Content Marketing vs Paid Ads – Which Strategy Is Right for You?

We’ve all heard the adage that “content is king,” but when it comes to your content marketing strategy, do you know how much effort to put into content before going full force with paid ads?

Whether you’re a start-up or an existing business looking for ways to drive more traffic and sales, this question has probably crossed your mind.

How much energy and time should I spend on creating content?

With so many different strategies available and no one-size-fits-all solution, figuring out which approach will help you get the most bang for your time and money can be overwhelming.

In this blog post, we’ll explore both content marketing and paid advertising so that you can make an informed decision on which option works best for your business.

But first, let’s get the fundamentals out of the way.

Why is Content Marketing important?

One of the objectives of content marketing is to generate enough traffic and sales for your business that you don’t have to chase businesses and tolerate toxic individuals.

Sales and revenue growth are the goals of investing in marketing, and there are two common ways to generate Traffic.

  1. Create Content and distribute it on social media within your network under the free post section to get traction.
  2. Buy media space on digital platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bings, etc., to broaden your reach and targeting.

And each strategy has a double-edged impact. Paid media cost money with no guarantee of return, and content creation takes time to develop, edit, and publish.

So, which one is right for you?

Let’s find out the Pros and Cons of each strategy.


Content Marketing is the art of developing engaging marketing assets that capture people’s attention to your service with the intention to build trust so that they buy from you at a later stage.

Businesses use Content to magnetise their target market into their sphere (website). And for it to work, it relies heavily on creativity and distribution channels to disburse its content. It can be elevated if it is incorporated with highly searched Keywords, On-Page optimisation, and inbound backlinks to optimise its reaches. 


If it’s done correctly, you get organic free Traffic to your website and possibly sales without the need to spend a cent on advertising.

The more you post your Content/ Blog on various relevant platforms, the more traffic you will build. And with time, your Traffic will grow and appreciate until Google AI sees your Content as credible and gradually boost your site to 1st page on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

To implement content marketing, you just have to create content with targetted keywords and submit it to various social media platforms with or without a re-direction shortened link to your Blog page.

Remember to Index your Blog on Google Search Console and let the Google Bots crawl your page to appear on the Search Engine.


It takes time to develop engaging Content: research, write, edit, and proofread.

That are so many blogs and content on the internet that most people only skim through the material. 

Furthermore, it requires labour hours to post on social media and create backlinks.

Overall, it takes time to see results; it may require 3 to 12 months to take effect.

content marketing, Content Marketing vs Paid Ads – Which Strategy Is Right for You?


Search Engine Marketing (SEM), such as Google & Bing Ads, or social media marketing (SMM): sponsored Ads on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, are examples of paid Ads or Pay-Per-Click campaign ads.  

The Key attribute is to apply the right Buyers’ (or high-intent) keywords and set proper segmentation filters on your Ads to optimise your ROI.

Depending on your setting, every time a prospect sees or clicks on your Ads, you will be charged according to the Bid price that you set.


Before digital marketing, Yellowpages, radio, TV, and newspaper ads dominated the marketing industry. Their approach was the shotgun marketing strategy targeting to everyone who reads the newspaper and listens to the radio.

With SEM and SMM advertising platforms readily available to business owners, you can now laser in and target your specific message to a particular group of people. As a result, you optimise your Ad spent and get more investment return.

The major advantage of Paid Ads is instant exposure of your service and product to your target market.

Unlike Content marketing, you do not have to wait to get instant sales.

And if your Ads are successful, you may achieve a 3 to 5 X ROAS (Return On Ads Spent).


If you don’t know what you’re doing, SEM and SMM advertising can cost you a lot of money. Every day, Ad Spent can cost between $6.00 to $15 per click or $50 per click if you put it in the wrong setting. And very quickly, $3500 is withdrawn from your credit card by advertising platforms without any show in sales.

It can take time to create a winner Ad.

Not every Ad is successful. An advertiser needs to regularly monitor, tweak, and adjust the filters, keywords, copies, or images to optimise the ROI. 

And you can’t get to this stage unless you have data and collecting data means you have to spend money to test the response from the marketplace – sometimes identifying a Winning Ad for your business could cost you between $100 to $3,000 per campaign.

If you need help with SEM and SMM advertising and management, check out here: FB Ads, Google Ads.


Paid ads can be highly effective and lucrative if you know what you’re doing: setting the right targetting, keywords, placements, and optimisation tactics. If done well, Paid Ads are an Investment rather than a cost.

However, know This!

Your prospects will check you out as soon as you pay and invest in paid ads. They will investigate your website, your Social Media presence, and Linkedin, perhaps to determine if you are credible or trustworthy.

And suppose you have a website that is old-fashioned or not on par with your competitor’s presence. In that case, your prospect will turn away, costing you money and potentially losing an opportunity to convert.

But if you want to play it safe and are on a Budget, you can start with content marketing: it is cheap, straightforward, and a long-term investment.

But if it were me, I would combine these two strategies because you will never have a perfect situation. I would invest a portion of my money in producing consistent Content. Whilst waiting for the Content to gain traction, I would invest in paid Ads to get instant exposure of my service and product to my ideal clientele. Hopefully, with time, the Content can drive some organic Traffic to your site.

And in conjunction with everything I said, I would tidy up the website or create a landing page so that when your Ad is published, you can capture the lead effectively and have a functional CRM to capture the details.

At Business Ignite, we have a marketing team to help create effective landing pages and perform cosmetic touch-ups on your website to ensure that it exudes a positive impression for your customers.

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Victor Kon

Victor Kon is a “business builder” entrepreneur, trusted business advisor, and catalyst to your success. He helps entrepreneurs optimise, automate, and grow businesses that can run without heavily relying on sweat equity. With over a decade of experience running successful businesses in a multitude of sectors, Mr. Kon now utilises the expertise he garnered in those endeavours to help others achieve the same success in their ventures. Read More.

If you need help implementing your Business & Marketing strategies, do reach out to us, click here.


Victor Kon​

Victor Kon​

Victor Kon is a "business builder" entrepreneur with over a decade of business experience. He is a Certified Business Advisor and a Certified Practising Marketer. He helps business owners optimise, market, and grow their businesses that can run without relying on sweat equity


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