Inbound Marketing and Paid Advertising: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

by | Jul 11, 2016 | Inbound Marketing

Home » Inbound Marketing » Inbound Marketing and Paid Advertising: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

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To a certain extent, online marketers in the last decade have had it relatively easy. Inbound Marketing and SEO were so ubiquitous and effective that use of paid ads was relatively uncommon. The basic mantra was, “If you post it, they will come,” to borrow a line from an old Costner movie.

Inbound and Paid Ads peanut butter and jellyUnfortunately, inbound by itself is becoming less effective today. The floodgate of content pouring out in the last few years has made it difficult for SEO to be a company’s only marketing tentpole. By embracing a smart mix of paid advertisements, you can potentially increase your outreach by significant amounts… although there are also issues to be considered.

But first, the good news:

Three Reasons To Enhance Your Inbound Strategy With Paid Ads

1 – Better audience targeting

Probably the #1 reason to mix paid ads into your SEO is the amazing potential for precisely targeting your audience. Online systems such as Google and Facebook offer a huge range of targeting options, ranging from simple demographics to relatively obscure factors such as favorite movies or games. Plus, the wide range of social networks now allowing paid ads allows you to place ads where your best customers are, from LinkedIn to Instagram.

If you’ve got a strong audience persona and know who you want as a customer, you can put ads right in front of them.

2 – Increased mindshare

One of the most effective paid ad strategies today is retargeting, which means tracking customers’ shopping behavior and then placing ads directly relevant to their own searches. As a simple example: If a person is searching for Nike Shoes on Amazon, but doesn’t buy, a retargeting campaign can continue to place ads for the shoes they looked at for days or weeks afterward.

Like a drip-feed email campaign, this can keep your products in their mind, and continually remind them of the purchase they almost made.

3 – Advanced tracking and refinement

Since pay-per-click ads are charged per click, rather than per view, you have an excellent opportunity to maximize your ad investment with smart use of data. All the major online systems include large amounts of feedback through dashboards which can summarize relevant clickthrough data.

You can continually refine the ads, finding ways to better target them at your top leads, while finding ways to discourage less interested buyers from clicking.

Two Issues To Be Aware Of With Paid Ads

Paid ads are highly effective, but don’t over-rely on them. There are a couple trends which suggest major changes may be coming to the industry in years ahead.

1 – The rise of ad-blockers

What were once niche products are quickly becoming mainstream. Previously, ad-blockers were used by tens of thousands of people, but now it’s into the millions – and growing. Browsers are now coming out bragging about having integrated ad-blocks. In fact, one study suggests up to one-fourth of Internet users may have adblocking installed.

There are technological ways around this, but it’s likely a diminishing returns issue. Someone who’s installed an adblocker is going to be very annoyed by attempts to subvert it.

2 – Millennial resistance

Millennials hate ads. It’s that simple. As they’re already the largest American consumer group, and growing in power/influence within businesses by the day, this is a major issue without any good solutions immediately available. If your target audience includes a large number of <35s, you’ll probably want to look towards alternatives such as social media engagement instead.

Beyond these hiccups, however, paid ads are still an excellent investment for anyone looking to enhance their Inbound Marketing strategies. They really do go together like peanut butter & jelly.

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