Many agents simply can't wait months for enough of their content strategy to roll out for the leads to start coming in. Does that mean content marketing's not for them?
Paid search platforms like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Facebook ads, can begin delivering qualified leads in as little as 48 hours. If you have a new domain, or have changed your marketing focus recently, you may not have any search engine rankings or organic traffic. Paid search offers an attractive stopgap solution.
The instant gratification of buying ads can be a trap however and it’s something you need to be aware of. When you’re maxing out your marketing budget in paid ads, there may be little or nothing left for creating and publishing brilliant content or marketing it through social channels. Relying on ads for most of your traffic, for the life of your website, isn’t a cost effective strategy. It’s important to invest part of your marketing budget into incredibly valuable content as well.
A strategy in which paid search decreases as content marketing results increase can be the ideal solution for many real estate pros that can’t wait for organic results to kick in.
There's another benefit. Using paid search in the early stages can help evaluate and refine the keywords that will be used in your content marketing. It's a powerful research and A/B testing tool. Let say you ran $1,000 in Google, Bing and Facebook campaigns, targeting 5 to 10 different keyword terms; you would have a much clearer picture of what your potential clients will click on to arrive at your website.
Think of paid search as "renting." You aren't building any equity. If you have a slow month, and find yourself cutting back on PPC (pay per click) advertising, your traffic will evaporate when you need it most.
Conversely, you own the content you create and publish. Your site’s content, and the marketing of that content in social channels, gradually builds up your online equity every week. When you invest time and money into organic search on your site, in Google, Bing, Yahoo!, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, you're building credibility and authority online. You have the ability to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field. With effective content creation and distribution, you're building a long term asset.
If you’re new to PPC (pay per click) advertising, be sure to get some expert assistance. An effective strategy, carefully implemented, with well-written ads, landing pages and expert copywriting, can dramatically increase your return on investment.
High converting landing pages are essential. If your paid visitors aren’t contacting you and joining your email list, you’re losing money on those ads. A high bounce rate will also decrease your quality score with Google, and that means you’ll pay a lot more for your ads. The copywriting and design of your landing pages and marketing funnel are very important if you're going to maximize the the return on investment with PPC advertising.
If you need leads right away, a strategy that includes content marketing as well as paid search may provide the best balance between quick results and long term growth and sustainability. I welcome your questions and comments below.
Need some one-on-one help in determining the right balance for you, or some assistance getting PPC advertising setup and working for you within 24 hours? A free 20 minute coaching call could be a game changer.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.
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