Legal Marketing Face-off: Content Marketing vs. PPC

If “content is king,” then PPC would be queen. Although both are different in their own right, they are equally as powerful, so it’s important to consider both approaches when trying to grow your practice’s online presence. For many law firms, there is often a struggle between which strategy – content marketing or PPC – is best to use, so we’re going to break it down to help you decide.

First, we need to understand the difference between the two. Content marketing encompasses all of the internal efforts you may do to attract visitors to your website. This includes blogging, videos, social media, ebooks and anything you publish to keep your clients informed and engaged. Visitors who find your site through these methods are considered “organic traffic.”

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is using outside platforms, such as Google Adwords, to drive traffic to your site through paid search ads. Say you set up a PPC campaign through Adwords and someone clicks on your ad, this visit would now be listed under the “paid traffic” category.

Now that we have the simple definitions, let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of content marketing vs. PPC:

Content Marketing Pros:

  1. Builds Relationships – The goal of content marketing is to inform and engage with your audience. For example, a new client may seek out your services after they’ve read one of your latest blog posts on workers’ compensation.
  2. Long Term Success – The more content you publish on a regular basis, the longer you will see the positive results.
  3. Low Cost – This approach is practically free, if you don’t count the time you have to put into creating unique and original content.

Content Marketing Cons:

  1. Slow Process – As mentioned above, not only does it take time to create relevant content, it also takes time to start seeing the results.
  2. Competitive – There’s a lot of information out there, with many people publishing similar articles, advice and content.

PPC Pros:

  1. Measurable – Compared to content marketing tactics, PPC results are much easier to track. Google Adwords offers an abundance of metrics that will tell you how your paid campaigns are performing.
  2. Quick Results – The results are almost immediate, if you’re targeting the right people.
  3. Target Audience – It’s very easy to set up PPC campaigns that are tailored to your specific practice areas and demographics of your target audience.

PPC Cons

  1. Cost – It takes money to create the right advertising to generate the right results.
  2. Trial and Error – There’s no good way to skew the results in your favor unless there is some trial and error involved in your campaigns.
  3. Learning Curve – PPC campaigns have a bit of a learning curve, as setting up and optimizing them correctly can be challenging for first time users.

Which area should your law firm focus its efforts on? The answer isn’t so cut and dry. We suggest a combination of both to really see results. It’s important to always stay on top of your content marketing by regularly posting relevant content to help your long term SEO results. On the reverse side, the immediate results PPC campaigns generate are worth revisiting from time to time, especially to attract visitors to a new site launch or service. Plus, if your paid campaign drives visitors to your site, why not delight them with helpful content to keep them on your site even longer?

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