One of the oldest debates in digital marketing is the ongoing clash of organic versus paid reach. Should you focus your marketing efforts on earned users (i.e., through compelling content and organic SEO) or paid users (i.e., through online ad placement)?
The answer, of course, is that there is no reason why you can’t do both, and in fact, we believe it is increasingly vital for content marketers to pair their organic approach with pay per click (PPC) ads, which might include paid Facebook ads, sponsored tweets, and Google AdWords placement.
Paid ads and content marketing work best when they work together—and in this post, we’ll offer you three reasons why.
Dominate the SERP
One reason to consider content marketing and paid search as two sides of the same coin: When you do so, you can expand your reach over the search engine results page (SERP). Through content and SEO efforts, you can earn listings within the organic search results themselves—but what about the rest of the page? What about the paid ad spaces at the top and along the column of Google? You can only claim that real estate through AdWords.
In other words, you need both PPC and organic reach to blanket the SERP—and when you do so, you not only increase your brand’s visibility, but you earn trust. Any company that’s present in both paid product ads and organic search listings can’t help but be seen as a primary contender within its industry.
Get More Eyeballs on Your Content
Your content is only meaningful when people have a chance to see it and engage with it—and paid ads can help with that. Consider Facebook. You can use paid ads to get more likes for your company page, and then, once people engage your page, you can keep them there with regular, organic content updates. This is a perfect example of how these two disciplines can work harmoniously.
Span the Entire Customer Journey
One of the big pushes in marketing these days is the search experience—that is, using all the tools at your disposal to address the needs of customers at each stage of their journey. In other words, you need to be working to build awareness for your brand, then to educate your leads, and ultimately to lead them through the conversion process. Even after the conversion, you need to stay in touch with clients to earn repeat business and referrals.
PPC and content marketing both speak to different stages of the customer journey. For instance, content marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness, to educate, and to earn trust. Paid ads, meanwhile, can encourage conversions during searches with commercial intent, while paid remarketing can help you to stay close to former customers.