Presenting Great PPC Work

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Presenting Great PPC Work.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is your biggest pet peeve with PPC case studies that are presented to clients? Why?

  • Over-generalized and not relevant to my business needs. Example “We increased mobile revenue 115%!” Ok, but how much did you end up spending? Was it even profitable?? – Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
  • Generally the budgets are in the 6 figures monthly. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • A lot of boiler plate. – JD Prater (@jdprater)
  • Case studies presenting basic problems and solutions – I know an account restructure will help – what else unique did you do? – Matt Umbro
  • There usually some bias or skew in the data that may or may not be disclosed. Really annoying to have to sleuth out an article. – Gil Hong (@gil__hong)
  • Not specific enough. Did conversions really go up because of PPC or was there a design change during that time too? – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • No context! – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • They never display time well. New clients see x% growth in your case study and expect the same. IMMEDIATELY. – Bryce Liggins (@BryceLiggins)
  • That a case study was presented. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • I also can’t stand when the case study doesn’t disclose if brand traffic was involved, either it was or wasn’t but tell me. – Matt Umbro
  • Lack of application to the client’s specific problems and solutions. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Not relevant to the client’s business. – Leah Sophia (@LeahSophiaa)
  • Cherry-picked numbers. Solutions that only work for clients with giant budgets. Vague, “marketing” writing. – Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
  • Case studies that give no insights into budget considerations. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Case studies only highlight the best parts of their work not how they approached any flaws.Much like dating profiles. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Lack of data. Saying things like “significantly improved” with no growth rate, etc. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
  • The wrong conclusions are drawn because the writer doesn’t understand statistics. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • So often these case studies are based on super small data sets, so the results are super specific to the accounts involved. – Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
  • Lying with statistics, or skewing data in a way that favors the case. – Brett Fratzke (@BrettFratzke)
  • Data can easily be skewed to say what they want. – Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
  • Just super vague stats. If there’s no “before/after” legitimate comparison, all interest is gone. – Amy Valleskey (@amy_valleskey)
  • The best case studies explicitly state all considerations before showcasing the data (ie: we were in busy season, etc). – Matt Umbro
  • Not specific to the actions they took to get those results or to meet the challenge. – JD Prater
  • As former statistician, I’ll explain: statistics are answers to specific questions. Often, q asked not one u think u asked. – Steve Gibson
  • Empty numbers (eg 100% increase in CTR) without a clearly attributed cause + repeatable, relevant course of action. – Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
  • When was the last time you saw a case study that said “Turns out the market just shifted in our favor!”? – Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
  • PPC case studies create unrealistic expectations. Well, if company x received 200% increase in revenue, then so do I. – Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
  • Never any consideration of how good/bad the account was to begin with. For some accounts a monkey could improve things. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Q2: What do you find clients tend to care the most about when reviewing case studies? Why?

  • Industry sector – for obvious reasons. – Richard Fergie
  • If they recognize the brand/company. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Objectives achieved, stellar results (e.g. improved cost/conversion by 80%, etc.), in their vertical. – Melissa Mackey
  • Similar industry first. Success second. – Bryce Liggins
  • They want to know if you have done this before. Can I trust you?! – JD Prater
  • Revenue/Lead Growth. Many don’t know anything about CTR, CPC, or whatever acronym you want to toss at them. – Joe Martinez
  • How long will it take for me to get these same results! – Gil Hong
  • Well this is somewhat irrelevant to me because I’m in house. But, industry specific, relative growth, and how they achieved it. – Brooke Townsend
  • Similar industry, long testing period, large sum of data analyzed, same KPI goals, etc. Anything that empowers them basically. – Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
  • Same verticle or demographic. For benchmarking fun. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Client here…relevancy to my space. If you can’t show me you’ve worked with similar business models , I’m out. – Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
  • They prick their ears up when the study features a competitor / known brand. – Rohan Ayyar
  • I think client *should* care most about unique solutions the agency utilized, but ultimately it’s about vertical and results. – Matt Umbro
  • Prospects look for something they can’t get elsewhere or in house. Make yourself different and you’ll attract peep who want you. – Mark Irvine
  • If you proved results for a well-known brand. If you’re ahead of the industry curve. If you drove results at an strong ROI. – Maddie Cary
  • Industry specific. Although, I don’t think that’s always necessary if you truly understand the ins and outs of ppc. – Leah Sophia
  • In-house standpoint:I need to see comparable industries. It’s hard for me to compare what I see to what some giant company sees. – Amy Valleskey
  • Lots of ours are very interested in where the clicks came from (geo). They’re also mostly service based & Locally focused. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Clients tend to ask how the case study is comparable to their performance & vertical. Expected Impact. – Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
  • What approach/tactics improved results for similar clients with specific data driven results? What else should I be doing? – Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)

Q3: In your opinion, what constitutes a great PPC case study that can be presented to clients? Why?

