In PPC, content marketing is used frequently for lead generation, as well as for high-end consumer purchases that require research and time. When done correctly, PPC content marketing is highly effective at attracting and engaging your customers/audience and driving more revenue. Here are six steps to successful PPC content marketing.
Step 1: Audit All Available Content
Before you can start promoting content in PPC, you need to figure out what content is available. Resist the urge to jump in and start throwing content assets into your PPC campaigns. Taking the time to figure out what content you have will set you up for success. The content audit consists of four steps:
- Identify your content marketing goals. What are you trying to achieve? Awareness, lead generation, public relations, something else?
- Create a list of all available content. Include every piece of content you have, even if you think you’ll never use it in PPC.
- Note whether the content is evergreen or time-sensitive. This step will determine how and when content can be used.
- Include the format in your content list. Content format may seem irrelevant, but it’s actually important. You’ll want to know what types of content perform best for your business, so note that now.
When the audit is finished, you’ll have a list of everything you can use (often called a bill of materials or BOM) for PPC content marketing.
Step 2: Research Your Audience
Audience research in PPC content marketing is as important as keyword research in search PPC. Not all content will appeal to every segment of your target audience, so it’s crucial to know what content to serve to whom.
The audience will also help you determine which PPC channels to use: search, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Where does your audience hang out? Which engine targets them the best?
Don’t forget to segment your audience into buckets. You may want to consider using personas to help you.
Your content audit can also help here – you might have some content geared at C-level executives, and other content geared at end users. Use this information to help segment your audience in a way that will inform PPC campaign setup.
Step 3: Determine Content Promotion Timing
With marketing, timing is everything. You’ll need a schedule that tells you when to promote your content. An editorial calendar may be all you need – or you may need to develop your own calendar or schedule.
If you don’t have an editorial calendar, you’ll need to think about what makes the most sense for your business. eConsultancy has a helpful Periodic Table of Content Marketing that can help you figure out when each type of content should run.
Step 4: Map Content To Your Buyer Journey
The buyer journey is an often-overlooked aspect of content marketing. The buyer journey is the stages a potential buyer goes through on their way to making a purchase decision. The stages are commonly called awareness, consideration, evaluation, and decision/purchase, but there can be intermediary steps in between as well.
Most content is going to be suited for one phase of the buyer journey. Overview videos and blog posts are usually awareness content. Solution briefs, ebooks, and white papers fall into the consideration phase. Product demos and trials are decision content.
Map all the content in your content audit to the buyer journey. This step helps you determine which channels (social, search) the content is best suited for, and helps you craft ad copy.
Here’s a great example of the buyer journey from Rocket Watcher:
Step 5: Track & Integrate
Once you’ve mapped content to the buyer journey, you’re almost ready to launch your PPC content marketing campaigns. But first, you need to make sure you can track results. You’ll want to know how each piece of content is performing across not only all PPC campaigns, but across other marketing as well.
The best way to track content across channels is by using a content ID. Most content management systems will assign a content ID for you. You can also use the utm_content parameter in Google Analytics to include a content ID.
Make sure you’re tracking not only the content ID, but the type of content and the buyer journey phase. Collecting this data will enable you to slice and dice in many different ways: which content performs best at each phase, which type of content performs best, etc.
Use this data to optimize your PPC content marketing campaigns and to inform new content creation.
Step 6: Measure & Test
The final step in PPC content marketing is to actually measure results. It’s critical to think about how you’re going to track content performance across channels. While some assets will do well in certain channels and poorly in others, some assets will do well across the board. That’s the content you want to focus on, not only from a promotion standpoint, but to inform new content development.
For instance, if a white paper does well across the board, you might want to write a similar report about another product or service you offer. You could create an infographic based on the white paper. You could create an overview video about it.
Don’t forget to look at asset types to see what your audience responds to. Do they prefer videos, or do they like to read and share white papers? Thinking about how to track this data at the outset will enable you to develop a system enables you to make data-driven decisions.
Are you combining your content marketing and PPC marketing efforts to attract and engage more consumers?