Advertising vs. Marketing Your Startup: The Battle of ROI

Posted by Cydne Stewart Jun 29, 2016

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If you own (or work for) a startup, you undoubtedly know how heavily ROI factors into the decision-making process especially when it comes to weighing the options of advertising vs marketing your startup. When you are trying to make a major impact on a tight startup budget, you need to know that your investments will be fruitful and worthwhile. Not only that, you might not have the time and resources to feel like you’ve fully explored and researched all your options.

Well, fear not! We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. In today’s blog, discover insights about and comparisons of content marketing versus paid advertising. So if you’re in need of effective budgeting between paid advertising and content marketing, then read on, brave startup soldier! Read on!

The Difference Between Content Marketing and Paid Advertising

Content marketing lowers risk; provides hyper-targeted lead generation, lead nurturing and lead scoring. With the benefits right out in front, it is hard to deny its ability to target more accurately.

 

78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.—SmartBug Media

Simply put, the difference between content marketing and paid advertising is content marketing uses your content to accurately and intentionally hit your customers’ wants and needs whereas paid advertising creates campaigns for wide net of visitors.

Although pay-per-click ads have developed targeting models that work, their conversion rates are on average much lower. This is attributed to many factors—a major one being the accuracy of website visitors. When someone searches for a particular query online, it is Google’s job to lead them to the websites that best fits his or her search terms.

So in order for conversion to effectively work for your company and especially for your budget, using content marketing has a greater chance of not only attracting the right visitors to your website but also has a high rate of converting your right visitors into sales-ready leads.

 

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.—DemandMetric

Banners: Advertising vs Content Marketing

Even though PPC ads generate web visits, it is more likely for someone to accidentally, unknowingly, or without full understanding, click on your link. When this happens, it skews your analytics and makes it difficult for your website to build quality lead generating traffic. No doubt PPC ads will increase traffic to your website, but what is the quality of these site visits? What is the conversion rate? What’s the difference?

  • Banners: A display banner is an image or another form of interactive media that is used to catch the attention of a website visitor.
  • Banner Advertising: Banner ads are typically used to distribute the latest sales campaign for that particular website or brand. These ads are designed and distributed to try and appeal to visitors of the importance of this new sales campaign that may or may not be pertinent to their wants or needs. Banner ads alone can leave guests feeling uneasy, annoyed, and in some cases headed for the competition due to its salesy, interruptive design, i.e., talking at your customers instead creating a conversation with them.
  • Content Marketing: Content marketing encourages revenue-generating trends by fostering more repeat customers, longer customer lifecycles and a community of thought leaders who support and recommend your products and services to everyone they know.
  • Banner Content Marketing: These banners are usually developed and based on informative thought leadership surrounding a particular virtual market or industry. To hold true to content marketing, it is imperative that the promotional offer demand zero monetary payment and is simplified to an exchange of one’s contact information for the desired content, i.e., free eBook for your visitor’s email.

Ultimately, banner content marketing provides more value to your visitors than traditional banner ads—providing instant value through the immediacy of your content in relation to your content providing a solution to your visitors’ needs.

Native Advertising: The Rise of Invisible Advertising

Trying to understand consumers’ responses towards advertising, PageFair provided the following stats in their 2015 Ad Blocking Report:

  • Ad blocking estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015.
  • There are now 198 million active adblock users around the world.
  • Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months.
  • US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in 12 months up to June 2015.

With these stats in mind, investing your money into traditional forms of online advertising like non-targeted banner ads may be a waste of time. However, with the increase use of native advertising, now you can promote sponsored products or services by creating it in a format that is both informational and targets the needs of your audience.

Because, native advertising is “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”  For a brief yet in-depth look into native advertising, John Oliver from Last Week Tonight provides an interesting point of view around the birth of native advertising as well as how its blurring effect between content creation and advertising effects online audiences.

This form of advertising has proven itself successful especially for companies like Buzzfeed and The New York Times. However, at the end of the day, it is up to your company to create content that reaps the benefits of paid ads all the while providing key information to keep your audience engaged.

 

As you've noticed, people don't want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.—Larry Weber

Overall, not only does content marketing attract better leads than PPC, it is also a more cost-effective way to build brand recognition. The cost of creative design, video production, and strategically developed content is always going to have a better return on investment than that of paid ads and traditional advertising. So if you need help developing your content marketing strategy in order to start reaping the benefits for your company, check out these following articles and start building your strategy today:

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Topics: Marketing, Inbound Marketing

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