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Let’s do a quick recap on what PPC and Content Marketing are, then we can explore the differences.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Google Ads is the most popular form of PPC, others include Facebook (now known as Meta Ads), Instagram (part of Facebook), Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube (as part of Google Ads), TikTok for Business, and Snapchat for Business.

PPC works by paying for particular search words or phrases. These all have different price points based on how popular they are. Your ad appears when someone types into Google one of those words or phrases. If they click on it, then your account is charged for the click.

Specialists can delve into the research to find out which words and phrases are going to get you the best result for your spend. There might be a similar, but not so popular word that will get you better results.

There are also different kinds of PPC. There are the links that appear at the top of Google searches (the ones that say Ad at the top), but there’s also display advertising that uses images, retargeting/remarketing advertising (where if you do visit a link, now wherever you go an ad will follow you), and if you believe in conspiracy theories, the ads that start showing up after your phone’s microphone listens in to your conversations.

Content Marketing

This is the creation and sharing of online material (videos, blogs, articles, newsletters, social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

You can read more here where we’ve explained it in the first article of this series.

The Comparison

The benefits of PPC

  1. Cost-effective – spend what you want, only pay when someone clicks
  2. Produces fast results – you can shoot to the top of the page on a search result within hours
  3. Can be tweaked as you go – based on the results you can change spend and test changes for optimal results
  4. Target your ideal customers – can target options like past online activity or demographics
  5. Algorithm changes have little effect – the changes mostly free traffic, not paid campaigns
  6. Can improve your SEO strategy – should be done with your SEO strategy, not replacing it
  7. It is more affordable for certain industries – such as education or employment services

The downside of PPC

  1. It’s a costly long-term strategy – you must keep paying to stay at the top
  2. Once you stop, you’ll disappear
  3. If you don’t have the right strategy in place, you can end up paying for poor quality clicks
  4. If you’re in a competitive industry, you can end up paying a lot per click
  5. There are some limitations – there are two 30-character headlines and a limited description

The benefits of content marketing

  1. Content marketing enjoys website conversion rates that are almost six times higher than those who don’t
  2. If you use evergreen topics in your blogs, they account for an estimated 38% of total web traffic
  3. Organic search generates the greatest volume of leads and the highest conversion rates
  4. Quality leads are more likely to buy, and content marketing draws them in better
  5. Once you rank, and as long as your content remains relevant, it won’t disappear
  6. Publishing informative content, your business will be seen as authoritative and trustworthy and become a reliable source of information
  7. You’ll reach an audience who avoids clicking on ads
  8. With meaningful content, you can evoke an emotional response – worthy of being shared
  9. Your content attracts relevant clients and customers

The downside of content marketing

  1. The benefits aren’t immediate – it can take months to see the results
  2. Content marketing can be time-consuming
  3. It can be tricky to come up with ideas for effective new topics
  4. It’s hard to find good writers and content creators
  5. It can be harder to determine the impact of your content on brand reputation, awareness and loyalty

The winner?

Content marketing involves producing content with the aim of building trust and loyalty with your target audience, which eventually leads to profitable results.

PPC advertising involves paying for a prime spot in search results and the resulting traffic boost. Each time a visitor clicks your link, you pay.

Both methods have pros and cons, but you can’t really choose one over the other. At MasterJack, we believe content marketing is the long-term strategy and PPC advertising is a short-term campaign to give your business a boost.

The reason? Articles will stay there, PPC ads require ongoing investment. Plus, one item of content – one article – will have more than one use – update your website, send a newsletter and create posts on your social media.

Next month we’ll talk more about the benefits of content marketing and provide some real-world examples from our own clients.