If advertising your business online is difficult, then advertising your 3D Printing is extremely difficult depending on what you are selling. The 3D Printing industry is a niche of many niches, but it is a very small niche industry. Unlike most general industries, a 3D Printing company is targeting a demographic of a few thousand to a few million potential customers, depending on what you are selling. Adwords is a great way to target this demographic, but let’s face it the “google adword experts are oblivious to this industry.” Also, google adword experts don’t take into consideration of a company’s budget. To really succeed in google adwords, you need a good marketing budget.
Fortunately, I am putting my two cents in my 15+ years in online marketing experience and my 5+ years in 3D Printing Industry experience to give you, the small 3D Printing business the right direction on how to sell successfully on Google Adwords.
Whether you are selling 3D Printing tangible products and/or services, there are the dos and don’ts. Just because you are selling a 3D Printing product and/or service, does not mean you should advertise your business on a broad keyword topic such as “3D Printing”. The term is very broad and your ad will get a lot of clicks, but no quality visitors. Though, the keyword generates between 250,000-301,000 searches monthly, does not guarantee that you will get the users that you are seeking. The top two ads in this search screenshot can afford to blow thousands of dollars or even millions, but as a small business you do not.
Keyword: Best, Comparison, Compare
The users who are typing “Best, Comparison, Compare” are more than likely passive users. They are eyeball shopping for great deals and looking for other blogs with opinions regarding the best 3D Printers, the best 3D Printer Filaments, and etc. If you want to be strategic, then look up those terms and see which sites are listed in the first and second page and try and get yourself listed into those sites. Best way to get yourself exposure. Keyword terms, such as “Best 3D Printer, Best 3D Printer Filament, 3D Printer Filament Comparison, and 3D Printer Comparison” get anything between 1,500 to 18,000 searches monthly on google. As you can see in the top two paid ads, the companies who are listed can afford to waste money.
Know your demographic
I like to categorize the 3D Printer Consumer into 3 categories:
- Low End Hobbyist – people who typically buy 3D Printers below the $700-$1K range, even this category have a sub-category which I call the lower end hobbyist.
- Mid End / Start Up Professionals – people who want to turn their hobby into a real business and want to invest into a hardcore machine that can take a beating, but won’t or can’t invest no more than $2K for a machine. Also have a small 3D Printer Farm with a combination of upper end of low end hobbyist mahines and mid-end machines.
- Professionals – this category are individuals who graduated from low end and mid-end and are making a decent living with their machines. These individuals are spending at least $2K per machine and building a serious 3D Printer farm.
Based on the google demographics on people who search this term, yes Google has perform an entire demographic who search this term. A good number of people who search “3d Printer, 3D Printing” are newbies. Most newbies will fall under the lower to low end hobbyist categories. Therefore, if you wish to target the broad term and do have a decent size budget, then try the keywords, but I recommend having a conversion tool script installed into your online store. This will tell you exactly, which keywords are effective in converting into sales. The rule of thumb is 1% conversion is ehh and 5% is great. You want to be somewhere between 2-3% in average conversion sales. So, if a broad term such as 3d printer and 3d printing is not giving you the sales that you desire, then axe it before you invest further.
Mid-End to Professional End Categories use keyword terms such as “high end, professional, commercial” 3D Printers if your products are over $1K. These terms have an average of 50-1500 searches monthly on google.
These tidbits are valid for those selling 3D Printer Filaments, Parts & Accessories.
Google Shopping can not be ignored. Does not matter, if you are selling a $200 printer or a $20,000 printer. People who go to: google.com/shopping are more than likely looking to buy than someone searching for products on google.com. Therefore, set up your google merchant account, get your XML feed or integrate your site with google merchants. Set up your google shopping ad with Adwords and you will see buyers, but you will need to pay for play.
What I mean about pay for play, you will need to bid higher than your competitor to make it to the top of the search listing. The average first place spot for a 3D Printer google shopping search is anywhere between $1.5-$5.00 per click. If you select 50 cents are your desired pay per click, then you will be listed but will only get users who are really looking for the latest 3d Printer.
Rule of thumb in advertising spending, whether its google, facebook, twitter, 3d printing industry, 3dprint.com, 3dprinterchat.com, and all3dp.com. Your cost of sales, can not exceed 35%. Meaning, if you are selling a $500 machine, then the cost to sell should not exceed $175.00. Ideally, your cost of sales should not exceed $50, 10% of your sale price. 5% is better, but not many companies get that privilege in being in that club. Based on my experience in selling on google, the average cost of sale for me was 10-15% cost of sale.
Don’t anticipate overnight success. Anticipate that you will lose money in google adwords until you figure things out. Anticipate stress, financial strain and fustration, and loss of hair. The only thing you can anticipate is whether you got the guts to figure it out, especially if you are playing operations manager and marketing team all at the same time.
Also published on Medium.