If you create a list of the top business buzzwords of the past decade, chances are, content marketing will rank pretty highly.
One of the key aspects of content marketing is getting visibility on the web. Doing this organically (SEO) typically takes a great deal of dedication, consistency, and patience. While this is certainly a necessary process in creating awareness, the truth of the matter is that most businesses simply cannot afford to wait for their messaging to get in front of users’ eyes. For this purpose, turning to paid search engine marketing (PPC) is a key ingredient to a fruitful marketing mix. But, if you want to see substantial results, both quality content and PPC need to be working together towards a common goal. Here’s how to do it.
LET KEYWORD AND AUDIENCE TRENDS DICTATE CONTENT IDEATION
Content marketing is very much a game of knowing how to navigate trends. As PPC is a keyword-based strategy, both need to be aligned in accordance with both user interest and intent.
Before looking deeper into audience trends, start with keyword research. This should form the foundation of your content and PPC strategy. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is one of the easiest tools to use for this. By choosing a term, the system will give you a long list of related keywords and phrases, as well as their search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and competition.
For example, one of the popular terms on the list above is b2b ecommerce. This opens the door for all kinds of potential. Your content could be around something like “The Ultimate Guide to Building a B2B Ecommerce Site that Converts.” Or, your PPC ad could have a headline like “Start Designing the Ultimate B2B Ecommerce Site Today!”
From here, you’ll need to get more specific as to what topics or concepts you will cover. Web monitoring tools are great for this. Brand24 allows you to set up campaigns around certain names, brands, keywords, topics, ect. Then, it shows you all the relevant activity going on across the web through blogs, social media, news, forums, videos, and more.
FOCUS ON MORE THAN JUST SALES
Many brands make the mistake of thinking PPC should ONLY be used to sell products and services. When running a PPC ad, the obvious way to measure your ROI is in ad spend versus revenue gained. However, you need to keep all areas of the sales funnel in mind.
While bottom of the funnel PPC ads should certainly play a role, it’s important to note that many consumers today are less trusting of promotional or “salesy” brand messaging.
So instead of just using your PPC ads to promote deals and such, use them to showcase the value you bring to the table with actionable intent.
- Do you want to simply expose people to your brand?
- Attract people who are already interested in your industry or the type of content you create?
- Gain email subscribers?
- Get people to buy your product or service?
It might be more beneficial to drive traffic to your website and advertise your content assets to nurture interest, build trust and relationships, then passively guide visitors down your sales funnel. Your goal should be to showcase your unique expertise and establish a name that people instantly view as credible. This is perhaps the most critical area where your PPC and content strategy can work together.
KNOW WHAT CONTENT TO PROMOTE
When you are promoting content with PPC, you have to be very mindful of how you do it and what you want to accomplish. With overarching goals in mind, you need to get granular in how each ad will (eventually) attribute to your bottom line. For example, if your video demos or written guides typically result in a substantial amount of email signups, and you are able to nurture a good amount of leads into sales via email marketing, promoting this type of content with PPC could be highly beneficial.
Let’s say you’ve just created a comprehensive demo on how to create a conversion-friendly ecommerce site. Your PPC ad in AdWords might look something like this:
While the ad is to get people to view the demo, the content itself needs to be created in a way that prompts email sign ups. So in this case, the demo should end with something like “Want to see the PPC tips and tricks for running a conversion-friendly ecommerce website? Sign up for our newsletter and get weekly updates!”
SEGMENT YOUR CAMPAIGNS
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing is going too broad. As a general rule of thumb, when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. That said, you need to segment your PPC ads by location, keyword variations, devices, times, and budgets.
In regards to customer segmentation, when you look at your analytics, you need to see how, where, and when you are getting the most clicks. This process can all traced back to day one business operations when you defined your ideal customer in terms of demographics, interests, income level, etc.
Quality content combined with PPC strategies can do wonders to expose the most interested users to your unique offerings. The key is knowing the exact context of the value you are promoting and how it functions as a piece of the puzzle that equates to your bottom line.
Author: Vivek Patel
Vivek Patel works with E2M, a content marketing agency based in San Diego, which specializes in content strategy, creation, promotion, and SEO for domestic and overseas clients. He looks after local search optimization, link-building tactics and social media marketing strategies.