Advertising on Instacart 101: Paid Search, PPC, CPC?
In the Advertising on Instacart 101 series, we introduce readers to Instacart Ads, look at some key concepts, and talk about the value they can provide brands of all sizes — from emerging challenger brands to the very largest category leaders.
In this article, we look at the concept of paid search advertising, some examples of it online, and talk about how it is typically priced, translating some of the acronyms, like PPC and CPC, you’ll often hear when discussing paid search advertising.
So what is paid search?
Paid search is a form of digital advertising where ads for relevant products and services are displayed alongside search results. There are many factors considered behind the scenes to determine when to display ads, or which ads to display for different searches, but they typically focus on how useful or related the ads are to the search term.
Paid search is a popular type of digital advertising because it gives the advertiser the opportunity to target their ad to people who are more likely to be interested in their product or service than a random shopper.
Compare paid search ads to a billboard on the side of a freeway. Lots of people are going to see the billboard, which is great, but what do you know about them? That they were driving or riding in a car along that stretch of road. If it’s a product you sell, you can at least be sure it’s a product available for purchase in that area, but you don’t know if they’re looking for your product. Even a product with broad appeal, like ice cream, there are going to be people driving by that billboard who don’t eat ice cream because of dietary restrictions, because they’re trying to eat healthy, or because their dessert of choice is baked goods like cake and cookies.
On the other hand, if your ad can reach just people who are searching for ‘ice cream’ and other related keywords, then you know the audience you’re targeting is much more likely to be interested in your product.
Advertising on Instacart takes this relevance a step further. Because we offer ad space on an e-commerce marketplace that consumers visit to shop from their favorite retailers, we can put ads right in front of the consumer directly at the point of purchase. So while someone searching ‘ice cream’ online could be searching for a bunch of reasons — they might be looking for recipes to make homemade ice cream, for an ice cream store near them, among others — someone shopping on Instacart who searches for ice cream is like someone in the grocery store heading directly to the ice cream aisle. They’re in the market for ice cream! And, hey, here’s a new brand of ice cream, in their flavor, for a great price. So they click to learn more.
That’s paid search. On Instacart, it’s incredibly powerful for brands of all sizes.
Okay but what’s with all the acronyms?
Do we just really like acronyms in digital advertising? Maybe. Like a lot of industries, especially those involving computers, there’s some jargon which digital advertising professionals use as a shorthand to talk to colleagues.
PPC, CPC, CPM, you’ll see these come up again and again. They describe how advertisers are charged for paid search ads.
This is a little bit like the billboard ad we talked about earlier — the more visible the billboard, the busier the freeway it’s beside, the more it costs because more people will see it. There’s a value there that the advertiser is paying for when they put their ad on the billboard. Whereas pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-click (CPC) are both pricing models where the advertiser only gets charged when someone clicks on their ad.
Instacart and most of the paid search ads you might be familiar with, like on other ecommerce marketplaces, use PPC/CPC model. Advertisers love it because they are not charged each time a consumer sees their ad. Only when they click on it.
Advertise with us to get in front of consumers when they’re searching for products like yours on the Instacart Marketplace. For more information and to get started, visit ads.instacart.com.
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