PPC advertising has never been recommended as a long-term strategy. With no lasting effects, many internet marketing firms employ pay-per-click (PPC) as a stop-gap to begin a new campaign or to supplement a change in SEO algorithms. But, many within the marketing industry are beginning to think that even the short-term use of PPC advertising is going by the way-side.
Advertising today is built off of trust and brand. In the past, advertising was focused on repetition and snazzy catch-phrases. The internet has made the world much more connected, so the views of others now play heavily into purchasing decisions. Even television, radio and print advertising have changed drastically because of the interconnectedness of the internet. Almost all messages include a hashtag or some sort of social media interaction to help loyal consumers spread the word about the marketing messages they are receiving.
How Many People are Seeing PPC?
It’s a good question that many in the internet marketing community are working to grasp. Many people know the placement of ads on search engine results pages, so they automatically scroll down and skip these entries. PPC advertising shows no third-party validation, so most searchers are leery to click.
Furthermore, many searchers are technology savvy enough to find their way around the ads by opting out of them altogether. A free ad-blocking add-on makes PPC advertising (as well as flashing banners and crazy jumping ads) disappear from all searches and pages. Numbers show that almost 14 million people using Mozilla Firefox and 7.4 million Google Chrome users have installed such add-ons. PPC blocking add-ons are also available for Safari, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers, but the number of users is not readily available.
As consumers move to more social forms of referrals to gain information about new products and services, PPC advertising begins to die out even more. Brands that are personal, accessible and engaging are the ones that are dominating the market. These marketing messages are built on trust and transparency, and businesses are beginning to change strategies to catch up. In fact, only 18 percent of businesses report ever seeing any success with PPC – but, where do you go?
Learn to Earn Attention, Not Interrupt Someone’s Life with It
Inbound marketing has become a key component to building leads and earning new business. Studies show inbound marketing as a responsible party in more than 90 percent of clicks on the web (the other, slightly less than 10 percent, goes to paid advertising and typical outbound marketing). Typical outbound marketing practices, including advertising on the internet, within social media, on TV, billboards, paid reviews, trade show booth displays and mass email marketing campaigns, have come to be known by many in the business as interruption marketing. These types of messages interrupt a consumer’s day and try to force them to make a move. They often gain attention, but for the wrong reasons. From a business standpoint, outbound or interruption marketing makes budgeting easier, but often results in a higher average cost for customer acquisition.
In comparison, inbound marketing looks to earn attention, gaining it organically without customers viewing it as an interruption. Public relations activities, earned social media mentions, word of mouth marketing, content creation strategies, SEO tactics, event sponsorships and opt-in email communication are all a part of a robust inbound marketing strategy. PPC advertising can be too – but it has to be done with inbound messaging and brand building in mind. This means that PPC advertising should be seen only as a way to increase momentum and push other campaigns forward, not simply as the entire internet marketing strategy.
The Keyword Message
PPC advertising is much closer to organic search than traditional advertising when it is viewed as a way to bring people in. The short-comings of PPC are the inability to retain. That is where PPC advertising works – as part of an entire inbound marketing strategy. In effect, PPC advertising and organic search engine optimization have the same goals (and typically use the same keywords), but the tactics they use to bring people in are different. Both practices, however, must be supplemented with good content building strategies and other inbound marketing tasks that help to build community among customers and keep them engaged and supportive of the brand image.
Partner your company with an internet marketing firm that understands inbound marketing and works diligently to employ a variety of tactics that build trust, transparency, brand image and consumer loyalty. And remember, creating customer service that has the ability to go viral is the best form of marketing available – hands down.