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Though pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and content marketing appear to be marketing islands unto themselves, many smart marketers use PPC to enhance their content marketing efforts.

Both tactics are useful on their own, but when you combine them you create a powerful marketing double-team that allows you to use the reach and targeting benefits of PPC while harnessing the trust-building and thought leadership aspects of content marketing.

This article will show you three ways you can use PPC to enhance your content marketing no matter your audience.

1. Use display advertising to introduce your content to a new audience

With the Google display network (GDN) you are instructing Google to display your ads on websites based on the content of each site. GDN reaches about 80% of the online audience; no matter how big your current audience is, GDN reaches so many users that you will always be able to use it to introduce your content to new potential customers.

Using GDN to enhance your content marketing is pretty straightforward: You create an ad with some sort of content offer and set it to show on websites that contextually align with your potential customers' interests.

For example, let's say you are investment agency that creates content about the stock market in an effort to attract new clients. You may produce great content, but it does not reach a large enough audience to make a difference to your bottom line. Your potential customer is someone who stays up to date on the finances by reading only the biggest and most influential financial sites, such as Forbes. Because of your potential customer's content consumption habits, you have been unable to get your content to him. GDN solves this problem.

You would create an ad that promotes your content. In the Google Display Network, you would adjust your settings so that you target sites that cover topics such as stocks, financial advice, or annuities. When users on those sites click on your ad, they are taken to a landing page, likely on your website, where they can consume or download your content.

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image of Adam Lundquist

Adam Lundquist is the CEO of Nerds Do It Better, an Internet advertising agency for small businesses. He has been featured in The Harvard Gazette, Search Engine Journal, WordStream, KISSmetrics, PPC Hero, Certified Knowledge, Mtv, Vh1, Sports Illustrated, and Moz.

Twitter: @adamlundquist