Any company trading in 2021 should have a solid plan for digital marketing. It is expected of every company to have a public face in the form of social media, and marketing on the internet is extremely effective. Digital marketing includes specialties such as PPC (pay per click), SEO (search engine optimisation), search and display ads, and even newsletters and blogs.
Social media marketing is a more flexible thing and involves a degree of agility from your social media manager. It is an area that needs expertise and a delicate touch, so working with a social media freelancer or agency may be the best choice for your brand.
What are the differences?
PPC may be familiar to the end-user as the first link they see on a page of Google results. This is because the company has set up their campaign to respond to a search term, certain keywords, or because it is the best choice the search engine could come up with.
With PPC, the company pays each time the link is clicked. This might be inefficient from a budget perspective if the brand is the top result in any case! PPC also refers to display and video advertising.
Social media marketing, however, is a multi-faceted campaign across all suitable platforms, comprising relevant shares, competitions, news, customer interaction, customer service, and reputation management, as well as advertising.
Both PPC and social media marketing are best left to the professionals, with experts taking up to five exams to specialise in the former and undertaking whole degrees in the latter.
Pros and cons
PPC is a long-established method of driving traffic to a company’s website. It is a form of paid advertising which works very well, as long as the campaign is set up and managed effectively by a knowledgeable person or team. However, depending on how the campaigns and keywords are set up, this strategy may end up costing quite a bit of money: if your company is already the first result for certain search terms, it is a waste of resources to also pay to rank first.
Social media marketing may be a form of more organic advertising, with customers who like your product or service, or even your social media presence, sharing your content with their networks. This can sometimes work out to be very budget-friendly! Something to be aware of is that it does depend on a successful or otherwise savvy online presence.
The ease of PPC is one of the biggest pros. While PPC links are found on the results page of searches, the term also incorporates ads on various websites. If the ad is placed correctly, it can mean that potential customers find your product or service much more easily. They don’t have to hunt it out, and the link will take them straight to your website. This is a direct connection it is hard to find elsewhere.
Social media, by its nature, depends on the social media marketer creating content that sparks something in your followers, that makes them want to click ‘like’ or ‘share’. This is how the algorithm knows what is popular on any given day, and how trends are analysed. The connection with your customer base is on a more human level and may end up feeling to the end-user like more of a friendship. That’s the sort of result that can’t be bought.
Can they work together?
Whether your brand will benefit the most from PPC and other standard forms of digital marketing or would be better suited to a social media campaign, will depend upon a great number of factors. The size of your company, your amount of employees, whether you have a social media marketer or PPC specialist on staff or if you hire freelancers or consultants, and, of course, the type of product or service you provide will all have a large effect on the strategy that’s best for you.
Happily, PPC and marketing on social media work very well together. Creating a plan that incorporates all forms of digital marketing can mean that your brand is able to put out creative campaigns that reach a wide range of potential customers and continue to make existing customers feel valued.
The right social media marketer will work with your existing strategies and campaigns, and with any digital marketing executives you may already have on the team. Bark.com lists fantastic professionals who know just how to create a unique presence on social media platforms that fits in exactly with your existing voice and brand identity.
It isn’t a question of whether social media marketing is better than PPC. It’s a question of whether you’d rather use all the tools available to you to reach your potential.