630 words|2.5 min read|

Pay-per-click (PPC) has its uses and its strengths, and it has an important place in many companies’ marketing strategies. With PPC, you can reach your target market quickly and measure ROI in a fairly straightforward manner. Additionally, PPC lets you show up in results for keywords that would likely be too competitive for your business in an organic search situation. It’s also very trackable and can help you identify problems in your sales funnel.

But in terms of long term benefits and compounding ROI over time, a solid inbound lead generation strategy based on content is better. Following are 4 reasons why inbound beats PPC in terms of lead generation.

1. Organic Traffic Typically Costs Less Per Lead

Your PPC ads can generate clicks in the short term that you might not have received otherwise, and that’s good. However, people are more likely to click on organic search results than on paid search results. It may take time, but when you use inbound lead generation to develop a steady drumbeat of clicks, your cost per lead will be less than it would be with PPC. Organic inbound lead generation requires an investment of time, but that investment can pay off handsomely in the long run.

2. Inbound Continues Working Beyond the End of your “Campaign”

When your PPC campaign is over, it’s over, and you won’t get any more traffic directly from it. With inbound lead generation, however, that content you publish today could generate leads indefinitely through search engine traffic and social media sharing. It’s not uncommon for someone to look for answers to a problem and find that the best, most comprehensive answer was published a year, two years, or five years ago. So-called “evergreen” content has the potential to keep working for you for years after it goes live on your site.

3. Inbound Marketing Builds Long Term Relationships

While PPC isn’t as interruptive as typical outbound marketing techniques like television ads, it is more “in your face” than inbound lead generation through quality content. Inbound marketing encourages people to buy when they are ready, while PPC is more insistent on right now. Much as you build equity when you buy real estate, when you develop quality inbound lead generation, you build “equity” in your brand through organic search quality. The authority that builds up over time not only broadens your customer base, it also positions your brand as a leader and influencer in its industry.

Engineering student studying computer display in a classroom

Effective inbound marketing builds credibility and influence in your industry.

4. Inbound Marketing Content Is More Shareable

People want to share information, not pitches or advertisements. With an outstanding inbound lead generation plan, you consistently build up a valuable collection of information that people will share now and in the future. And if you have taken steps to ensure your content is mobile-friendly, it can be shared easily and effectively across all channels and platforms. Inbound lead generation content, including blog posts, white papers, case studies, videos, and infographics, should answer questions and solve problems, and if they do, your site visitors will spread the word for you.


Pay-per-click advertising can complement inbound lead generation beautifully, and it can help jump-start a campaign and reach people quickly. But for the long term, PPC needs to be part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. Inbound lead generation not only picks up where PPC leaves off, it can continue producing leads indefinitely if content is of high quality and climbs the search engine results rankings steadily.

If you’re interested in building a solid foundation underneath your inbound lead generation efforts, check out this blog post on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. SEO creates a sturdy framework to support your great content and ensure that more people discover it, and is absolutely essential to successful inbound lead generation.

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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