Search Engine Marketing (SEM) versus paid Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategies
2020 February 18
In the digital marketing world, paid digital ads are nothing new. A common notion from a company is a misunderstanding of paid ads. Yes, there are search engine marketing strategies but there are also paid social media marketing strategies, and dependent upon a company’s goals, one would be better than the other one.
Where should your company be spending money on paid search and social? Just SEM or SMM?
What is Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing, also known as SEM, is a specific type of marketing that uses paid search such as AdWords, Bing or Yahoo ads! When a consumer searches inside of Google, “best summer shoes” the results with the small “ad” button on the side are known as Pay Per Click ads.
A company often uses PPC ads to easily measure results that bring in targeted traffic through the search engines. One of the biggest notions for using PPC ads is that it contributes to business goals.
A company that is launching a new product or service might want to get the word out there as soon as possible. This can be done with an email marketing campaign, social media, adding a landing page for organic SEO and PPC ads! The main benefit of PPC ads is that a company does not have to have a history of running ads before. Any company can start creating advertisements, the thing is, without an understanding or professional at PPC ads, a company could be paying more per click than needed!
The second benefit is that a company can quickly see their ROI. If a company spends X amount on the advertisement itself, but brings in Y revenue from the said ad it could be worth it. On the other hand, if it does not bring in revenue but costs more, a company knows to immediately switch their strategy, but how would they do that?
Here’s a deeper understanding of how much each industry pays per CPC.
The main notion to remember with PPC ads is that these ads are running on search engines, and not social media platforms. This is where paid search and social media ads come to mind.
Paid social media ads
In the social media world, the notion of “pay to play” is an increasingly popular statement. “Pay to play” means that on several social media platforms a company needs to spend money in order to get in front of their target audience.
A great example of this is Facebook. On average, a company can expect their posts to be seen by just 5 percent of their followers and a higher amount of followers does not always equate to a higher reach.
Starting in 2018, Facebook updated their algorithms to get back to what Facebook was all about, connecting and being social with their friends and family members. Each time a Facebook user logins to the app, Facebook decides which posts this user sees based on their last interactions. Along with that change, if a company is not getting comments or engagements on their posts, the 5 percent can decrease.
Paid social media ads are run only on social media platforms. Instead of consumers coming to you, you are going to them through target audiences that have been created. Sure, the ad can bring in more followers and even sales which is the latest Facebook Ads feature, but at the end of the day, these people are not directly searching for these products or services.
The first major and most important notion to remember is that SEM runs on search engines while paid SMM strategies run on platforms that are considered part of social media marketing strategies. A PPC ad can run on Google, Bing, Yahoo or other alternative platforms. On the other hand, a paid SMM post can run on Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media marketing platforms.
The second understanding is finding out which one is best for your company and overall goals. In an ideal world, you would be able to market everywhere, all the time, and it would not break the bank. But, this is the real world and that is not possible.
It depends on who you are marketing to. If you need leads and need them now, paid search is the way to go. If you want to create an entire marketing campaign based around UGC, paid social is the way to go.
On the other hand, a PPC ad that is not done correctly can be more costly than the ROI it brings in. Which is to say, hire the best at crafting these ads, but also make sure you need PPC ads. Paid social might cost $25.00 for a three day timespan while PPC ads could cost $12.00 per click if not done right. (Ouch, that hurts).
The final notion to remember is brand awareness. It takes over seven times for a consumer to start to remember a company, and 15 times before they start to even trust the said company. Paid social ads are the perfect opportunity to create brand awareness and get a company’s name and/ or products out there. If a company is selling products or services that consumers never knew they needed, this is the prime moment!
If a company is trying to get a consumer through the sale funnel, PPC ads would be best!
Need help with paid search or social?
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