[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”88″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_text]Even if you have a solid foundation for managing online ad campaigns and have mastered the different ad platforms, there is still much you can learn. The industry is constantly changing, so to be a true PPC expert, you’ll have to keep up with all the latest developments and PPC news.
PPC 301: Continuing Education
Dig in and read everything you can get your hands on from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The IAB is the self-governing body of digital advertising. Their theoretical role in the madness of ad tech and online advertising is to make sure things don’t get too out of hand.
There are a couple sections of their site to continually monitor. The first is their Guidelines data on just about every digital ad unit you can imagine. You can read about best practices in compliance, data use/management, social, and more.
The other must-read is their section on Research and Thought Leadership. They have a team on staff that puts together research on things like the best ways for publishers to migrate to a world focused on viewability. It’s a great way to learn about what is affecting the industry and what is to come.
Following Digital News Sources
AdExchanger.com is a technical resource that you should review daily. It provides glimpses into specific ad tech platforms and their place in the marketplace. You’ll find long-form guest posts from industry leaders talking about things like header bidding.
Digiday.com is more about general digital advertising.
You should definitely keep Happens in AdOps handy. Even though this Tumblr is filled with memes, you’ll see a TON of jargon. These terms are the perfect Googling material for you to learn more about specific aspects of the ad tech world. If you’re a client, you might also learn what things drive your agency reps mad!
Who You Should Follow on Social
There are several people who are so good at PPC that you can’t afford not to follow them. A few of our favorites include:
Eric Franchi, Co-Founder of Undertone
His weekly ad tech newsletter, The IO (formerly the Ad Tech Newsletter), aggregates 10-15 articles a week with his personal blurbs on the impact that each trend or piece of news has on the industry. He’s been pushing these out consistently for over a year now, and there is no sign that he is stopping soon.
If you can’t get enough of the newsletter, follow him on Twitter @ericfranchi for daily 140-character responses to things going on in the industry.
Bonus Bonus Points
Follow him on Snapchat at @ericfranchi for day-in-the-life type experiences, all the way through to his mad grilling skills.
David Berkowitz, Founder of Serial Marketer
No, he is not The Son of Sam. However, he is a serial marketer who has played several big agency roles including his last, CMO at MRY.
He frequently contributes to Ad Age and has been known to make appearances on several other large digital publications. Mixed in with a lot of his personal interests, you’ll get a daily dose of ad tech. He’s also a frequent contributor on the conference circuit. Find him on Twitter @dberkowitz.
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So there you have it: our full, three-part series on how to be a PPC expert. If you missed them, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 here.
Becoming a paid media expert takes a lot of time and effort. We should know; as a Premier Google Partner, we have to adhere to high standards and stay ahead of the PPC curve. If your online advertising campaigns could use some work, feel free to contact us for help.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”80″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_text]Once you have analytics and conversion tracking set up, as covered in our previous PPC School post, you can start running some ads. There are many different types of ads you can run, on many different ad networks. So, for part 2 of PPC School, it’s time to educate yourself on how to use the different ad platforms available.
PPC 201: Working With Ad Platforms (e.g. Pulling The Levers)
It makes sense to start the education process by looking at the ad platforms that are generating the most revenue (where most businesses are investing). However, you also want to consider which platforms have the best growth rate, since that may mean that businesses are finding success there and increasing their spend accordingly.
The biggest platform and the one you should focus on first is Google AdWords. To become certified in Google AdWords, you need to pass the AdWords Fundamentals certification exam, plus one of the following:
Each certification has a study guide to help gain the required knowledge to pass the exam.
It’s important to learn each area in order to develop an understanding of the entire paid digital eco-system. Different clients or projects, each course will provide more or less help in the actual execution.
We recommend starting with Search Advertising and then building on to that with each additional certification. What you don’t use for one client or project, you may find useful for the next.
If you are working with e-commerce or mobile apps , then we recommend taking the separate Google courses focusing on these specific areas.
