“So, what do you do?”
It’s a common question people ask each other every day. And the responses vary: “I’m a banker,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m Drake.” Self-explanatory professions need no elaboration. But what happens when someone has never heard of a PPC Specialist before? The response is probably, “Um, what’s that?”
Although a PPC Specialist sounds like an abstract profession, it isn’t that different from any other job. PPC Specialists read and respond to emails, attend meetings, and often multi-task, just like many other professions. It’s pretty basic, right?
But what makes a PPC Specialist unique (besides the acronym) is their integral role in online advertising campaigns. They impact how much money a company stands to make (more on that later). They’re money-makers, and we feel they’re deserving of some praise.
So, we’re shining the spotlight on PPC Specialists. Here’s why PPC Specialists are awesome, and why their field might be one you should consider joining, too.
What’s a PPC Specialist?
First, it’s important to note PPC stands for pay per click, and it’s a form of advertising coveted by brands and their ad agencies, to get more people to their website. A pay per click specialist (PPC Specialist) is someone whose bread and butter is managing internet pay per click advertising campaigns (PPC).
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Basically, this person handles establishing new campaigns and overseeing current ones for their company, or on behalf of clients paying for their company to handle their campaigns. They also analyze keywords and optimize them for superior performance.
What Skills Do You Need?
PPC Specialists possess traits like the ability to communicate clearly, think critically, have an aptitude for math, identify future trends, and have a high tolerance for change and stress. That last attribute is important, because working in an industry that’s constantly in flux (new rules, features, theories) requires flexibility and the ability to remain calm.
For example, you could start off your day working on a cross-channel strategy and suddenly need to switch gears to a client who’s focused on machine learning. You never know what you may encounter day-to-day.
More importantly, it’s a PPC Specialist’s innate ability to understand the client’s goals and only track those KPIs that are relevant to the client. The ability to put aside their own biases is what truly sets them apart from the rest of other account managers.
What’s the Daily Routine Like?
A day in the life of a PPC Specialist means getting into the office around 8 a.m. and leaving by 5 p.m. (not bad hours). And like most worker bees, PPC Specialists have a daily routine they follow. A typical day consists of:
Checking Email: After caffeinating themselves with coffee, PPC Specialists settle in, then check and respond to their email. They’ll answer campaign queries or other client related questions.
Scanning Blogs: In order to stay up-to-date on industry trends (and get content for their own future blog posts), they’ll visit their go-to blogs (and probably BuzzFeed, too) and read industry e-newsletters. They like to stay on top of newsworthy buzz that could influence a campaign.
For instance, let’s say in 2013, a PPC Specialist managed a campaign for Raymour and Flanigan Furniture. Something as random as Kim Kardashian’s 2013 Met Gala dress trending could have potentially (and bizarrely) boosted couch sales. So, it pays to stay on top of trends.
Managing Campaigns: The bulk of their work day is spent setting up and managing PPC campaigns. (Here’s where the doughnuts are made!) This involves: continuous ad testing, updating negative keyword lists, whitelisting strong performing sources, researching competitors, monitoring campaign performance, checking in with clients, and creating reports.
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Of course an hour for lunch and the occasional 15-minute break is thrown in there. And in their spare time, a PPC Specialist may create original content for its company blog, focusing on PPC related topics.
Job Outlook: A Strong Future
For those currently in the field (or looking to get into it), there’s no lack of jobs out there. Search the words PPC Specialist and you’ll see several job postings right at your fingertips, like this one from Blue Corona:
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Source: Blue Corona
Blue Corona’s job posting mirrors the typical required experience and education for a PPC Specialist. Although it doesn’t mention salary, PPC Specialists are paid a variety of ways. Some are paid straight salary, others performance based only, or some even get base salary plus commission. While it varies, the industry norm for an entry level position is typically a salary in the mid-forties.
PPC Specialists play an integral role in online advertising, and their day-to-day routine is never boring. If you’re a PPC Specialist, you should be proud. And if you’re not, maybe you should consider making a career change and joining the ‘cool kids.’
This article was originally posted in July 2015 and has been republished with new information.