Inbound marketing relies on a simple philosophy: pulling your audience to your website rather than pushing promotional messages to them. Through blogging, SEO, email, and social media, inbound marketers highlight relevant content on their website that encourages web visits and lead conversions.
In its purest form, inbound marketing leaves no room for paid advertising, which is oriented much more toward the 'push' methodology. But used correctly, paid ads on Google or social media can actually support and maximize the success of your inbound marketing efforts. Here are 3 ways to accelerate your inbound marketing through paid ads.
1) Promote Your Content
Above all, paid ads enable inbound marketers to get their content in front of their audience. Even the most relevant, high-quality content matters little if your audience does not know where to find it.
Google search ads allow you to highlight your content at the top of search engine results pages, supplementing your SEO efforts. Meanwhile, placing ads on social media networks like Facebook or LinkedIn allows you to get your content in front of a targeted audience based on in-depth parameters that range from location and demographics to interests, job titles, and more.
You can take advantage of promoted content with a few different options. First is linking to a free blog post, which will drive visitors to you a post on your site that includes a CTA to convert someone into a lead. Alternatively, linking directly to a landing page eliminates a step and drives users directly toward conversions. In either case, networks like Facebook and Google allow marketers to place so-called 'conversion pixels' on their conversion pages, a few lines of code that track the success of paid efforts to generate leads.
2) Generate Native Leads
Simply promoting content still leads your audience through a variety of steps. At minimum, they have to see your ad, click on it, visit your website, and fill out a contact form. Even eliminating one step from this process can help improve your lead conversion rates.
Fortunately, some paid ads enable marketers to eliminate one of these steps. Last year, Facebook introduced Lead Ads, which included a sign-up form right on the network. Users who view these ads no longer have to visit your website to become leads; instead, they fill out a form (which is partially pre-populated based on their Facebook profile) right on the network, and their information is sent straight to your database.
Through eliminating friction, Facebook lead ads have shown encouraging early returns. Some marketers are seeing significantly higher conversion rates as a result of pre-populated forms and the eliminated extra steps. As the network continues to fine tune this paid ad opportunity, it will only increase in popularity and success.
3) Enhance Lead Nurturing
Digital advertising can not just enhance your lead generation efforts. Used with the correct targeting, you can also optimize your lead nurturing strategy.
For example, both Facebook and Google offer list-based targeting. Instead of showing your ads to users based on keyword searches or interests, simply upload a list of leads to the network to show ads specifically to them. Update your creative to appeal specifically to users who already know about you.
Similarly, remarketing can offer a significant boost to your lead nurturing efforts. This targeting method - available through most digital channels - narrows your audience to only users who have visited your website, or specific pages on your website, in the recent past. As a result, you can show ads geared to users who exhibited web behaviors such as reading long-form content of visiting your pricing page.
Inbound marketing and paid advertising don't have to clash. Used correctly, the two philosophies can work together to boost your lead generation and nurturing efforts.