Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has been a mainstay in digital marketing for as long as we can remember — it’s weird to think about life before the internet! However, just because it has been “tried” doesn’t mean that it’s “true.” Before you throw more advertising funds into your PPC campaigns, you might want to reconsider the ROI, types of customer relationships, and quality of information that content marketing can bring to the table. An effective content marketing strategy brings value to customers’ lives while building long-term loyalty.
Long Term Vs. Short Term Relationships
Think about the ways customers interact with PPC advertisements vs. solid marketing content. PPC advertising relies on spur-of-the-moment decisions, where prospective customers are faced with offers that encourage impulsive acts. This might be a sale, free shipping, or an unexpected incentive that viewers might want to snag right away. The call to action offers a very short time frame, encouraging people to click “right now” or “today.” While this can be great for spontaneous purchases, it is unlikely that these customers will remember to visit your page again for future purchases.
Content marketing changes the way prospective customers view your brand. For example, a potential customer might discover your brand through a tutorial article, YouTube video, or podcast that helped them accomplish a task or finish a project. These viewers will remember your brand as a source of useful information, which has brought value to their lives. Your brand reputation will grow as you release more content that demonstrates your company’s expertise surrounding particular topics and industries. Your audience relationship will grow stronger as readers trust you as an authority source, and return to your brand for products and services.
Quality of Information
There is only so much room within a PPC ad for information. Since you have to pay for more space, many businesses try to use pithy language to get their brands out with PPC advertising. Google’s AdWords uses strict maximum character limits: 25 characters for headlines, 70 characters total for two description lines, and 35 characters for your display link. While this makes sense for quick calls-to-action, this model doesn’t offer your audience much in the way of valuable, quality information. You might not have space to include your important contact information, such as a U.S. phone number or email.
This audience dynamic changes with content marketing strategies that blend blog articles with helpful and encouraging social media posts. You have infinitely more control over the message delivered to your audience with a blog article or social media post. Your small business or organization can use longer-form content to answer some of your customers’ most pressing questions. You are no longer pitching a product to a customer when you shift away from PPC advertising — you are deepening their understanding on a topic and helping them make an informed purchasing decision. Your customers can find greater value in words that educate them, rather than cold sales pitches.
Perhaps one of the most exciting advantages that content marketing has over PPC is the potential for community interaction and community building. PPC ads are very “one-directional,” meaning that viewers can’t interact beyond clicking on a link. Content marketing opens up opportunities for two-way dialogue, since readers can respond with comments and share your blog articles and social media posts. This builds community in-roads for customer service interactions and increased engagement rates. Even if you don’t convert a fan into a customer right away, you are still building a strong digital rapport and turning fans into active promoters who rely on your valuable content. Shares and likes will spread the word about your company in a more organic manner than PPC ads.
Strongly consider these facets of content marketing before you spend your advertising budget. Your business can build much stronger audience relationships, encourage repeat business, gain a stronger reputation, and provide greater value with compelling content.