Reddit claims more than 50% of its traffic comes from international users, a rather impressive climb from its earlier years.

It is important to remember, though, that Reddit is a platform that allows communities to grow and thrive, so those demographics change from subreddit to subreddit.

If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, surveys have found that 75% of users find Reddit a trustworthy source for making purchasing decisions.

For years now, it has been included heavily and prominently in Google search results, which have become even more visible due to reports following their inclusion in SGE results and with Google’s recent $60 million a year deal with Reddit to have real-time access to Reddit content and to use its content to train Google’s future AI models.

Speaking of Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results, let’s take a closer look at why that deal is so important, especially to search marketers.

Reddit In Google Search, SGE, And Google’s Reddit Deal

For years, Reddit results have been prominently displayed in Google’s search results – so much so that users have even started adding the term “reddit” to the end of their search queries.

So often, you will see Google suggest search lines with the term “reddit” prefilled at the end.

Screenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

Even without selecting the query that includes “reddit,” you will notice Reddit’s prominent placement in two places: discussions and forums, and Reddit sitelinks, which are both just below the ads and the first organic result.

Reddit resultsScreenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

This was amplified by Google’s recent Helpful Content Update (HCU), which allowed platforms like Reddit and other forums to show up more frequently in search results,

Reddit’s ability to be helpful in satisfying a user’s search for information is so successful – in combination with reported shortages in new content for AI models from all major platforms – it is not surprising Google struck a deal with Reddit to show its content faster in search results and to use the content in training future AI models.

Since news of the deal between Reddit and Google was reported, there has been a lot of additional focus on Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results.

Experts throughout the search industry report an increase in not only the total visibility of Reddit going up within search but also the speed at which a Reddit post is indexed and shown to users.

Google responded to concerns about Reddit showing up more in search results, saying that “some of the SEO folks who tend to be vocal on this platform (X) really dislike seeing more forum content in our search results. But actual searchers seem to like it. They proactively seek it out. It makes sense for us to be showing it to keep the search results relevant and satisfying for everyone.”

Google responded to concerns of Reddit showing up more in search resultsScreenshot by author from X (Twitter), May 2024

Although disputed by Google, Roger Montii wrote about one report of Reddit content being indexed within five minutes.

ChatGPT to Surface Reddit Content

Adding to the deal Reddit made with Google, it was recently reported that OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to surface their content in ChatGPT, adding to the clear value that both OpenAI and Google see in Reddit’s content today and in the future.

Of course, this has sparked a lot of interest in companies of all sizes. They want to figure out how their brands can participate and succeed on Reddit in hopes of increasing their visibility in Google’s search results, SGE, and ChatGPT and building their brand’s visibility amongst one of the most influential audiences on the internet today.

**Quick warning: Reddit requires genuine, long-term engagement and a strategy for success. So, I would definitely advise individuals and businesses to avoid trying to game, spam, or blindly jump into marketing on Reddit and take the time to really understand the platform, its audience, and your place of value within its communities.

Let’s look at how some major brands have been successful on Reddit in the past.

noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit was a great example of tapping into niche audiences to create engaging, user-driven content.

To capitalize on Reddit’s community of vocal yogurt enthusiasts, noosa launched a Flavor Poll that invited Redditors to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments. This created a sense of community and interactivity around what could have been a standard poll.

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After tallying the upvotes, noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results using a sleek custom infographic, highlighting the community’s favorites while also giving the brand important insight into consumer preferences.

Noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • 49% increase in brand recall among Reddit users who were exposed to the campaign.
  • 30% increase in brand favorability.
  • 39% increase in purchase intent (15X the typical lift observed in the food vertical).
  • 50+ billion monthly views.

Sony Pictures Germany

To drum up excitement around the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in Germany, Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign that combined organic and promoted content to engage the platform’s robust fan communities.

The brand created a Reddit account under the protagonist’s name, u/MilesMorales, and used it to share exclusive content directly within Spiderman-related subreddits.

It also organized an AMA with the German voice actor Miles Morales to create a more personal connection with fans and promoted video posts featuring the movie trailer to amplify the excitement.

Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • Sony Pictures Germany achieved a click-through rate (CTR) that was 344% higher than that of its standard paid media.
  • 618,000 impressions.
  • The film remained No. 1 on the German movie charts for three consecutive weeks.

It is important to note that promoting your content and your brand on Reddit is definitely not the only value Reddit can bring you and your business.

Reddit is an amazing place to get honest feedback.

Whether you are trying to figure out what your target audience wants from your brand, test out a new feature or concept before investing and launching it openly, or even just to have continued open communication with your customers to support them and keep them connected to your brand, Reddit can help you succeed in an amazing way.

Transamerica Helping Reddit Make Dollars Make Sense

Transamerica’s campaign on Reddit is a great example of a company identifying an opportunity to connect with its target audience on the subreddit /r/finance.

This allows the company to better understand its customers’ needs and focus on content creation and future marketing plans.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

Aligning itself with its audience by demonstrating awareness of the topics around personal finance happening in the subreddit, as well as acknowledging the Redditors working at the company, it asked what topics it could create “specifically for the reddit community” around the topic of finance.

It stayed involved and engaged throughout the campaign, responding to threads and maintaining a lighthearted and sometimes humorous tone.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After getting all the feedback it needed, it created content around the more popular requests, going as far as branding and designing them similar to Reddit.

IRA vs 401K venn diagramScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

It even took the time to individually comment a link to the published content on its site, bringing attention back to the overall campaign and the content it created.

This campaign was 10 years ago, and it is still referenced as a core example of engaging on Reddit as a brand in a respectful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.

Why You Should Be On Reddit Wrapup

TL;DR: If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.

These successful brand campaign examples showcase Reddit’s power when used correctly. With research to understand the specific communities you want to reach, Reddit can have exceptional performance compared to other channels.

The stakes are high to get it right because Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.

Edit: Updated daily active users figure based on Reddit’s Q1 Earnings Report

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Featured Image: Julia Tim/Shutterstock

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