How PPC And Inbound Marketing Can Work Together
Inbound marketing purists would argue that pay per click advertising has no place under the inbound marketing umbrella. They would say that as a paid advertising medium it is intrusive and unsolicited and offers little value to prospects.
However, PPC, like inbound marketing, allows people to find you when they want. Thus, PPC can’t really be considered unsolicited but can it be considered interruptive? Some would consider so from the perspective that it is an advert and does NOT appear in the organic search results. However, whether this truly makes it interruptive is debatable.
PPC as part of inbound marketing What do those in the industry say? Hubspot coined the term “inbound marketing” and by their definition, PPC is not part of inbound, because it is paid media. However, industry luminaries such as Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz and Larry Kim from the PPC blog Wordstream, have argued that PPC is part of inbound and we would agree. Think of it this way, the adverts only appear when people search for specific aspects about your product or service, which aligns with the inbound philosophy. Thus, PPC ads are controlled largely by the consumers. They are tailored to their searches and they offer them something they may choose to learn more about or ignore completely, but they are always free to choose.
The bottom line is that PPC and inbound marketing are two of the most effective lead generation methods and there is value in finding ways for the two to work together.
How to use PPC and inbound together
Let’s consider the ways in which PPC and inbound marketing can work together.
When promoting a content offer When created correctly, content offers are based upon the needs of specific buyer personas (a representation of your ideal client) and are constructed around a set of keywords relevant to that persona. Think of it as an additional channel to target your buyer personas through, as the reality is you many not rank in the search engines for some of these keywords and therefore risk these prospects not finding you.
A research tool for keywords to use in your inbound campaign When you start a SEO campaign you would normally head over to the Google Keyword Tool and look for keywords in your industry with significant search volume and low competition. What this doesn’t tell you however, is which keywords convert to customers for your specific business and hence are worth writing about and optimising your site around. Imagine if you optimise your site for “blue widget sales” and then find that “blue widget information” converts much better. Time and energy wasted, as well as potential revenue. Furthermore, the “search terms” report in Google Adwords gives you incredible insight into what phrases your prospects are using to find you and this rich data can help to refine your buyer personas further.
In conclusion, using PPC as part of your inbound strategy will give you a holistic and integrated marketing strategy which takes advantage of the two most powerful lead generation channels around and will make a massive impact to your bottom line.
Written by: Michael Kaeflein, Marketing Manager at Incisive Edge