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SEO Saturday: Should I Invest In PPC Ads Or Content Marketing?

This can be a tough question to answer for many business owners and managers. Should you invest more of your money into PPC ads and see results now or should you invest in content marketing and possibly reap the investment for years to come? Which choice is the best one for you? Let’s explore how to arrive at that decision.

If It Ain’t Broke…

First of all, if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it! This holds true for your marketing. If you are running PPC ads with strong ROI, then keep it up. If your organic content is making you a killing, then keep that up. The point is, if you are already doing something and it is successful, keep doing that.

However, don’t forget to experiment with other marketing and advertising to see what works because this will change over time. For instance, you can maintain your PPC advertising campaign, but go ahead and try a small amount of content marketing for one month and measure what effect it has.

Core Differences Between PPC Advertising And Content Marketing

There are two essential differences when it comes to PPC advertising and content marketing, and those two factors are time and guarantees.

Time

Once you stop paying, your ads will stop displaying

PPC advertising has an extremely short life span, once you stop paying, your ads will stop displaying. This means that you have to constantly spend money to keep traffic coming to your site.

On the flip side, content marketing can have a indefinite impact. One post that you write this week could bring your site a substantial amount of traffic for the next several years. Content marketing has a longer shelf life than a PPC ad by a long shot.f

Guarantees

PPC advertising has a sort of guarantee that comes along with it. You will know ahead of time about how much traffic you can generate at what cost. This consistency and ability to know before starting is what comforts a lot of marketers and businesses alike.

Content marketing lacks any gaurantee. You could spend weeks writing what you think is the greatest blog post to ever be written only to find out that not a single person on the internet cares. It could also take weeks for your content to pick up any traction, or it could be months, or years. Costs for content marketing can be all over the place too, do you need a video or an infographic this week? How much does that cost? Oh, this blog post took longer than expected to write, that will be an extra $150! These variables can be a campaign killer for an unorganized marketer or business.

Choosing A Side

Now that we have covered the basic differences between the two types of marketing, we can begin to discuss which marketing method is best for your business or situation. Although it is generally recommended to use a balance of both techniques, some businesses may cater themselves strongly to one side or the other.

Ask yourself the following 5 questions about your marketing campaign goals:

  • Is it time sensitive?
  • Do you have specific sales goals that need to be met?
  • Do you sell your product/service online (no phone call or further action needed)?
  • Does your product have a short buying cycle?
  • Is there enough search volume to sustain your business?

If you answered yes to these 4 questions, PPC advertising is mostly likely your best option. If you answered yes to most of these questions, your answer is most likely yes as well, but I highly recommend talking to a marketing consultant or agency about your situation.

If you answered yes to some, but not all of the above questions, ask yourself these 6 questions to see if content marketing is best suited for you:

  • Are you willing to invest the time?
  • Do you have the basic writing skills?
  • Do you have other ways to promote content?
  • Is branding (and brand recognition) is a major goal of the campaign?
  • Do you need authority to sell your product?
  • Is there a long time between consumer purchases?

If you can answer yes to all of these, content marketing is a great option for you to explore. Content marketing will offer you traffic now and increasingly in the long run, making this marketing method a great option for campaigns that aren’t facing definite short term goals. You will also need another way to promote this content, especially at first before you start getting traffic from the search engines. A few ways to do this are to utilize your social media channels, do some guest blogging, use forums, and you can even use PPC ads!

Sites that need authority to help sell their products or services will generally benefit the most from content marketing. Companies that need authority to sell are companies that tend to charge a premium price for their product. Customers need content to be convinced that your product or service is worth the additional cost.

Products or services with long purchasing cycles tend to experience good results with content marketing as well. This is because these kinds of purchasing decisions are usually made with more research. This means that you need to have a steady supply of onsite content, as well as other online touch points for your potential customers to find you (they won’t do all of their research on just your site).

In conclusion

You should now have a pretty good idea about how to make a decision between PPC advertising and content marketing. It is not always a clear cut decision, and as I mentioned earlier, it is usually best to utilize both for maximum effect. If you are still not sure, ask me on Twitter or on Google+ and I’d be glad to help.

Be sure to let myself and others know how you determine whether to use PPC advertising or Content Marketing in the comments below!

Do you need to talk to someone about managing your PPC campaigns to boost ROI?

