Updated: Sep 21
The demands for digital marketing (small and large brands alike) continues to grow yearly, as the internet continues to be prime real estate for selling and promoting products and services. Whether posting ad campaigns on search engines or social media, there is a method to the madness of pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Enter the need for PPC Specialists, a digital marketing role specializing in online paid search marketing.
But what is a PPC Specialist, what value can they add to a business, and what do you need to become one? This article will cover the qualities and skills a PPC Specialist should have, including personality traits, work habits, and prior experience.
What is a PPC Specialist?
The primary job role of a PPC Specialist is to curate and oversee PPC advertising campaigns for search engines or media platforms. This duty includes several tasks contributing to the success of paid search campaigns, such as research, competitive analysis, creative design, planning marketing strategies and client communications.
PPC Specialists are usually part of a larger marketing team, either for an individual company or a digital marketing agency.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Digital Marketer?
As with any career, certain characteristics are desirable in a candidate for a digital marketer. These characteristics include soft skills and an understanding of how the marketing industry works.
1. Adaptability and Willing to Learn
PPC Specialists should be willing and aware that the industry changes rapidly, which requires continuous learning, training, and strategy-shifting. New information in marketing comes from many sources, ranging from formal at-work training to colleagues, social media, newsletters, articles, and online marketing communities.
A good digital marketer will seek this information and hope to stay ahead of the changing curve. Your curiosity of what is going on should be insatiable.
2. Patient and Observant
A good PPC Specialist will know patience is key when initiating campaigns. Growth marketing hinges on results and data to analyze whether a paid campaign has succeeded. They will remain patient during waiting periods, which might feel boring, and learn how to play the waiting game.
There is also patience needed when testing new strategies. Depending on the data set - it may take a while for the data to show the current trend and to tell you whether you are on a path of success or whether you should backtrack and try something different.
3. Good inter-personal skills
Digital marketers should also have excellent people skills as they often communicate with internal marketing teams and clients. As digital marketing is a growing and expanding career field, they must also be comfortable with networking for personal development to generate connections in the industry to progress in their careers, like at events and even online webinars.
Finding job opportunities in digital marketing is also highly social, as many marketing roles require submitting a portfolio and showing off past work. Gone are the days when just applying for a job seen on a job board was enough. Your network can be your most valuable tool for getting your profile in front of the right night employer.
What Prior Relevant Work Experience Is Needed for Paid Search Marketing?
Along with desirable characteristics, prior relevant work experience is necessary for most PPC Specialist positions. The position of PPC Specialist is considered an entry-level to mid-level marketing position.
Degree and Experience Requirements
A degree in marketing or communications will help towards being successful in this field, but in many cases, education requirements can be satisfied with work experience.
Relevant work experience can include time spent in similar roles, internships, SEO or content marketing positions, or other copywriting expertise. Depending on the job posting, a company may ask for a PPC Specialist to have anywhere between 0 to 5 years of relevant work experience. Entry-level roles are common in our field, so getting in would just require you to prove that you have the right fast learning and critical thinking skills.
What Are the Important Skills a PPC Specialist Must Have?
1. Keyword and Competitor Research
One of the primary day-to-day duties of a PPC Specialist involves using tools to perform keyword and other SEO-style research. Competitor, keyword, and advertisement research are necessary for crafting PPC campaigns.
According to Marketer Hire, common tools used in the industry for keyword and competitor research include Google AdWords, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Microsoft Advertising.
2. Ad Copy and Design Skills
When curating and publishing paid search content, PPC Specialists are usually required to write ad copy or design graphics to complete their campaigns. These skills are especially useful on small digital marketing teams and allow PPC Specialists to plan campaigns and execute them on their own.
A good PPC Specialist will be experienced in generating high-quality ad copy to produce results for their clients. Keyword placement within copy and SEO optimization are important skills that PPC Specialists must have to write clear, convincing, and effective ad copy for PPC.
It is less common for companies to require their PPC team to have graphic design skills, but this ability could set an applicant apart from others during the hiring process. You can easily add value to your company if you can complete your tasks independently.
3. Understanding of PPC Campaigns in the marketing funnel
Additionally, PPC Specialists should understand that all ad campaigns are unique. They will be able to adapt strategies based on the needs of the market and the needs of their client to help their clients reach their advertising goals and maximize profit.
Understanding bid strategies and growth potential for a campaign is also crucial, as PPC is competitive & expensive. A good PPC Specialist will know how to beat out the competition through their in-depth knowledge of the process and knowing the best optimisation tactics to implement.
4. Analysis and Presentation Skills
Finally, a PPC Specialist must be able to analyze and present their data to a client effectively. Tracking the performance of a campaign is as important as running one. A good PPC employee will ensure clients' satisfaction with their investment by showing them the numbers.
They will also use their collected data to adjust tactics, prepare new strategies, and learn for future ad campaigns. PPC Specialists should have experience using spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel, to track and observe their results.
As companies seek to expand their digital marketing campaigns, there continues to be a need for capable digital marketers to step into the role of PPC Specialist. These competent professionals are the backbone behind paid search marketing, and the position is well-suited for those looking to embark on a journey of personal development in the digital marketing field.
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