“Anyone can start a business. Sustaining that business is the hard part.”
A friend of mine said this to me during a recent chat. And I couldn’t agree more.
If you don’t want your business to flame (or peter) out after an initial period of growth, you need to work at sustaining that business from the get-go.
One of the best ways to do that is to provide value to your target market by sharing your knowledge with no (or few) strings attached. It’s a way to build a community and relationships that will keep you and your business going for the long haul.
Here’s a recent example: Lately, I’ve been sharing a lot of information about Google Ads broad match in Google advertising. I’ve written articles about broad match, spoken about it at conferences, and talked about it on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Many marketers view broad match as an evil money grab by Google. That might have been true a few years back, but no longer. I’m trying to get the word out that broad match has changed—because I believe a lot of advertisers that aren’t using it could benefit from it.
My goal in sharing my knowledge on this topic isn’t to find new leads (although I’m not opposed to the idea). My objective is to contribute to the conversation, make some new connections, and hopefully learn something new myself.
And here’s what happened: a large overseas holding company (with 20-30 well-known brands in its portfolio) found my content and reached out to me.
The marketing teams for these brands had questions about broad match. They were feeling pressured to adopt broad match by their Google reps and were rightfully wary. They didn’t know whether they could trust what their Google reps were telling them. And even if they did, they weren’t sure how to incorporate broad match into their programs.
The company was in the middle of planning their annual conference and had identified broad match as a hot topic. When they searched for someone to speak about it, they found my content—which led them to reach out to me.
The next thing I knew, I was invited to speak at their conference. It’s an opportunity that I relish to share what I’ve learned and build new connections that may eventually (you never know!) lead to new clients.
Now, you may wonder, what does this have to do with Google advertising?
The situation I describe above happened organically. But it could have also happened with the assistance of some Google advertising.
In fact, I may decide to build on this momentum with a Google Ads campaign myself.
I could use advertising to point people to the content I have about broad match on my website. I could also repurpose this content into videos and webinars and share those with people via advertising.
It’s a way to broaden the reach of this content beyond what I could achieve through non-paid marketing activities.
You could adopt the same strategy for your own content, but first, you need to figure out the kind of content your audience hungers for. What challenges are they facing? What questions do they have?
Then, you need to consider whether you have existing content that answers these questions or whether you need to create new content.
If you’ve been consistent in creating content for your business from the beginning—such as in your blog, newsletter, or social media—there’s a good chance that you already have content you can update and expand on.
Once you’ve identified and created content that’s of value to your target market, you can use your current Google Ads program to distribute it.
I suggest testing the following four strategies:
You could advertise on Google via ads and sitelinks to send people to videos, on-demand webinars, articles, white papers, case studies, and other pieces of content where you share your knowledge.
To increase your click-through rate, stay away from typical “read our case study about ABC” messaging. Instead, pose a question your audience wants the answer to. For example, I could write something like: “Not sure why you should implement broad match?” for my ad.
Once you send someone to your site to consume your content, try to keep the relationship going. Add a sticky button to your site that makes it easy for that person to subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social, or contact you for further information.
In terms of keyword bidding, “what is…” phrases are often a successful way to capture traffic and even sometimes form fills, such as “What is broad match.”
Another way to keep the conversation going is to retarget visitors who have already visited your site or YouTube channel to consume your content. With retargeting, you can engage them further by providing even MORE valuable information.
The great thing about remarketing is that you can get mega-targeted in your approach. Using my previous example again, I could use three layers of targeting to really hone in on my ideal audience:
- Previous visitors (retargeting)
- Blog readers (audience)
- “Broad match” (keyword)
Most people think of display ads when it comes to retargeting, but text ads on Google can be just as effective. Don’t be afraid to try both!
Video advertising is another great way to share your content with a broader audience. You could shoot a video where you answer questions about a hot topic yourself. Or, invite existing customers to speak about how they (with your help) addressed those same questions.
Remember, not everyone likes to consume content in the same way. Video advertising is a great way to expand your reach—and it can also be very affordable.
As hinted at above, display advertising is another great way to get in front of new audiences that may not have heard of you before. Display ads also give you many targeting options, so you can be very precise in your target audiences.
These are just a few ideas for how you can use Google Ads to share your content and gain new connections. Think creatively about the assets you could use and the places you could target. The possibilities are endless.
If you want to build a sustainable business, you need to plan for the future from the very beginning. And sharing your helpful content is a great way to do it.
And yes, you can (and should) do this organically on your blog and newsletter. You can also share via conferences, webinars, and podcasts.
But if you really want to take things up a notch, and future-proof your business, you should also put the power of your Google Ads program behind it.