When you picture a paid search marketer you likely envision a mathematical, keyword-researching data genius who creates campaigns with the flick of her wrist and pulls Google Analytics reports in her sleep. On the other hand you might envision a content marketer as an artistically blessed writer whose eloquent way with words can talk her out of any dilemma.
These stereotypes may or may not be true, but being one who wears both hats, I’ve found that paid search marketers could truly benefit from putting on a content marketing hat from time to time. Check out the 3 game-changing ways PPC marketers can benefit from thinking like content marketers.
#1: Headline Creation Requires Research & a Spark of Creativity
What headlines received the highest clicks and engagement rates across all channels? This might sound like a common question for content marketers to ask when evaluating their monthly performance, but it’s also one that PPC marketers should be asking before drafting their ad text headlines. The headline of an ad often the only thing a searcher reads, making it your one and only chance of gaining a website visitor and potential conversion. When you’re sitting on a page next to your competitors who have a carefully crafted ad, yours needs to stand out. So what can be done?
Use your most engaging headlines on your website and social channels within your ads
Keep an eye on metrics like social shares, traffic, clicks, and conversion rates on your business’s blog and social networks. While the audiences may vary on each platform, the chances of seeing success with a headline that stood out against the pack are typically high. Steal from your other channels to create PPC ad headlines that are likely to see results.
Steal ideas from Buzzfeed
If you haven’t wasted a good hour+ on Buzzfeed, whether it be taking a quiz to find out which Friends character you are or reading about 33 Insanely Clever Things Your Small Apartment Needs, then you’re either really important or unfamiliar with the internet. The internet media company has become one of the most successful and well-known sources of daily distraction for employees struggling through their 9-5 workdays. Even though a lot of Buzzfeed’s content might seem like a mindless distraction, they’re doing something right with over 200 million monthly unique visitors. PPC marketers should steal ideas from Buzzfeed’s trending blog titles and make them relevant to their industry to craft more clickable headlines.
Use Buzzsumo to Find Engaging Headlines
Buzzsumo is the best side-kick for marketers searching for their next content idea. Whether it be a topic, keyword or website, you can type anything into the Buzzsumo search box and then filter by date to see which pieces of content received the highest amount of social shares over a given period of time. How is this helpful? Stealing the ideas from pieces of content that people were not only willing to click on, but willing to share across their social networks, proves that the headline is a true winner in the resonating category. PPC marketers can adapt these ideas for their ad headlines.
Combine BuzzFeed and Buzzsumo to 3X Your Ad CTR’s
The ultimate hack is to combine the two. In the example below I typed “buzzfeed.com” into my Buzzsumo search bar to land me with this insanely sharable article. I stole the idea of the article, but adapted it to my client’s nutrition business to create this unicorn ad with a click-worthy headline.
#2: Compelling Storytelling Is Critical
PPC marketers need to craft the entire search journey, from first query to last click, as a cohesive experience. If you’re searching for a new pair of winter boots and you’re directed to a landing page selling jackets, then you’re probably going to bounce back to Google, right? Relating keywords to ad text to landing page might seem like one of those 101 best practices that we all first learn when diving into the PPC space, but how many of you are actually ensuring your experience comes full-circle?
All great content marketers have one thing in common: they’re incredible storytellers. Stories have the power to shake us, make us move, and act, because our brains are drawn to them. As humans we love stories so much that we have to be trained to not fall for anecdotal evidence.
What does this have to do with PPC? Everything. Your keywords, ads, and landing pages should tell a cohesive and engaging story. From the search query you can gain an understanding into what the searcher is looking for, then the ad can tell the story of how you will solve their problem, and finally the landing page gives you full range to engage your searcher with a moving conclusion that will (hopefully) drive them to act (i.e. convert).
Check out the example below where I typed in the search “learn how to code in Boston,” I was then directed to the ad below reflecting the search query within the ad and providing me with some additional information of what I’d find if I decided to click on the ad.
I was then directed to this extensive landing page, which was clearly designed from a content marketing mind-set. Some elements PPC marketers should take note of include the storytelling components of a student’s experiences and also hiring manager’s perspective on the program.
There’s even a section outlining the typical day in the life of a student.
TAKEAWAY: Create a cohesive experience when crafting your keywords, ads, and landing pages, and visualize each stage of the search experience as a story where an engaging ending occurs on the landing page, which inspires the searcher to act (as in fill out your lead form or make a purchase).
#3: Brainstorming Should be a Continuous Process
We often gain inspiration from the most spontaneous places at the most unpredictable times.
Another thing successful content marketers do regularly is brainstorm, whether it be in the shower before work, while running on the treadmill or during a fascinating conversation with a stranger at your neighborhood bar. When a good idea pops up they jot it down, create it, and bring it to life through a blog post, infographic, or e-book.
PPC marketers should be doing the same. Whether it be an advanced remarketing tactic that a retail company used successfully on you or a set of keywords you just realized may be worth bidding on. These realizations and opportunities to expand what you’re currently doing with your paid search campaigns shouldn’t be overlooked. You should always be thinking of how to innovate further, do more, and be better with PPC because you don’t want to compete with your competitors, you want to make it so there’s no longer competition.
About the Author:
Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal and Social Media Today. Margot was recently named the 25th Most Influential PPC Expert in 2015 by PPC Hero. She enjoys running, sleeping on the beach, and eating ice cream during her free time. Follow her on:
Google+: +Margot da Cunha