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A great marketing campaign includes some degree of diversity but always retains enough focus in a particular medium or sphere as to build momentum. What do you do if you are a small start up and have limited resources? What if you have to make a decision to concentrate on online pay-per-click advertising or get busy creating content?

Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pros:

  • Can be integrated with analytics so tracking and targeting customers can become extremely precise with a large sampling, spread out over time.
  • Budgets can be scaled to a few dollars per day and capped at a designated amount.
  • Placed ads can gain exposure even when customer/client does not click.
  • Options for placement: search pages or targeted 3rd party sites.
  • Traffic gain is immediate.
  • Page ranking is irrelevant when you can pay for first page placement (albeit in the ad section).
  • Organic search becomes less important for “hot” keywords where search engines spit out “noisy” results
PPC-vs-Content-Creation

Some keywords produce a lot of clutter in search engine results. PPC offers businesses an opportunity of exposure in these situations that may be more advantageous than organic search.

Cons:

  • Small budgets are eaten up quickly.
  • PPC max budgets are always THE budgets (ppc providers will magically hit your max everyday).
  • Vast majority of traffic is not quality.
  • Who ever clicks on AdWords anyways? We know we don’t… got to wonder who does.
  • When the ads go away, your attractors disappear, PPC is not lasting.
  • Just Google ‘AdWords Scam’ or something like it. There are many inherent problems with PPC.
  • Search engines and PPC platforms are all separate. People using Bing will not see your ads if you advertise with Google.

PPC is best for products that can catch a potential viewers attention. Products that benefit from niche market interest stand to gain the most from a PPC ad campaign.

Content Creation

Pros:

  • Content can be versatile. Articles, video, infographics, and images once created can be leveraged for maximum reach on a variety of platforms: social, blog, website, print, tv
  • Content can be used to reinforce overall branding and messaging
  • Can be tracked using analytics: targeted placement is also possible
  • Builds connection and trust. Content provides something of value to the user. It is achieves exposure without a sales pitch. Warning: do not make your content a sales pitch! Leave your agenda out and the information will indirectly make your pitch.
  • Organic! Content creation might be (Google and other search engines algorithms are sealed) the single most prominent factor in page ranking influence. Organic search is the HOLY GRAIL of all online marketing. It produces the highest quality traffic possible and is the most trusted.
  • Content never “goes away.” Rather, it almost always gains value with time.
  • Business owners can begin creating their own content by just doing a bit of marketing research on the mechanics of it all, then reflecting on their own experience and knowledge (you know your business and customers/clients better than anyone).
Content-Creation-Pays-Off

The value in consistent content grows and begins to compound with time.

Cons:

  • Cost is extremely varied. Content creation can be free or several thousands per project/article. Cost variance is so great because the nature of content creation itself is so varied. A simple fluff piece differs drastically from a well-researched article that needs infographics, polls, photography, and/or other media production.
  • Because it is so varied starting an online marketing campaign can be intimidating.
  • It takes time to create and to see results. Using content to build web presence is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • It takes consistency. Time, tone, style, and approach are key in developing content, all of these require effort. A sporadic article, post, or video published every two months is not going to do anything. You will lose your audience (or never gain one), your priority level with search engines will fade, and your hard work may suffer.

Content creation works well for businesses that have time, focus, and a PLAN. Businesses and brands that want to build trust, gain loyalty, and sustain incremental, long-term growth by consistently expanding their web presence will undoubtedly benefit from content creation.

We see a lot of small business owners begin their own marketing campaign and quickly lose focus or become discouraged. If you decide to go it alone know that it takes time. It always pays off eventually if you invest time and energy into planning and then you carry out that plan faithfully.

If you are ready to take your brand or business to the next level make sure you choose the right team of content creators. You feel comfortable when communicating with them and be confident in their abilities.

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