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Many digital marketing professionals swear that content marketing is the best way to grow their business, while other marketers argue that PPC is the way to go. So, who is right?

Well, the truth is that though these tactics are often at odds with one another in the digital marketing space, they don’t have to be. In fact, when used effectively, PPC and content marketing work together quite nicely. It takes time to get the search engines to take notice of your quality content, and PPC provides a way to amplify this content to reach a wider audience while you wait for the search engines to catch up.

Are you ready to turn your existing content into powerful paid campaigns? Below, we’ve put together a list of steps that will help you start taking advantage of this powerful combination.

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Step 1: Determine your primary objective.

The first thing that you want to do is determine your objective. Is the goal of your campaign to attract more visitors to your site? Are you trying to promote brand awareness? Do you want to target certain leads at the bottom of your marketing funnel? It’s important to know what your objective is before you get started so that you can be strategic about planning your campaign.

Identifying your primary objective will help you better determine what types of content you will offer. Those at the top of the funnel need different content than the bottom of the funnel leads.

Similarly, different buyer personas will be attracted to different content topics and formats. You can make a more strategic decision about your content offering once you pin down your objective.

Determining your primary objective also helps you make more strategic decisions about which paid channels you will use for your PPC campaigns. Ultimately, the best paid channel will depend on your purpose and audience. If you want to get the most out of your marketing spend, you’ll need to align the channel with your purpose.

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Step 2: Identify which content to use.

Now that you’ve chosen your primary objective, you need to identify which content you will use for this campaign. Start by reviewing your existing content to find top performers. These pieces are the best candidates for PPC promotion because you already know that they resonate well with your target audience.

It’s important to note that the content you choose for promotion doesn’t have to be new. Look at some older content that has performed well in the past. Then, identify opportunities to repurpose this content or combine it with other existing content to create new assets. For instance, you might take well-performing blog posts with a similar theme and combine them to make an e-book, adding an introduction, table of contents, and conclusion. You could also take older content and update it with the latest research and new examples so that it’s fresh for new readers.

Another important consideration is your use of targeted keywords. If you are running an AdWords campaign, you may want to look for content that uses the same keywords as the campaign. Using this content will help you maximize the performance of your PPC promotion efforts.

Here’s an example of a well-performing blog post that we edited and improved in order to turn into an in-depth guide:

Picture3-10.pngStep 3: Build and launch your PPC campaigns.

Now it’s time to build and launch your PPC campaign. To get started, you’ll need to set up a Google AdWords account if you haven’t already. Once you have organized the account just the way you like it, you can then start creating goals that will allow you to measure and track your campaign performance. Take a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) approach to goal setting and focus on the KPIs that are most relevant to your goal.

After you’ve set your goals, it’s time for keyword research. You want your PPC ads to include the keywords and phrases that people are actually using to search for brands like yours. You can use these strategies to start compiling your keyword list:

  • Start with a list of broad keywords and then work to narrow each down to more specific keywords.
  • Make a list of branded and generic terms to cover all your bases.
  • Look at what keywords and phrases your competitors are using.
  • Don’t forget to include variations and synonyms in your list of potential keywords.

Once you’ve compiled a list, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner inside AdWords to gain important insight into how popular these keywords are.

After identifying keywords, you’ll need to write copy. You want your messaging to be clear and concise. Not only should the user be able to understand exactly what you are offering, but it should also be clear what next step you want them to take. Use strong and actionable language, and avoid any distracting or irrelevant imagery when creating display ads.

Your PPC ads should take visitors to a targeted landing page that aligns with the ad. Here, you can use a lead form to collect the visitor’s information before delivering the promised content. The most effective landing pages are engaging and clear with lead forms that only ask for the necessary information.

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Step 4: Review results and adjust accordingly.

The fun isn’t over after the campaign has been launched. Like any effective marketing tactic, PPC campaigns require analysis and adjustment to maximize performance. Though you could spend an endless amount of time looking at PPC reports, here are a few of the most important PPC metrics to monitor:

  • Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • View-Through and Assisted Conversions

These are a good place to start your campaign review. You can use these metrics to make adjustments when A/B testing your ad copy to see which messaging and offers resonate best with your target market. Remember, monitoring and making improvements is an ongoing process. If you want to get the most out of your budget, you’ll need to keep testing and reviewing your PPC campaigns to optimize performance.

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Final Takeaways

Even those with an aversion to paid campaigns have to admit that PPC can be valuable in helping brands gain a wider audience and convert more leads. While your content often takes a while to find the audience it deserves, PPC helps you reach people faster and start seeing results even before the search engines have had time to respond. Using PPC to give your content a healthy boost will help you gain the competitive advantage when delivering quality content to your target audience.