Friday, June 19, 2015

The Scoop on Advertising: Part 3 ~ Pay-per-click Ads?

By Misty M Beller @MistyMBeller

Free Workshop in Progress: This summer on our ACFW-SC chapter blog we are happy to welcome one of our members, Misty M. Beller, for a special 12-week workshop on Marketing. Misty has experienced great success marketing her first novel and later ones, consistently selling 10,000 books a month. Join this free workshop and be blessed. Be sure to leave a comment and tweet the blogs to your friends. 
Elva Cobb Martin, President, ACFW-SC Chapter

As we talk through book advertising options, this week we’ll move into paid advertising. In my opinion, one of the most under-utilized options out there are Pay-Per-Click campaigns!
What is it? This concept has been around for a while, and Google AdWords is probably the most well-known venue. Basically, you create an ad and attach keywords to the ad. When a user types one of your keywords in a search field, your ad competes in a bidding war with other ads that have the same keyword. The ads that are the highest bidder(s) are shown to the user, but you are only charged your bidded price if the user clicks on your ad. Basically, you only pay if they click.
So far, I’ve tried PPC campaigns on Goodreads, Amazon, and Google AdWords, so here’s a quick recap of my experiences:
Amazon pay-per-click options are only available for independent authors who use the program for ebooks. If you fall in that category, the program is nice because it shows you how many actual book sales were generated from clicks on your ad. My ratio on Amazon for my first campaign was approximately 1000 impressions (meaning my ad was shown 1000 times) to one click. That’s fairly close to the industry standard, I’ve been told.
It’s extremely easy to create a campaign! Just go into your KDP dashboard, select your book, and it walks you through the process. You’ll need to set a maximum bid amount and a total budget for the campaign, then decide whether you want it to spread the bids over the course of the campaign or use the budget as quickly as possible. Last but not least, you create a headline, then submit! Here’s a glance at a recent campaign I’ve created:

Ggoodreads logooodreads has a similar set-up process. My results for my Goodreads PPC campaign has been thousands and thousands of impressions, but very few clicks. That tells me either my ad is not very attractive, or my keywords aren’t hitting my target reader. I need to work on that one! The good news is, it’s getting my book out there in front of a lot of potential readers. Good visibility! However that visibility won’t be as helpful if I’m not hitting my target reader.
One other nice benefit Goodreads offers is a daily email showing the progress of the campaign. The email tells how many views the ad has received, how many clicks, how much money spent, how many people have added the book to one of their Goodreads shelves, and more!

Google AdWords: I tend to have a much higher success rate on clicks per impression with AdWords, so I use this Pay-Per-Click method the most! There is a bit more set-up required, you’ll list keywords that determine when the ads show. The site helps by suggesting a lot of keywords similar to your product, and you can select as many as you want! It also gives great feedback on estimated number of views based on the keywords you choose.
Here’s a quick glance at the results from the last AdWords campaign I ran:
Google Adwords

A couple of nice benefits to AdWords:
  • They have people available you can call to help with set-up, strategy, keywords, etc. This is available at no extra charge.
  • Many website providers provide a $100 AdWords credit (after you spend $25). If your web provider offers this, you ABSOLUTELY should take them up on it!

So now it’s your turn! Have you used a Pay-Per-Click campaign? Did you find it successful? Any best practices you can share? 
Or if you have questions on any of the info I’ve mentioned here, let’s hear ’em!

Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is author of the bestselling novels The Lady and the Mountain Man and The Lady and the Mountain Doctor.

Misty was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. About ten years ago, she made a career change from farm life into the business world, where she now works as a Senior Manager and Director of Process & Training. Her husband and two daughters are gifts from God, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

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