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How to Launch a PPC Reseller Program

November 15, 2010

PPC Reseller Programs can be a real pain to get right. There are so many factors to take into account, multiplied by tens/hundreds/thousands of resellers, all with different web capability levels, spanning many different geographies and languages. The task can seem very daunting to even the most seasoned marketer. Where do you even begin?

In a previous post about How to Achieve Success in PPC Reseller Programs, I touched on some key issues to consider. One of these was the issue of keyword bidding and collaboration. But how exactly do you achieve successful collaboration? And what are the steps you need to take in order to get there? My friends over at Covario helped to shed some light on this topic for me.

1. Determine Budget

If your search marketing budget is already far stretched, the next best place to look for funds is from your company’s Co-Op budget (company marketing dollars that most larger corporations use to support co-operative marketing activities with key resellers). How is the current budget being allocated? And what is the proven return on those activities?

In a prior life, I worked in channel marketing. An ongoing challenge was how to effectively utilize the Co-Op budget and not have it just disappear into a black hole somewhere, with no results to show for it. This is what makes PPC Reseller Programs an ideal Co-Op activity as it delivers rich metrics that can be directly attributed to revenue.

2. Define Program Scope

The next step is to decide whether your PPC Reseller Program will include all of your resellers, or just a select few. It’s important to define up front what your criteria for participation will be (EG: business value to your company, product selection, stock on hand etc.) and what capabilities are needed in order to take part (EG: robust website analytics, e-commerce).

3. Divide Ownership of Keywords

Although day-parting keywords is an option, perhaps the cleanest way to execute (particularly within global programs) is to just decide upon which keywords belong to who. Remember that resellers are just that — they are there to sell. So a good approach is to group your keywords according to intent and split them out that way, with Learn and Support-related keywords being owned by your organization, and Buy-related keywords (which sit further down the funnel) belonging to the resellers.

4. Agree on Adcopy and Landing Pages

It’s a fact of life that resellers will carry a range of products, including those of your competitors. This is why it’s important to agree up front on what adcopy is used and what landing page they will send searchers to.

Make it as easy as possible for the resellers by providing them with adcopy and content for dedicated landing pages/microsites focused just on your products. This way you get to control the messaging. If you can find a way to automatically populate the content onto their pages, then even better.

Once the content is in place, make sure that analytics are set up on the pages so you can track success of the campaign down to online sales. It is always wise to run a pilot prior to full roll out to ensure that analytics are tracking correctly. Continue to monitor PPC activity and performance, and set up regular review meetings to discuss results and ways to further improve the program.

5. Reward Through Re-imbursement

So all of this is very nice from the corporate perspective — you are telling your resellers what keywords they can have, what adcopy and content they have to use, and analytics that need to be set up on their pages in order to track success. So far, it all seems a bit one-sided. What’s in it for them? And how do you get them to *want* to participate? The answer, or course, comes down to money. 

The great thing about PPC is the cost-per-click aspect. Through a re-imbursement based approach you can use your Co-Op funds to contribute a percentage towards the click costs. So for example, for every $1 a reseller spends on a keyword click, you can re-imburse them 25c, or 50c, or whatever makes sense. To ensure costs don’t spiral out of control, it’s important to apply a cap on the total Co-Op contribution.

From your contribution, resellers are receiving monetary support to off-set some of the cost from a campaign that will provide them with measurable return, that can be directly linked to sales. What this means is more revenue for the reseller; and that is the ultimate reward.

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From → Search Marketing

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