PPC is a popular marketing strategy used by countless number of businesses of all sizes. Additionally, inbound is starting to gain traction in the marketing world.
However, only a few businesses have actually unlocked the potential of bringing the two together. This may be because in its very nature, PPC is regarded as intrusive, whereas inbound campaigns encourage attracting the attention of potential customers through useful content. In this post, I’d like to discuss why it is crucial for organisations to integrate the two, and how it can help them to flourish.
Before I delve any further, lets recap the inbound marketing methodology diagram above, which describes the journey a user takes before they become paying customers and, hopefully, promoters of what you do or sell. It also shows how each of the marketing tactics, such as social media and email marketing, sits within each stage of the journey.
Facts & Figures
There are many facts and figures relating to inbound and PPC. For example, according to Hubspot inbound campaigns achieve a higher ROI than outbound. This holds true regardless of company size & budget. Also, Mashable found that inbound leads cost 62% less than outbound leads.
Adnews found that in June 2016, there were 1.13bn daily active Facebook users.
All of these facts are of interest because they indicate the effectiveness of inbound marketing, particularly in regards to delivering a higher ROI, while reducing costs at the same time. In addition, we can see that platforms that allow PPC ads are popular and used frequently. With this in mind, imagine if businesses were to combine the power of inbound marketing with PPC and the combined impact that would have.
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There are a number of benefits that come from integrating PPC with your inbound strategy.
Content is the bread and butter of inbound, and PPC can be used to promote such content. It will also ensure that you are not creating content in vain, but rather making the most out of it by promoting it as much as your budget allows.
Another interesting point relating to this is that ‘higher funnel’ content, such as ‘how to…’ searches are likely to be much less competitive, and therefore could be relatively cheap to promote.
Reach more of your target market
It is highly unlikely that your target market will be found in just one area of the internet. Instead, they are likely to be using various channels, including web pages, social media and apps. Therefore, by investing in PPC and integrating it with an inbound strategy, PPC ads can act as a stepping stone to aid the subsequent steps of the buyer's journey and push them further down the buyer’s journey.
As can be seen in the diagram, the inbound methodology appreciates how various marketing tactics, such as email marketing, can be useful in different stages of the buyer's journey. With this in mind, by unifying PPC with your inbound strategy, it will lift the other marketing tactics.
Humans respond well to things that are visual, and this can be achieved through PPC ads if they are tweaked to be eye-catching through the use of images. If done well, it can generate high click through rates, thus giving the overall inbound campaign a boost.
Another example would be to use social media pixels for remarketing to users on these channels after they've visited your website. These paid social ads can be used to push the user further down the buyer's journey. For example, if they abandoned a shopping cart halfway through purchase, you can remarket to them on social with a special discount code for the product(s) they were going to buy.
PPC ads can also be used to promote landing pages to lead generation forms, as well as product and service pages, helping with the Convert and Close stages, respectively.
We know that inbound campaigns bring in higher ROI while reducing costs, while we also know that many of the websites that host ads enjoy high numbers of visitors. As we know that both of these strategies are strong in their own rights, they are likely to be even stronger when brought together to give a campaign an extra push.
Furthermore, the post has also outlined various benefits of integrating PPC with inbound. For example, by integrating the two, a business is increasing its chances to improve and lift other marketing strategies. Together, they can give your marketing campaigns a boost.
As a practitioner of inbound marketing and PPC, I would encourage businesses to invest some time and resources into this type of strategy as I have seen businesses benefit in doing so. In today's fast moving and incredibly competitive business world, it is important for businesses to try out new marketing tactics. I strongly believe that if thought out properly and executed carefully, there is no harm in integrating PPC with an inbound marketing strategy. If it works, great. If not, at least you know where not to focus your energy.