Why quality content beats paid ads

Why quality content beats paid ads

In 2016 paid search ad spending reached $72.5 billion, and that number only continues to grow. This means there’s more competition for valuable keywords, making it more expensive to run promotions and rank high on search engines. So if paid ads are your main marketing strategy, be ready to drop some serious cash. But, what’s the alternative?

The alternative is creating high-quality content for your brand and promoting it strategically. Quality content is a marketing tool that can be used time and time again for your brand. Once created it doesn’t cost you anything to keep using, and adapting it to other mediums is relatively low-cost. This makes it a smart strategy when thinking about your company’s future.

In this article, we’ll look at three reasons why you should be creating high-quality content. But, before we finish, we’ll talk about the usefulness of paid ads and why we shouldn’t throw them out altogether.

1. Quality content builds relationships

While paid ads are great for increasing your reach quickly, it’s kind of like paying people to be your friend. Once the money runs out, they will only stay if there’s a compelling reason. The same goes for paid ads and your business. If you don’t present your ideas in a compelling way, people won’t come back to your site, and that initial relationship will just be a sham.

On the other hand, when you attract visitors through strong, quality content, they have a strong reason to continue their relationship with your brand. Instead of basing your content marketing strategy on one-night stands, give your readers useful information that keeps them coming back for more.

2. Quality content builds your website’s reputation

I like to think of your website’s organic ranking as its reputation. When your marketing budget is completely allocated to paid ads, it doesn’t do a good job of building your website’s reputation. Sure, you’re on top as long as you’re paying for ads. But when the money runs out, reality sets in, and you’re back where you started.

You could allocate more money for ads to temporarily get back on top, but how long will that last? And is getting to the top of search engines and building your website’s reputation even that important? Consider this: 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search.

If you’re not ranking for important keywords, then you’re losing out on tons of potential leads, aka potential customers. When you build your reputation through a well-planned content strategy that targets relevant and obtainable keywords, you’ll experience SEO gains that can translate into serious ROIs for your company.

3. Quality content saves you money and sets you up for the long game

Person hitting a golf ball.

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social platforms are businesses. So what’s most important to them? Making money. Since their primary source of income is ad spend from companies like yours and mine, they want to make sure to maximize those profits.

By using quality content to rank organically, you can make better use of your resources. For example, let’s say you run a golf club e-commerce store, but you release a guide with 10 steps for improving your swing. Now you have a resource that you can promote through paid ads, social promotion, and any other means.

This gives your marketing efforts a strong direction and helps site visitors easily perceive the value of using your business as a resource. But, how does this translate into customers?

Using the previous example of the golf club shop, think about a golfer who’s not currently in the market for clubs. Since they’re not ready to buy, they’re not a customer yet, but they download your guide because it’s useful for them.

Since you took the time to make this guide very useful, they refer to it often. Soon they decide they want a new wedge to fill a gap in their game. Guess who’s name comes to mind? The one on the guide they’ve found so useful over the past few months. They then turn into a real customer, not to mention a promoter, since they’ve probably also shared this guide with their friends.

As you can see, quality content gives your marketing a strong direction and future proofs your brand. But does this mean you should throw away the idea of using paid ads?

Now that we’ve talked about the value of a strong content marketing strategy, it’s time to recognize that paid ads do have their place. Used correctly, they can have a strong impact on the effectiveness of your content.

Here are three ways you can leverage paid ads alongside your content strategy:

  1. Use paid ads to accelerate your reach. Since building organic traffic through quality content takes time, paid ads can be a good way to generate initial traffic.
  2. Paid ads can help you build a social audience. Building a social audience is a great way to increase your social reach when you publish something new.
  3. Use them if you have mad skills. If you’re really good at paid ads and have a very low cost per engagement, it’s probably a good idea to keep leveraging that skill for your business.

Paid ads can get expensive quickly, so if the third point doesn’t describe you, it’s important to be cautious and controlled with your ad spend. If you decide to use paid ads, remember they are only as good as the content within them. If you promote an ad with an unappealing message, you might as well try to sell octopus ice cream. (Don’t do it unless you’re in Japan.)

I’m sold, but what now?

If you’re ready to start producing content like a rockstar, then you should follow these three steps to make sure your message engages your audience.

  1. Define your company’s brand voice. To do this effectively, you should talk to your customers, look at common questions, and identify your company’s core values.
  2. Create a content strategy. A strong content strategy includes identifying valuable keywords for your company, creating a content calendar around them, and specifying the employees responsible for carrying out the different tasks.
  3. Review. No strategy is perfect when first created. It’s important to review what’s working and what’s not to continually improve this strategy to get the best ROI for your work.

Do you want to start creating content that engages your audience and inspires loyal customers? At The Content Reactor, that’s our specialty. Set up a free consultation with us to help you identify your marketing needs and come up with a plan for success.