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How To Understand The Differences Among Inbound Marketing Offers

inbound marketing offers sales funnel

Kickstart your Inbound Marketing and download your free 6 Month Inbound Marketing Plan Template.

One of the most important aspects of Inbound Marketing besides creating your marketing personas, is creating your inbound marketing offers to attract and convert those leads. There is a lot of confusion surrounding what kind of content is best suited for each stage of the buying process, I know that I was a little confused with this for a while when being trained as a partner with HubSpot. After doing more of my own research and completing my training through HubSpot, I am here to help clarify this stage of the process for the rest of us.

Top of the Funnel – Generating Leads

The top of the funnel is the first stage of the buying process. These are the people who are doing the equivalent of window shopping. They are out looking around, not really ready to buy and not entirely sure what they want, but they are open to options.

It is at this point that you want to start getting on the customers’ radar. Let them know that your business has the products or services that they might be interested in and let them know what benefit you can offer them.

    Here is some great content for Top of the Funnel Offers:

  • Ebooks
  • Educational Content
  • “What is ‘X’?”
  • Email lists
  • Infographics

Middle of the Funnel – Creating Prospects

The middle of the funnel is the part of the buying process where the shopper has identified that they need something and they are taking a look at their options. This is the stage where you will want differentiate yourself from the competition so the customer will be more likely to choose you over the competition.

You really want to go deeper into describing the benefits of your product or services at this stage. The customer is more aware of the market and competition, and has likely picked up on some buzzword lingo.

    Here is some great content for Middle of the Funnel Offers:

  • Case studies
  • “What can ‘X’ do for my business
  • Stats analysis
  • Trend reports
  • Templates
  • Tip sheets
  • Tutorials
  • Checklists
  • Advanced email lists
  • Videos
  • FAQ sheets

Bottom of the Funnel – Convert Prospects into Sales

This is the final stage of the sales funnel. The customer knows their options and they are preparing to make a decision. You should have talked to them personally at least once by this point, if not, do so immediately to boost your chances of getting the sale. If you have talked to them once or more, it is time to start pushing the sale.

    Here is some great content for Bottom of the Funnel Offers:

  • Pricing
  • Coupons or limited time deals
  • Free trial
  • Assessment or consulting session
Are you still struggling to understand the differences? Schedule a free 1 hour consultation with me to get the answers and help you need.

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What Makes A Great Social Media Marketing Plan Work?

Social Media is a very exciting topic for a lot of people, especially for business owners and managers. Therein lies the problem however, companies get excited and they jump right into doing it. This is what creates so much confusion and frustration for them, after they jump in and post random links and images like they heard from somewhere online, they wonder where their results are. My question to them is, “What are your goals and how are you measuring?” Without knowing that, its hard to know if you are really achieving anything. This is why it is important to have a Social Media Marketing plan.

Sounds great; but how do I actually do it? I believe there are only 4 simple requirements to make a great social media marketing plan: research, strategy, execution, and maintenance. “Rsem” is an acronym I use for this, it is pronounced similar to “awesome” but with an “r” sound instead of the “awe” sound. If you get these basics of Rsem down you are well on your way to utilizing social media for your business instead of wasting time and resources with it.

Research

Research, research, research! This is the most essential stage of setting a plan. Get to know your customers, what kind of results are realistic, and what channels will work best. A little research can go a long way and save you tons of headaches down the road.

Strategy

This is where you set your goals and define how you will achieve them. Having a strategy gives you a starting point and direction for your social media execution. You should include information about what social media channels you will be using, when and how often you will post, the tonality of your posts, the types of content you will share, who is responsible for posting, and other relevant information.

Execution

Success is a good friend of action. At this stage you have already triumphed through the hard parts, now its time to put that knowledge into practice. Monitor and analyze as you go, making sure to have a little patience and to avoid making decisions with information or findings that are not based on enough analytical data.

Maintenance

After you have been implementing and executing your plan, you must be sure that you are maintaining it properly. This means checking to make sure you are reaching your goals, tracking data insights efficiently, paying attention to trends, and utilizing new or viral opportunities. A social media plan is not a stiff, unchangeable marketing execution. The social landscape is constantly changing and you need to make sure you can keep up and handle the ride.

Do you need someone to handle one or more social media accounts for you? Get hassle-free professional and effective social media marketing services, contact me now.

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