How to Drive Measurable ROI Wins with Content Promotion

In part one, I laid out a brief strategy and justification for delving into paid promotions for your content marketing plans.

A few years ago, you could cost effectively rely on key influencers to help your content get some attention online. Today, it has become more cost effective to use paid promotion. Below I cover various platforms for you to consider using in order to get your content the visibility you were hoping for when you created it.

Platforms for Promotion

As ad networks have become more sophisticated, audience targeting has improved dramatically. The ability to granularly target your exact audience is critical to ensure your content’s promotional budget is not spent targeting the wrong people. The key is knowing your audience, understanding their behavior, and promoting your content where they are, not where you hope they will be.

Though we will explore Google remarketing, Google display, and Facebook in more detail as they tend to work well for the majority of advertisers, some of the most popular networks for promoting content are:


Social Networks

Native Advertising

Google Remarketing

The conversion rate for most sites typically falls somewhere between one percent and 10 percent, meaning that a whopping 90-99 percent of your website visitors don’t convert.

Some of your site visitors intentionally chose not to convert, but most likely just weren’t far enough down the buying process to pull the trigger. This audience is your “lowest hanging fruit” as they have already expressed interest and are already familiar with your brand.

Remarketing is a display network targeting option that allows you to re-engage users who have previously visited your site. Instead of worrying about finding new visitors, focus on those who have already shown interest in your brand. It’s cheaper and you’ll find that they are your best prospects.

Google’s display network is the world’s largest and reaches 94 percent of US internet users. Google display ads are available on 65 percent of comScore’s top 200 websites, giving you the ability to show your ads alongside the web’s best content.

Who it’s right for

Most B2B and B2C content marketers

Targeting Options

Setting up a remarketing campaign in Adwords is simple and just requires a small snippet of javascript code on your website. Targeting strategies can be as simple as “All Visitors” or as complex as you’d like. It’s generally best to target audiences of no less than a few thousand users for data collection purposes.

Your remarketing campaign’s targeting can be aligned to a fine detail using the on-site browsing habits of the audience your content is designed to help.


While CPC can vary quite a bit, $.50 is a fair estimate for most advertisers. Remarketing is almost always a very cost-effective lead generator due to its granular targeting options and pre-qualified audience.

Quick Tip

You can also target remarketing ads to users that have already converted into a lead. These users are your highest value prospects, and re-engaging them through a channel other than email may help push them to become a customer. Consider these additional targeting options:

Targeting visitors who did convert AND

  • Placed an order of more than $100
  • Completed the Free Trial but not yet the paid subscription
  • Converted more than 30 days ago
  • Bought a television but not surround sound

Content designed to help convert prospects into customers or turn first-time buyers into lifelong customers can add tremendous revenue to your business and efficiency to your sales cycle. By allowing content to tell a story and educate consumers, your sales team can spend more time closing sales and less time with unqualified leads.

Google Display

Who it’s right for

Most B2B and B2C content marketers

Targeting Options

Google’s display network provides a great opportunity to get your content in front of a targeted audience that isn’t searching Google for information related to your business but is reading about it elsewhere on the web.

Ads can be targeted on the Google display network by any combination of the following targeting options, which can be found under the ‘Display Network’ tab in Adwords:

  • Keywords – target websites across Google’s publisher network based on keywords and content found on their site
  • Placements – explicitly target sites, subdomains, or even exact URLs that are extremely relevant to your audience
  • Topics – target many sites across the web that contain similar topics and themes
  • Gender – target users by gender
  • Age – target users by age
  • Parental Status – target users who have kids or do not have kids


CPC can vary dramatically depending on your industry and competitive landscape. Expect CPCs between $.25 and $3.00, though it is not uncommon to reach outside of that range. The Google display network provides a great opportunity to expand your reach and capture prospects that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be searching for your product/service, though they may be interested.

If budget is limited, starting with Remarketing is a good idea, though there is substantially more opportunity on the greater display network.

Quick Tip

Be very mindful of mobile performance, especially on the display network. If budget is limited and your site does not convert mobile traffic particularly well, opting to target only users searching on computers is a best bet.


Who it’s Right For

Just about all B2B and B2C content marketers. Facebook performs especially well for those whose audience is highly targeted by demographic.

Targeting Options

Most marketers know that you can target by Facebook’s basic targeting option, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Relationship status

But, you might not have known it’s possible to target audiences on Facebook based on:

  • Remarketing
  • An email list
  • Household income
  • Job title
  • Charitable donations (and to what causes)
  • Whether they are a recent homebuyer
  • The car they drive and when they purchased it
  • If they hold travel credit cards or high-end department store credit cards

This doesn’t even begin to crack the surface of the advanced targeting options available on Facebook but should provide some insight into what is possible with advanced behavioral targeting.

Quick Tip

On Facebook, a high click-through-rate is vital to keep traffic volume high and cost-per-click low. Because of “ad fatigue,” or a gradually reducing click-through-rate caused by the same users seeing the same ad over-and-over, updating ad copy regularly is critical.

As a general rule of thumb, anytime ad frequency gets near or above 5 in a given 7 day period it’s likely time to update your ad copy.

Ideally, frequency is in the 1-2 range, to keep ads fresh and users from getting “ad blindness.”


With well-crafted targeting and copy, a cost-per-click below $.10 is very attainable. Considering that content creation may have cost you thousands, $.10 to reach your audience is a great investment.

By leveraging content promotion, you don’t have to get stuck alongside your competition following the “if you build it, they will come” mantra. Five years ago, yes, your audience likely would have come. In today’s competitive landscape, it takes a little something extra to be heard among the noise.

With great content comes great opportunity. With great content and content promotion comes great content marketing.

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