The ‘Right’ Content Greatly Magnifies Any PPC You’re Doing Right Now
Have you previously wondered why your leading competitors are paying to promote free content on the web instead of pushing their actual products and services for sale with no clear monetization strategy?
Well, the fact of the matter is, promoting content on the web via paid ads can do a whole lot for your business other than slowly build your brand. Positioning premium paid content in front of who you think are your potential customers will increase your business’s top line sales through increased customer loyalty, purchasing from you instead of someone else when the decision to buy is made only a few weeks or months later.
The trick to make paid content marketing work for you is knowing where to put the ads and what content to use. If you can figure out those two things, the rest will fall into place. This article explains the steps required to do just this.
If you would like for me to set you up with the ‘right’ funnel to get people researching the types of things you sell or about what you sell to actually buy from you, then you can request that from me here
The Psychology of Paid Content Distribution Strategies
Before we get into how to set up your paid content marketing campaign, I want to let you know why you will be doing what you are doing and why it works so well, so you know how best to set it up.
Mid-level paid content promotion gets people to buy from you by using the common and widely recognized psychological principles of marketing. While not every one of those items on the list are a part of the common seven principles many marketers strive for, most of them are well-represented here.
- Increased Awareness – Advertising in places where more potential customers are directly translates in greater product awareness. Because fewer of your competitors are doing this “hard” content marketing, your real competitors will be much fewer in number.
- Reciprocity – Offering free, helpful information to your prospects will compel them to buy from you, specifically giving back (even if they know it was to get them to buy from you anyway).
- Commitment & Consistency – When a prospect thinks your product or service is the best one to buy after reading through your helpful buyer’s guide, that prospect is less likely to change their mind about what to buy later on due to this key psychological principle (even months later). He who convinces first often wins.
- Scarcity & Impulsivity – Offering an opportunity to buy the product or service you sell when your prospect’s interest is peaked reduces the perceived risk of not finding it later on.
- Liking – Superb presentation of information will get the prospect to like your brand based upon the experience they had with the content itself. UX principles and conversational language play into the entertainment value or likability of the content and therefore, the brand.
- Authority – Brands usually advertise to a wide audience to gain status in the eye of the consumer. Well-placed content provides the illusion of being a big brand, with that status being assumed before you have it.
How Paid Content Distribution Actually Facilitates the Purchase
Now that we know how paid content actually influences someone to want to like your company and offer, here are the two primary ways mid-level content marketing triggers eventual purchase.
#1 – Customers who have read the content you have offered them will now forever click your future ads at a higher rate due to subconscious or active brand recognition.
#2 – Customers who do click on your ads after having an experience with your brand will now be more likely to convert due to an increased level of trust and reduced need to do fact- or price-checking elsewhere, breaking the chain of commitment when the zero point of purchase decision is made.
Because of these reasons, paid content marketing only works well to increase sales if you already have a great bottom level PPC campaign strategy in place to catch people when they are ready to buy first, so they can actually find you again in the places they expect you to be when their purchase decision happens.
Pro Tip: For best results, bottom level sales pages should make direct references to the material you have promoted in the mid funnel to trigger the memories they had and enforce the psychological principles of persuasion listed above, creating transitional brand messaging/confirmation that is crucial to any marketing campaign.
Now that you fully understand the importance and potential of mid-level funnel content marketing, here is a plan you can follow to execute your own mid-level funnel paid content marketing strategy, guaranteed to work for you.
Step 1. Construct Your Funnel
Do Your Research
Do your research to find out what type of questions people have about the type of products and services you offer, as if you yourself were actually looking to buy what you have.
You can get ideas about how to find content that people in your market want to read about by running an audit on your competitor’s content marketing strategy. Read their whitepapers and see what keywords they bid on to promote their content in order to come up with a strategy of your own.
Do Mid-Funnel Keyword Research
Find Common Customer Anxiety Points
Next, identify specific pain points you know your customers have when struggling to make a commitment to purchase, and devise a strategy on how to get your prospects to overcome them.
Your salespeople will know every customer objection in the book, so ask them to help you complete this step if necessary.
Create a Need for What You Offer
Once you know how to attract your client and ease their fears, you will need to figure out how to create a need for what you are selling. Your prospects will need to draw an inevitable conclusion to buy without you actually telling them outright.
Focus on fixing the customer’s problem first and then positioning the product or service as the solution second, to make your customers beg for what you offer.
Package Up the Info in a Way That Invokes Response
When you have collected and identified all the info the user wants from you, you now have to figure out how you will position that info in the best way to create new trackable leads.
Some people offer their prospects access to their desired, in-depth information up front on their sites to get them to act on something else and after establishing some base level of trust. Other people bait their users with what information they want first, and ask for the user’s details up front to get it.