  • Being able to convey appropriate expectations for the process that led to the results. – Gil Hong
  • Explaining all considerations (seasonality, bigger budget, timeline) before presenting information. – Brooke Townsend
  • I like to present case studies that are going to be different from what they normally see. That may mean a unique solution, a different way of looking at the problem, or different KPIs we reviewed. – Matt Umbro
  • Contains insights into Budget, Timeline, Conversions, ROI. – James Svoboda
  • One that’s detailed in terms of how results were achieved & instills confidence and excitement that the client can do the same. – Margot da Cunha
  • One that re-sets the buying criteria (in your favour) for companies that are looking to hire PPC managers. – Steve Gibson
  • A case study that addresses a problem unique to my client is best (seasonal fixes, changing industry) rather than a generic one. – Mark Irvine.
    • Exactly, get away from the typical case study and showcase something unique. – Matt Umbro
  • Include your initial hypothesis & variables. Then show your thought process on how your thinking/updates produced results. – Joe Martinez
  • I’ll appreciate one that highlights the growing pains that can be expected, as well as the KPI changes that resulted from that. – Amy Valleskey
  • Obvious one: results & data. I’ve worked@ agencies that focus on process but don’t show results. No sizzle or reason to care. – Amy Hebdon
  • Brilliant case study outlines the hypothesis and approach to the problem. It includes data driven on successes & failures. For me include some of the [SWOT] analysis with insights on WHY the proposed solution was chosen based on expectations. – Christi Olson
  • A case-study showing something they haven’t been willing to try, in their vertical, that drove big gains. That should get them. – Maddie Cary
  • Show them relevant parts of ongoing projects in real-time, because that’ll make them more realistic. – Rohan Ayyar
  • Charts! graphs! Full color! 34pt font (but not one of the standard ones, the kind that breaks on everyone else’s machine). – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I like ones that utilize the scientific method. SHOW me your process and outcomes. – JD Prater

Q4: Besides case studies, how do you present your great work to prospective clients?

  • References. Let our current clients back us up. – Robert Brady
  • Testimonials and referrals can be a big plus! – Gil Hong
  • References, awards, testimonials, relevant blog posts written by team members. – Melissa Mackey
  • Blogpost coming on this next week: Take focus off past work that can’t be replicated, place it on your awesome “PPC brand." – Kirk Williams
  • Tell them to talk directly with satisfied clients! – Timothy Jensen
  • Data, data, data! Benchmark performance data and share what’s worked/not and outline the approach tailored for that client. – Christi Olson
  • Find out about an interesting trend? Blog about it. Worst case: You help people. Best case: You wow prospects. – Mark Irvine
  • An initiative that successfully achieved BUSINESS goals; revenue, profit, ROI, ROAS, etc. (As opposed to SEM metrics like CTR). – Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
  • Articles, white papers, reports. – Steve Gibson
  • Anything that shows the knowledge & experience of our team — referrals, awards, and blogposts are a good start! – Maddie Cary
  • Also, I found it helpful to consistently present a PPC Roadmap: where you’ve been, where you’re going. How we’ll get you there. – Christi Olson
  • Definitely testimonials and reviews from your clients. Put them on your website to earn trust during research phase. – Joe Martinez
  • Referrals, third party reviews, quality blog posts, data, social presence, validity of the company itself is huge. – Margot da Cunha
  • Break your case study into smaller blogs to highlight your wins. – JD Prater
  • Also make sure your company & team members’ social profiles are up to par. – Melissa Mackey
  • Get out there on the conference circuit. Wow people with your ppc smarts and the rfps will come flooding. – Erin Sagin
  • Metrics and percentages of past success. A chart that shows a big X always helps -cost down +conversions up. – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • PPC Audits and Blog Posts. – James Svoboda
  • Focus entirely on high-level business goals, not SEM-specific metrics. Shows you understand their actual business. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • I always find it important to showcase your work with the latest features (ie: ad customizers, GSP, etc), it shows clients that you are keeping up with the latest and greatest features. – Matt Umbro
  • Again, in-house, but to keep spending money, I need to get results. Depending on who I’m chatting with, answers to this Q vary. – Amy Valleskey
  • Reporting is key. Create monthly reports for all clients with historical improvements. Anonymize the data for awesome pitches. – Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
  • In-house perspective: Monthly/quarterly reviews highlighting latest tests w/new features performance. Be a internal PPC advocate. – Christi Olson

Q5: How much is too much when presenting great PPC work to potential clients (if there is such a thing as too much)? Why?

