PPC Vs. Content Marketing: What's The Best Approach For LMS Vendors?
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5 Facts LMS Vendors Should Know About PPC Vs. Content Marketing

Marketing is an essential part of any sales strategy, and knowing which path to follow makes all the difference. On the surface, PPC is paid advertising, while content marketing is organic and "free". In reality though, content marketing is an investment as well. You have to pay your writers and your SEO team. Even if you’re producing the content yourself, it costs you much more time than creating a handful of PPC ads. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. How can you tell which option is best suited for selling your Learning Management System?

1. Long-term Vs. Right Now

PPC marketing gives you immediate results, or at least, results that are immediately visible. You can tell exactly how many people clicked on your ad, and where they clicked it from. The analytics embedded in many PPC ads can give you even more information about consumers. You can tell their online preferences, recently visited sites, and maybe even their age and gender. This gives you immediate leads you can follow up, which is helpful if your LMS is ready to go. However, a content marketing strategy helps build a rapport with your potential customers. For example, while you’re still in the preparation stages you can use content marketing to build up interest and establish credibility. This way, when your system is finally ready, consumers will be familiar with your product features and benefits. At this point, they’ll be more likely to buy.

2. Awareness Vs. Sales

When you’re in the beginning stages of development, you want customers to know who you are. You want to show them what you have to offer, and demonstrate what you can do. If you’ve produced prior products, you want them to know why this new product is different. If this is your debuting software, consumers need to know they can trust you. Content marketing is a great way to get your name out there and expose your expertise. You can write generic industry articles to prove your know-how. It helps readers get familiar with your name. Conversely, you can use PPC to talk about the specific features of your Learning Management System. Use eye-catching headlines and graphics to show how your system is better than the competition.

3. Simple Vs. Compound Interest

PPC ads run for a limited time, and many consumers will click once and forget about it. If the ads are effective enough, one click is all you need to get a sale. More often though, clicks are all you will get. The ads will hold consumer interest for a brief moment before they move on to the next tab. Content marketing has more long-term effects, and it builds on itself. The more content potential customers consume, the more they see you as an expert. And the more they trust you, the more likely they are to buy from you. If you allocate the same amount of resources in each direction, PPC gives more short-term leads. Over the years though, content marketing generates more cumulative sales.

4. Metrics Vs. Results

If you’re looking for statistics, PPC is a good way to go. It’s popular with sales teams because it gives them solid figures that they can play around with. At a glance, you can see the number of clicks each ad got. It’s a dream for number crunchers and A/B testers. The trick is clicks don’t necessarily convert to sales. PPC turns heads, but it needs a killer salesperson to close. Content marketing isn’t as easy to gauge, because it’s spread over a long period. You might run a survey to find out the most popular websites for your service. If you’re on the list, you know your content works. You could also run an "exit poll" after purchase to ask how the customer found out about you. Other than that, there’s only one way to track conversions. Which is adding links to your content and monitoring the click-through rates.

5. Consistency Vs Instant ROI

Calculating the return on your PPC investment is easy. Just count the number of hits and compare it your ad spend. If you feel more daring, you might check your total media budget against your total volume of sales. There’s no way to test the income value of content marketing. There is one platform where PPC and content marketing can be pitted against each other: web traffic. PPC causes guaranteed spikes in traffic, while content marketing brings in more visitors over time. When PPC ads are pulled down, traffic falls. On the other hand, content stays on your site forever. It will continue to generate leads as long as you keep renewing your domain. In terms of LMS, the sudden traffic spike can be good for sales. The consistent lure for visitors helps strengthen your brand.

There are a variety of factors to consider when comparing PPC to content marketing. When it’s time to create a marketing plan for your LMS platform, you might consider a tandem approach. Use PPC for statistics, quick sales, and instant returns. They’re best applied at launch, and during sales lags when you need to boost demand. Content marketing is better for establishing brand credibility, creating product awareness, and generating consistent traffic. As you use both these strategies, invest in your sales team, ensuring they learn the art of closing a deal.

Is it really possible to find new customers using online marketing methods? What exactly is inbound marketing? Is account-based marketing really a smart move? Download our free eΒook The Ultimate Guide To A Winning Content Marketing Strategy to find the answers to these questions and much more...

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