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How To Combine Performance Advertising With Content Marketing

Marketing purists cling to either content or ads.

The content crowd thinks paid traffic is “interruption-based” and “annoying” because “everyone hates ads.”

Meanwhile, the paid party pokes fun at the “small-time” marketers toiling away at driving “free” bumps of exposure.

They both make valid points, but they’re also shortsighted. The best results usually happen somewhere in the middle, when you combine the two approaches.

For starters, have you seen Facebook’s organic reach anytime lately? Pretty much any study you look at will show it’s dropped like a rock over the last few years, dangerously approaching zero.

Unfortunately, Instagram’s organic reach is following suit, too.

That means soon you won’t even be able to reach your own audience that you’ve already worked to build. So your only shot at getting them to see, read, like, or click your content updates is to pay.

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That’s not the only benefit, though. Some savvy marketers have seen an indirect correlation between paid social distribution, and a lift in content rankings on Google.

It might sound odd at first, but makes perfect sense when you think it through. Google uses website usage data like traffic, dwell time, and more to judge content quality.

Sending a flood of traffic to new pages can not only help you get noticed (i.e,  indexed) faster -- but also start building social signals and links that can move your content up Google’s radar, quicker.

The third reason is more practical. Normal, organic content on social media only lasts about a day or two. By that time, pretty much everyone who was going to see it has seen it.

Paid campaigns allow you to cherry-pick your best content, including the most popular or highest converting, and then keep them in front of new visitors 24/7.

Then, you can turn these content pieces into evergreen, retargeting ad campaigns that will constantly nurture people at each stage of your funnel.

The best part is, you don’t need to babysit these campaigns. You already have all of the content completed. You just need to repurpose the titles, images, and copy into new ad units. Then, you can use custom audiences to trigger based on when people do or don’t click.

This way, you’re extending the life of each content piece and driving ROI through the roof.

You can increase the number of people who first see content when it’s published. You can help accelerate organic rankings to start seeing traffic from organic search faster. And you can reuse the best stuff to continually promote to new people weeks or months into the future.

Content and advertising both work on their own.

But combining them ASAP can triple or quadruple your ROI without actually spending any more money.

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