Both inbound marketing and paid search are important components of any digital strategy, but where and how they intersect with one another isn't always so clear. Inbound sometimes seems to function as its own campaign, separate from other strategies, whereas paid search often serves as the fraternal twin of search engine optimization (SEO).
But in the digital sphere, individual campaigns always get a boost when partnered with other distinct campaigns as a form of cross-channel marketing. A successful pairing of digital tools can bring significant gains, both in terms of leads and conversions. Here's a quick rundown of what paid search has to offer inbound marketing.
Paid Search Guarantees Visibility
Inbound marketing requires an audience, which is achieved through a number of marketing channels. Social, SEO, email and, yes, paid search all have a hand in driving traffic that creates sales opportunities, according to Search Engine Watch. When you attach paid search to an inbound strategy, you guarantee exposure for the content you're publishing while giving it viable prospects to work with. Paid ads also give you the flexibility to choose the type of content displayed.
Unlike with SEO, which presents content according to relevance, with paid search your brand gets to decide which foot it wants to put forward for customers. If you know your audience, this is a great asset.
Paid Exposure Lets You Choose Your Audience
Paid search allows you to filter according to demographics and other important metrics, making sure that prospects delivered into the sales funnel are qualified to some extent. Since inbound content functions as a sales tool, this qualification is important — and paid search, for a modest price, provides this service.
PPC Complements SEO
Whether your brand has fantastic SEO or a strategy that has yet to fully develop, paid search offers value. In the case of a young SEO strategy, paid search increases your visibility and places your brand in prominent positions that SEO isn't ready to reach. Even in cases where your SEO is strong, PPC advertising provides another instance of brand presence — and, just as importantly, takes that exposure away from a competing brand.
Inbound strategy depends greatly on the traffic flowing in from search queries. Paid search is one way to make sure this happens, and it's been proven to work great alongside SEO. Inbound's returns can be hard to generate if your content is slow to reach an audience, and that's why paid ads can be so instrumental — they put your brand and its offerings in front of an audience, even when organic sources aren't ready to deliver.