In its purest form, inbound marketing doesn’t allow outbound strategies such as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. But that’s like saying you’re on a low-carb diet and never have a piece of pizza. Even your marketing strategy is allowed to have a cheat day. But you shouldn’t think of PPC as cheating on your content marketing efforts. PPC actually enhances your content by getting it in front of your target audience.
Just like inbound marketing, campfires are perfect for telling a good story. So gather round to hear the tale of how PPC can make your lead generation go from good to great.
Social Media Ads: Kindling the Fire
You want leads, and you wanted them yesterday. Don’t panic that you have to hire someone new or gain knowledge of the PPC realm overnight. Social media ads are the perfect way to get your feet wet in the pay-per-click world as well as get traction with your marketing campaign. Here’s why social media ads can get the fire going:
- Easy: You already know how to post a status on Facebook, and making an ad isn’t much different. If you’re looking for an easy, short-term investment, we highly advise advertising on social media. When you discover that PPC should become a regular feature of your strategy, start building an AdWords campaign. But until then, promote your posts, and play with ad creation.
- Create brand awareness: It may come as no surprise that millions of people spend hours of their day – every day! – on social media. While they may not be in a purchasing state of mind when scrolling through their news feed, your ad may pique their interest, and they’d make a mental note to check your site later. Want to entice people to click on your ad? Offer people something they can’t refuse, like a coupon code or free consultation.
- Targeting: Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It gives you something to do while you’re waiting for the train, yet you feel like you lose any sense of privacy you have. Fortunately for advertisers, the data that social media platforms collect can help you target your ideal consumer. You can target people by demographics (e.g. age, income, etc.), interests, and even a special event (e.g. new baby, newlyweds, etc.). Do you sell a product or service that people don’t frequently purchase? Cut your costs by excluding lists of current customers. Are your current customers perfect? Social sites allow you to upload customer lists and find people exactly like the ones you already love.
PPC campaign: Sticks
Once your campaign is crackling away on social media, it’s time to give it structure and allow it to grow. Do so by running campaigns on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Do you already have campaigns running? Excellent. Add fuel to the fire with:
- New ads: Are your current ads under performing? You may be bringing people to the wrong landing page for the marketing funnel stage they’re in. Reorganize your PPC campaign by search terms people are looking for while in the research stage and decision stage. Instead of sending everyone to your landing page about signing up for a free quote, perhaps send some to a content offer to educate them a little more before they take the plunge.
- Retargeting: These people visited your site in the past but never committed to a goal completion (e.g. purchase, form submission, etc.). Invite them back to the party with retargeting ads that appear when they’re browsing the Internet.
Search engine optimization: Logs
While PPC may get the fire going, it’s search engine optimization (SEO) that keeps you warm at night. Remember that one doesn’t have to be exclusive of the other. In fact, a solid SEO strategy will boost your PPC marketing. Did you know that one of the determining factors of whether or not your ad will show on Google is based on how good your landing page is? For example, pretend that you run a cabin rental business for company retreats. If the keyword your search ad is targeting is “corporate cabin rentals” but your landing page only talks about “company retreats”, Google may decide that your page isn’t what someone is looking for. Easy ways to make sure you’re keeping the fire alive include:
- Revisiting your keyword strategy: When optimizing your PPC campaign, you often pause keywords that aren’t performing. Go ahead and do the same with your website. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy once in a while. The way people search for information is changing, and you still want to be found.
- Internal linking: Have you ever read a blog post and noticed that random words are hyperlinked? This not only provides your reader with more information, but also helps increase your domain authority (i.e. showing up higher in search engine results). Don’t be afraid to go back every quarter to link new blogs and landing pages, making them more accessible to your readers.