Inbound marketing and paid advertising sound mutually exclusive, and many professionals think the acceptance of one alternative automatically excludes the other. But what if I told you they don’t have to be, and it’s all about how you consider your approach with inbound and paid advertising?

For instance, leading inbound marketing software company HubSpot, stated that 53 percent of their customers, including the company itself, use pay-per-click in their marketing strategies. This doesn’t surprise me, because when you have the right strategy in place, the inbound and PPC can really complement each other nicely.

But how can you make inbound and paid marketing activities work well for you?

Promoting Great Content

When launching your latest content offer, the steady and true Inbound approach is to write blogs, create clickable call-to-actions, publish on social media and send out promotional emails – lather, rinse, repeat. While all these steps will help your organic growth, these lead-nurturing tactics of inbound can take a bit of time.

While there are some initiatives you can undertake to drive rapid results closer to the start of an inbound strategy, it takes about six months to start seeing noticeable results from inbound marketing. Slow and steady wins the race, of course, like when you’re running on a beach in a video montage. But it can also be frustrating when you are looking for quick results.

This is where implementing paid advertising appropriately can boost your inbound efforts.Rather than throwing a generic PPC ad out into the void marketing your services, take a targeted piece of content and boost it instead. It’s like using steroids combined with effective training; a bit synthetic and controversial to some, but the end results are undeniable and quick.

Keyword Research

Companies always want to improve their online presence. And an essential step to a successful online presence is keyword research. It helps you determine what your buyer personas are searching for online and mold your content accordingly.

In Google Adwords campaigns, you can take this a step further. You can monitor keyword performance and prospects search terms closely. By determining the most powerful keywords for your campaigns, you can adequately judge what kind of traffic your ads will generate to your content on your landing pages. This will lead to better results and higher quality leads for your sales team.

Visibility on Competitive Keywords

A popular Inbound marketing approach is to concentrate on targeting long-tail keywords. With these keywords, traffic may be lower but the opportunity to convert customers is larger, as the pool of potential leads is more qualified. Long-tail keywords can be especially helpful since search can be a highly competitive market saturated by your competition.

What if you want to rank for those competitive keywords?

Paid advertising may be your answer. By starting a paid search campaign centered around competitor keywords with higher difficulty ranking you can make your company visible in front of their audience without having to rank organically. Word to the wise though – while it’s perfectly acceptable to bid on keywords you see your competitor bidding on, steer clear of using their trademarked terms or slogans. It can get you in trouble.

But that’s a story for another day.

Targeting Specific Audiences

Inbound marketing is all about building a relationship with your buyer persona before they’re ready to buy. When building that relationship, it is important to make sure the right message is in front of the right audience.

A company selling Red Sox gear isn’t going to have much success trying to sell to a Yankee fan, so it’s critical that you understand your audience and how to reach them. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, inbound marketers now have the ability to get in front of very specific segments of their audiences.

Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube can serve up paid ads targeted to hyper-targeted groups of people.You can use a combination of behaviors, demographics, or geolocation data to deliver relevant messages to very target specific groups. Though creating these requirements may make it a small group, it will be precise.This way you can get the most value from your ad by reaching only the people that matter most to your campaign.

An added bonus, the data collected during these campaigns may expose granular details about your buyer persona, and help you refine your overall SEO strategy.

It’s All About Timing

Paid advertising can be combined with an inbound approach to truly amplify your campaign results. In today’s digital world, inbound marketing and paid advertising go hand in hand to keep your target audience engaged. Paid advertising also helps you nail the main goal of inbound: getting the right content in the hands of the right prospect at the right time.