Business is a battle.

A battle to win the votes of the buyers.

Buyers, who hold a significant commercial power these days, and whose tendencies keep on changing with the changing times. For instance, if before people liked to purchase products by visiting physical marketplaces, now, the tech-savvy generation prefers to make contact with the brands online. The internet has brought a massive dose of convenience to the consumer circles. Now, they simply access the business sites over their smartphones, click on the ones they like, and totally ignore the others that do not seem worthwhile. Thus, attracting and retaining buyer attention has become a major task for the business owners at present.

Digital marketers employ various consumer engagement strategies for converting leads and for generating ROI. Some go for the quick PPC advertising campaigns, while others invest in the gradually-developing content marketing tactics to catch the users’ interests. The question as to which one is better is not an easy one to answer. Both PPC and content have undergone important developments in the previous year, and both come with their own relative sets of merits and demerits.

Deciding which one to opt for your 2019’s promotional strategy might put you in a conundrum. Worry not, however, as this post will deal with these two contenders in detail. Perhaps, by the end, we will find out whether PPC wins over content or content takes over PPC. Read on.

Contestant # 1: PPC Advertising

What is PPC, anyway?

It is an online marketing model in which the advertisers pay a particular fee every time a potential buyer clicks on their displayed ads. Thus, ‘pay-per-click’.

These ads are deployed on platforms which the search engines deem best, depending on the KW bidding that you do. Once a user clicks on your ad, craftily displayed by the search engine, he or she is transferred to your main site. So, for a small ad placement fee (let’s say $3), your successful lead generation and conversion bring you ample return (let’s say $300). Get my point?

While in organic search marketing you ‘earn’ your buyers’ votes through creative content, in paid search marketing, you ‘buy’ your buyers’ votes.

PPC has quite a number of merits. Some of them are:

•    Quick-Fix—Has your business been seeing an all-time low rating at present? Do you wish to push your brand up to the very top of the chart with just a few clicks? Then, launch a PPC advertising campaign over your fast-running internet connection (Check: Charter Spectrum). Yes, this model promises a quick-fix solution, which will boost your visibility through the roof!

•    Ideal for Some—Certain industries, like the legal one, have to pay a lot given the high competitiveness of the keywords. While others like education or e-commerce can easily afford to undergo a PPC campaign.

Regardless of these, there are certain setbacks which push PPC to the bottom. Like:

•    Long-Term Costliness—Think about it. You are charged every time your ad is clicked, right? This means that you have to buy your visibility just to stay in the run. But, for how long? This strategy in the long-run could potentially lead to your financial downfall. If you want a gradual rise, then you need to look elsewhere.

•    Extreme Instability—Once you stop paying for the displayed ads, your accumulated popularity and top-notch visibility disappear in seconds. This does not happen with content marketing, as the relevant content always ‘remains’ whether you stop paying the upfront costs or not.

Contestant # 2: Content Marketing

What is content marketing?

It is a strategic approach, which focuses on the creation and distribution of ‘value-giving’ content, with the purpose of stimulating the audience’s interest in a particular brand, and ultimately driving sales. The said content can be anything from textual blogs to videos, and social media stories to posters, but it should be informational, relevant and consistent with the current trends.

Content marketing has recently seen a surge of popularity among the B2B marketers, with 58% of them spending more on it in 2018 than in 2017, and about a 90% of them prioritizing people’s informational needs over their own sales message, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 report. What does this fact show you? That this tactic is definitely on the rise and totally worth trying. It consists of the following merits:

•    Quality Leads—According to Marketing Sherpa, ‘organic search’ has seen the highest conversion rate among the marketing channel lot, with the ‘paid search’ falling on the third spot. Yes, the leads that are generated through content marketing are not only high quality but also longer-sustaining, unlike those acquired through PPC.

•    Cost-Effectiveness—You do not necessarily have to overturn your budget just to support content marketing. It is a self-growing plant. You just need to embed the seed and water it for some time. Besides the metaphor, there are only certain upfront costs that you have to worry about. One-time-only payments, which go into content creation and promotion. Once your content gets a hold of the audience’s liking and starts ranking higher, it will automatically bring in good CTR, leads, and profits. In short, content marketing is a cost-effective solution. You don’t have to pay for every click.

However, nothing is perfect. Similarly, content marketing suffers from the below-mentioned demerits as well.

•    Slow-Build—This is not a quick, get-famous-overnight solution like PPC. Content marketing takes some time to gather momentum before it can start rolling in some profits. The waiting time can vary from weeks to months, depending on the value of the content you are publishing.

•    Labor-Intensive—Good quality content is the backbone of this marketing strategy. For it to work beneficially, you would need to publish highly-relevant and eye-catching posts on a regular basis. Sounds exhausting, right? Well, the effort is worth it. According to research, the blogs which have 200+ evergreen posts in stock definitely catch the attention of the search engine, and thereby, the users.

Final Verdict

To recap, the PPC module depends on buying a prime spot in a search engine and boosting leads thereby. Whereas, the content marketing module depends on building personalized and long-lasting relationships with the buyers via content, generating profitable leads eventually. Each strategy has its own merits and demerits and is situation-specific. However, if we are making a simultaneous comparison, then the content may come at the top with its lasting benefits. So, yes, we may see an amalgamation of PPC and content marketing in the future, with the former seeing a boost through the latter. This will be a holistic approach, which Neil Patel essentially argues for.

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Business is a battle. A battle to win the votes of the buyers. Buyers, who hold a significant commercial power these days, and whose tendencies keep on changing with the changing times. For instance, if before people liked to purchase products by visiting physical marketplaces, now, the tech-savvy generation prefers to make...