As the content landscape continues to swell, and there’s more competition for audience than ever, we’ve seen a surge in the use of platforms designed to help us promote content.
Outbrain, Zemanta, Taboola and Gravity are among the content discovery platforms doing the rounds. And if you haven’t yet used those, then I highly recommend a read of Wil Reynolds’ presentation on his $10k experiment with some of them.
Quite rightly, these and paid social channels are playing a part in content promotion strategies that simply have to diversify beyond “outreach”.
But one channel I hardly ever hear being referenced in the context of content promotion is Google Adwords (and, indeed, Bing and similar offerings).
Before I go on to talk about how Adwords in particular can be used in promoting content, there are two things to note:
We invest a lot of time ensuring our content performs well in organic search for relevant terms and long-tail variants.
For example, this quiz, which is designed to help people decide on a holiday destination, performs well in organic search for “where should I go on holiday?” and similar searches. This drives a huge number of relevant visits incredibly cost effectively.
Similarly, our smartphone usage study performs organically for a number of relevant queries, and this drives continued organic traffic looking for a source of data and, as time goes on, inbound links as well.
Most of us with backgrounds in SEO will be applying techniques like that to our content marketing efforts.
Adwords works on the same basis, except you can drive relevant traffic immediately for a cost as opposed to waiting to achieve visibility.
So, upon launch of a piece of content, you’ve a ready-made audience of people looking for something just like the thing you created.
That’s great for quick impact.
Every single time I say to a PPC person, “Adwords is cheap…”, I get a look like this:
But there are a few things to note about Adwords that work well for those of us promoting content:
If your objective is not direct revenue generation, and you’re looking for an audience, for people to discover you as a data source or asset to link to, or to reach indirect top-of-the-funnel/research-led potential customers, then your target queries are likely to be a lot less commercial in nature.
So, they could be a whole load cheaper.
Some examples of queries we’ve used to drive traffic to content (with positive action outcomes – e.g., link, share, return visit, download, etc) are as follows:
So, how do you go about taking advantage of Adwords to drive an audience?
1. Set some goals. There’s no point sending empty traffic without any objective or KPI against which to measure the quality of the traffic you’re sending.
2. Keyword research. Loads of it. You’ll want a long list of things that someone might search where your piece of content might be the answer they’re looking for. Use Google’s Keyword Planner as well as third party tools like answerthepublic.com. Consider:
a. What is your content about?
b. What does it do?
c. What problems might it solve?
3. From your research, identify the areas where you’ll have the least competition. Run some manual searches and look at the results. Don’t forget that it’s often the queries with non-commercial elements that yield the least competitive opportunities.
4. Go! Get the campaign set up, start running it, and measure continually.
Want to know even more?
Give your content marketing another boost by getting our four free digital marketing ebooks, three cheat sheets and our weekly content marketing newsletter.
You’ll immediately receive 126 pages of expert insight straight to your inbox.
Get 123 pages of expert advice straight to your inbox.
About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
International Women’s Day is a here to honour the vast and varied achievements of women all over the world! To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of the most influential, and downright amazing, women in digital marketing.
We are gearing up for a year of charity fundraising, starting with the ‘I’m a Precky Fan, Get Me Out of Here!’ challenge for the Steve Prescott Foundation, which kicks off on Sunday 30th April 2017. Why Steve Prescott Foundation? Here at Tecmark, we have strong ties to the Steve Prescott Foundation, having taken […]
Are you planning Valentine’s Day promotion, got your Easter email campaigns written up and ready to go? You might even have Christmas 2017, 2018 and 2019 planned out in advance! The next question is how you’re going to get your amazing content and marketing material found in Google during that small crucial window when people will be searching. Here are 5 Tips to give you a head start!