“Why suffer at SEO? Why worry about it when you can just buy it?”
Those were the words from Marty Weintraub, founder and evangelist at AIMClear, at SASCon 2016. PPC remains as critical an element of a company’s Search Engine Marketing as SEO, but how do you get into a PPC career or become more proficient? We asked our candidates and clients on how they started their career in Pay Per Click and the best way to become successful!
Archie Barnett, a candidate we recently placed, explains one way of getting into PPC Digital Marketing:
Archie Barnett, Senior PPC Executive
‘I started working on an apprenticeship which was brilliant and I would always recommend it. It's a great way to get into the digital marketing world, enabling you to learn different aspects. However, I've also helped friends move from their roles into PPC specific roles - the main advice I had for them, and that I would have for those that don't have PPC experience, is reading all about it. There's plenty of guides on the internet which give the basics into PPC, once you know them you're good to go. A lot of companies take on people with limited or no PPC experience in assistant or junior roles, so as long as you know enough to get you through the interview you are mostly fine to learn on the job.'
'Keep trying to learn and push yourself. Digital marketing is constantly evolving so there will always be new things to learn, whether it is something old that you didn't know, or a new extension coming out, just always keep your eye on things. I'd say also if you think things are going really well, then great, but don't limit yourself at that. You can always improve and it'll give you satisfaction to see revenue and conversion numbers go up as a result of your work. If things don't work, then that's fine and don't feel like you've made an error, sometimes things won't work and it's a process of trial and error.’
June Gil, PPC Manager at McCann Connected gives her advice:
'My top tip to start a career in PPC is to have a degree or masters in online marketing as this will help in terms of giving you a general view on PPC. Most of the learning will happen on the job, and working in an advertising agency is the best way to learn everything you can. Client side life can be more cushy, but you won't get exposed to as much information, support and industries as in an agency, so this is best left for later on.'
Choose your agency wisely
'Big agencies will have a lot of resources, access to better support and bigger clients and budgets, but the job will be very compartmentalized and you will not be able to learn much about anything outside of PPC. You'll also have a lot more competition for promotions due to the high number of employees. Small or startup agencies might have less resources, tech support or knowledge, but if you're proactive, you can get involved in a lot of additional activities such as client management, forecasting, client pitching, presenting, team management, etc. This means you'll develop a skill set that's very valued at senior levels a lot faster than other people in a similar position. Take into account the difference in culture too - big agencies tend to be a lot more corporate.'
What is your top tip for getting/ progressing in your PPC Career?
'A lot of people 'fall' into PPC, and as with any career choice not made consciously, they sometimes become stagnant. If you come with an intention and a plan, you could progress fairly quickly as you'll stand out. I'd recommend pushing for an early performance review (and regular ones after that) so you know what to focus on in terms of development. Ask questions, read, learn as much as you can and when you've hit your targets, ask for a promotion in your next review. If you're doing a good job but your current company doesn't seem open to promote you, consider moving to another agency or client side (in fact, many argue that the best way to progress in this industry is to change jobs ever 2-3 years for a better position & salary).
Also consider the skill set you'll need with each promotion - if you're fairly junior, learning as much as possible about the technical side should be your priority. When you get to manager level, skills like knowing how to manage clients, pitch to new leads or manage junior members of the team become increasingly important, so focus on those via internal/external training and by asking for more responsibility - those who go the extra mile usually have the advantage.'
Andrew Darnell, PPC Manager at PushON recommends:
‘My top tip for starting your career in PPC is do your research! It might sound basic but there are loads of great blogs and sites out there so get stuck into those. You won’t be expected to know the finer points of a very technical PPC strategy when you start out but you would be wise to get yourself in a position where you can at least discuss the basic building blocks of the industry you’re looking to enter.
Enthusiasm is the vital element to growing your career. Working in such a rapidly developing and evolving industry means that it is vital to stay on top of the latest developments, and spending the time to learn about and understand these and how they fit together to form the ideal PPC strategy for your client will be crucial. Whether this is simply a new type of ad extension or using new tech to develop new scripts to use in the account, much of this will simply pass you by if you don’t have the enthusiasm to learn.
Don’t to develop tunnel vision!
In order to be able to develop within the digital industry, there needs to be an appreciation and understanding of all digital channels and how they work together / impact upon one another. This is not to say you need to be an expert in PPC, paid social, programmatic, tech SEO, content, native ads to name a few, but it will certainly help if you understand how they all fit together.
Another key point is appreciating that PPC is not a “one size fits all” channel, the closer you can work with your clients the more you can tailor your offering to deliver success upon their terms, making for happy clients…and happy clients make for quicker promotions!’
Alex Hogan, PPC Executive, PushOn explains:
Don’t go in blind….
‘Read up and learn about the industry as much as possible. It is one of the fastest moving and most advanced forms of digital marketing so it's great to learn as much about the industry as possible instead of going in blind! It also helps to know a fair bit before an interview.
There is more to PPC than Google AdWords…
Learn about as many areas within PPC as you can ... PPC isn't just AdWords! There is a huge future for programmatic buying within PPC so I would say that it is essential to know about this if you want to make any progression.’
Colin Telford, Managing Partner at The Candidate finishes with:
Love Data and your clients!
‘PPC is about as far away from being creative as Donald Trump is from politics. It’s all about analytics, numbers, spreadsheets and trends. You’ll be setting up campaigns, analysing activity and optimising based on the best performers. Only get involved if you love data, working out conundrums and making this work. You’ll develop your career when you can either speak to clients or develop your client skills or if you can begin to understand how PPC interacts with other channels. The latter of these two elements can be crucial to career development and increasing your earning power. Think about the impact of TV or radio advertising on your PPC activity and the uplift in it. Is it profitable for you and within the target ROI? If you can get your head around these, you’ll be flying in your PPC career!’
If you are interested in progressing your PPC career and the jobs we have on offer click here! Or to discuss your options contact one of our award winning team!