When it comes to expanding the reach of a business online, improving website ranking, and converting more visitors, there are two very productive approaches available to digital marketers and business owners today; content marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
These two strategies form the basis of the majority of online marketing campaigns today. While content marketing takes the slow but steady approach to help businesses rise through search engine result pages (SERPs), PPC instantly places your business on the top of result pages and produces immediate results from more clicks.
Understandably, it can be quite a dilemma when choosing which to invest in, especially if you're sitting on a tight budget. Should you go with PPC advertising and recover your ad spends plus profit as quickly as possible, or would it be better to build a solid content marketing strategy and wait for the results/profits to flow in? In this article, you'll learn which of the two is a more profitable strategy, and why you may want to choose one over the other.
What Do the Statistics Say — Content Marketing Vs. PPC?
On the one hand, content marketing is a promising undertaking. It allows you to focus on providing very resourceful, well-researched, and industry-relevant insights and blog articles to the average internet user. It is a very efficient way to rise to the top of SERPs and position your brand as an authority in a particular niche as you provide answers to hot questions.
According to insights from an analysis by Aberdeen Group on the effectiveness of content marketing, it was discovered that content marketing produces six times more conversions compared to other websites that do not adopt content marketing.
Marketers consider content marketing more effective than email marketing, outdoor advertising, and social media. 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and the number of leads. No doubt, if you are patient enough to invest in content marketing, you are sure to enjoy the benefits soon.
Content marketing boosts your website SEO, and 95% of people will only look at the first page of search results. Therefore, investing in content marketing is an intelligent way to improve your brand's visibility and generate more leads. Content marketing goes beyond articles; it also includes using video, which is known as video content marketing, and audio, better known as podcasts.
On the other hand, PPC is the shortest route to get to the top of SERPs, giving you immediate visibility to users looking for your service or product and are ready to buy. But the most important question here is: do the clicks really lead to instant conversions? And perhaps, you may also be curious to know if your total PPC invoice at the end of the day makes sense when compared to your ROI.
Yes, ideally, your profit should be higher than your advertising expenses. Yet, while the average internet user is now adept at avoiding and outrightly blocking out ads as they browse through the internet, here are some interesting findings on the effectiveness of paid advertising today:
Google reports that search advertising can boost brand awareness by up to 80%, considering that consumers make as much as 160 billion searches every month on Google. Companies can leverage these opportunities to convert more customers today than ever before.
If implemented correctly, brands can drive 50% more conversions through PPC advertising than organic or SEO advertising. This is possible considering that the average click-through rate for Google ads is 3.17%.
Both Google and Facebook ads take a significant portion of the digital advertising space with 37.2% and 19.6% market share, respectively. That is more than half of the market share for the digital advertising industry. One quick inference we can make from this particular statistic is that PPC works.
But before concluding, you want to consider when the time is right for you to go the PPC route. Clearly, both content marketing and paid advertising strategies work. But deciding which to use eventually depends on factors like your target audience, budget, and short and long-term business needs. There's no straightforward answer to this question, but the following pros and cons will help you determine which one is best for your specific situation.
Cons of Content Marketing
Content marketing takes longer to build, and ROI may take even longer to come in. It takes work and consistent commitment to creating authoritative content, and it can be challenging to find good content creators, especially when you do not have the time to do it yourself.
Content marketing costs much less. When you begin to rank, it is purely on merit, which is called organic traffic. Content marketing is enmeshed in SEO techniques to help brands earn better leads.
Additionally, you can get content writers or content marketing agencies that can do the job very well. One interesting thing about content marketing is that your content remains evergreen, even up to months and years after posting them. It is believed that organic search generates the greatest volume of leads and the highest conversion rates than other digital marketing strategies.
Cons of PPC Advertising
You pay per click, whether it leads to a conversion or not. That's the interesting thing about PPC; each click is invoiced to you. And the reality is that the number of clicks does not always mean the number of purchases made. In fact, some users will only hover around and leave. Some might have even accidentally clicked on your ad.
Again, you only get to stay in front of people until your ad expires. To keep your ads from disappearing and to maintain your high ranking, you need to continue funding the ad campaign. This means that it is costly for a long-term marketing strategy. Startups or mid-sized businesses might have a hard time keeping up with the budget.
The results are instant. PPC gets you on the top immediately. This strategy is very beneficial for businesses that want to target customers who are searching to make purchases immediately. PPC allows brands to maximize the power of search advertising because it targets customers who are ready to pay.
Wrapping Up — Content Marketing or PPC Advertising?
Content marketing and PPC are both effective digital marketing strategies. While content marketing has an edge in regards to life span, cost-effectiveness, and quality of leads, PPC yields instant results. So the use of either of them depends on the situation or specific marketing need.
But keep in mind that without quality content, your PPC ads may only amount to a waste of time. So, as you prepare for incoming traffic — whether, through content marketing or PPC, you still need to push out quality content on your website.