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While display ads often get short shrift, there is still ample reason to use them, especially for brand awareness. We have also seen Google Adwords start to innovate their platform, and DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), to be focused on direct-response ads. Sheerly because it is a Google platform, we think DBM Certification is something that every paid media manager should explore.
If you really want to get into Paid Search or extend your potential investment/reach, then you should get certified in Bing Ads. Bing now accounts for 21% of searches.
We recommend starting with Search Advertising and then building on to that with each additional certification.
Bing is very similar to Google AdWords and makes it easy to import campaigns over. However, there are slight differences, which is why the certification is important.
One of the ways to push the limits of paid search to the highest efficiency levels is to learn about Alpha Beta campaign structure.
Facebook has quickly become the number two ad platform (and by Facebook we mean the whole company, which includes Instagram). The Facebook ads platform has changed over the years, with Facebook Business Manager now being the foundation.
While Facebook does not have any certification programs currently, Facebook has rolled out Blueprint, a catalog of courses. The courses provide introductions to the various parts of running Facebook and Instagram ads, from setup to reporting. In addition, Blueprint provides best practice courses and webinars to further build your knowledge on this platform.
Twitter actually provides a certification program called Flight School for various “flight paths” depending on how you want to use Twitter. This provides a great overview of the ways Twitter can help achieve your business objectives and expands your knowledge of what is possible with Twitter.
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While remarketing (or retargeting) is not a separate ad platform, it is very important to utilize in building campaigns. The best course for getting started with remarketing is the Google Best Practices video series that walks through the setup and optimization of remarketing.
WordStream’s PPC University provides a great overview of the PPC world with their structured course levels of PPC 101, PPC 102, Advanced PPC, Social Ads 101, Webinars and White Papers. While there is no certification, this offers a non-biased (towards one platform) view of the PPC world.
Once you have all of that down, you’ll know everything you need to know! Right? Well, sort of. There is still much more you can learn if you want to become a true expert. And the industry is constantly changing, so even if you know everything now, you’ll soon fall behind if you don’t keep learning. That’s why we’re going to have a Part 3: Advanced Digital Media. Stay tuned.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”80″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_text]Want to be a successful PPC manager? Are you already advertising in AdWords, but want to maximize your sales and return on investment? There’s a lot to learn (maybe more than you realize), but we’ve got you covered.
Think of this as your online PPC school. Part one (of three) covers your first class: an introduction to analytics and measuring ad performance.
PPC 101: Foundations of Measurement (e.g., You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure)
All digital paid media starts with building the foundation of analytics and conversion tracking. If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.
This starts with Google Analytics, the compiler of all website data. This is where all the traffic and conversion data from ad platforms is going to flow, and it will be the foundation for analysis to develop business impact insights.
The Google Analytics individual qualification exam study guide provides an overview of Google Analytics to help you understand the data and its uses. Then, the exam itself offers a way to measure this knowledge and become industry-recognized.
The Google Analytics Platform Principles course in the Google Analytics Academy provides additional material to gain a greater understanding of Google Analytics.
Of course, you won’t have any data to manage if you don’t implement conversion tracking first. To setup conversion tracking, you need to decide on the business objectives you’re trying to accomplish, and identify the key measurable digital actions (form submissions, transactions, etc.) tied to that objective.
Google Tag Manager will be your best friend (or foe) in implementing conversion tracking to measure the key results tied to your business objectives. The Google Tag Manager Fundamentals course will provide a walkthrough of this Google platform and the process for measuring data correctly.
Within the paid media realm, spreadsheets play an important role in data analysis, reporting, importing campaigns, and more. Depending on your experience, you should consider taking a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets course to learn about the power and capabilities of spreadsheets, from pivot tables to data organization. GoSkills offers a basic and advanced course on Microsoft Excel.
It’s only after having the basics of measurement down that you can move on to creating some ads to start measuring. We’ll cover that in Part 2: Working With Ad Platforms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]