Using search, to draw more traffic to your site is one of the smartest things any business can do. However within search there are two broad strategies than while using similar buyer behaviors are completely different.

The first Pay Per Click Marketing and is used successfully by many companies looking to quickly build traffic to their site and hopefully deliver new customers.

The second approach is equally powerful but different. Content Marketing Strategy uses information like blogs, eBooks, and Whitepapers to draw in buyers who are searching for answers the problems or challenges they face.

Again both approaches work in the right situation, but which one is right for your company? In a word, depends.

How to Choose if Pay Per Click Marketing or a Content Marketing Strategy is right for your company

Like any strategic choice the process has to start with a clear understanding of what is the problem you are trying to solve.

1 I need traffic for my site immediately

Pay Per Click Marketing has the advantage of being a fast to implement and fast to see if your campaign will yield results. Getting a campaign up and live can happen in a matter of hours from keyword research to live ads. This is very attractive if you need to move the needle quickly. The challenge is with this speed comes cost and the need to monitor closely to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.

Winner: Pay Per Click Marketing


2 My site is a consumer ecommerce site

Ecommerce sites not only need traffic to their website, but they need traffic from people with immediate purchase intent. Pay Per Click Marketing is a perfect fit for this situation. Buyers clicking on a PPC ad typically have a strong intent to purchase. You just need to be in front of them at the moment of their interest. Since the cost per click can be tracked, you can measure the ROI almost immediately.

Winner: Pay Per Click Marketing


3 I sell my product through an internal sales team

Products or services sold through sales teams typically involve a longer research and decision process by the buyer before they’re ready to purchase. This is the perfect scenario for using Content Marketing to help nurture the buyer. Due to this strategy’s strengths in allowing the buyer to discover how your company is positioned to provide the best solution, it’s perfect leading up to their engagement with your sales team.

Winner: Content Marketing Strategy


4 My business depends on understanding the customer and finding the right solution for their needs

Many businesses use a “Solution Selling” approach to help their buyer by providing value and understanding the problem the prospect is looking to solve. Using a Content Marketing Strategy ties directly to this solutions first approach and can be best integrated with the sales team’s solution approach.

Winner: Content Marketing Strategy


Choosing the right search marketing approach for your business depend on your buyer, their needs and timelines. If your buyer has a short, fast to the purchase decision process then Pay Per Click Marketing could be right for you.

If your buyer’s decision process is longer and more detailed, then Content Marketing could be your best option as it can help nurture buyer from suspect, to prospect, to opportunity, to customer.