When to use Paid Advertising in your content marketing

In the interview with Lukas Höller - Head of Campaigns von elements

We all know the situation: You sit on your couch at night, scrolling through the latest feed on Facebook or Instagram. And in between all the mirror selfies, hiking pics and stylish window shots of lifestyle bloggers, more and more paid ads are popping up that exactly meet your needs and interests. Coincidence? Not really!

Rest assured that when it comes to ads, everything is precisely planned. One click is all it takes and you’re on a website full of content targeted to your interests. How does that work? With the help of paid ads! They are a cost-efficient way of reaching your target group and give you the opportunity to measure the success of your marketing campaign in real time.

We were curious to find out about the ins and outs of Paid Advertising and why it’s so successful in today’s content marketing. Read on and find out what Lukas Höller, Head of Campaigns at elements, has to say about this new chapter in online marketing …
Question 1

What’s the best way to integrate Paid Advertising into “classic” content marketing?

Lukas: There are different aspects and purposes to Paid Advertising. If you want to increase the number of website visitors and at the same time provide them with information on a certain topic and “provoke” a certain result, good content is key.

There are two main challenges in online marketing:
  • How do I get my message across to my target group?
  • How do I “package” my message so that it attracts the attention of my target group? 
Tisch mit Zeitschriften, Laptops, Handys | © pexels
Question 2

When and how do you recommend Paid Ads? Are there certain preconditions for this type of advertising?

Lukas: Paid Advertising is always a good idea if you want to reach more people than is possible through your standard advertising (e.g. SEO). Paid ads are a relatively cost-efficient way (as opposed to TV, print etc.) of reaching your target group and measuring the real-time success of your campaign.

Just remember: Even the most appealing website with the most comprehensive content, the best products and the most lovingly produced videos is ultimately useless if no one sees it!
Nahaufnahme eines Tablets mit Online Marketing-Tools | © pexels
Question 3

What’s the difference to general online marketing?

Lukas: If general online marketing refers to everything that’s free of cost, then the biggest difference is in the possibility to reach a big number of potential customers in a short time and with little scatter loss without having to wait for organic growth (which can take years). By investing into paid advertising, companies can address specific users and get the chance (e.g. through Google AdWords) to compete with other small local and big international businesses, which would be nearly impossible to achieve by way of organic growth.

Just take the following example:
Imagine a medium-sized hotel offering rooms on their website. Through paid ads in Google search and social networks, the hotel can encourage potential customers to book a room on their own website. By doing so, they can cut down on fees they would otherwise have to pay to travel agencies (offline) or major booking websites (booking.com, checkfelix, trivago etc.). If you use your advertising budget in a clever way, you can cut down on half of your costs or even more.
Icons der Social Media Kanäle Facebook, Youtube, Twitter und Co. auf einer Tastatur zu sehen
Question 4

In your opinion, where does it make the most sense to use Paid Advertising?

Lukas: Frankly, I don’t know where it wouldn’t make sense! All you need for paid online marketing to make sense is a business and potential customers it wants to reach.

If a company wants to invest into classic offline advertising, paid online marketing makes absolute sense and should be on top of their list. No matter what age group you would like to reach: It only takes a bit of know-how to reach your target group with minimal scatter loss through paid online marketing.

Another advantage is the possibility to track the success of your campaign in a precise way. From the very first minute, you can see whether your ad performs or whether it doesn’t. Unlike with classic advertising, this gives you the chance to react in real time and adjust your campaign. 
Scrabble Buchstaben aus Holz, die das Wort Like bilden
Question 5

Can you give us a few examples where content marketing and performance marketing go hand in hand?

Lukas: Basically, that’s always the case! Content (texts, videos, advertising material, etc.) is the foundation of every successful campaign. Paid Advertising can guide people to your website or raise awareness of your brand. At this point, effective content marketing is key to be able to offer your new customers the information they were actually looking for.
Question 6

Any no-nos?

Lukas: It’s a no-no to expect miracles from paid online ads. Paid Advertising is an important building block. However, it takes an elaborate overall advertising/online strategy to generate the desired output. Even the best Paid Advertising campaign will reach its limits and be unable to deliver in terms of ROAS if the technical requirements of your website are outdated or if you provide your users with badly written or irrelevant content.

Incidentally, ROAS stands for “Return on Advertising Spend” and is one of the most important metrics for online marketers. Basically, it tells you how many euros you receive for every euro you spend on advertising and is an important factor in ad and campaign evaluation.
punkt & komma arbeitet hat die Community immer im Blick mit effektiven Social Media Monitoring-Tools | © punkt & komma

A Paid Advertising strategy takes just as much planning as any offline strategy:

  • Who do I want to reach?
  • Where do I reach my customers (Google/Facebook/Instagram/Blogs etc.)?
  • What’s the objective of my campaign (sales/store visits/image building etc.)?
  • How can I measure these objectives?
  • What’s the best way to address my customers (videos, images, message, offers etc.)?
  • How do I encourage users to visit my website? How do I offer them the content they’re looking for and turn them into customers?
About our expert

Lukas Höller

Lukas Höller is Head of Campaigns at elements and responsible for the strategic planning of marketing campaigns, mostly in the performance and image sector. Together with his team, he has implemented successful advertising campaigns with seven-figure budgets. With a background in Business Studies and lots of industry experience, he accompanies clients from the first strategy and definition of goals and target groups throughout the planning of digital communication channels and analytic performance monitoring.
Portrait von Lukas Höller. | © elements.at

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