Right off the bat, I want to say: paid traffic is not a bad thing at all, if you have the budget to invest in traffic then it can be absolutely brilliant…but…
…it is also complicated and doesn’t always work in isolation. I guess that’s just marketing!
For all its merits, I think there is one problem in particular that many people make when they invest in paid traffic.
The good news is – it’s an easy(ish) fix!
If you would prefer to watch the video, hit play below:
So, let’s dive into this a bit deeper and look at what paid traffic actually is, what this big problem is, and how you can correct it!
What do we mean by paid traffic?
Before we get into the problem with paid traffic, we should first make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to that term.
Paid traffic = the ways we can invest in order to get people to our website, whether that’s through paid ads on social media or Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on search engines like Google and Bing, video ads, and banner ads.
If you want to get lots of eyes on your website, then a healthy budget and well-coordinated ad campaign should hopefully get you exactly that.
There’s no denying that you will get in front of more people with paid traffic, but if you’re expecting to see your sales skyrocket… you might be disappointed.
Okay, that’s the dictionary stuff sorted. Now, what’s this big mistake that I’m talking about?
Investing in traffic, but not creating content.
Let me explain why…
Why paid traffic isn’t enough
When someone clicks an ad and visits your website, the likelihood that they’re just going to go ahead and click that big shiny ‘Buy’ button immediately is… slim. Of course we hope they will, and it does depend on what you are selling, the price point, etc, but it’s usually a little more protracted than that.
For every 1 person who buys your product/service because of your ad, there’s 99 (or probably even 999) who don’t.
Put simply, we are not clickbots!
We need to know who we’re buying from and what they’re about.
Getting people to your website is just the first step in a longer process.
When I click an ad, I don’t just take that as being ‘it’. I get my Miss Marple on and do some digital due diligence, investigating who the business/person is that is trying to sell something to me.
I look at the whole website, I look at social media profiles, I’ll Google them, I’ll watch their videos, check out their podcast, and do the kind of content investigation Magnum PI would be proud of.
Without content, your investment in paid traffic is going to underdeliver.
It’s rare that your audience will just click an ad, take the action you’re asking them to take, and then carry on. Most people will take the time to research, understand, and verify who we’re paying attention to.
That’s why, if your website and social channels lack content, you run the risk of wasting your money.
They both need to be matched in quality, consistency, and make sense alongside each other.
How to combine your paid traffic and content
You want someone to discover you via your campaign, and then when they check you out further to discover if you are the real deal, they get wrapped up in the treasure trove of awesome content you have put out there.
From your ad, they could follow you on social media to see the great content you share, subscribe to your newsletter to get your insights in their inbox, and listen to your podcast on their commute.
Or, sure, you can just run an ad campaign, get a load of paid traffic and a couple of sales.
When you invest in paid traffic, you are investing in the opportunity to capture someone’s attention for that moment in time.
In an ideal world, they’d click the buy now button on your sales page but that isn’t going to happen a lot of the time. You still have their attention, though, and you can use that to great effect!
Your paid traffic shouldn’t be measured against one outcome and nothing else.
Is content really that important?
If you’re not convinced yet, let’s try a little game of imagination…
Say you run an ad campaign for your product or service. You get lots of visitors and achieve 10 sales from it. Nice work!
Now, imagine if your competitor paid the same amount and achieved the same number of sales… but they’ve also invested in their content. As a result, they also got hundreds of new email subscribers, podcast listeners, and social media followers from the people who saw the ad, didn’t want to buy at that moment in time, but still liked what they were about.
Not only did they invest in immediate sales, they invested in the opportunity to grow their audience, to nurture them and potentially convert them to customers further down the line.
So, yes, your content really is that important.
How should I invest in my content?
You can invest your time or your money.
There’s no denying that creating good content takes time, but if you have a content repurposing mindset, you can set-up systems and processes to create lots of great content from a single source. Just make sure that your core content is of a great quality, and the rest will follow.
Videos can become podcasts episodes which can become blog posts which can become social posts which can… Well, you get the point.
When your audience discover you and emulates Miss Marple/Magnum PI/yours truly, they will find content everywhere, on lots of platforms!
Repurposing saves you time and gets you the maximum value from your content. In turn, if you’re investing in paid traffic, you’ll get maximum value from that too.
Find the right balance for you
Investing in paid traffic can be a great thing to do but lots of the people you’re paying to have visit your website will not turn into leads, conversions, and customers if you haven’t invested in your content too.
By all means, invest in traffic, but invest in content too.
If ads are the first step in your customer journey, every step after is guided by your content.
With the right combination of paid traffic and content, you can give your reputation, brand recognition, and sales an incredible boost.
If you only have the budget to invest in one… I might be biased, but I truly believe your content should come first.