Example From Cold Calling Niche:
Develop Your Ad Bait
And Send People to Short Sell Landing Page For Immediate Opt-In
Example From Cold Calling Niche #2:
Another Ad Bait Example (Organic Listings)
Goes to Long Sales Landing Page for Eventual Opt-In
What you decide to give to your prospective customers up front, it should be just enough to get them to act further and identify themselves, as that will result in the highest amount of sales increase for reasons to be explained later in this article.
I personally usually offer more information up front on my landing pages, so people are more motivated to give accurate information to me. By varying your offer strategy, you will see a large difference in lead accuracy rates.
Pro Tip: You will have hit a home run with your leads if you can compel them to quit whatever they were doing before to read all information you have regarding the subject matter. The longer you engage with your prospects, the more likely they will do business with you later; these two metrics are directly related.
Example Results of a Campaign Result Pushing Paid Ads at Content Vs. Straight Sale
As you can see, engagement and revenue are directly correlated.
To increase time in engagement, simply focus on writing really good content and chain similar pieces together, so the user can read infinitely if they desire.
Step 2 – Promote Your Mid Level Sales Funnel Content Magnet
Promotion Using Pay Per Click Advertising
Search Based Ads
To find which areas of Google’s search engine you should be present in to promote yourself, do a keywords search via the Google keyword tool to find any informational terms with search volume you can find related to your business. Look for keywords like “how to,” “review,” “scam,” etc., as well as competitor terms to get as much mid level saturation as possible. This is your bread-and-butter method to find potential buyers.
For your search campaign to work phenomenally, you are going to have to think really hard about how to get prospects to not only click on your ads but also how to get the, to read all your content when they get there. Ad copy has a large part of this, whereas I personally recommend using fear based ad copy, as that is what gets people motivated. I have also had great success with greed based offers as well, but there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to coming up with a method to grab users’ attention.
An AdWords Management Firm?
Fear Based Ad Copy
I was searching for info, but geez, I am going to click that…
Here Is Another Good One:
Greed Based Ad Copy
Just what the user wants to hear…
You are aiming for quality scores in the seven to 10 range with your info content if you are doing your job correctly with your ad copy, even with poor ad relevance.
Display Ads on Display Select
The first and most obvious thing you can do to expand any search campaign you’ve built is to switch those campaigns from “search only” ads to “display select.”
Set Up a Display Select Campaign
This, from my experience, will get you some quality leads but nowhere near as good as what regular search campaigns will do, so don’t be fooled right away if you see your lead volume go way up; check your lead quality before letting this one go.
And Segment Rows to See Performance
Display Ads on Organic Listings
Another place to go look for premier placements that will engage your prospects is the organic search results via the same keywords you are bidding on via search. If you can find good informational content here ranking similar to yours and is also running Google AdSense program ads, bid to secure ad placements, they should perform well for you.
Make a List of URLs That Rank
And Get Your Ads on These Sites
To set this up, first make a list of the sites you want to place ads on. Next, find common keywords that can be found on these pages unique to these pages only vs. the rest of the site they are on.
Next, set up your display network campaign ads as targeted placements, “bid only,” and targeting the keyword footprints you find on these pages.
Narrow Your Targeting to Sites That Rank
And to a specific page of those sites by adding a phrase target layer to your campaigns.
Display Ads on Forums
The next place to go after all search engine inquiry opportunities are exhausted is targeted help forums surrounding the topics of what you sell (if there are any). These have to be highly relevant to work.
Bonus Tip: If you find that banners on these forums work well to drive targeted traffic, negotiate a direct buy from the owner of the forum in question. Your cost paid per ad impression will be significantly cheaper this way.
Place Your Ad on Strategy/Info Subforums
Paid Ads on News Sites
After you have placed your ads on all the best forums, find all relevant and popular news sites or blogs surrounding the topic at hand.
This medium generally only works if the content is so irresistible, people can’t help themselves to click; otherwise, your cost per view will be too high to justify the expense.
Pro Tip: Think specific placements by keyword again here for best results.
Place Your Ads on Industry News Publications
Display Ads on Twitter by Keyword
Next, head over to Twitter and set up a keyword based ad trigger to have your offer of content have a specific search phrase. This works the same way as it does on Google, and will drive really good traffic for you.
Place Your Ads on Twitter Using Keyword Targeting
Display Ads by Job Title Targeting for B2B
Finally, if you are in B2B sales, make sure to set up your content to be seen on Linkedin by the companies and user titles you want to see them. While you’re at it, make sure to set this up for Facebook as well, as they have similar targeting functionality built right into their ad platform.
