When you think of your paid ad campaign, you probably perceive your ads as the fastest way to generate traffic to your website to get new leads and conversions. While this is true, there’s another side to paid ads that you may not have considered: paid ads can help you with your PR strategy. In fact, your paid ads are always impacting your PR whether you realize this or not. The key is to use your pay-per-click (PPC) ads intentionally to leverage public perception.
Paid ads make an excellent PR tool
If you’re running paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, or Apple Search, you’re reaching potentially millions of people every day. The more often people see your ads, the more familiar they’ll become with your company. When your ads are positive, they’ll start to adopt a positive perception of your brand, even if users don’t click.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that some businesses run PPC ads specifically for PR reasons. However, you have to be careful to follow ad policies. Apple has some terms that differ from that of social media companies, so if you haven’t advertised with them before, be sure to review the Apple Search Ads best practices before getting started.
What do paid ads have to do with PR?
Any brand exposure has the potential to impact how the public views your company, and paid ads are no exception. Each time your ads show up in a person’s feed on any platform, they’re going to perceive your ad even if they just scroll past. At the very least, users will become familiar with your brand. At most, they’ll read your ads and start to form an opinion of your company and what you sell.
You can use these facts to your advantage by running ads designed to influence a user’s perception of your brand. This is a bit different from running ads just to get sales, although there certainly is a crossover.
Paid media such as sponsored blog posts and radio commercials are a central component in your PR campaign, and if you haven’t considered including PPC ads in your paid media arsenal, now is the time. It’s getting harder to find publications that will publish sponsored content, and companies who will usually want a high fee.
Ways to use PPC ads as a PR tool
If you’re wondering exactly how you can use PPC ads as a PR tool, here are three ways to do this.
1. Run paid ads to settle rumors
Are there rumors going around about your brand? Perhaps there was some kind of recent scandal and you’re left picking up the pieces. While you can’t run ads that directly discuss the scandal, you can run ads that provide value to visitors in a way that refutes false claims.
For example, let’s say that your organization has been accused of spending $5 million to fund a controversial cause, but that isn’t the case. Write an article about what your company actually did with the money, and run ads to the article as an informative piece.
2. Run paid ads to promote your causes
Part of PR often involves making sure the public knows what you’re up to behind the scenes when it comes to causes your business supports. Start running ads that tell users 10% of their purchase will go to your specific cause. Some people will see your ads and think highly of your company for being generous, even though they won’t click. You’ll also get plenty of clicks that will turn into leads and paying customers, so these ads will serve a dual purpose.
3. Run paid ads to generate leads
Generating leads is an excellent way to get paying customers, but it’s also something you can use for PR purposes. First, run paid ads to generate leads. Then, email those leads with content designed to help with your PR efforts. You can also use your existing email marketing list to send emails related to PR to shape their opinion or perspective of your brand. This works well when you have a niche audience.
Are your paid ads helping your PR efforts?
Your PPC ad campaigns have the power to shape and influence public perception of your brand. It just makes sense to use paid ads intentionally to give your PR efforts the advantage.