3 Reasons Why Google AdWords Beats ‘Traditional’ Advertising

Mobile device displaying Google Adwords
Photo by Edho Pratama on Usplash.

When a business finds that its advertising is being welcomed instead of ignored, it is an opportunity worth investigating and taking seriously. One of the key benefits of advertising with Google AdWords is that instead of buying an ad and hoping to get noticed, the money is spent on reaching out to consumers that have already expressed an interest in your product or service. Okay, while that is not a guaranteed sale (people click for the strangest reasons at times), it is a pretty good place to start selling. A prospect who is interested (warm) is better than a cold call.

The “Big 3,” Google, Bing, and Facebook, all sell advertising programs that are fact-based instead of speculative, meaning they have gathered data that indicates if users have interest in something based on their past Internet activity. Previously, it took a lot of market research to determine the best places for companies to advertise to reach a targeted market. With a Google AdWords campaign, it is a matter of setting it up, reading the reports, and then making the necessary adjustments.

Interested Consumers vs. A Hit or Miss Audience

With traditional advertising, there has always been a work-around solution to overcome people not wanting to watch or read advertising, and it is about as subtle as having a bucket of water poured over you. Deluge them with the content, and then hope it reaches enough folks who are interested. That is why the same TV commercials keep popping up again and again and again. At best, this methodology is akin to gambling; that is, thinking that if you spend enough money trying to market to the demographic you have profiled as buyers, they will buy.

Conversely, with a Google AdWords campaign, instead of hoping to be noticed, prospective customers are trying to find you. So, instead of your advertising being viewed as a disturbance or an interruption, people are interested and want to know more. And that is the biggest difference-maker when comparing AdWords to traditional advertising. It is interest-driven instead of speculative placement.

There’s an axiom that states while folks love to talk and shop, they also, and likely even more so, hate being sold stuff. This is especially true when they are not interested in your product or service.

Interest is the wild-card variable; it is difficult to measure, gauge, or predict. It is the one component that traditional forms of advertising, such as TV, hard-copy magazines, newspapers, and other forms of online advertising, such as buying space on a website directly, have never been able to address. It is the elephant in the living room; it has been the flaw or the missing link from day one in the advertising process.

Thinking big is vital, but spending large will crush you unless there is an adequate return on that investment to substantiate it.

Instant Feedback vs. Wait-and-See

With a traditional advertising campaign, it is difficult to calculate effectiveness; it is a wait-and-see proposition, especially with offline options. Now, there are various forms of analytical software that can measure the effects of other forms of online advertising, but nonetheless, it is costing you money regardless if it is working. There are no do-overs. So, if an ad is not working, it is costing you money regardless of its results.

Measurable Results with Google AdWords

There is a lot more control with Google AdWords, as there are various reports that glean information instantly on the performance of an advertising campaign. Google provides an overall quality score of an ad. This report provides a 1-to-10 rating system, gauging the results generated from your ad’s keywords, ad copy, and landing page. There is no waiting period. If the score is low, adjustments can be made on-the-fly.

Another report available is the click-through-rate report, which indicates how many people clicked on an ad and saw it. Google also provides a cost per conversion report that states how much was spent to get a consumer to take the desired course of action in an ad for a search campaign. The conversion rate report shows how many people clicked on the ad and took the desired action. Combined with the cost per conversion report, this can be used to determine if the campaign was effective.

It all begins with keywords, relevant content, and landing pages, and then interpreting that information and making the necessary adjustments to keep your commercials relevant so that people interested in your products or services will find you.

5 Tips for Writing Better Cyber Security White Papers

Cyber security white papers - person reading text on a Kindle

Quality Cyber Security White Papers Generate Quality Leads

White papers have become a popular marketing tool for cyber security firms, software developers, and other businesses in the IT sector. A well-written white paper can help your company establish thought leadership, bolster off-page SEO, and generate quality leads, but a poorly written, unprofessional paper could damage your reputation and turn off potential customers. What distinguishes poor cyber security white papers from winning ones? Keep these five tips in mind.

1. Pick a Topic that Addresses Your Customers’ Pain Points

Sales is all about identifying your customer’s pain points and illustrating how your product or service can relieve that pain. This is especially true in the information security sector, which is all about keeping businesses from getting hacked and keeping them in compliance with industry and regulatory standards. The first step to generating a good white paper is to ask yourself who your customer base is and which specific security issues they are struggling with. Are they overwhelmed by compliance costs? Are they scrambling to defend against ransomware attacks? Is IoT security about to become a huge problem for them?

2. Don’t Confuse White Papers With Sales Sheets and Marketing Collateral

While the bottom-line purpose of a white paper is to generate leads, white papers are not sales sheets or product brochures. Cyber security white papers that do nothing but talk about the issuing company’s product or service and how great it is are advertisements, not white papers, and they do not get read. The bulk of your white paper should be devoted to addressing your readers’ problem and exploring potential solutions, not repeatedly plugging your product or service.

3. Grab Your Audience’s Attention with a Strong Title and Introduction

The most important part of a white paper is the title; the second most important is the introduction. Remember that the target audience for cyber security white papers, IT decision-makers, are very busy people who are already drowning in reading material. Your paper has only a few seconds to pique their interest and make them want to continue reading.

4. Make Sure Your White Paper is Authoritative, Substantial, and Professional

White papers cannot be slapped together overnight and on the cheap. A quality white paper could take several weeks to research, write, edit, proofread, and format. The content must be original, substantial, and reference other authoritative sources, preferably peer-reviewed research studies or industry reports. The written content must do more than regurgitate what the references already said; it must provide further insight into the issue. Preferably, the paper should include charts and graphs that enhance the text by reinforcing the most important facts and figures. Finally, the English must be flawless, with no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

5. Segue into How Your Product or Service Can Help at the End

At the end of your white paper, and only at the end, you can finally get down to business and promote your product or service. If it was written properly, your paper has already hit your readers’ pain points and made them realize they need help solving their IT security or compliance issues. Now is the time to explain why your product or service can relieve their pain. Discuss the features and benefits, tying them back to the issues discussed in the paper. Make sure your company’s complete contact information – phone, email, web, and street address – is included on the final page.

White papers are popular because they work. Customers are tuning out online ads because no one likes reading sales materials. Everyone, especially in a sector as dynamic as cyber security, likes to read informative materials that will keep them apprised of current events that are relevant to their business. The time and monetary investment put into a quality white paper should come back to you several times over.

The cyber security marketing and content experts at Wild Owl Digital have deep experience working with information security and IT compliance firms to bolster SEO, build thought leadership, and drive qualified leads. Contact us today to inquire about our cyber security white papers writing services.