Once upon a time, inbound marketing and pay per click (PPC) ads used to be mortal enemies, like the Montagues and Capulets. They were the proverbial elephant in each other’s domain, forbidden to intersect.
Now that Romeo and Juliet have broken the ice (or poisoned the water well… so to speak), the two marketing strategies have learned to play nice and revealed that there are remarkable benefits to reap as a marketer if you learn how to strategize and execute paid ads and inbound together. How? By factoring in your proper audiences, of course!
It’s no secret that anyone who uses paid ads wants to know that they’re getting positive ROI from their efforts – while this is possible, you need to have a very targeted approach. Otherwise, it proves very difficult to get a substantial return.
Inbound, on the other hand, garners a high ROI over the long haul despite its smaller audience. You need a congealed blend of both if you want to get maximum reach and results, while also showing that handy dandy ROI to your boss and asking for more money.
Let’s go into weighing options with an inbound campaign, and showcasing how PPC can add value—without wasting budget:
Paid Ad Value
Your paid ads are just that—digital ads, temporarily plastered across social media or Google Adwords platforms to attract new visitors and leads to your site. While you want to have visually engaging ads that appeal directly to your ideal persona, you also need to go deeper than that to really hit it big with PPC.
The real value comes from:
The ability to target on an extremely granular level, getting users into your marketing funnel faster
Gaining quick wins that translate directly into inbound
SEO where the competition is steep
Why PPC and Inbound?
If you haven’t already gathered, PPC is the fast-track way to augment your inbound marketing efforts and expand your reach. It shouldn’t be used as your saviour to bringing in the bacon—especially not without a well thought out plan and website first. If you have a bad website with poor user experience and conversion elements, PPC is only going to reinforce this fact to your incoming visitors. They’re going to get lost and leave within a matter of minutes (if that), instead going to your competition. To that regard, you may as well be setting your money on fire.
So yes, with the right circumstances it DOES make sense to use PPC with inbound marketing.
Look at the Metrics
Inbound usually takes 6+ months to start working its magic (depending on your industry, strategic initiatives, and so on), which is why you need to get started sooner rather than later. Finding your ideal buyer personas, and crafting content that meets and exceeds their expectations is a great start to jumpstarting inbound.
If you find that content is performing well—from your blog, any applicable offers, and landing pages, for example—you can take that next step toward PPC. Until then, though, saddle up and put the time in. Inbound, like the perfect man or woman, is worth the wait.
Spotlight Your Best Campaign
Do you have something out there that no one else does? This is where show, don’t tell, really comes into play.
Real-World Scenario: Let’s say you’re a travel agency and you have a “Best Budget-Friendly Destinations for Family Vacations,” eBook that has high conversions and organic traffic. Your buyer persona is working mothers who have 1-3 children, and whose biggest pain points are allocating funds, a lack of awareness on how to plan, and finding things to do for the kids.
Although the offer performs well, you’re finding this keyword is being picked up on by your competitors, and so it’s gotten steadily more difficult to maintain page 1 royalty status on Google. You can ramp up your efforts by searching for Facebook groups and catering to specific filters, such as women who like your competitors pages and anything related to travel or family vacations – you name it. By reaching them directly where they are from persona research, you can considerably increase the views that page receives and get leads flowing in. Not only leads, but QUALIFIED ONES from your filtering.
Make the Page They’re Going to Clear
With PPC, half the battle is getting someone to click the ad. The other half is putting best practices in place to route your visitor and get the conversion. Map out what it is you want your user to do, and don’t be afraid to A/B test!
Using PPC and Inbound
Every PPC campaign you do should be treated on a case-by-case basis. There’s no cookie cutter approach, and your efforts can vary depending on what your end goal is. As long as your inbound game is strong, PPC is a great option to increase your exposure and boost numbers.
As a closing note, make sure you’re looking closely at the metrics, so things aren’t skewed. Many times, PPC is difficult to start, but harder to stop.