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October 17, 2022 Last Updated

Paid Advertising vs. Content Marketing Comparison: Are Facebook Ads Worth It?

Did you know that 61% of consumers are influenced by custom content (Source: Dragon360)?

If that doesn’t pique your interest in content marketing then we don’t know what will!

According to Dragon Search Marketing research, 61 percent of consumers are influenced by custom content.

Oh, you’re not sure whether content marketing is right or if you should be investing in paid ads?

There’s a lot of talk these days about content marketing and paid ads. And we understand why.

Both can be great ways to reach new customers and grow your business. But which is better for you? Are Facebook Ads worth it?

In this quick guide, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each approach and help you decide what’s right for your business (hint: it always pays to invest in a great content marketing strategy).

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the strategy of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. Content marketers do this through different types of content such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • News articles
  • Books
  • Infographics

The goal of content marketing strategies?

To provide valuable and informative content for your audience. In doing so, they become more familiar with your brand and are more likely to purchase from you.

Content marketing is also helpful for search engine optimization and improving your brand’s overall online presence.

41% of marketers say content marketing has a significant ROI. When done correctly, content marketing can generate a staggering ROI.

Ultimately, content marketing helps businesses establish themselves as experts in their industry, improve customer relationships, drive website traffic and leads, and increase sales.

What is Facebook Advertising?

Facebook Ads are a type of paid advertisement that appears on Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network.

They are popular because you can target these ads to specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Likewise, you can customize Facebook Ads with images, videos, or calls to action to grab the attention of potential customers.

However, you’re paying for these interactions, usually per click.

Facebook Ads offer precise targeting and strong ROI, making them the top choice for social media investment in 2021.

You set a budget and pay per interaction that you set, whether that’s per click, per like, or even per landing page view. The platform does provide you with tracking tools and in-depth analytics that help you gauge reach, engagement, and conversions.

Facebook was ranked #1 in social media investment, quality leads, and return on investment in a HubSpot Blog survey conducted in 2021. In Q3 2021, Facebook ads were used by 70 percent of marketers, and 10 million advertisers were active on the platform (Source: Social Media Examiner Statista).

Facebook Ads offer powerful targeting capabilities, allowing you to reach specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This level of customization, combined with robust tracking tools and analytics, has made Facebook the top choice for social media investment, quality leads, and ROI in 2021 (Source: HubSpot Blog survey and Social Media Examiner).

What is the Difference Between Contenting Marketing and Paid Advertising?

AspectContent MarketingPaid Advertising
DefinitionStrategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent contentPaid advertisements to promote a brand through channels like TV commercials or sponsored social media posts
FocusProviding value and building trust with consumers over timeInstant visibility and promotion of a brand
CostRequires consistent effort over a longer periodImmediate visibility but at a higher cost
ResultsTakes time to generate results and build an engaged audienceProvides instant visibility and reach, but may not build long-term loyalty
ROICan generate a significant ROI when done correctlyCan provide a healthy ROI if executed effectively
SustainabilityMore sustainable and long-term solutionCan be expensive and unsustainable in the long run
Audience EngagementAttracts a steady stream of visitors who engage with the brandTargets new audiences and aims for conversions
Search Engine RankingsImproves search engine rankings and drives organic trafficDoes not directly impact search engine rankings
Brand BuildingEstablishes the brand as an expert and builds credibilityProvides immediate brand visibility but may not build long-term brand reputation
Cost-effectivenessCost-effective in the long run and provides a valuable assetCan be costly and requires ongoing investment
Customer LoyaltyBuilds customer loyalty over timeDoes not necessarily build long-term customer loyalty
RecommendationRecommended for a reliable, long-term marketing strategyCan be effective for quick traffic and specific sales, but should be used in conjunction with content marketing efforts

While both forms of marketing involve promoting a product or service, there are key differences between content marketing and paid advertising.

Namely, a good content marketer will focus on creating valuable and informative content that is actually useful to the consumer.

Paid advertising doesn’t focus on value as much as content marketing. Instead, paid ads directly promote a brand through paid channels like television commercials or sponsored social media posts.

