A lesson from Pixar’s Monsters University you can use to improve results

The release of Pixar’s animated movie Monsters University this past weekend got me to thinking about how two things working together can create a better more successful outcome. When Disney and Pixar merged, Pixar was able to double the number of films they release per year. They collaborated to create a string of successful movies including “WALL-E” and “Up.” Their marketing, merchandising and advertising got better and as a result profits increased.

Even their pre-merger Pixar cartoon “Cars” got the “Disney treatment” and became a best-seller in merchandising.

Of course, Disney and Pixar were both successful in their own right before they came together. But when they came together, they became stronger and better. And Monsters University looks like it’s going to be yet another successful film as of result of the merger of these two powerhouse studios.

“Mergers” in the media you use to market your business can work like that too. Such is the case with PPC (Pay Per Click) and Social Media.  Although the two are very diverse marketing approaches, together they can strengthen your marketing efforts. To understand how they work together, let’s look at how they are different.

PPC is focused on immediate calls-to-action, pushing prospects to your websites to encourage them to take the next step in your marketing funnel.

Social Media is more about engaging with people, making them aware of you and getting them to like you. Occasionally you make offers, but it’s mostly about giving tips, sharing resources and ideas and NOT about pushing sales.

If you attempted to make hard sales all the time on social media, you would lose fans. And if when creating PPC campaigns you just gave tips and shared ideas your PPC ads wouldn’t work very well either. But here is how you can merge the two together to make your marketing stronger.

How To Use PPC To Strengthen Social Media:

  1. Within your PPC data, look to see what your target audience is reacting to and use that to build better content for your social media. Look at what ads are getting clicked. What is the focus of the ads? Do you see certain calls-to-action getting more attention? Or is there a certain demographic which is engaging more with your ads?
  2. Use that knowledge to create better social media posts that attract more likes, comments, shares and clicks on your links.


For example, let’s say you own a swimming pool company and you want to target affluent buyers. You discover that affluent buyers are clicking on your pool renovation ads more than any other type of ad. You could use that information to your advantage by sharing pictures of pools you’ve renovated on your social media sites and giving tips about what they need to know beforethey renovate a pool.  And when you post an offer on your social media sites, you could run a special on giving a free consultation on pool renovations or some other offer related to pool renovations.

  1. How are the ads written and what keywords are used? Use the same keywords and wording that has worked well in your PPC ads to get better response to your social media posts.
  2. Use the strength of PPC to drive traffic to social media channels for short-term campaigns and promotions. This can increase conversions and visibility.

For instance, you can use Facebook’s introduction of a new way for marketers to target users with specific ads based on their existing app purchases and transactions. Plus as Facebook continues to play around with new ways to make ads more engaging, you are likely to see even better results.

When you use PPC to drive prospects and consumers to your social media promotion, be sure to use strong, relevant, appealing calls-to-action that are benefit-oriented. Several ways to use PPC ads are to:

  • Send users to a video on YouTube or other video source.
  • Use an incentive such as a free download, report, coupon, etc. to grow your community.
  • Direct users, prospects and consumers to your social media promotion.

How To Use Social Media To Strengthen Your PPC Campaigns

Not only can PPC strengthen social media, but vice versa, social media can be used to strengthen your PPC campaigns.

Again, you’ll want to turn to the data you can collect from your campaigns to see what you can learn about your audience, except this time the data comes from your social media campaigns. Here’s how:

  1. Look at your analytics from YouTube and Facebook to determine audience segments that you want to strengthen or new segments you want to pursue.
  2. Use some of the same strategies, images, and keywords from your social media campaigns across your PPC campaigns to strengthen your brand by reinforcing ideas and reminding users that they’ve seen your products, services and brand before. This repetitive messaging builds trust and leads them to buy from you.

Similar to Disney and Pixar capitalizing on each other’s knowledge and strengths, using what you know from PPC and social media together will help you identify new strategies and secondary audiences. Use both strategies together to market your products and services. Test keywords, calls-to-action and other ideas from one media to the other and you’ll find you have some very targeted marketing that will improve your results across the board.

John Pfeiffer

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