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PPC vs content marketing: Which should you focus on first?

PPC vs content marketing: Which should you focus on first?

Knowing where to focus your marketing budget for the best results can be difficult. PPC and content marketing are just two digital marketing channels available to you so we've compared them in this blog. Read on to find out more.

If you’re a new business or just new to marketing, deciding whether to focus on PPC advertising or content marketing can feel like an impossible task. You might feel like you have to focus solely on one marketing approach, and there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. 

We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to PPC advertising and content marketing to help you make the best decision for your business. This guide will cover:

  • What is PPC?
  • Pros and cons of PPC
  • What is content marketing?
  • Pros and cons of content marketing 
  • How to combine PPC and content marketing

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click and is a form of advertising. The great thing about PPC ads is you only pay when someone clicks on your ad (hence the name). This makes PPC an extremely effective and cost-effective way to drive qualified leads and targeted traffic to your website. 

You can use PPC advertising to reach potential customers who are actively searching for products or services that are similar to yours. There are lots of different forms of PPC ads, and they can be made up of text, images, videos or a combination. They can appear on websites, social media platforms, and search engine results pages. 

Pros of PPC advertising

There are loads of reasons why PPC advertising is a smart choice. In fact, 79% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their business, so it makes sense that you should consider using PPC to drive traffic and increase conversions for your site. 

Fast results 

One of the biggest advantages of PPC is that you can get your campaign set up quickly and start seeing results almost immediately. You can use the fast returns generated from PPC to re-invest in other marketing strategies. 

An effective content marketing and SEO strategy takes time to build, and it can take a while before you see any meaningful results. PPC can get you near the top of the search results extremely quickly and put you and your competitors on equal footing, even if you're a relatively new business. 

Highly targeted 

PPC ads allow you to target specific audiences using keywords, location, demographics and location. This helps ensure that you show your ads to potential customers interested in your products or services. It also helps you target different audiences or customer bases with relevant, differentiated messages. 

Affordable and cost-effective

PPC advertising can be incredibly affordable for certain industries as you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It can be a simple and cost-effective way to get your brand to the top of the search results. It’s important to ensure you’re using your budget effectively to get the most out of your PPC campaigns. 


Conversion rates on PPC landing pages can be fairly low. The average landing page conversion rate across all industries is 9.7%. However, retargeting can increase conversion rates by as much as 150%. PPC makes it easy to retarget users who’ve clicked on your ads but not converted and makes them significantly more likely to make a purchase. 

Cons of PPC advertising 

You should definitely be aware of the downsides of PPC advertising before rushing to set up any campaigns. 

Competitive in certain industries 

In highly competitive industries, PPC can be more difficult because there are more brands bidding on popular keywords. This means it can be difficult for smaller companies to get their ads shown, and competitive keywords are often expensive to bid on. 

Limited space

PPC ads have a limited amount of characters you can use for headlines and descriptions. This might be a challenge if you have a new or unusual product or service that you have to explain to your target audience. 

Skill and expertise are needed

It can be tricky to set up and manage effective PPC campaigns. You can’t just set up a campaign and leave it running - you need to invest time into improving its performance. This takes experience and expertise, which is why many companies use a specialist agency to ensure they get the best possible PPC results. 

What is content marketing?

Content marketing involves creating, publishing, and promoting valuable content that’s designed to appeal to your target audience. By providing your target audience with well-written and helpful content, you can improve your brand recognition and establish your company as a valuable source of knowledge. 

This content is often centred around answering questions that your target audience is asking or solving problems they might have. Content can take the form of blog posts, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, or videos and can be shared on your website, social media or email newsletter. 

Why content marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing can help you build stronger relationships with potential customers and ultimately generate more leads, conversions and sales. An effective content strategy can also help boost your site's SEO ranking and help your site rank for relevant keywords that potential customers are searching for. 

Here are some of the main pros of investing in content marketing.

Long-term results 

A high-ranking valuable piece of content can continue getting results months or even years after it was initially published. Of course, content will need editing and updating with new information for you to see the best results. 

Cost-effective in the long term 

Many people think of content marketing as free, which isn’t strictly true - you’ll need to invest time into writing and editing content or invest money into hiring a content writer or specialist agency to write your content for you. However, content marketing is incredibly cost-effective over the long term.

Generate quality leads

An effective content marketing strategy can generate high-quality leads by targeting keywords your potential customers are searching for. It will help you attract visitors to your site who are looking for information related to your product or service.

People trust content over ads 

Many people can distrust ads or might use ad-blocking software, which means they’ll be difficult to reach using PPC advertising. People might be more inclined to click on organic results, so writing great content can help you reach more of your target audience. 

Build authority 

Writing content about relevant issues in your industry can help establish your brand as a thought leader, increase brand awareness and build trust with your target audience.  This can help your business drive more conversions over the long term.

Boost website traffic 

Good content marketing is essential for an effective SEO strategy. Well-written content helps to drive relevant traffic to your site and can help improve your rankings in the search engine results page (SERP) over time. 

Cons of content marketing 

The downsides of content marketing include the following: 

Takes time

Unlike PPC, which can see results almost immediately, content marketing takes time. You’re unlikely to see results instantly. Writing content can take time, effort and skill, from research to promoting your content on social media and email. If you’re just starting out writing content, this might feel like a lot of work for not a lot of reward. 

Challenging to generate content ideas

Coming up with relevant content ideas and topics can be tricky, especially if you’re in a niche industry. To help drive traffic and target relevant users, you’ll need to do keyword research around any planned topic ideas to ensure that people are searching for information about these topics. This might mean you need to invest in an SEO tool. 

Hard to measure success

Although it’s fairly simple to measure the effect your content marketing has on SERP rankings, organic traffic and online conversions, it’s not as easy to see the effect your content has on brand recognition and authority. It’s hard to know if the content has influenced a conversion or sale. 

How to combine PPC and content marketing

When it comes to whether you should focus on PPC or content marketing, the answer is that you need both for an effective marketing strategy. It can be difficult to succeed in PPC without content marketing and vice versa. 

PPC tends to work best for users who are ready or almost ready to make a purchase. Most PPC campaigns focus on keywords with purchase rather than informational intent - which makes sense. You don’t want to spend money on a user who is still researching if they need a product; you want to spend money on the user who knows they need your product and is ready to buy.  A report by Gleanster Research found that only 25% of users are ready to buy at any given time, so content helps you target the remaining 75% of users. 

Content marketing is much better at targeting users at the top of the funnel who are still researching how to solve their problem or comparing products or services. Using content and PPC effectively can help guide users through your sales funnel until they are ready to purchase your product or service. Publishing and promoting valuable, relevant and helpful content builds brand awareness and makes it much easier to make a sale when they see your PPC ad in the future. 

How Logica Digital can help

Both PPC and content can be tricky to master, and not all companies have the time or skills in-house to devote to creating a cohesive and effective marketing strategy. An experienced digital marketing agency can help make things simpler.

At Logica Digital, we have over 15 years of experience in PPC, content marketing and SEO. We can build a compelling customer journey, using a mix of paid search and content marketing to move users through your sales funnel and turn prospects into customers. 

Why not take advantage of our free marketing audit to unlock your business's potential? We’ll analyse your current marketing strategy, including SEO, content, PPC and social media, and identify opportunities for growth. Our experienced team will develop a plan based on your goals and resources to help you succeed. 

Contact the team today to learn more about what we do and how we can help perfect your PPC and content marketing! Or check out our case studies page to see how we’ve helped others get results. 

Blog written by

Kezia Humphries
Content Executive

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