Content-Driven Acquisition: Increasing Results & Conversions From Paid Ads

Content-Driven Acquisition: Increasing Results & Conversions From Paid Ads

Many brands reach a stage where they no longer wish to rely on paid ads and performance marketing alone. Transitioning to organic acquisition is an attractive prospect.

Content marketing is usually the route many take – from enterprise companies pivoting their brand strategy to Series A startups looking to control their growth narrative.

But while content can provide quick wins, time is required to reach those ambitious goals that get you excited. So what’s the best way to make the most out of a new content marketing initiative? Use it to fuel your paid media strategy.

In this article, we’ll outline the content-driven acquisition methodology we use to help companies get results like this:

  • Fintech company: Avg. ~5,000 leads generated each month using a content-driven paid media strategy (over a 6-month period)

  • MarTech company: Avg. 47% conversion rate from content

  • Consulting company: Avg. 42 marketing qualified leads (MQLs) a month

? Confidentiality Statement: We’ve included anonymized data throughout this article. Want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes? Get in touch.

What is Content-Driven Acquisition

Content-driven acquisition is the process of taking marketing channels like Facebook Ads and using value-driven content as the centerpiece of those campaigns.

It’s an approach that utilizes blog posts, lead magnets and other content assets to attract new users and expand your audience. While some may not be ready to buy from you now, you can educate and nurture them into customers over the long term.

It’s great for ecommerce, DTC and consumer tech brands looking to build an audience, as well as B2B and SaaS organisations with lengthy sales cycles that rely on lead generation.

Blending paid & organic acquisition channels

Using content to fuel your paid media efforts can help you:

  1. Diversify and expand your target audience/visibility
  2. Generate better long-term results (traffic, conversions and brand building)

If you’re looking to raise funding, it can also help you control your growth narrative. Do this by showing investors you’ve built an active and engaged community.

We’ve seen our partners use content to generate traffic at a lower CPC (and CPA). It also helps us to generate a burst of short-term traffic while invigorating long-term growth.

In other words, you can play the short- and long-term game with every content asset you produce.

Test on a small scale with a portion of your ad budget. Measure the results at all stages of the funnel (subscribers, leads, sign-ups and purchases). If the results are favorable, allocate a higher budget to scale.

This requires you to have a full understanding of your audience and customer journey:

  • Without proper targeting, you’ll end up wasting money on unqualified traffic
  • Without an understanding of the customer journey, you risk losing sight of the true, long-term ROI

For example, if you’re a DTC brand, you may find subscribers don’t necessarily convert immediately. But they may, on average, make their first purchase in 30 days.

Use long-term thinking as a way to accurately calculate and forecast ROI. The way you segment audiences into cohorts is up to you. Make sure your content efforts are getting the attribution they deserve.

Optimizing content for conversions

You may be creating epic content, but what happens during and after engagement? Are you optimizing your offers and calls-to-action to capitalize on this attention?

For example, readers of a how-to guide might simply want more information to help overcome a specific challenge. Therefore, creating a lead magnet that covers the topic in more depth is likely to drive action.

Conversely, you can include more commercially-driven offers if the topic is related to your product. For example, a coffee subscription brand writes a piece on the health benefits of coffee. They could include a call-to-action to sign up for a subscription at the end of the article.

Generating conversions from your content requires an understanding of the following:

  1. Context: Why are people reading your content? What are they motivated by? Help them take the next step in this journey by offering the right information or products.

  2. Experience: Don’t include calls-to-action that ruin the experience. For example, pop-ups that interrupt the reading experience can frustrate some readers.

People are more critical of content these days. Information is abundant, and if you get in their way, they’ll happily look elsewhere.

Using email marketing to educate & nurture

As you generate subscribers and leads, you’ll need to nurture them. This can be done through education, additional content and product offerings.

Your email marketing strategy will vary based on the nature and complexity of your product. Two of the most common formats are:

  1. Email newsletters: Regular digests containing content and product offers

  2. Nurture sequences: Automated emails sent over time that are designed to educate the audience on your brand and product

Many marketers use a blend of both. For example, SaaS companies often use email sequences for lead nurturing and product onboarding. I’ve also seen DTC brands use automated emails to introduce their brand before sending scheduled monthly newsletters.

Your emails must guide prospects and customers through the customer journey and give them the content they need, when they need it.

Conclusion

Content-driven acquisition caters to all stages of the customer journey. Each touch-point is designed to educate and empower your audience.

Fostering this approach can be as simple as using content to fuel your existing paid media efforts.

You won’t know until you speak to your customers. It’s the insight they give you that should fuel your content efforts. Listen, and then produce the content they need.

Many brands reach a stage where they no longer wish to rely on paid ads and performance marketing alone. Transitioning to organic acquisition is an attractive prospect.

Tom Whatley

Tom is Founder and Content Strategist at Grizzle.

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