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How to use Paid Media with Inbound Marketing

By Angelica Fierro on

On this episode of The Marketing Cave, we take a high-level look at the different paid media platforms we use along with our inbound strategies to expedite growth and exposure for your campaigns.

There are a ton of people out there who consider paid media and inbound marketing to be two different or opposing tactics. We've found they are actually a perfect match when your goal is to grow quickly while also establishing thought leadership and brand loyalty.



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Here is the transcript:


Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of The Marketing Cave. And on this week's episode, I want to talk about how paid media can actually really compliment your inbound marketing campaign. And there's really, you know, four platforms that I want to cover today. The first I'm going to lump into one is Facebook and Instagram. The second one is going to be LinkedIn. And we want to talk about how you can leverage paid search or Google ads. And then the last one I want to cover is programmatic or native display advertising. 

So obviously, there's a ton of nuances. There's a lot of the nitty gritty that we could get into with, with how you build campaigns and how you how you bid and how you manage your budgets and all those things that are that are very, very important but are also very much in the trenches. In this episode, I really want to stay at a high level on how we leverage each one of these platforms for different B2B inbound marketing campaigns and strategies, some of the ways that we use them internally a creative cave for ourselves and our marketing, and then also how we use them for different clients in different places in different industries. And then obviously, these are more of just like general guidance and how we use them, whatever industry or company or space you're in, you'll need to apply that to your actual company and figure out what that strategy is for you. But like I said, these four platforms that I mentioned, are really the core ones that we use for most of our B2B marketing campaigns. 

So first, let's talk about Facebook and Instagram ads. When it comes to Facebook and Instagram, you're a little bit limited in the targeting and the way that you can build your campaigns and get in front of people. Just because the data isn't always the cleanest. It's not always the best. People don't always use a real email address that they actually are checking. They don't put their real job titles. They don't necessarily have accurate up to date information on Facebook for good reason. So when it comes to actually building out an audience with the targeting you have available and the demographics they give you which are continually being cut down and removed and refined and updated. It's really hard to build an audience for B2B marketing. Based on what you have available in the targeting and Facebook ads, there are really high level targeting that you can focus on. So maybe certain interests, but job titles and years of experience and the things you can get on LinkedIn to get really, really granular in your targeting. They're just not there on Facebook, there are a few things that do work here from a user behavior perspective. So there's a ton of data on how people use that platform, where they're moving about what stories they're watching on Instagram, or Facebook, what different pages they follow and interact with all of those types of user behavior, things can help you back into certain audiences. So if you're able to build a good audience based off of these interest based kind of attributes, and targeting, then you could actually put together a decent audience that you could target on Facebook and Instagram. If that targeting is actually available. 

In our experience. A lot of the time, the job titles that we want to focus on aren't necessarily there. It's maybe an interest or maybe they work in a certain industry or have an interest in industry, but that makes it kind of hard to justify spending a lot of money there because you just don't know how accurate that audience really is. However, what can be really successful on Facebook and Instagram is remarketing because you know that's a legitimate audience. they've completed some type of action on your website, they've been to a certain page that’s where you can build an audience to remarket to based on that action, and a lot of times these remarketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram are significantly cheaper than running a remarketing on something like LinkedIn. So we definitely do a majority of the things on Facebook and Instagram through remarketing that's really what we focus on is retargeting based on a certain action.

 And then the other thing that will use Facebook and Instagram for his general branding and awareness campaign, again, the cost per click or cost per impression is usually significantly lower than LinkedIn. So what we'll do is build a target audience based around a certain industry a certain interest where we're not looking for a conversion. We're not looking for a hard bottom of the funnel action. We're really just looking for branding awareness and clicks so when a client announces a new offices opening, or they're rolling out a new software, something they just want eyeballs on, a lot of times, that's what will turn to to get that message out. So really just a target, you know, a specific geographic area maybe or, or a certain demographic that you just want to get a message in front of. But again, you're not looking for like a hard conversion or actually driving any type of conversation or sales activity. So obviously, there's a lot of other things you can get into with Facebook and Instagram, the power of video there and how you can engage people and use that for morality and sharing and getting your message amplified. But that at a high level is kind of where we see Facebook and Instagram mixing into the fit as far as the paid portion of it goes. Obviously, from an organic perspective, you're always sharing content, you're always building culture type posts, and showing behind the scenes and all those other things that you can do from an organic perspective. But when you really want to get your message out there you do have to tend to put some dollars behind it on Facebook and Instagram just because the organic reach is so decimated at this point.

