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How to Align Inbound Marketing and Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Inbound marketing and pay-per-click advertising might seem like two ends of the marketing spectrum. However, the former focuses on earning leads via organic techniques like creating informative content and social media marketing compared to buying ad space to target a specific audience.

Despite how different these strategies are, they can work well (together) for your business if you find the right way to align them. As an experienced inbound marketing agency, we can help you understand how to achieve this. Keep reading to learn how to align your inbound marketing strategies and paid ads strategies to reach your goals!

An Inbound Marketing Definition

To generate leads and buyers, inbound marketers focus on attracting interested parties to their websites via various methods rather than actively pursuing them. This entails developing strategies to attract customers using many digital marketing tactics, including content promotion, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media. 

An effective inbound marketing campaign uses 'earned' and 'owned' media to expand the campaign's reach and boost the number of quality visitors, engagement, and conversions. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing includes four stages: customer attraction, conversion, closure, and satisfaction.

What are Paid Ads?

In its simplest form, pay-per-click advertising requires creating advertisements that appear alongside or inside other online content. These advertisements appear to users whose interests coincide with the advertised product or service. 

Ads for products and services show in social media feeds and connect to landing pages on your website. These ads may be a banner on a different website, a pop-up video during a master class, or an ad for a mobile game. These ads often appear first in search engine results and are always marked with an "Ad" label.

Why Should Inbound Marketing Campaigns and Paid Advertising Align?

Organic search and sponsored ads should always tell the same message about your brand; they must be consistent. This is because many sales happen after a customer has experienced multiple "touchpoints," such as viewing an ad, clicking a social media link, looking for a website directly, and making a final decision to purchase.

Written words on paper notebook . workplace

A customer's trust and, by extension, conversion rates will suffer if even one step in this chain of interactions appears off. To avoid these pitfalls and simplify your marketing strategy, your PPC and SEO strategies must work together.

How To Set The Right Foundation For The Alignment

Getting the alignment between inbound marketing and paid ads needs the right foundation. As a leading inbound marketing agency, we’ve used our experience to recommend some best practices below.

Understand Inbound Marketing Media

Generally, "media" takes shape in three forms: owned, paid, and earned. 

Your brand’s owned media (i.e., your website, blog, and social media handles) and paid media (i.e., the ads you run) are in your control. If you can manage both of these channels in sync and effectively, you should be able to see the results in the form of your content going viral, excellent reviews, more fans of your brand, or an increase in revenue through word-of-mouth marketing, which is known as earned media.

Set Goals and KPIs

All marketing activities should align with your company's goals and objectives. Hence, while setting KPIs for your paid media campaigns, consider how your efforts can help you achieve your company’s goals. Identify the specific KPIs that will contribute to the overall success of a campaign and (ultimately) your organization.

Set Deliverables Based On Your Goals

Aligning inbound and paid media begins with shared objectives. Strategic planning follows the completion of the ideal customer profile, the competitive analysis, and the keyword research. Don’t forget to keep tracking and analyzing your results for improvements. 

Creating a Strategy For Effective Alignment 

While the alignment of inbound marketing and pay-per-click advertising is important, if not done right, it can do more damage than harm. Here are some tricks to follow to create a strategy for the perfect alignment. 

Develop the Right Campaigns and Content

The first steps in paid media are identifying your target audience, establishing your paid channels, and designing your campaigns, ad groups, and advertising. 

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At the same time that your paid media team launches ads based on certain keywords, your inbound team should be focusing on producing content based on those same keywords. Blog entries, e-books, checklists, videos, and other forms of content should cover all areas of the customer's journey.

Include Lead Nurturing 

Lead nurturing is essential to the success of inbound marketing and paid media campaigns. Develop a lead scoring system that prioritizes marketing- or sales-qualified leads over new connections.

Keep Tracking and Optimizing

If you follow these steps, your inbound and paid media will become more aligned! Yet, the work is far from done. Ongoing evaluation and adjustments based on results help improve alignment long-term. 

To analyze strategies, create HubSpot Dashboards to track progress at each initiative stage. Whenever necessary, you'll want to make changes to align with your KPIs.

Achieve Alignment With the Right Inbound Marketing Agency

Much like you probably wouldn't attempt to align your own spine without the help of an expert (a chiropractor), most businesses experience better marketing results with expert help! While we can't fix your back, as an experienced inbound marketing agencywe have the knowledge and resources to help you achieve the optimal alignment with inbound and pay-per-click advertising. Speak to a Geek to learn more about how we can help.  

Ready to learn more about inbound marketing? Download our free "Inbound Marketing Starter Kit!"

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