Cross-Channel Marketing: Improve Paid Social Ads With PPC Keywords

Social media has become an essential market for paid and organic strategies. Since brands from every industry push out content, channels can quickly become polluted with the same trends and content. To succeed in this area, you must be creative; cross-channel marketing is the answer. 

Cross-channel marketing is a combination of various marketing channels to create a more cohesive customer journey for your target audience. Different channels should work together to create a connected message that leads from one to the other. This collaboration allows you to reach a wider audience and drive more revenue. With paid social ads, you can leverage the power of social media platforms to get your message out to potential customers. Using PPC keywords, you can take your paid social ads to the next level and increase your reach even further. 

At Portent, we focus on uniting our paid media strategy by utilizing the insights from each channel to make the others stronger. Introducing a PPC strategy into our paid social processes has made an immediate impact for our clients. In this blog post, we will discuss why you should use PPC keywords for your paid social ads and how to implement this strategy.

What Are PPC Keywords?

PPC keywords are terms that potential visitors enter into search engines in order to find solutions to their purchasing problems. By using the correct keywords, you can ensure that your website is delivered to the viewer in the form of a top-ranking search result ad. For example, if someone is searching for a Social Media Agency in Seattle, they may enter keywords such as “social media,” “marketing agency,” and “Seattle” into the search engine. 

If an agency uses these keywords in its PPC campaign, they will be displayed as a top-ranking search result, making it more likely that the potential customer will click on their ad. Although there are a variety of keyword types, this blog will be focused on branded keywords and generic keywords. These types of keywords typically cover vague keywords that could reference an assortment of users throughout the user journey. 

Google Search Breakdown of Keywords
Keywords in Google Search

Keyword research is crucial to this strategy breakdown and can make or break a great PPC and paid social campaign. Many practitioners have a mixture of resources and platforms that they utilize to build their keyword research. Keywords should reflect a solution to a particular problem that your product or service solves, and the best way to find these keywords is to research the customer journey. 

Check out this Portent blog on PPC keyword research to learn more about the process and start researching your own keywords.

Why Are PPC Keywords Helpful for Paid Social?

When it comes to content creation, especially for social media posts, keyword strategies are important. Furthermore, cross-channel marketing requires a certain degree of uniformity between social media ad copy and the overall message you are sending across funnels. PPC keyword research can ensure that your brand messaging is cohesive and relevant to what users are searching for. By leveraging the insights of this research to create better paid social ads, you can ensure your message resonates with your target audience. 

Incorporating high-quality keywords into social media posts will increase brand exposure and maintain a cohesive marketing scheme across funnels and marketing strategies. 

Write More Engaging Paid Social Ad Copy

PPC keywords can give you a better understanding of what potential customers are searching for, allowing you to create tailored ad copy that speaks directly to their needs and interests.. By strategically placing 1-4 keywords into your paid social ad copy, you can better connect with your target audience and more effectively push users toward purchasing. 

When you write social media ad copy, it’s your job as a marketer to remove all barriers preventing a potential customer from making a purchase. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and answer this question: What would keep you from clicking an ad, visiting a landing page, filling out a form on the page, or making a purchase? Since PPC keywords are usually focused on user problems and solutions, when you include them in your ad copy, you can explicitly acknowledge user problems and connect them to the solution you are offering.

Better Targeting

By understanding the most valuable keywords for your social media campaign, you can develop a more defined audience who are more likely to convert down the funnel. Targeting options on social platforms are incredibly granular and sophisticated. Advertisers can target prospective users based on many different criteria, like demographics, interest areas, job titles, groups, platform interactions, lookalike audiences, and more. 

Given the likely powerful connection between interest targeting and general keywords, using audience segmentation options is an ideal starting point for your paid campaigns to guide your audience and help you optimize.

How to Use PPC Keywords to Inform Your Paid Social Ads

Cross-channel marketing is key to ensuring that your social media ad copy, creative, and audiences are effectively optimized by channel. You can gain an advantage over your competitors by performing keyword research on a platform-by-platform basis rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.  With cross-channel marketing, your social media ad copy and creative will be tailored to the platform you are using and optimized with the right keywords to fit the specific audience network. This helps you better reach your target audience and maximize the result of your paid social campaigns. 

Just as content can vary by platform, so should keywords. With the right strategies and tactics in place, you can leverage the user interest of the most popular social networking sites to maximize your paid social campaigns and get the best bang for your buck. Remember that user behavior varies from search to social and from platform to platform, so your approach to keyword research must also adapt.


Facebook holds the advantage of a wide range of demographics and age groups. Since Facebook carries billions of users on its platform, utilizing PPC keywords to define targeting can help optimize your campaigns toward users more interested in your brand and offerings. 

