PPC Internet Marketing Campaigns - Features, Benefits and Unique Selling Points

By Gregory Smyth

Internet marketing and the advent of techniques like search engine optimization and web analytics have taken much of what is traditionally taught in marketing and communications courses, and turned it on its head. The technologies are completely different, an entire new set of contacts and protocols has to be made and learnt, and very different aspects of your products become important. However, there are some things in marketing that haven't changed for years, and the rise of internet marketing hasn't altered that. If you are trying to execute a successful PPC campaign, you need to go back to the basics of marketing, even more so than with other web marketing strategies. One of the most important things to do is to re-examine your product through new eyes, and determine its features, benefits, and unique selling points.

The features and benefits of your product are very different things to the technical specifications, or even the physical nature of the product, in most instances. Identifying what a product actually does for a consumer, to make their life better, is critical in writing PPC ads, where you have 160 characters at most to explain an entire company. You'll need intimate knowledge of the product you are promoting, and also to have identified your target market for the internet marketing, which we've written on previously. For example, if you sell lawn care products, and you've identified that your target market is men, aged between 30 and 40, and 60 and 70, with average to high household income and in certain geographical areas conducive to growing grass, the next step is to put yourself in your customer's shoes. What will be the most important features of the product to them? Will they care about how much it costs, how quickly it works, how hardy it is, or the image the product is selling? As always, whether you are building an offline or a web marketing strategy, if you don't know what your customers want, ask them. Market research is a valuable thing.

When thinking about benefits for your product in an internet marketing strategy, you need to understand what the product does for the customer, not simply what it 'does'. Your lawn care products might save them time on gardening, may help them get better results for the time they put in, or might help them create a pleasant outdoor lifestyle. This is quite different from giving them a high nitrogen content or long effectiveness period.

Another important thing to determine if you are building a PPC campaign as part of your web marketing strategy is your unique selling point. This is another marketing classic that is just as relevant when trying to increase search engine rankings or build traffic as it is when trying to get people to physically visit a store. To determine this, you will need to understand your competition as well as your own offering, and know what sets you apart. Your internet consultancy service will be able to use new tools like Webtrends and other website analytics to determine who your 'online' competition is - very different to offline competition. Analyze their sites, ask them for more information, and then determine what it is that sets you apart - and then exploit this to its full potential in your PPC campaign.