The Differences Between PPC & Content Promotion

Illustration of PPC and Content PromotionIf you’ve been marketing online for any length of time, you’re likely aware of PPC and content promotion/amplification networks already.

But when most people think of advertising online, their mind immediately turns to ads seen in the search results on Google.

That’s a good example of a Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) ad campaign. As an advertiser, you can pay to increase your visibility for specific keywords.

But this isn’t the only type of advertising available online. You can also use content promotion/amplification to boost the exposure of articles and content pieces.

So what are the differences between PPC and content promotion/amplification? Let’s take a look.

What Is PPC?

With PPC or pay-per-click advertising, you pay for clicks. Instead of earning traffic through organic (or free) sources – such as email, social media, SEO, content, etc. – you can pay to drive traffic to your site.

Advertising on search engines, such as Google or Yahoo, is a prevalent form of PPC you are likely familiar with. By bidding on pre-vetted keywords, you can have your result show up at the top (or near the top) on Google.

If your campaign is adequately optimized, the boost in traffic you get will outweigh the upfront investment of paying for clicks. But getting to that point can take lots of experimentation or the help of an experienced professional. Ad platforms want you to spend money with them. Because of that, they aren’t set up to get you a high return on investment out of the box. You have to do some tweaking.

As far as PPC networks go, besides Google AdWords, there’s also:, 7search, TLVMedia, Chitika, LookSmart, Criteo, among others.

What Is Content Promotion/Amplification?

Content promotion/amplification is also known as “content syndication” in some online circles. Sites like Outbrain, Zemanta, SimpleReach, and Taboola are all examples of popular content promotion networks.

These platforms work a lot like PPC systems. They give you the ability to set a budget and have your content placed in prominent places. The main difference being that your content will not be in search results. It will show up in the sidebar or footer of sites like CNN, Forbes, People, ESPN, and others.

Ads blend right in with the content, so visitors don’t necessarily know that they’re being taken to third-party sites when they click on them. It is helpful in the sense that viewers will click on anything that piques their interest. But it’s less advantageous because they may not immediately recognize they’re viewing another brand’s content after clicking on the ad.

But for amplifying your content (especially high-performing content), content promotion networks are extremely useful. There are two things you can tweak and experiment with: 1) your headline and 2) the image. Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways to test what’s effective before even launching your campaign. For example, you can ask your followers on your Facebook page.

What Is The Difference?

By now, you’ve probably observed some of the main differences between PPC and content promotion campaigns.

With PPC campaigns, you can direct traffic to landing or sales pages, articles, videos, or pretty much anything with a web address. With content promotion, the goal is simply to amplify an existing piece of content.

When using a content promotion network, it’s a good idea to choose an already high-performing content piece. When a piece a content has earned you a high number of conversions, quality leads, or email subscribers, there’s a good chance it’s going to work with new audiences as well. Content amplification gives you the opportunity to reach more of your target audience by creating a presence on popular sites.

Final Thoughts

There are many different forms of advertising online. There are also plenty of networks and service providers to take advantage of. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of options available.

If you’re new to PPC, then Google AdWords is a good place to start. If you’re new to content amplification, try Outbrain or Taboola.

As with any other marketing initiative, it’s important to track and measure results. Then you can tweak your existing campaigns and maximize their effectiveness. Or, you can use the data to launch new, more effective campaigns.

What advertising platforms are you using to promote your business? Do you prefer PPC or content amplification?

Let us know in the comments below.

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