When it comes to improving your PPC campaigns, you’ve heard all the advice. Focus on improving quality score and click-through rates. Optimize your account structure. Use negative keywords.
And while those are all valid tactics that can work, there’s one thing that rarely (if ever) comes up as a way to improve your PPC campaign: Great content.
I know what you’re thinking.
How can great content benefit your PPC campaign? That would be like saying buying Google Ads improves your organic search ranking, right?
Not only do I believe that quality content can benefit paid media, but I also think that paid promotion is a great way to drive exposure to your content.
Keep reading to learn how you can use content marketing to improve your PPC performance, and vice-versa. Then, I’ll share four actionable tactics for creating high-performance PPC ad campaigns to maximize your content ROI
1. Use PPC Ads to Get Traffic FAST
The problem with organic search strategies is that it’s nearly impossible to drive eyeballs to your website without a pre-established audience. Consider that more than 4 million blog posts are published every day, making it nearly impossible for your blog posts to receive exposure without an underlying strategy.
Leveraging PPC ads to drive traffic to your website in the early stages of development will give your brand some exposure and early revenue.
Best of all, traffic derived from paid clicks will represent a large share of the target audience you’re already seeking to sell your brand to.
It’s essentially like killing two birds with one stone. Using Google Ads and Facebook Audience Insights, you can derive greater insights from your audience while, in turn, reaching them to gather brand exposure
Slapping on a piece of detailed or informative content can help to further differentiate your brand from other advertisers. One survey found that 90 percent of customers are more likely to trust brands with custom content.
The idea is to focus on both campaigns simultaneously and target similar keywords. Content can be used to inform, while paid advertising should be your tool to convert.
This strategy can help your brand become top-of-mind whenever you appear in the search results for any keyword search.
2. Use PPC Ads to Bias People Toward Your Brand
Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that paid ads actually help to drive clicks to organic listings, rather than cannibalize them.
This is because people who view paid ads are more likely to remember your brand when conducting a future search, even if subconsciously.
Rand Fishkin outlines this idea in this informative article. Essentially, having two listings on the same page will improve your click-through rate incrementally by biasing the searcher toward your brand.
This could hypothetically make your brand appear more authoritative as well, or larger than life.
Brand affinity dramatically increases the CTR of repeat visitors as well.
As research has shown, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one.
3. Deliver an Awesome Landing Page Experience
Even the savviest paid media manager sometimes runs into difficulty creating a landing page that satisfies the client and even his/her vision.
Content marketers are naturally great storytellers and creative in their own respect. Leverage your creative content to craft a unique landing page experience that nurtures inbound leads through your conversion funnel.
Visitors who click on ads are likely to investigate your website before making a conversion. Consider the buyer’s journey and how content can be applied across this process:
- Awareness: A customer is alerted to a particular need or problem (blog posts, curated content, infographics, videos, articles).
- Consideration: A customer realizes a particular need and conducts research on it (white papers, testimonials, reviews, landing pages, ebooks).
- Decision: A customer decides to make a purchase or conversion (tutorials, trials, product demos).
Consider providing testimonials, user reviews, and links to relevant articles aside landing page content for visitors to read before making a purchasing decision.
Not all visitors who click on an ad will make a purchase during that session or even that day. Providing relevant and quality content on your site will become a valuable touchpoint on your attribution path to generate conversions.
4. Find Content Insights from PPC Keyword Data
If there’s one feature your SEO and PPC campaign already share, it’s keywords.
Leverage your PPC keyword data to discover which keywords drive the highest traffic and revenue.
You can also analyze ad copy that’s performing well and apply it to your organic content campaign.
Consider using commercial intent keywords in your content to promote your services/products to customers.
Branded keywords are incredibly successful and have a much higher CTR than other standard keywords.
Group your keyword strategy together and transfer the success of one campaign to the other.
Conduct A/B testing to decipher which keywords operate the best within each campaign.
5. Steal as Much SERP Real Estate as Possible
Naturally, having two links on the same page would increase website clicks.
This is especially critical over mobile displays where users tend to favor top results and paid advertisements.
Aside from increasing click-through rates on both listings, having extra links increases brand exposure and authority in the eyes of the searcher.
Now, if only you could get a rich snippet, too!
4 Actionable Tactics to Increase Content Marketing ROI Through PPC Campaigns
Now that you understand the benefits of combining PPC and content marketing, here are some ways to fully maximize this.
1. Promote Your Great Content with Facebook Ads
Use Facebook’s Audience Insights to segment your audience and target ads to new audience members relevant to your vertical.
Promote your best performing content by boosting your Facebook post to target specific audience groups.
Boost your Facebook post promotes content and ads to two audiences:
- “People who like your Page and their friends”
- “People you choose through targeting”
Use PPC ads to build an audience for your content and then utilize “boost post” to reach more people who are may interested in your content.
Facebook Audience Insights and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences provide amazing remarketing tools for any PPC ad or promotional content.
Leverage your PPC spend to build an audience for your brand and target them with different ad campaigns based on your most shared and liked content.
2. Write Irresistibly Clickable Headlines
Use BuzzSumo to discover content that’s currently viral in your industry.
Leverage these keywords and topics to create a compelling and relevant headline for your ad display.
This will entice users to engage with your ad display who typically don’t engage with click advertisements.
Conduct A/B testing on different headlines that target different niche keywords to see which ones produce the most clicks and conversions.
It should be noted that clickable does not equal clickbait. It’s still important to user experience to craft headlines that are relevant to the content itself.
3. Think Mobile-First
According to Merkle (download required), 60 percent of paid search clicks across all platforms are from phones and tablets.
Use images, infographics, and any form of visual content to increase your mobile conversion rate for paid ads.
The rules for landing page content is different for mobile. It’s paramount that responsive design is enabled and that content is optimized for mobile.
- Write short headlines.
- Use concise paragraphs.
- Avoid pop-ups.
- Use small image sizes.
- Include a clear call-to-action.
4. Craft Killer CTAs to Convert More Visitors
You should present a clear call-to-action on your landing page, especially for paid promotion articles.
This could be accomplished through a form field on the side or even a pop-up CTA. This will help transform leads into conversions for your paid promotion campaign.
People still debate whether a CTA should be placed above-the-fold or at the end of content.
In terms of paid promotion, I’d suggest using your content to hook reader interest and then throwing your CTA at the end of the landing page for more conversions.
In most digital marketing agencies, SEO, content marketing, and paid media remain are placed in siloes, sharing nothing more than the water cooler.
By integrating content marketing into PPC campaigns and vice-versa, you can leverage each department’s strengths to gather more conversions for your site and increase your brand’s affinity.