Remember when content marketing was a taboo subject?
It was an intruder in a world of paid advertising and “serious marketing.” No one wanted to take a chance on blogging (a practice relegated to teenage whiners and hobbyists), or infographics, or guides. And no one wanted to part with hard-earned cash to do it.
There was a time when even companies with enormous budgets scoffed in the face of content, keywords, and search engine optimization.
My, how times have changed!
To be fair, content marketing was quite a gamble in the beginning. It costs money to have blogs written, videos made, and other forms of organic marketing created. You can't blame people when you think about it. Content marketing done right is an investment (in both time and money), and the ROI wasn't easy to show initially.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) has encountered similar hurdles. Companies avoided marketing on social media and Google like the plague, preferring to stick to banner ads. Now you have terminology that all marketers know, like pay per click, pay per impression, and click-through rates. SEO specialists are now valuable company assets, multi-million dollar businesses use Facebook marketing, and everyone has boosted a post or two.
The underdogs won out in a big way, and now we need them more than ever. With so much doubt around them in common, it's no wonder content marketing and paid advertising make for such a practical pair.
There's nothing more powerful than creating fantastic content, then distributing and promoting that content with paid advertising.
In this blog post, we'll discuss combining your ad and content strategy to save time, spend less money, and up your distribution game.
Why Combine Content Marketing and Paid Ads?
Because they fit hand in glove.
You've crafted all the perfect content, investing a healthy budget in everything from ebooks to short guides. You're sitting on a goldmine of information that your leads want, no, NEED to know.
Paid advertising supports your content so that it stands out and reaches the right people. Many organic (non-paid) marketing methods, including organic social media marketing, are being drowned out by the sheer volume of people participating. The main reason for supporting your organic efforts with a spend is that you'll see better ROI in both areas if you align their goals.
Goal-setting is important for any marketing campaign, but it's even more important for your combined marketing/paid ads strategy. Knowing exactly what you want out of your efforts will give you the best results (and quicker).
SEO as a Middleground for Content and Paid Ads
One of the most significant overlaps in content marketing and paid ads is SEO. The two marketing niches must thoroughly apply the correct use of many SEO-related concepts to achieve success. Following are a two of those SEO-related concepts.
Content marketing without keyword research is shouting in the dark, and paid advertising without it is throwing money down a well. Doing extensive keyword research bolsters your understanding of what your leads want, how to reach them, and how to convert them.
Combining your keyword list creates seamless marketing that stays under budget. Think about it this way: bolstered by the same keywords, your resources (free or otherwise) can be utilized as downloads and landing pages for your PPC ads.
Data and Analytics
What do the numbers tell you, and how can you act upon that knowledge?
If you have a successful run with certain content pieces, it's only practical to add them to your paid ads campaigns. To see broader results, sift through your top-performing content pieces and repurpose them for landing page downloads, social media posts, and more.
In this way, combining content marketing and paid ads creates better and more qualified leads.
How Do You Combine the Strategies Effectively?
In content marketing, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding better be good! The success of your content relies heavily on purposefulness, relevance, and availability to your audience. Paid strategies rely on keyword research and audience segmentation.
You can design the perfect joint marketing effort by crafting the content strategy first, then building your paid marketing campaigns to complement the content.
Focus on the Content First
Without amazing content, your paid ads are weak. If you're a seasoned marketer, you probably already have what you need to get started. Kick-off your journey by performing a blog and content audit.
Go through every piece of content your team has created, and note the data — what worked? Take the best pieces and set them aside to use in your ad strategy. If you can't find any content that performed well, you'll need to create some (and test it out, if possible) to generate the best results possible. Remember that the content is the pull, and the paid ads are the sell.
Great content ideas to start with:
- Guides and how-to's
- Detailed breakdowns
- Consistent blogs (regular blogs can help you gain 68% more leads)
Once you've crafted high-quality content, it's time to develop your paid ads strategy.
Set Up Your PPC, PPI, and Display Campaigns Around Your Content
There are plenty of avenues to go down when it comes to paid advertising.
Google Adwords offers a plethora of options for PPC and other paid options. The platform boasts an extensive keyword research tool, loads of options for analytics tracking, and more.
Other platforms like Outbrain offer display ads and quicker distribution options without as much work on your part. Your chosen ad platform will depend on your budget, the amount of time you have to delve into ad management, and your options preferences.
Promoted Tweets, Facebook Posts, and Instagram Posts
When sharing new content on social media, beating algorithms is a nightmare. It can help to use these platforms' promoted features to get your work out there.
Facebook advertising offers a vast array of options, including built-in lead magnets. You can market your content right on Facebook without ever asking your audience to leave the site, increasing conversions substantially.
Twitter and Instagram have similar services. Twitter offers promoted tweets. Instagram gives you both promoted posts and IG stories, covering a large audience of scrollers and watchers. Utilizing paid advertising on social media platforms is one of the best ways to distribute your content, and your results grow exponentially with your growing social following.
With so many strained and uncertain budgets out there, content marketing supported by paid advertising is more important than ever. Your marketing is one area where you don't want to drop the ball when it comes to business growth, or even just sustaining your current momentum. If you use the above strategies, you'll be creating content that converts and using paid ads to get that content seen by more eyes in no time!
Do you use paid advertising and content marketing together? Are you a fan of one and not the other? Let us know your personal strategy in the comment section below!