Promoted Content vs. PPC: How to Generate Leads
Promoted content helps your message stand out from the crowd.
Online lead generation has two basic approaches: organic or paid. Organic leads take time, energy and attention, while paid content advertising allows businesses to jump the queue and reach users of a vibrant online community. Promoted content via social media sites has added a wrinkle into paid online advertising, which has a tremendous capacity to generate real leads.
What's Promoted Content?
Promoted content is an advertising model in which companies pay to have their social media content displayed in everyday social media users' newsfeeds, as opposed to banner and sidebar advertisements. This premium posting model varies greatly site-per-site. Facebook promoted content ignores the sorting algorithm that artificially limits the number of followers that see a particular post, allowing it to be distributed more widely. On Twitter, promoted tweets go out to those most interested in the content who would not otherwise see it in their newsfeed. For LinkedIn, businesses can send ads and outreach attempts in direct messages to those that are potentially interested. Pinterest's promoted content platform is in development.
How Promoted Content Works
Promoted content sits at the top of newsfeeds, appearing to a wider audience than those already following that company on a social media platform. Advertisers pay for each click on that advertisement. The nice thing about promoted content versus traditional "pay-per-click" (PPC) advertising is the ability to narrow the focus to a more specific audience. PPC is relatively expensive, especially when it comes to paying for ads targeted towards short, popular keywords, while promoted content is less competitive and reaches a more engaged audience. This makes it a great fit for lead generation.
How to Generate Maximum Leads from Promoted Content
Most promoted content marketing campaigns try to squeeze their leads from Facebook, for good reason. Combine their 1.1 billion users and promoted content's ability to reach friends of fans and you have a very large net to cast your leads. It's as if your current customers raved about your company to their friends and family. That means it has the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising, with the added comfort of knowing your message is being seen. There's no wonder why it's growing so fast:
- 77 percent of pages' reach in 2013 was due to promoted content offerings
- Organic page reach only makes up 13 percent of views
- Paid reach increased by 221 percent in the year between July 2012 and July 2013
Should You Invest More in Promoted Content or PPC?
Social media already offers businesses access to an unbelievable audience. Historically, however, the downside of focusing on social media for lead generation has been the lack of measurability. A business can track participation on blogs, the number of likes on a post and the number of re-tweets, but those do not necessarily translate into a solid sales funnel. Promoted content
adds tracking and analytics offered missing in traditional social media marketing, which is typically offered in PPC. Now, businesses can see the results of each promoted post. Did the user click-through? Did they make a purchase? How long did they spend on the site? This allows for an instant return on each advertising expense.
Step Out of the Crowd
Adding a promoted content element to an existing social media marketing strategy allows businesses to reach much more than organic posting. It works similarly to Google's AdWords, but with less competition and better targeting. Handled properly, promoted content can be the next big thing in lead generation.