Content is king; whether you’re talking about video content, blog posts, or even social media posts. But with rife competition stirred by global uncertainty, it’s now even harder to get the attention we want than before. Even with top notch material, there’s an information overload and search engines like Google are changing their algorithm 500 to 600 times a year!
So, how do we get the traffic we are yearning for? How do we ensure the people who are looking for us actually find us? What do we need to do to create more brand loyalty? How are we going to keep our customers? How do we define good content?
Creating content is great. But it’s not the fastest way to get results these days. Most marketers are resorting to combo moves to get what they need from both internet users and search engines.
There are 3 sure-fire ways to get the eyeballs you need online (and the list is growing). It all boils down to:
- Organic traffic via content
- PPC (ads)
- Social media (paid and UGC)
Let’s take a look at how each one of those techniques can be used to bring your customers to your doorsteps. As you will soon see, they can be used concurrently but strategically.
1 – Content Marketing and Organic Traffic
Being a writer, I obviously am a proponent of SEO and content marketing. If I can help it, businesses, especially those with shallow pockets and have no VC backups, I would tell them to invest in SEO and content marketing because it’s the right thing to do although it takes a whole lot more time.
The problem with SEO and content marketing is that it doesn’t get them the traffic they need at the start. It also makes them miss out on a lot of things. Some companies rely heavily on traditional marketing or word-of-mouth…which can be tedious and even more expensive than digital marketing.
Of course, if they had a budget for it, I would try to veer them towards investing money and time on PPC campaigns.
Even the best content and super-optimized landing pages or blogs take ages to gain traction.
Paid advertising is one of the best ways to get instant eyeballs. The problem, then, would be that these small startup companies have very small budgets, to begin with. They would have to choose between SEO and content marketing and Ad campaigns.
2 – PPC and Social Media Ad Campaigns
I was speaking to a friend about the work that I do. He was astonished by the number of behind-the-scenes tasks writers and digital content specialists do before hitting the publish button.
It goes beyond merely identifying the topic we want to talk about and running it by Grammarly.
It is one of the most complex, time-consuming, yet important tasks for any SEO specialist. We run the gamut by using tools and plugins to construct something as simple as a 400-page write-up or a 1,200-word long-form blog post.
He has never heard of most of the tools we use to craft and strategize content. Stuff like PPC/Adword/Trends tools, Ahref, Ubersuggest, AnswerThePublic, Keyword Everywhere…the likes. He’s never heard of keyword gap, backlink audits & campaigns, or position tracking.
And THEN we dive into the painful process of creating the digital content. The average time it takes a content writer to come up with the first few drafts is an estimate of 3 to 6 hours, depending on the team you’re working with and the resources you have at hand.
And we’re not even taking into consideration the process of running it by the editor, proofreading, editing, creating visuals, editing again, and keyword optimization.
I’ve actually had to spend days coming up with a single blog post and it frustrated me to no end. Something kept telling me that it shouldn’t take this long and yet, it happens.
Oh, before I forget – Google may take anything from 2 to 6 months to actually pick up the new content and decide if it’s deserving of a spot on the first page if picked up at all.
3 – The Content Creation and PPC Two Musketeer
In most cases, your readers and search engine users will not find your content at all until many months later if the content is left as it is.
With PPC campaigns and keyword research, it allows you insight into the potential of the content you’ve created much faster. You’ll be able to track its performance compared to your competitors, use PPC ads, and utilize A/B testing to gauge potential outcomes.
The interesting thing is with A/B tests, you’ll see in real-time what people respond to best. It’ll surprise you, sometimes. And these results can be seen as quickly as in a couple of days or a few weeks, depending on the SEO strategy, content, and keywords you’re targeting.
So, the takeaway here is that running PPC campaigns for content is a much faster way to test keywords. Start by finding keywords with research tools and make some ads, and you’ll be more likely to discover how your customers look for businesses like yours.
4 – Creating Content for Lead Generation Campaigns
When you get a reaction from your content for a lead generation campaign, you can safely park them under warm or hot leads.
These are people who have read your content and decided that they want more information or found value in the content.
Lead generation campaigns (I don’t really like to call them lead magnets…although they typically are) comprise reports, analysis, free templates, white papers, eBooks, webinars, videos, tutorials, and other content that adds value (for free) to those who respond to them.
5 – PPC Campaigns Help Content Sell More
Many of us SEO specialists and content strategists used to think that good content sells itself. This used to be true but is no longer the case.
There are approximately 7.5 blog posts being published every single day with 16% of bloggers posting every month, and 1% posting several times every day.
So, it’s not surprising that 90% of the world’s blog posts receive no traffic at all. Some are never crawled by search engine spiders…like, ever.
And that’s where PPC comes in. It’s not meant to be a long-term solution when you tie it in with content marketing. The purpose is to give it exposure, gain traction, be further worked on, gain leads, and then progress to a point that it can stand on its two feet.
I know it sounds like a lot for one blog content or landing page. Welcome to the real world of SEO.
Free content is also produced, offered, and advertised for the purpose of the increasing newsletter or program signups. If you choose the right keywords, the ROI is worth it when you get the right leads.
And that’s how content development and PPC work together. PPC brings people in through the gate, the content converts them into leads, and then you get some loyal customers through it all.
6- The SEO and PPC Powerhouse Combo
PCC indeed involves having some spending budget on ads but the reality is that without it, many of our content strategies are either going to go wasted or will take a long time to see the light of day.
Especially when the market is so rife with competition, a little PPC budget goes a long way if they’re properly targeted and implemented. As you can see from the article, creating good ads takes a fair bit of thinking and calculating.
I do not believe that PCC has anything to do with improving organic traffic. That’s a completely different beast altogether. Organic traffic is a long term strategy that everyone is shooting for but we should do our best to continue our effort no matter how impossible it may seem. We keep having to find keyword gaps, trends, and captivating topics.
Instead, PPC creates brand awareness, the kind that startups and lean blogs and websites need. When done correctly, there would be more warm and hot leads and with that, more people are inclined to hit the click button on our organic listings.
PPC campaigns DO lead people to landing pages where they can find the information they’re looking for which may lead to organic search traffic in the future.
If you know how to marry the two and combine them with a solid social media strategy, you’re doing the right thing.