Okay, so let's move on to LinkedIn. Obviously for B2B marketing which is what we focus on. This is kind of like the place to be it is the best platform for targeting in a B2B way, it obviously has the best targeting for B2B, just because the data is so accurate people are actually actively updating when they get a new job or they move on or they get a new skill, they always want to put that and add it to their profile. And that's a really powerful thing when it's a user generated piece of information that you can then target off of, because you know, it's going to be much more accurate than say Facebook was maybe making some assumptions about those people and lumping them into targets that maybe aren't completely accurate. So when it comes to targeting on LinkedIn, this is absolutely critical to have buyer personas built out. If you don't have buyer personas that you're creating specific content for, it's going to be really difficult to get the right content in front of the right people and at the cost per click on LinkedIn. You really can't afford to be putting irrelevant content in front of people then clicking on it getting to your landing page and then being like, what is this this isn't relevant? Why did I click on this? Let me close out and go back. So the really the core of your success on LinkedIn comes to those personas. And then understanding how the content you're creating and the strategy half of your content ties in with what those personas care about. And we we really, we've seen a ton of success with these type of campaigns on LinkedIn, because when you put something ultra relevant in front of someone that is exactly what they do, it's exactly the struggle or the pain point that they're having. It's really not a big deal for someone to click and come and download an E book or a guide or some type of top of the funnel activity. When you're really providing value for them. You're giving them information and thought leadership, things are going to make them better at their job. It's a very natural thing for them to click, plus, they're on LinkedIn, it's a safe platform, it's business related. It's somewhere they feel comfortable clicking on something that clearly is an advertisement if there's value there. 

And then there's a couple of things that we like to focus on on LinkedIn that are also really powerful. You can upload emails, as well as a list of companies that you want to target. So it's kind of that account based marketing thing. You can literally put together a CSV, put a list of companies that you'd like to go after, or have an actual list of email. addresses that you got from a trade show or something you went to and you want to go put an ad in front of them, you can leverage that data within LinkedIn, because you know that that actual profile information, those people are put in there as accurate. So then LinkedIn will actually go and build that audience for you based on the list that you uploaded. So it's a really great way to make sure that you're targeting the exact people that you want to be targeting. And the other thing that use recently rolled out, I think, in the last, you know, quarter or two is is lookalike audiences, which is something that we obviously have seen on Facebook, we hadn't seen it on LinkedIn until just recently. And we've actually been testing this for a client where we uploaded a list of their customers and anyone else who's associated with any closed business within their their HubSpot CRM, and we loaded that list into LinkedIn and let it kind of start to build this audience and you know, we don't know exactly what their their processes right what what they're doing in the background to determine what that that relevant lookalike audiences, but there's a good chance they're looking at what are these people's profiles look like? What are their job titles, what are their skills, what companies do they work out with? They're seniority. And then also what do they do on LinkedIn. 

So the people that this list that we upload of customers that then get identified to a profile by LinkedIn, they're looking at all those things that I just listed all the attributes of all the things that they're doing on the platform. So they're starting to build this lookalike audience that also has the same similar attributes, the same skills, the same general company size, all these other things that they have access to, that they can then leverage to build a look alike. So based on this small sample size, we feel pretty confident that these lookalike audiences that LinkedIn is building for us are actually well targeted, well built, because the ads are putting in front of them are resonating, we're getting really good click through rate conversion rate at a really good CPA, so we feel pretty confident that lookalike audiences, that's something we're going to continue to test. But if you haven't tried that yet, I definitely suggest uploading a list of your customers, and then trying to let LinkedIn build a mirrored look alike audience that you can then put the same content or the same messaging in front of and really what that allows you to do is to get in front of people that you otherwise haven't identified. You have an interest with them, they haven't been to your website, you probably don't know who they are. But LinkedIn does know who they are. So yeah, definitely something worth looking into if you haven't already. And I'll wrap up LinkedIn. And just by saying that, that is by far the biggest place that we invest for, for any of our clients that we're running paid paid media with, because we've got these content offers that they've already invested in inbound marketing side, you've already put that effort and time into creating that content offer, and you knew exactly who you're creating it for when you created it. So by getting on LinkedIn, building an audience based on that buyer persona and putting some dollars behind, it can really expedite the process of getting that content in front of your target audience that you're trying to get in front of. So it's just super powerful in that regard. It's got really great targeting, you can build really intricate granular audiences. And the only downside that comes with that is you're paying for it. The cost per click or cost per impression there is significantly higher, but for good reason. And typically when you're in the B2B space, the ROI on the clicks there and the leads that you're getting, if you can close those deals, it's almost always worth it every single time. 

