PPC & Content Marketing

“What? I thought Paid search was the exact opposite of content marketing! “

If you agree with the above statement then this post is my belated Valentine’s gift for you.

You are right. Generally speaking paid search and content are considered as two different marketing channels. While paid search campaigns usually contain offers, promotions, call to action phrases, all aimed at attracting the traffic which is most likely to convert, content marketing focuses on attracting prospective customers by delivering useful content.

To better understand the concepts of how and where channels are mostly used, take a look at the purchase funnel at the bottom of the section.

Generally speaking most paid search campaigns focus on the customers at the bottom of the purchase funnel. Including offers and call to action phrases are therefore likely to get better results. However consider this: a person typing ‘insurance quotes’ on search engine could be anywhere within the purchase funnel. If your ad copy and landing page are customised to customers at the bottom of the funnel, you are likely to encounter high bounce rates and low conversions.
What content marketing does is try and capture people at the top of the purchase funnel. Creating useful articles on insurance policies or providing insights on insurance’ benefits help companies raise awareness and good website experience can help push people further down the funnel.

The challenge faced by most businesses here is: how to market to people on the top of the purchase funnel. The most widely used channels here are print media, television, radio, newsletters, press releases, social media etc. What people often miss out on is the use of paid search in content marketing.

Based on the above discussion we can now lay down a strategy using paid search to deliver our content. If we were to focus on customers in the ‘consideration’ stage our paid search strategy would look something like this:
Keywords like Buy insurance quote could change to Compare insurance quotes
Ad copies like Get quote now! could change to Compare quotes now
Landing page containing Conversion form could now focus on Product comparison


• Lower Costs: The closer a customer gets to the bottom of the funnel the more valuable he gets. This raises the CPA (Cost per Acquisition) and CPC (Cost per Click) at this stage. Focusing on customers further up is usually less expensive for businesses.

• Increased Conversions: A customer who has known your brand from the start of the purchase funnel is more likely to buy from you. Imagine if a customer encounters your brand for the first time when he is at the purchase stage. Here, unfamiliarity might prevent him from buying your products.

• Branding: For companies wanting to invest in branding paid search provides an excellent opportunity to use their content to expose their brand to the right audience and create a long lasting effect.

• Building Trust: Sharing knowledge as opposed to selling also helps build trust for your brand.

The biggest challenge in this strategy is choosing the right or most effective content for your customers and tracking your traffic flow. I shall be addressing these issues in my next blog. Until then, I wish you happy online advertising!


Rick Tobin
Managing Director

Over 20 years dedicated PPC experience working with some of the world's biggest brands.

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