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Pay Per Click and Inbound Marketing

How Pay Per Click and Inbound Marketing can be Mutually Supportive

Examine three real world examples of blended Pay Per Click and inbound marketing for the most effective way to reach your audience.

Have you ever plucked an unplugged electric guitar? I’ll bet it didn’t exactly produce the riffs of “Purple Haze.” Traditional resonant marketing strategies just can’t work without acquiring the amp and paying to keep it powered. And unlike inbound marketing (i.e. social media, blogs, newsletters), traditional approaches require paid advertising.
Traditionally, PPC has been considered incompatible with inbound marketing, often surfacing images of unhelpful paid ads that fail to satisfy the needs of internet searchers:

Yet it is possible to create paid ads that satisfy the needs of the user. By creating an ad that incorporates the inbound methodology, you can create the perfect blend of Pay Per Click and inbound marketing.

What’s in the mix?

At least two of the following criteria must hold true about a specific ad to classify as an effective mixture of PPC and inbound marketing:

  • shown to the right people, at the right time
  • presents a direct solution to a search query
  • moves the searcher further down the Buyer’s Journey

So, What Are The Benefits?

Combining the inbound methodology with your paid search strategy allows you to understand your audience and create extremely effective ads that will engage at all stages of the Buyer’s Journey.  Moreover, ads that incorporate inbound marketing are smarter and will be more inviting to people searching online.  
We’ve highlighted three smart and targeted examples, so you can witness some inbound-centric paid advertisements in action.

1) EA Access Retargeting for Early Access

This EA Access ad surfaced on Facebook after the user preordered FIFA 16 for XBox One. Already at the buying stage via pre-ordering, this ad then retargeted all customers who pre-ordered the game to offer an exclusive opportunity to upgrade their purchase and gain early access to play.

Sponsored ads with audience targeting, such as this one, are far more intelligent than the untargeted ads seeking traffic over high-quality audiences. As with this example, they are created to engage with the right audience and offer helpful and timely information that encourages the searcher along the Buyer’s Journey.

2) Yext Online Demo Sign-Up

To see this ad, the searcher had to visit the Yext website and sign up for an online demo. Through active retargeting, this ad appeared in their Facebook newsfeed, offering a free gift for the searcher to come back to the website. Because the user had previously visited the site, the ad was more relevant to the specific user, which means that the incentive to revisit was a form of lead nurturing at the bottom of the funnel towards direct conversion. Like inbound marketing, this attempts to lead to conversion in a way most relevant to the user.

3) The Blog Starter Free Guide

To find this ad, the user searched the term ‘blogging’, and rather than offering opportunities to build their own blog (a step too advanced for the beginning phases of research), The Blog Starter ad offered a free step-by-step guide to simply learn about the concept. At the beginning of the Buyer’s Journey, the user just wants to gather information rather than initiate a project, so the ad attracts visitors via helpful information.

The free step-by-step beginner’s guide is valuable content that answers preliminary questions people have before jumping into the process. Like inbound strategies, it appears at the right time, to the right people and offers helpful information to educate the searcher.

Stick to the Inbound Marketing Methodology

As a methodology, inbound marketing trains better habits and holds practitioners to a higher bar. We have to be good enough for the audience to come close, lean in and bring their friends and peers along with them.
That doesn’t mean we can’t make use of paid methods to amplify our reach and results from proven campaigns.Like your marketing content, the success of your paid amplification hinges on expert execution. Too broad a target, too large a spend or the wrong channel pick can turn into a feedback screech.
Curious how to use digital paid advertising and PPC to amplify your inbound marketing? Drop us a line to talk further about paid advertising and your digital marketing strategy./