The ultimate guide for using paid media with inbound marketing
Expand and enhance the reach of your inbound efforts using paid search and paid social channels effectively.
Paid search and inbound: friends or foes?
For some entrepreneurs, the idea of combining Paid Search and Inbound Marketing is still kind of weird. Maybe you are one of those who thinks that paying for online advertising doesn’t exactly mean “attracting clients organically.”
However, there is great news for you: a PPC campaign should be part of your inbound plan, right now. There are some good reasons for it, so pay attention to the specific techniques your program needs to succeed, explained as follows.
Your company needs to be seen and discovered for as many customers as possible. So, the main purpose of an inbound strategy is to attract them naturally, without interrupting their experience in any shape or form. However, that process might take weeks, months, or even over a year.
That's why you need to develop a paid search plan, as it will work out faster than you think, thus helping you to achieve your goals within a right frame of time.
After launching a PPC campaign, the potential customers will see your ads wherever they are available:
-Search engines: Adwords is the best example of this. For years, Google has helped thousands of brands to raise awareness, thanks to their Pay-per-click plans suitable for everyone. Every time a new client looks for specific information related to your business, a group of ads will be displayed for their consideration.
After launching a PPC campaign, you’ll be able to measure impressions, Key Performance Indicators, clicks, and conversions. This data is worth gold, as it will show exactly what kind of adjustment your strategy might need.
So, after taking a look at the advantages of a Paid Search and Inbound plan, you need to learn how to do it in the right way. Regardless of the type of business you run, there are some essential techniques you must use to succeed. The most important ones are:
- Ads with long-Tail keywords: the traditional concepts of SEO have taught you how to choose keywords for your content, in order to generate a high volume of traffic and hopefully the conversions your business needs.
Nevertheless, if you have some experience doing SEO, you should know by now that the process is slower than you expect, let alone disappointing. Actually, maybe a couple of times you gave your very best just to get zero results. What did you do wrong? Quick answer: maybe you used generic keywords, of course.
So, from now on, you must do proper research focused on long-tail keywords, or in other words, the specific terms a customer is looking for when they are almost ready to buy a product or hire a service.
For example, let’s say you sell smartphones. Your first, logical step to create your content would involve using keywords such as “top-ranked cell phones,” “best 2018 smartphones” and “Android and iOS tips.” All those terms are legit and necessary, of course, as they can drive thousands of visitors to your website.
However, surprisingly enough, they don’t guarantee the conversions and earnings your brand needs. Why? Just because they represent educational of informational content and you must go beyond that.
The best way to do this, it's creating content with those long-tail terms your audience is looking for. This way, you will give them exactly what they need, with no extra ornaments. According to the former example, the right keywords would be something like:
And everything that represents a strong purchase intent. Now, pay attention to these two important factors:
- Ads that deliver proper answers to their questions: if your audience is looking for the best sunny places to spend a summer, then use this very same idea to design your PPC campaign, by asking them something like: “Would you like to know how to get that sun tanning you’re looking for? Then take a look at our site!”
Next, they will be directed to an optimized landing page to get the best information possible before taking the next step, which could be filling out a form to be contacted shortly, or even making a reservation in your platform. So, give them good answers and they will pay attention to your offer.
- Ads that help customers move through the Buyer’s Journey:whether they are in the first or last stage of the funnel, your ads must guide them to make the best choice possible. So remember that every piece of advertising must be backed up with relevant, useful content.
A Paid Search and Inbound strategy will definitely work for your brand, as long as you use the right techniques. Your campaign should focus on delivering solutions to your audience’s most urgent needs. So, take advantage of the power of targeted keywords, and high-quality content to achieve your goals.
Paid social and inbound: what you have to know
It is widely agreed that paid social tools are a great way to add value to an Inbound Marketing campaign and securing its future success.
Many marketers have concluded that these social tools generate massive exposure for the businesses under these campaigns, which are a logical step when dealing with new players or relatively unknown products or services. Compared to other options, these methods reliably offer a cost-effective solution with good returns.
Once your buyer personas are well defined, you can easily select the portions of your audience that will be available to target on social media networks. This additional help to lead generation will usually mean you’ll have to find the right channel to reach them.
This is where Paid Social comes into play: as you create targeted social ads, you’re helping achieve brand awareness -while also improving overall site traffic-, which is an overall boost to your campaign.
Paid social is currently among the top 5 most used advertising methods by marketers with 45 percent of them using them. Moreover, it’s still growing strong: according to the data, its industry is expected to increase by more than 194 percent, reaching 15 billion dollars during 2018.