Content marketing and paid advertising have distinct approaches and trade-offs. Content marketing aims to provide value and build trust with consumers over time, while paid advertising provides instant visibility but at a higher cost.

Additionally, content marketing often takes more time to generate results as it relies on building trust and credibility with the consumer, whereas paid advertising can guarantee immediate visibility for a brand.

Is this immediate traffic worth it? Is it even sustainable?

Sure, it’s helpful if you’re trying to quickly build traffic along with your content marketing effort. It can also be helpful for one small, specific sale, for example.

Overall, however, different tactics require different investments of time and money; for example, content marketing may require consistent effort over a longer period to build up an engaged audience, while paid ads provide instant visibility but at a massive cost.

Starting Out And Choosing Paid Traffic Is A High Risk Strategy

While it can be tempting to get a lot of traffic quickly, especially if you’re a brand-new business, paid ads can be expensive and unsustainable. For example, to see success with paid ads, you need to invest a substantial amount of money.

With an initial budget of about $500, you could see at least a third of that go to waste simply because you’re testing out ad audiences and ad copy.

Likewise, you’re always fighting against Facebook’s frequent algorithm changes. How do you know whether one ad campaign will perform just as well as the other you ran last month? Who knows; Facebook changes its algorithm so often that it’s anybody’s guess.

Besides, it may be difficult for a company to generate enough sales if it relies heavily on paid ads. Consumer loyalty cannot be earned through paid advertisements.

You also have to fight against ad blockers as more and more users tire of being bombarded with paid ads. Don’t believe us? 74% of people are tired of social ads with 44% of those polled saying the ads they see are irrelevant and uninteresting (Source: SurveyMonkey).

Facebook advertising is a high-risk investment if you don’t know what you’re doing.

30k/mo Ad Budget Needed for Facebook, YouTube and TikTok

Do you have $20,000 to $30,000 per month you could ‘technically’ set on fire?

If not, you probably shouldn’t be paying for traffic.

There are some exceptions – if you have a very robust system of identifying winning ads, funnels and offers and you’re in the right niches.

However; for the majority of businesses – it takes a long time and a lot of money to get right.

If you’re going to pay for traffic then you shouldn’t be in a position where you NEED it to turn a profit right away.

It takes a lot of time/money to test ads, offers, landing and sales pages etc. to find winners.

It also takes a good deal of cash (about $1k/day) to let the algorithms optimize, you know, Facebook, YouTube etc.

These platforms are designed for BIG businesses and BIG brands – not the little guy, who we’re fighting for.

Once you’ve built up a foundation of free organic traffic that’s driving sales; you have a baseline where you can invest your profits in other traffic channels – THAT is when paid ads can help you reach the next level.

Before that though – focus on free organic traffic.

Content Marketing Is More Sustainable

If you’re looking to create a more engaged, loyal audience then we suggest investing in content marketing.

Sure, it takes slightly more time to see results, but those results last long and provide you with a more long-term, cost-effective solution. How so?

According to a HubSpot study, more than half of marketers surveyed (53%) say content marketing increased their company’s revenue.

By creating content that is valuable and relevant to your audience, you attract a steady stream of visitors who actually want to engage with your brand. These loyal followers are much more likely to become repeat customers and recommend your products or services to others.

In addition, content marketing improves your search engine rankings, leading to organic traffic even when you’re not actively promoting yourself on social media. And because content exists indefinitely, it continues to drive traffic and conversions for years after its initial creation.

Over 96 percent of top content marketers claim to have built credibility and trust with their audience.

So if you’re looking for a reliable form of marketing that will stand the test of time, content marketing is the way to go.

Get Help With Your Content Marketing Strategy

So, you’re building out a marketing strategy. Should you invest more in content marketing or paid ads such as Facebook Ads?

Honestly, if you start out investing in Facebook Ads then you’re gonna find yourself left behind and broke eventually. Choose content marketing instead. It’s sustainable, cost-effective, and ensures you’re building a brand the right way.

While content marketing is a powerful strategy for brands, it can also be challenging and time-consuming. Because of this, many companies decide to outsource their content marketing to a professional.

Don’t know where to start? Get in touch with our team and expert advice on the right strategy for your brand!



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