For example, suppose a marketing agency was looking to create a campaign to help with their hiring efforts. In that case, they could utilize their keyword lists to narrow the audience to users more interested in your agency’s skills and needs. Facebook offers audience insights like user interests, and PPC keywords are the top phrases searched by users to find a solution to their problem. By inputting the keywords into this section, like “Marketing,” you can tighten your audience to users interested in similar phrases. 

Detailed Targeting in Facebook Ads
Detailed Targeting in Facebook Ads


Twitter is the top social platform when it comes to granular audience insights. The platform has various insights into audience types and diverse targeting qualifications. This means that PPC keyword research can be highly insightful when building a campaign. 

Twitter has functionality within audience refinement called keywords. This space allows you to input your keywords into the audience section based on terms users have searched or engaged with.

Detailed targeting in Twitter Keywords
Detailed targeting in Twitter Keywords

In recent years, Twitter has refined its internal search algorithms to make finding relevant content on the platform more accessible. Hashtags were considered more paramount on Twitter than on most other social platforms. Hashtags offer unique ways to track user engagement and interests. 

Twitter’s search functionality means that you can now search for any keyword or phrase; by utilizing this feature, you can search keywords from your research to find what users are talking about and connect with them on a deeper level to increase brand awareness and conversion volume. 

Similarly to Facebook, you can also utilize these PPC keywords with the interest area of audience targeting. Twitter offers a much more robust selection of audience interests than other platforms. The example below shows what searching for interest keywords within the fashion industry would look like.

Keyword & Interest Targeting in Twitter Ads
Keyword & Interest Targeting in Twitter Ads


In the example search below, our original keyword was “Athletic Fashion.” Pinterest then suggested a series of additional keywords that were applicable to the initial query. This is a great way to continue your keyword research and connect to more solutions users may be searching for.

Keyword Search in Pinterest
Keyword Search in Pinterest

Another great option is to use Pinterest’s trending platform as part of your keyword research workflow. You can enter your initial search query to see a range of related keyword suggestions that are relevant to your original keyword and trending on the platform. This will be a range of phrases, accounts, and boards that can help guide your research and narrow down audience insights to users most interested in your product or service.

Trends Search in Pinterest
Trends Search in Pinterest


Like Pinterest, TikTok offers an advertising platform called the TikTok creative center. Within this portal, you can find resources for trends, inspiration, and creative tools. Once you have your PPC keywords, you can cross-check if similar keywords are ranking directly on the TikTok app with their keywords insight center to ensure you’re using the exact terms that users are connecting with in your TikTok ads

TikTok is proving impactful over its competitors, pulling a higher per-post engagement rate (5.69%) than those of Twitter and both Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, according to Rival IQ’s Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, which analyzed 2022 social media performance. TikTok offers a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with potential customers through user-generated content and provides a great space to build brand trust and loyalty. This benchmark indicates that TikTok is an excellent resource for double-checking and authenticating your keyword research.

 Keyword Trends Search in TikTok
 Keyword Trends Search in TikTok

Example of Using PPC Keyword Research for Paid Social Ads

For a high-level example of what this strategy can look like in action, let’s consider a small business gym. Let’s say keyword research was conducted by the Paid Media team, and the top four keywords are: 

  1. Fitness center
  2. ‌Yoga studio
  3. Personal training
  4. Workout center

After receiving this information, we would add these keywords to the detailed targeting parameters on our social media platforms, like Facebook.

Screenshot of adding the PPC keyword “Fitness” to Facebook’s detailed targeting center
Adding the “Fitness” keyword to Facebook’s detailed targeting center

Next, we would use this keyword research to inform our ad copy. This ensures we are using phrases that will resonate with our target audience. For instance, since some of the other PPC keywords are “Yoga Studio” and “Personal training,” we can make sure to include in our next ad copy that our gym has a yoga studio and offers personal training to interest users with features that are important to them. 

Below is an example of what a potential ad could look like that incorporates these PPC keywords.

Facebook Ad
Example Facebook ad incorporating PPC keywords


PPC keywords are an effective way to improve the success of your paid social campaigns. These keywords help you understand your audience so you can create better, more targeted ad copy and engaging content. By utilizing cross-channel marketing, you can leverage the power of PPC keyword research to inform your paid social ads. 

With a holistic paid social strategy that incorporates cross-channel marketing and PPC keywords, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your own paid social campaigns and reaching more potential customers.

Isabelle Severns

Paid Social Strategist
Paid Social Strategist

Isabelle is a paid social strategist at Portent with a background in public relations and digital marketing. Combining creative storytelling and data-driven analysis, Isabelle is dedicated to working with clients to maximize the results of their paid media campaigns across social platforms. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Communication and Leadership and enjoys spending her free time working on photography.

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