marketing alternatives to pay per click advertising

If you know a thing or two about digital and online marketing, you have probably heard of “Pay-Per-Click Advertising.” To give you a summary, Pay-Per-Click is a fairly common method of online advertising; Using this marketing strategy, advertisers pay every time a user clicks their online ad. PPC advertising can take various forms such as:

  • Search Advertising to place ads in search results
  • Social Advertising to place ads on social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook
  • Re-marketing Ads to specifically convert users who have visited your pages before into leads.

There are a number of reasons why so many businesses take the PPC route—it allows easy ways to measure and track clicks, impressions and conversions, it only makes you pay for a click and lastly, it offers a simple and quick way to offer your services using digital and online advertising.

However, there are certain disadvantages to PPC advertising as well. For example:

  • Clicks and visits to your pages don’t always lead to sales
  • There is a chance that you could very well be wasting your money if you don’t monitor your strategy
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to organize and effective and targeted PPC campaign.

However, many people don’t look for alternatives to PPC just because it has some major disadvantages—sometimes, businesses want to branch out, try other strategies and establish different goals. Sometimes, PPC just doesn’t seem to work. Whatever your reason for taking a break from Pay-Per-Click Advertising, one thing is for sure; you have many other marketing options besides PPC advertising. To help you out, the pros at VitalStorm have prepared a list of these great and effective marketing alternatives to Pay-Per-Click advertising. Keep in mind that it is not always smart to be reliant on one strategy— multiple marketing strategies can often work well together.

1. Email Marketing

If you have a decent Pay-per-Click advertising campaign in place, you are most likely getting a good amount of traffic and prospective customers on your landing pages.  While this strategy is getting you clicks, it might not be getting you conversions. To fix this problem, consider using an email marketing strategy. While Pay-Per-Click advertising is a good way to create visitors to your website, email marketing is a low-cost way to further target them. You can send discounts, exclusive offers and essentially, build trust with prospective customers. The great thing about using email marketing is that it doesn’t have to be used in place of PPC—it can actually work very well with it. PPC Ads can drive more email sign-ups and, on the other hand, using email data can have a positive impact on PPC Ads as well. This is essentially “cross-channel marketing” and it’s an effective strategy.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is increasingly becoming popular due to the fact that it is a cost-effective way to get quality leads. With a concrete content marketing strategy, you will be able to leave a more lasting digital footprint and create a higher likelihood of your business page being found in search results. While PPC gives you an immediate net ROI and positions you right in front of users, it might lose its momentum. With content marketing, it’s the opposite—it will take time to see net ROI, but once you do, its momentum will increase. If you continue to push good content (keyword is “good”!) using SEO and content writing best practices, you will increase in ranking. That means you can get leads from “organic search”—essentially unpaid search results as opposed to PPC or paid search—which have higher traffic and more importantly, higher conversion rates.

Not only do you get a higher likelihood of good leads with content marketing, but you also get to present your business as an expert on relevant issues and services. You develop a relationship with users and customers based on trust and reliability.

3. Reputation Marketing

Reputation marketing is essentially promoting your business by monitoring and promoting a more positive image of your business. So, whether it may be Yelp reviews, social media comments or traditional media, you have to value what users and customers are saying about your services.  This is important because this information can help you improve your business and your reputation. Your company’s image and what it is associated with is vital to your performance. While PPC allows you to control your brand image and credibility, you don’t have to be limited to JUST PPC. “Reputation Marketing” sounds a little vague, so here are some actual strategies you can employ when it comes to your brand image and reputation:

  • Set up your Google My Business profile. Create a detailed profile providing a summary of your services, hours of operation and address. Setting up this profile can improve your search ranking and help you stand out.
  • Regularly check your reviews and ratings and see if you can push your best ones forward. Respond to any negative reviews respectfully. Being interactive, and proactive about improving, can build a level of trust with consumers.
  • Try to acquire good reviews by offering customers opportunities for providing feedback. You can do this through digital surveys, website feedback, in-store comment cards.
  • Place an emphasis on Local SEO by optimizing your website. Create content based on local community events or news stories. Include location pages or location-specific/regional keywords and information on your site.


4. YouTube Ads

Google search Ads are a great example of traditional pay-per-click advertising; however, it is definitely on the more expensive side. The cost-per-click for each keyword you target can be incredibly high—for instance, keywords related to legal services can cost you up to $100 or more per click. YouTube Ads on the other hand are far less expensive, as we note in one of our blog posts from December 2019. However, YouTube still offers a high traffic and impression rate—so if you’re tired of the more traditional Google PPC campaign, give YouTube ads a shot. While YouTube is less expensive, it takes a longer time to learn. These ads can also come in various formats such as in-stream ads, video ads, overlay ads etc. For more information on YouTube Ads, check out one of our guides!


As you look for digital marketing strategies to advertise your business, keep in mind that there is no singular route. It’s important you use various channels to market your brand in order to target different demographics with different needs. Whether you want to learn more about Pay-Per-Click advertising or marketing alternatives to it, you will find helpful answers on VitalStorm’s Marketing Tips page! If you want to learn more about the services our team offers, call us today at 1-877-311-5695.