We talk a lot about the benefits of inbound marketing methods over the forced “outbound” ways of the past. Outdated marketing methods rely solely on advertising methods like pay-per-click (PPC) and banner ads in order to be heard at all — which is why these messages tend to get tuned out. But before you write off paid methods altogether, let’s take a look at how smart use of amplification could turn your indie inbound acoustic favorite into your next big hit.
How Smart Advertising Can Amplify Your Inbound Marketing Acoustic Hit
Inbound marketing is the purist acoustic guitar movement to the “play it loud” electric guitar riffs of traditional “outbound” methods. The difference between the two isn’t the use of an amplifier to perform, it’s the total reliance on that amplifier to be heard at all.
Have you ever strummed an unplugged electric guitar? It just plinks. String bending? Silence. Tapping the frets? Now you just look silly.
In the hands of Hendrix himself, the unplugged electric is inaudible over even amateur plucking of a tourist-grade ukulele.
Traditional “play it loud” marketing strategies just can’t work without buying the amp and paying to keep it powered up. These tone-deaf messages oversaturate the web with carelessly managed pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, brash banner ads and relentless retargeting promotions. Unlike inbound, traditional marketing approaches require advertising.
But what of our acoustic inbound marketing strategy?
Timing: When to Add PPC and Paid Advertising to Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
John Denver certainly didn’t need an amplifier for his Gibson guitar to be heard, but amplifiers served an important purpose in his art. Amplifying the acoustic allowed him to share his message further, and further in fields, at stadiums and through broadcast. Amplifiers allowed him to more quickly grow the audience his content was good enough to earn.
Once you’re playing an inbound melody so epic your current audience leans in, borrow an amplifier to bring more and more to your stage. Become that marketing folk hero that subverts digital advertising’s ability to interrupt our lives in order to bring value and utility to those you’ve dedicated yourself and your brand to serving (mapping the Buyer’s Journey of your target audience).
3 Brilliantly Specific Paid Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Inbound Hit
Hypertargeted digital advertising allows you to amplify your work for only the intended audience at the best time. This keeps you from relying on interrupting the masses for the hope of a few, which shows a lack of respect for both your recipients and your budget.
Engaging Sponsored Social Media Content
Have a great piece of evergreen content for new moms in New York who enjoy healthy living in a home with an income of $80K+? Sponsored content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to use their feeds to introduce yourself to nearly any mix, by mixing big data sources and platform-specific information, like profile updates and other content engagement.
Strategic Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaign
Have a great “you ask, we answer”-style blog post that addresses a common question? While you’re waiting for organic Google ranking love, consider a spectacularly specific PPC search advertising campaign to bring your content to those asking the question you’ve solved.
Behaviorally-Targeted Display Advertising
Have you designed the perfect home improvement planner for picking the right flooring planks for any given home and budget? Combine display advertising with in-market behavioral abilities and site content targeting to share your “Youtility” to those currently looking for flooring, while they’re browsing for home improvement research and inspiration.
It’s too easy to lean on advertising as a crutch – to use the loudness as a replacement for expert execution. The result is a high PPC bill and little to show for it. This habit is why we feel most “outbound” marketing efforts are as wasteful as most amateur electric guitar solos are migraine-inducing.
Stay True to Your Fans — and the Inbound Marketing Methodology
As a methodology, inbound marketing trains better habits and holds practitioners to a higher bar. We have to be good enough for the audience to come close, lean in and bring their friends and peers along with them.
That doesn’t mean we can’t make use of paid methods to amplify our reach and results from proven campaigns.
Like your marketing content, the success of your paid amplification hinges on expert execution. Too broad a target, too large a spend or the wrong channel pick can turn your anthem into a feedback screech.