Okay, let's move on to the third one and that is paid search or Google ads, the way that I always approach this one is when you can pair together a good inbound marketing campaign with a lot of content that's going out the door as well as a really good honed in paid search campaign, you can really attack both ends of the funnel. And what I mean by that is you're creating a lot of high level top of the funnel content to get people onto your site to get them to be aware of who you are and what you do. But you also have people who are searching very specific, actionable, bottom of the funnel, I have a very specific need that I've identified, and I'm looking for a solution and they're going to Google and they're searching that. And so what I always like to say is they're literally going to Google and they're telling you what they want. That's what we call declared intent. They're typing in that into that box, this is what I need, and adjust our job to show up there at the top with the relevant solution to the problem that they have. So when you can combine that that top of the funnel inbound activity with the bottom of the funnel paid search activity, you have a really good chance of capturing people We're on both ends of the funnel. 

The other thing that we talked about doing is leveraging again, those those content offers those guides, those ebooks, someone is out looking for help with a certain topic, if you've got an E book on that topic that's going to get you right into their inbox to get them that that guide, it makes a ton of sense to run paid search when people are searching those terms, especially if they're extremely competitive organic keywords. So if someone's searching for, you know, a really competitive organic term, maybe you can't get there organically with your content. But what you can do is get your content there at the top of the page through paid. So again, if the opportunity there is for really good ROI, it's very specific, and they have a need that you solve and you have content that you've created that they can then consume and read and educate themselves on the topic as well as what you could do to help them it's almost always worth that ROI to boost your content to get up there the top of those those results if it's something that is worth the click. Obviously, if you can rank for those terms organically and not have to pay for the click. That's great, but if you have a question service line of three or four things and that's exactly what you do and someone's searching for it, you definitely want to be paying to show up there to make sure that you're capturing those opportunities. 

Okay, moving on to number four, the display advertising. So we're kind of lumped native and programmatic all into one conversation here. And there's really a few ways that that we leverage this. And it's not all that different from from Facebook and Instagram. But for the most part with display this is again, it's branding, it's awareness, it's staying top of mind. In the B2B space, specifically, that the sales cycle can be really long that can be a lot of people involved, there's a lot of steps, you might have to get multiple approvals, so it can take some time for that to kind of manifest. We've seen some sales cycles be a year plus the opportunity for you to stay in front of that person as they go through that journey as they're researching other competitors and they're continuing to educate and try to find what other solutions are out there in the marketplace. The more that you can stay in front of them. stay relevant keep your logo keep your brand keep your content in their feet or in front of their eyeballs, the better chance you have of being a part of that conversation as they move forward and start to evaluate their final vendors that they want to bring in to pitch or anything like that. And the way that we kind of identify those, those high value type of people that we want to remarket to, or we want to continue to get in front of with these display ads is is someone who takes a high value action on your website, if they go to a pricing page, or they go to a Contact Us page, or they've gone to, you know, a certain service line page or any specific action on your website that you identify as high value, you should be lumping those into a display remarketing campaign of some sort, and making sure that you keep in front of them over the next 30 60 90 days, whatever your typical sales cycle is to do all those things that I just mentioned, you just want to make sure that you're giving yourself every opportunity to be a part of those final conversations as someone progresses down that that buyer’s journey. 

And then again, the other way that will use this is is you know someone who's releasing a new product or moving into a new city or a new market and there's just an opportunity to really blast a ton of messaging for a relatively low cost. To get in front of a very specific audience, as long as we can identify them through the targeting that's available on the different platforms will use for display. That's definitely a play there. Right? If you're just trying to get a message out there, you're trying to amplify your reach, you're trying to, you know, try to gain awareness of a new product or a new market, it can be really, really powerful, right, you can follow someone around the internet and keep putting a message in front of them, regardless of where they go, and that can be really powerful from just a top of the funnel awareness. Hey, we're here type of mindset. 

So that's really it for this episode, I just kind of wanted to talk through you know, what these different paid media platforms are good for, in our opinion, and what we use them for, for ourselves and for our clients and all the different ways that you can leverage putting some paid dollars behind your already existing inbound marketing campaigns. And then looking at how those kind of can play together. You always be trying to find a balance between the two of what's the most cost effective, how much can we spend each month to make sure we see the results without you know going overboard or going over budget. So like I said, at the very beginning of this every company is going to be different. You have to test these things you have to try you have to have a hypothesis and then actually go and try to execute, see what the results are. And that's what the beautiful thing about you know paid media you can see exactly what you're getting for every dollar spent and then start to understand what the data is telling you what's working, what's not. So that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for tuning in joining me, if you guys are liking enjoying these episodes, please share please tell your friends, tell your family tell your mom and I will see you in the next one.

topicIcon Paid Media, The Marketing Cave