If you’re in the world of marketing, you might be reading this blog because you’re a little confused by the title… Let’s be honest, digital advertising, paid search, and the fast burn are all (pretty much) the same thing.
If you’re not in the world of marketing, you may have heard these terms and other similar ones thrown at you from time to time by “the experts.”
We’re not in the business of confusion, so let me explain.
These terms can mean the same thing, but they all have their own definition. Paid search is a form of digital advertising and the fast burn (here at The Squad) simply means “to use digital marketing to capture leads or increase traffic quickly.”
If you joined us for our previous Squad Talks: Why Blogging Matters in 2020 or read about it on our blog, then you already have a little insight into what I’ll refer to as the “slow burn.” We use this terminology to help explain the difference between organic content for organic traffic versus paid marketing efforts for increasing the impressions, clicks, and leads gained from your marketing initiatives.
Ideally, a business uses both methods to capture their audience where they’re at – whether they’re earlier in their decision-making journey or further along.
Organic traffic and views are free and can come from channels like Facebook and Twitter, from your website, email marketing or via Google. We love free and always recommend companies take the steps they need to gain more and more of this free advertising.
But it’s not always that easy. If you’re a newer company or you haven’t had a strong online presence, you’re branching into a new industry, or adding a new product line, attaining the authority and presence you need to drive organic traffic online takes time – it’s a slow burn.
That’s why we recommend digital advertising, such as paid search. It’s a fast burn!
What is Paid Search?
Paid search is what happens when you pay to appear in a Google (or other search engine) results.
Let’s say you recently bought a home and you’re planning to do some much needed renovations… or maybe you’ve been dreaming of renovating your current home and you want to get started.
You might first go to Google and search “home renovations near me”
The ad you see above is what happens when you choose to utilize paid search. Organically, P.L. Lyons may not always appear as the first result on page 1 of this search because their competitors are vying for this coveted position too. But P.L. Lyons can still be the go-to for these online search-ers.
Studies have shown that 75% of people will not see an organic listing if it’s not on the first page! That’s why it’s a goal for these homebuilders. Thanks to a well-placed paid search ad, PL Lyons is easily the first option you see on the page because they’ve paid for that virtual “real estate.”
By paying to appear for specific key words like “home renovation” and “Louisville,” PL Lyons is ensuring that they are the first option that you will see. This is paid search!
Why Paid Search?
Paid search is a part of the fast burn, or what I like to call “spike marketing.”
After having surgery, your doctor might recommend two different types of pain medication – a base, long-term pain killer that you might take every 24 hours and a “spike” pain killer that you can take more frequently to help supplement the medication you’re already on. If you’ve had surgery and been in significant pain, then you know that spike medication can be a real lifesaver. Trust me – you don’t want to rely on that base medication in critical times.
That’s how I like to explain organic traffic versus the traffic you gain from a paid search advertising campaign.
Your base marketing is your organic presence. You should always be working to improve your organic reach over time. This is done through a strong website, blogging, search engine optimization, and a strong social media presence.
Then, your spike marketing is what you pay for! You don’t have to wait for the marketing to kick in over time. You can pay for it to work right now and deliver the results you need in the short term.
You still need the base marketing (it’s the cheapest and best way to grow your brand awareness), but the spike marketing helps supplement your base marketing until your base marketing is strong enough to hold its own.
Even then, you might choose to continue with your spike marketing to prevent other companies from paying to appear above your organic listing!
When to Use Paid Search
Consider paid search as an investment. The first thing you try might not knock it out of the park, but, over time, you’ll see faster, better results than if you stuck to a base marketing or organic approach alone.
There are a lot of different variables at play, but the goal is to continually improve your campaign for the best results possible. Paid search can be expensive, depending on the keywords you seek to use, but if you know what you’re doing, you can find keywords that are inexpensive and provide a value without breaking the bank.
If you have a larger budget or maybe even no budget in mind, paid search is a consistent approach for driving traffic – whether you have a strong organic reach or not!
We’ll often recommend a few other channels for your ads (like Facebook or display), but Google Ads (Google’s paid search option) is a great place to start.
For B2B (Business to Business) Marketing
Here’s what we would recommend right now for our B2B clients. Attack paid search. Stop looking for clicks or impressions and starting looking at the cost per lead. This is much more predictable with paid search. Google search is a place where people are showing an intent to find what you’re offering and we can generate more profitable leads through this type of campaign!
For B2C (Business to Customer) Marketing
For our B2C clients, we see a stronger deliverable through Facebook and Instagram advertising (which work together) or Google Shopping, though, if your budget allows, we would still recommend paid search. These campaigns can be very targeted and testing allows us to get better results, more consistently. We always want to see a profit on this and that’s what testing helps to accomplish.
What Paid Search Means for You
If you have to choose just one approach, we will always recommend organic marketing because it’s free and it will do the job over time. It’s a slow burn, but it burns none the less.
That said, to anyone asking what we recommend and what is the best approach for your business, paid search can mean the difference between being seen by your target audience and never showing up in the first place. It could certainly be the solution to your goal for revenue growth this year.
If you want to increase your brand awareness, gain more qualified leads, capture your target audience, and/or increase sales – and you need to do it quickly – paid search is what you need. It’s a fast burn!
The thing is, when someone is searching in their browser, they’re showing intent. They need information and you have the answer. The question is, will you show up, or simply ignore their request?
To learn even more about this type of marketing, make sure you’ve watched Squad Talks Episode 2 | The Fast Burn: Google Ads. On this episode, digital marketing strategist Brayden Ware and The Marketing Squad CEO Bryce talk paid search, display ads, and more!
If you need help with your base or spike marketing, our team of marketing experts are here to help as your outsourced team. Let us know what you need!