I’d like to expand on some of the differences between search advertising and content advertising so that you can maximize your results.
Your Visitor’s Intent
In all of your search marketing efforts, you need to understand your visitor’s intent. What is the current purpose or goal, in their mind, at the time and place where they are viewing your ad?
Once of the biggest differences in search vs. content advertising is the user’s intent at the time the ad is presented. In the case of search, the user is looking for something specific – information, a solution to a problem or a particular product or service. The key to understand here is that they are searching for something and when you place your ad in front of them, you want them to say to themselves: “Yes; this is exactly what I am looking for . . . Click!”
With Content Advertising, you are embarking on the more traditional advertising method which is “Interruption Advertising”. This is what traditional media channels, such as magazines, newspapers and TV, are focused on. The concept is that if I can get in front of someone that matches the demographics of my target market, I can make them aware of what I am offering.
Content Advertising takes this concept a step further and provides you with the ability to show your ad within a context that is relevant to your product or service. For example, let’s say you sell child-proofing products for the home. If you show your ad to parents that are reading an article about how to child proof their home, you are going to be in exactly the right place at the right time when that parent is thinking about where they might find these products.
There are broader examples and applications, but the point is that you are interrupting the reader and asking them to consider your offer when their intent is to read an article and gather information. But the magic is: you are interrupting them in a context where they are more likely to consider your offer.
Understanding The Intent
As Brad mentions in his Content Matching article on May 12th, you can expect a much lower click through rate and conversion rate for content campaigns. Now that you understand your visitor’s intent, you can see why – they weren’t looking for you at the time – you are in the process of interrupting their current thought process and therefore, less people are going to allow themselves to be sidetracked and follow the new path you are offering. However, the closer you can match your offer to the intent your customer had when they started reading the article or viewing the site, you are more likely to be successful in interrupting their thought process.
Next week, we will discuss techniques for maximizing your content advertising results based on this new understanding. And we will explore some of the more advanced options Google AdWords offers in their content campaign options.