Marketing in social media is undoubtedly an essential element for assuring a good performance in any kind of digital marketing, so there’s always the potential for massive growth using these platforms.
As stated before, it’s one of the most cost-efficient methods used to gain exposure, syndicate content created on other platforms and extend your brand’s reach.
Because of all these reasons, creating a paid social campaign to your inbound marketing campaign will significantly increase your brand’s recognition since you’ll be getting to a broader audience of future consumers of your products or services.
Establishing interactions with your future audiences is key to the success of these paid campaigns. Getting users to like and share the content you have created under your inbound strategy will draw awareness and surely help build your reputation as a business, a critical step if you’re a new player in your industry or seeking to recover previously missed leads.
This future leads will present as your paid content -if efficiently developed- will be shared by other users sharing the same interests or needs of your defined buying personas, leading to more potential customers and eventual conversions. This way, paid social tools will hugely benefit your business.
Regular use of these channels can help expand your audience even more than with just a conventional inbound strategy, and that’s where both ways converge.
One of the best options to include when thinking of paid social options to use with Inbound Marketing campaigns is retargeting.
This way, you can increase leverage in all parts of your website according to browsing history and triggers taken by the visitors of your inbound site’s content.
This kind of approach can also be integrated with email marketing if you’re looking to work with that as well.
In Facebook Ads, for example, the Facebook Pixel tool will allow you to target users who have previously shown interest in your business, using paid social ads to encourage them to finish and eventually purchase or become a solid lead for your inbound campaign, depending on what you’re offering.
Another thing that’s very important to have in mind when combining paid social and inbound is the customer lifecycle: acquisition, retention, and re-engagement.
It’s essential for you to plan these part of the strategy according to and to create both content and paid social ads that are relevant for each stage of the funnel, according to the Inbound Marketing methodology.
Just like in the basics of Inbound, you shouldn’t think that “bigger is better” when planning reach for ad campaigns on social media. Just like you created buyer personas for your Inbound campaign, you’ll have to find their equivalents on the social network you’re planning to position your paid ads.
In most cases, you’ll be using Facebook and its Ad Manager to create, control and edit these different audiences according to the personas you have developed, helping to drive engagement and generate better results while defining your audiences to a smaller and more precise level.
After your audiences have been well defined and are working according to your inbound plan’s buyer personas, it’s time to follow your campaign’s performance.
Thankfully, many of the paid social tools are incredibly flexible when it comes to selecting your targets or creating new ads, allowing you to experiment with different approaches to reach your desired customers.
Testing and optimizing your campaigns on the fly should be a main priority for the best results, as it’s the only way to see what’s working efficiently, which audiences are responding in the way you planned and how to improve or remove the ones that are performing poorly.
It’s essential to learn how to analyze the crucial data generated by your social network of choice, which can be used not only to improve your current campaign but also as vital information for the ones to come.
Without the help that social media marketing represents, your inbound traffic is just limited to your current clients. Using social media to connect with those not in your range will quickly help you in getting noticed more outside of your circuit.
One meaningful way of learning from social paid campaigns is knowing what your demographic needs and how they engage with these products or services, not only yours but also including your main competitors. These valuable insights can generate relevant data for future business developments as well.
Another extremely relevant role of paid social in the world of inbound marketing comes with the motivation of leads to close. Generating a fast action through a social ad will put an additional layer of constraint on the interested lead, which can result in more sales and eventual success for your brand.
You can always go the extra mile and pamper them with additional content to save the lead for later; in these cases, free eBooks, white papers or another piece of content could help your audiences make that final decision.
Display Ads and Inbound Marketing: Can They Work Together?
A Display Advertising plan is one of the most important parts of your brand’s Inbound Marketing strategy. Indeed, paid media will complement your organic reach efforts, taking your presence in digital media to the next level. Therefore, you must carry out the right techniques to meet every goal you have set up. So, pay close attention to the next information.
In a display ads and Inbound program, Prospecting means identifying your potential clients, according to their interests, hobbies and habits, through the different digital platforms they visit on a regular basis. Once you discover that audience, you need to drive them to your website.
Let’s say, you run a flower shop and your goal is to increase your conversion rate from 20% to 40%. So you launch a native advertising campaign, targeted to those users looking for everything to improve their gardens.
Once they notice your presence on those websites, they will be directed to your landing page to leave their information. After that first, priceless digital interaction, you can reach them through email to start a nurturing process. Eventually, you will get a new client, proving how important is the whole Prospecting process.
