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How combining PPC with email marketing can help you maximise your leads




For many firms, getting as many good leads as possible is the primary goal of their marketing strategy. But turning these into customers requires a very smart strategy using multiple tools.

Every firm has different priorities when it comes to marketing. For some, the key is to build up awareness gradually, so that a wide potential base of customers can be built up over time.

By contrast, other firms will consider it imperative to generate as many leads as possible as fast as they can. This means taking steps that will enable them to bring in new leads swiftly and potentially have paying customers within a short time of setting up shop.

What tools are available?

Because aims will differ, so will the best digital marketing tools to use. The key is to select the correct ones from a wide range. Among them are:

Of course, marketing decisions may be determined by a range of factors, from business strategy and the level of financial back-up available through to the nature of the business itself.

However, if yours is a firm that falls into the category of seeking to bring in leads quickly, it is clear that the marketing strategy should, in order to be successful, employ the most effective methods possible to achieve this.

Digital marketing provides several of these and the best strategy will never rely just on one of them, but a combination designed to help the customer through the whole of the buyer journey. PPC and Email marketing can offer a particularly effective multi-level marketing strategy.

What does the buyer journey involve?

Any marketing mix you choose should seek to cover different parts of the buyer journey, which has several stages. The first three are the commonly acknowledged parts:

  • Awareness – the point where someone becomes aware of your firm and what it can offer
  • Consideration – the period of time in which they are considering whether or not to make a purchase
  • Decision – the point at which they are going to make their minds up, either to go ahead or walk away.

A fourth stage may be added, which is ‘delight’. This is a post-purchase stage in which you can help turn a one-off customer into a loyal and regular customer by providing excellent customer service and incentives to reward their loyalty.

By understanding these different stages, you can appreciate the effectiveness of a combination of PPC and email marketing.

How does PPC get the ball rolling?

PPC is a popular tool when a firm is not yet well established online. Since organic content marketing is focused mainly on awareness and even the best SEO takes several months to get content to the first page of search engine rankings, it is not ideal if you want to get the customers visiting your website very soon.

By contrast, PPC, by bidding for advertising space on the search engine rankings pages (or on social media pages) can get you there faster. Your ad still needs to be optimised, especially with the relevant search terms, but it offers not only a swift route to the attention of those using search, but also a means of gaining leads whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Of course, it comes with a cost for each click, but you can set a budget to ensure you don’t end up spending too much. In the meantime, each of those clicks has the potential to be a future customer.

Before you get started, it is worth noting there are several options for the best PPC avenue:

  • You can choose from search engine rankings pages and / or social media
  • Several different search engines offer PPC (Google, Bing and others)
  • There are also various social media platforms you can pick from, which can be ideal when targeting the right audience for your products and services

How does Email marketing take your leads forward?

PPC can help get people to the awareness stage and into the consideration stage, but on its own many will not take matters further. This is where Email marketing can synergise with PPC to help turn warm leads into hot ones, and hot ones into customers.

The key is in the design of your PPC ads; by encouraging people to provide email details by signing up for more information about your products or something else of interest like a free newsletter, you can capture their email details and, potentially, some more details as well.

All this opens up the opportunity for you to send a range of tailored emails to your leads. Each of these can be designed according to what the lead is interested in and where they ae in the buyer journey:

  • The email can focus on the products or services they have expressed an interest in
  • You can have emails designed for the consideration stage to seek to push them towards a decision
  • Further emails can be aimed at those who are at the decision stage to nudge them over the line
  • When someone has become a customer, further emails can provide them with opportunities for interaction and special offers to make repeat purchases

Another reason all these emails can help back up your PPC efforts is the ‘rule of seven’. This is commonly known to marketers and is an understanding that the typical customer needs to encounter a marketing message seven times before making a buying decision. This is why a marketing campaign using multiple tools that offers several opportunities to contact people is more likely to bear fruit.

What tools can help an email marketing campaign?

At first, it can seem daunting to be faced with a plethora of leads, with large numbers of different people interested in various things and at various stages of the buyer journey. Having designed several different emails, how can you be sure you are sending them to the right people.

The good news is that there are several email marketing systems that let you split up people into different categories (known as groups or segments). These include Mailchimp, GetResponse and Optin Monster.

How can we help?

At BeUniqueness, we can help you find the right combination of marketing tools to suit your needs. A combination of PPC and email marketing is just one example among many of the solutions we can develop. In each and every case, we seek to tailor something that is ideally suited to your own unique situation.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes



Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”


“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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The Future of Content Success Is Social



The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book



7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.


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