I was asked by a Twitter friend this morning if there’s a way to use Pay Per Click (PPC aka SEM Google AdWords) to help promote your content.
And my answer to her was a resounding yes.
Especially because we all know we have to create great content, but often overlook the marketing of the content.
And PPC is often the quickest way to get people consuming your content, but more importantly allows you to measure the results right down to the last penny.
Here’s a few tips for using PPC to market your content:
Get Your Goals Straight
Like any marketing undertaking, you need to first set your goals and ask yourself, “why am I doing this”?
Are people looking for the type of content you want to promote? Can they find this information anywhere else? Is it going to help support your sales and lead gen?
Figure out exactly why you want to market your content before you even figure out what content you want to market.
Research, Research, and Research
What should your content be about?
As well, you’ll want to find what your competitors are doing, and what type of content they’re sharing.
Most importantly, you’ll want to poll your customers and ask for their feedback. Ask yourself, “what would be the most valuable piece of content we could possibly offer our customers”?
That should be your starting point.
Create Your Content
Now you know why and what content you’re creating, time to get down and create it.
This could be a white paper, eBook, article, 3rd party review, video, webinar, instructional tutorial, infographic or any type of content you can think of.
Again, ask yourself what would the most valuable information you could provide your customers?
Set up Your PPC Campaigns (and Landing Pages)
I’m not about to dive into a step-by-step tutorial about how to set up your PPC campaigns (see other blogs on this site for PPC marketing). But the important thing is to not focus on keywords that are too broad (and expensive), but for those seeking certain information.
For example, if your business provided email software instead of bidding on a keyword such as “email software”, try bidding on “email design best practices” (so long as that’s why your content is about).
As well, use landing pages that are focused on conversion instead of just driving visitors to a regular page on your website.
Other PPC Tips:
- Test Google Search ads as well as display and video ads to see what gets the best conversion rate (at lowest cost per acquisition).
- Geo-target areas that produce higher profit customers.
- Use Google’s “In-Market Audience” feature to target those actively browsing topics related to your industry (and content).
Figure Out Your Follow-up
In the vast majority of cases, the people who are interested in reading or watching your content aren’t necessarily going to be ready to buy your product or service.
These people are probably still in information gathering and seeking mode in terms of the marketing funnel.
So you need to nurture them.
Whether it’s placing them in an email drip campaign, adding them to your monthly newsletter, asking them to follow your blog or social media profiles – the key is to keep the relationship running.
And of course if your business offers any demos, webinars, free trials, you’ll want to use nurture campaigns to help them work their way down the marketing funnel.
And for those who don’t convert or aren’t interested, ask them what you could improve upon, or what was missing in the original content that would have made them more satisfied.
Always be asking…your customers.
Use Content for Retargeting
One final tip, you can use content as part of PPC retargeting.
That is, if someone visits your website and doesn’t “convert” (e.g. make a purchase, start a free trial, sign-up for newsletter), you can retarget them when they leave your website to visit other sites (such as Facebook, Twitter or any of the millions of sites on the Google publisher network) with a banner or display ad.
In fact, content like eBooks, white papers, and webinars are great for retargeting because they are considered “soft sells”, and banner or display ads can have a lower Cost Per Click (CPC).
Just don’t forget about that retargeting landing page!