Internet marketing strategists far and wide have differing opinions about which is the more valuable resource: Adwords or Content Marketing. Some favor Google Adwords for its direct access to consumers that are actively "searching" for something, but others fly a banner that says "Content is King". The advantages to Adwords are many, but the most often discussed ones include cost control, targeting and immediate exposure. On the other hand, content drives thought leadership, demand and directly impacts organic search rankings (SEO). So which is the better of the two? Well, that depends on what results the campaign needs to achieve and who the audience is. If just starting out and some immediate exposure is needed, then Adwords may be the best first step towards a solid internet marketing strategy. Conversely, if exposure can be gradual so long as goals are reached then it may be worth considering the value of Content Marketing. It’s helpful to think about it like the decision to rent or to build a home.
Consider that Adwords is like renting a home because the location of a pay-per-click ad is only owned for as long as the rent is paid. It’s temporary, but “moving in” is much quicker. On the other hand, Content Marketing is like building a house. While somewhat more laborious, developing a brand (much less getting business) with the right content takes a bit more time. On the bright side, the funds that are spent over time build foundational equity in the brand – renters of space on Adwords are constantly reminded of this when budgets run lean and pay-per-click advertisements are “evicted”. Some business leaders find that Content Marketing also can be easier to budget for because it can be aligned to suit the ebbs and flows that are typical in company revenue streams. Adwords spending can be adjusted as well, but not without potential damage to the pay-per-click data being analyzed.
Careful considerations should be given to the audience being targeted. It’s likely that savvy individuals in specific topics are already consuming relevant content and probably aren’t searching for much information on topics that are already understood; so communicating to an audience of specialized experts may demand a content in an internet marketing strategy. Instead, if the audience is relatively unfamiliar with a product or service (as one would be in the early stages of a decision making process), then smart marketers will take an approach that incorporates search engine marketing tools, like Google Adwords.
Since most internet marketers look at content marketing as an integral part of an SEO marketing strategy it tends to fall under the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) umbrella. Some internet marketing strategists describe Adwords and Content Marketing techniques as two halves to the same integrated whole. Adwords and Content marketing are an incredibly potent combination. Indeed, repeated exposure on the same Google search results page communicates the authority or credibility of a brand to consumers. That sort of exposure is invaluable for marketers because a synergy between Adwords and SEO forms that results in a greater performance than either campaign might achieve individually. Furthermore, there are only so many spots on the first page of Google; so taking more than one of those spots can effectively push a competitor right off the first page! It’s this complimentary marketing strategy that can turn valuable marketing resources into competitive advantages.