A fair amount of your website’s visitors will leave without performing any kind of action. That is completely normal, of course. Fortunately, Inbound Marketing offers a new way to conquer that runaway audience and it is called Remarketing.
This technique consists in displaying advertising to those potential clients on third-party websites, even days after they have visited you. In this way, each ad will let them know that your products are still available and, who knows? They even might get a better deal.
However, you must follow some rules to run a high-performance Remarketing campaign, explained as follows:
Even though Display Advertising and Inbound Marketing might come from two very different branches of the marketing universe, it’s possible to create a synergy between both worlds. Let’s say you’ve invested significant amounts in driving traffic to your site, but, what happens after your prospects get there?
Under a traditional marketing model, they usually end up in a site filled with self-promotion and endless calls to acquire products or services immediately. But what you really need to create a relationship with the prospect is a connection, usually established through quality content crafted carefully to supply your prospect’s needs.
This is where Inbound comes into play: by developing a perfect content strategy, you’ll be able to complement both worlds by delivering quality, informative content without the need to aggressively advertise your products or services, as they’ll become interested in them organically after learning from the content you provided.
This way, you won’t be wasting your valuable efforts in display marketing, and at the same time, developing valuable relationships by providing answers to your future client’s questions. In this way, you’ll find it easier to generate revenue and a better ROI through time.
This kind of marketing will be very useful for full-funnel campaigns through multiple devices. To reach the right audience, pay attention to the responsive design of your ads, as they should generate the same attention on a 5-inch phone screen, on a desktop computer, or any other media.
A display ads and Inbound Marketing strategy are the right combination to raise the audience’s interest in your brand, thus getting the clients you need to achieve your goals. To get the best results possible, implement the technique best suitable for your plan with a clear idea in mind: satisfying every single of your costumer's needs through different channels and media.
How CRO and Inbound Can Get You Better Results
One of the worst situations for any marketer is getting stuck during a strategy. Let’s say, you’ve mapped out an overall conversion rate of 35% through all your digital platforms along the year. At the end of this period, your numbers show that this rate consistently decreased, from 32% by January to 17% by December.
After such failure, you need to redirect your plan. The best way to do it is through the proper development of a CRO and Inbound Marketing joint strategy designed for detecting the problems to bring a solution, as follows.
What is the type of action you should be guiding your users to do? Let’s list some important ones:
After you have decided what your goals are, there are 3 logical steps to follow.
What are the main factors preventing your brand from increasing conversions? If you want to increase your sales on your eCommerce platform, for example, you must run a website audit. After that, most likely you will find some problems like these:
If users cannot see your content after three or four seconds, they will leave your platform looking for a better option. That is a harsh fact, so you need to fix it as soon as possible.
Let’s say, in January your blog attracted 150,000 visitors per day. Then, 45,000 of those users left your platform after checking out the main page, without clicking on any other content, resulting in a 30% bounce rate. By June, this rate had increased to 40%.
Solution: to stop this dangerous situation, pay attention to these factors:
Once a lead makes contact with your brand, they need to get as much support as possible through every digital channel available, from social media to your official website. If any of them asks a question on your eCommerce and gets no answer within a reasonable period, they surely leave and you will lose a client.
Solution: besides answering questions through email, your eCommerce and other digital platforms, make use of automation technology, like chatbots. This kind of instant messaging should be part of any Inbound Marketing strategy, as it handles basic customer care duties efficiently.
A great CRO and Inbound Marketing strategy prioritizes the audience’s needs through a deep understanding of its behavior, habits, and expectations. This creates the perfect environment to increase the conversion rates you have been looking for.
That is why you must design your Buyer Personas in order to produce the right content for every different group of leads. Each one of them must include these traits and/or more, depending on the product:
After building these personas, the content creation process will be a lot easier. Every piece of information created for your eCommerce, blog, official website and social media, must be targeted to your different Buyer Personas to increase the conversion rate on each one of those platforms.
Finally, after identifying problems, fixing them and optimizing your content, you will be measuring results from time to time, expecting wholesome levels of conversions after all this hard work. Remember to keep track of every factor, to make any possible adjustment along the way.
The development of a CRO and Inbound Marketing plan should include these points. After your customers’ needs are satisfied, the ultimate outcome will be a higher conversion rate and a stronger bond of each one of them with your brand.
Video Ads and Inbound: How to Make Your Plan Work?