Target Job Titles on LinkedIn
Target Job Titles on Facebook
Measuring ROI On Paid Ads
To see how well your content promotional ads are doing, simply code each one of your links with UTM tags using Google’s URL builder tool here.
Literally speaking, each site where you want to advertise, as well as every keyword you advertise with, can be tracked for its contribution to your total website generated sales revenue or lead flow. Simply code your links using the URL builder tool listed above and check your attribution reports in Google Analytics on a 90-day schedule to see how many people who clicked on your leads eventually turned into a lead or sale. Back revenue out to how much more you are now spending on ads to see if you are in the black after your first three months and feel confident to dial up your campaign.
Track How Your Content Contributes to Revenue Using UTM Codes
Promoting Using Organic Social Media Marketing
I know this is not paid ads strategy and this is a paid ads strategy blog, but I cannot fail to also mention sharing your content via social media as well, using a Mention.com profile to find relevant opportunities to do it.
Mention.com allows me to log in to see in which social networks and conversations on my own campaigns I should drop my links based upon pre-established keyword strings that signify a relevant conversation and opportunity to drop a link.
Mention.com Offers Real Time Alerts to Find Even More Ad Targets
Promotion Using Q&A Sites
Another good place to drop links to your new content is Q&A mention sites such as Quora.com. The process is simple: search in Quora for relevant topics using the search bar on their site and drop links when possible. Of course, these sites expect you to also add relevant comments along with links, so spend some time to build really good supporting content to get your links clicked.
Drop Links to Content on Q&A Sites
Here is a list of Q&A sites you can use to drop links to your content below and is totally non-exhaustive.
Step 3 – Close the Deal on Hot Content Leads
Even though your content is not primarily designed to generate hot leads, it often will so. Do not fail to capitalize on these opportunities as well. The following info should help you close the most enthusiastic prospects for an instant boost in sales.
Closing Leads via Email Sequence
Once the user gives you their email and has signed up for additional content, they should be put into a drip sequence to offer mor, helpful information over time via their given email address.
Plan out an entire email sequence for your users to lead up to an eventual sale, preferably sending out an email every three to five days until you ask for the sale in the seventh email in sequence. Your sequence will be front loaded with info about how your company is different and how your product is better than the rest.
Closing Leads via Remarketing
Anyone who was interested enough after reading our helpful content and actively clicked to see what you have to sell will often become a customer of ours with the right follow-up.
You should automatically place anyone who views your product or service for sale on your site in a PPC banner retargeting sequence offering the same product for sale that they were interested in, with an exclusive promo if the prospect clicks the ad right now to create user need/ =urgency.
Use Incentives to Get Leads Back to Your Offer Again Who Failed to Convert
For simplicity’s sake, make the remarketing banners you use in reverse colors and layouts to get a lot of ad variety for little cost and to prevent ad fatigue.
Ad Version 1
Ad Version 2 (Reverse)
Second to display retargeting, make sure to also set up a search based retargeting ad, so users who have seen our branded content will also 100 percent of the time see our search ads when searching for action related search terms in Google via a bid modifier in Google AdWords.
Target People Who Have Seen Your Content Already via the Audiences Tab in AdWords
And Bid Higher to Ensure Visibility to These Same People
Further Increasing Your Sales With Mid Level Content Marketing
I highly recommend installing a website tracking software on your site such as Kiss Metrics or Orbtr (if you use WordPress) to track form fills on your website, so your salespeople can use this information to their advantage. You would be surprised how effective it is to call prospects the day of a site or content revisit when interest level is at its highest.
As users visit deeper parts of our sites, we will naturally want to use our user behavior tracking software to segment our retargeting strategies based upon what our prospective customers are actually interested in. Export and segment your email lists by the pages of the site they have visited in Excel before you reimport them into email marketing platform and AdWords/Facebook audience targeting lists.
Using KissMetrics, You Can Export Lists of People Interested in Specific Offers
And Tailor Pitches to These People on Facebook Using the List Upload Feature
Expand Your List Targeted Campaigns on AdWords to Get Even Better Results
How Long to Wait to See a Return
If you know your average customer sales cycle length, then you can predict how long mid funnel content marketing can generate sales for your business.
For Google and other general places where people you know are looking for answers to their questions before they buy, it will take on average the same amount of time it normally takes your slowest customers to buy after visiting your site to turn these people into customers.
For example, if your normal customer sales cycle is one to 90 days, then expect for it to take 90 days after you start to distribute your content to see a jump in revenue.
Without a comprehensive content marketing strategy such as mentioned in this article, your chances to become the trusted and preferred option in any competitive niches will be unlikely in any short period of time. Content marketing is how you will bridge this gap.