  • My definition of great work isn’t always the same as the client. – Richard Fergie
  • When you’re talking with client execs, they want overview. Not in-depth of every single KPI. – Brooke Townsend
  • I think this is where you have to read the room. See when prospect’s eyes are glazing over. Every prospect is different. – Melissa Mackey
  • Speak to your audience. CEO/Owner: Keep it brief and high level. Marketing manager: Dive into details. – Mark Irvine
  • At some point everyone loses interest in what you’ve done for others. “What will you do for ME?” is on their mind. – Kirk Williams
  • No such thing as too much as long as you make it clear each account/business is different & results are not guaranteed. – Roxana Hassel
  • Know your audience and what they’re looking for. Speak to their needs. – JD Prater
  • When they ask for costs estimates. At that point they are sold. You should stop pitching and start listening for requirements. – Mark Hansen
  • Depends on spend levels, but generally I won’t do more than once a month. More than that “takes time away from optimizing”. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Never use the “new product scattergun” approach as always demonstrated by Google reps. Instead tailor examples to the audience! – Matt Whelan (@OldMatt)
  • Boss talk-no data is left untouched, Exec talk-I’ll stick more with Benchmarking and highlighting new optimization techniques. – Amy Valleskey
  • Stick to the KPI’s that most accurately reflect improvements towards their business goals. Avoid Acronyms. – Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
  • Know your audience and develop the message for them. Watch/Listen for clues to engagement and dont’ be afraid to ask questions. – Christi Olson

Q6: How do you ensure that your existing clients know of the great work you are doing for them?

  • Talk to them and tell them! Also ask if the results impacted their bottom line. – Gil Hong
  • This is where you show the struggles behind your case study. Remind them that this isn’t easy, but show them progress. – Mark Irvine
  • Being consistent with communication and transparency is key. I give overviews on larger optimizations I’m working on. – Brooke Townsend
  • Having a game plan that you can show and they can follow along with. – JD Prater
  • Regular reporting/phone calls. Excited emails when goals are hit/surpassed. Keep lines of communication open. – Margot da Cunha
  • Tell them what you’re doing for them, not just the outcome (like the domino’s pizza tracker showing each step of the process). – Amy Hebdon
  • I show my clients which exact company leads my PPC work is bringing in. – Joe Martinez
  • Good question. Not really sure on the answer. How do I show they couldn’t easily hire someone for less money & same results? – Richard Fergie
  • IMHO It goes back to the PPC Roadmap/Plan. Tell them what your doing and show them results. Always Be Testing and Educating! – Christi Olson
  • Educate them enough to make sure they know without me telling them. Having actual success doesn’t hurt either. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Detailed reports that focus on conversions (KPIs) and trend results over time. Detail work as well. – James Svoboda
  • Always let them know when you’ve gotten into a beta or are testing a new feature. – Matt Umbro
  • Regular conversations (phone & In person), detailed reports showing trends over tie, progress vs. objectives. – Melissa Mackey
  • Be enthusiastic about the results coming in. Spread your positive energy. – Margot da Cunha
  • I keep up on current PPC tactics and new features available, and make sure we are taking advantage. – Amy Valleskey
  • I think it comes down to the following: 1. Don’t get bad results 2. Establish a personal relationship. – Richard Fergie
  • Lots of factors help, but emphasis on results now compared to previous timeframes, as others have said, is crucial. – Timothy Jensen

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Amy Valleskey (@amy_valleskey)
• Brett Fratzke (@BrettFratzke)
• Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
• Bryce Liggins (@BryceLiggins)
• Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
• Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
• Gil Hong (@gil__hong)
• Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leah Sophia (@LeahSophiaa)
• Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
• Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
• Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
• Matt Whelan (@OldMatt)
• Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
• Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
 

Presenting Great PPCChat Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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