The ever-changing digital environment is continuously demanding new types of content to deliver powerful messages to your target audience. One of the most sought-after formats is video content, one of the most profitable ways to engage with your audience these days. Additionally, a PPC video campaign yields even better results than a text-only advertising plan.
Video is the most appealing content format you can offer to your consumers. According to Statista, 11.8% of the worldwide audience watches 4 to 7 hours of video per week, and 8.7% of them enjoys over 10 hours of video content during that same period. Furthermore, video digital viewers in the US will reach 232 million by 2020.
Video Ads and Inbound Marketing: a winning formula
Video ads have evolved as a marketing tool during the last years. The main characteristics of video content are a text-based ad, as words are essential to send a message to your future clients. However, video content gets your audience’s attention at first sight by telling them an engaging story full of color, music, and emotion in just a few seconds.
A 60-second video ad could generate more leads than thousands of words: video ads on landing pages increase conversions by 86%, and this is just one example.
Branded video sharing has increased by 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook from 2016 to 2017. It is estimated that people watch around 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. On the other hand, tweets featuring videos are shared six more times. Big companies have paid attention to these figures to launch top-notch Inbound Marketing campaigns on social media, thus increasing their ratio conversions.
Moreover, an educational video ad campaign is a great way to attract leads by giving them the relevant information they need before buying your product or hiring your service. So use this opportunity to instruct your users and get them to know your company’s vision and goals while inviting them to explore your offer.
So, how can you start a Video Ads and Inbound Marketing strategy today?
Since this is your audience’s favorite format, start creating Inbound Marketing campaigns based on engaging videos to attract users looking for answers to their multiple needs during every stage of the funnel. To maximize the output, pay attention to these tips:
Video advertising must be part of your Inbound Marketing plan because of the way it engages with the audience, attracts leads and increases your conversion rate. So, design a strategy based on quality optimization, compelling storytelling and the right use of selected keywords to get the best results possible.
How to Run a Successful PPC and Content Marketing Strategy
Creating an effective strategy that combines both PPC and Content Marketing will enhance the digital visibility of your brand. But why? Pay attention to the following points.
Investing in pay-per-click campaigns is a good way to bring traffic to your website and boosting your conversion rate; you just must pay a fee each time a user clicks on your ad. However, the first aspect you should remember is that high-quality content is the key to a successful campaign.
Therefore, you should answer an important question: whenever a user clicks on your ad, will they be directed to a platform great enough to provide them relevant and useful information so they can make the best buying decision possible?
If the answer is negative, then it is time to get down to work and considering the next advice:
It must be high-quality content
This means users won't be distracted by grammar, spelling or stylistic mistakes. In addition, this content should effortlessly offer enough detail to the audience about the products and services they are looking for.
The more you know about your audience, the more likely that your content will remain relevant. So, run regular market studies to find out more about your consumer’s habits and preferences.
It must be trustworthy enough to attract different segments of the target audience
Once you have all the information of your Buyer Personas (purchasing habits, personal goals, social media platforms usually used and points of view), it is time to build your brand’s reputation by the authenticity of your content.
Therefore, your information must be fresh, factual and backed up by high prestige sources. You can include links, citations, white papers, testimonials or videos in order to boost your site's credibility.
A content marketing strategy is an excellent starting point to achieve the organic traffic your company needs. But which are the best content marketing practices?
Other types of content marketing strategies are case studies, white papers, checklists, interviews, social media posts, GIFs and Memes. With these practices, your chances of success will increase.
The optimization of your content through the right SEO techniques is critical to stand out in the search engines. So, you may design the best pay-per-click ads, but at the same time, you may overlook most SEO aspects, for instance. In this way, the users will pay attention to your advertising campaign, which is great for promotion. Nevertheless, your brand also needs to rank high on Google by means of SEO optimized content.
SEO is the aspect that will give your brand the chance to attract new clients consistently. Thus, each time a user makes a web search related to your niche, your content will be organically displayed in the SERP. In the same way, your ad will also be featured. In both cases, the audience will be redirected to a blog, website or landing page containing high-quality information, without exception, creating a perfect synergy between PPC and Content Marketing strategies.
Several online platforms offer valuable tools to design ads powerful enough to connect with the audience. Creative, amusing and interesting advertisements should include features such as:
The combination of PPC and Content Marketing strategies involves great effort, but it will be worth it. Thanks to this duality you will attract the audience that your brand needs through trust-building content and impressive ads to get the clicks you require.