Search Engine Marketing or Social Media Marketing: Which is right for you?

When it comes to driving prospective customers to your website, you’ve got a ton of choices these days. Beyond the traditional marketing methods of including your web address on your business card and other printed materials, there are two primary methods to drive traffic to your site: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing.

Search Engine Marketing is a method of marketing on the web which optimizes website pages through content and paid advertising. This causes the pages to appear higher in the rankings of search engine results. These pages are known as Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs.

Social Media Marketing is a method of marketing on the web via creating content on social media websites. The purpose of this is to engage with fans and potential customers in a way that adds value and encourages them to share your content with their networks, thus building your brand awareness.

With limited budgets or limited time, which is the right strategy for your organization? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of each marketing method.

Search Engine Marketing Benefits:

  • People use searches to find stuff on the web. The key to being discovered on the web is to be found by search engines.
  • Achieving a top 5 rank for your primary keywords in the organic (non-paid) search results will drive significant traffic to your site.
  • In the event that you don’t have the time to achieve a top ranking on a search engine, you can buy your way to the top of the rankings through Pay Per Click advertising (PPC).
  • Through analytics systems you can gain a better understanding of what your customers want, what they visit on your site, and where they’re coming from. This information can be vital to producing a good experience for your site visitors and to find new customers.
  • Search Engine Marketing remains the most affordable form of marketing available. SEM gives you the ability to target a wide audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing with the benefit of reaching people who are actually looking for your services or products.
  • Marketing Campaigns can be established at no cost and can scale with your budget. If you’ve got time and are willing to do some research, SEM can be accomplished with little to no budget.

Social Media Marketing Benefits:

  • People buy what their friends recommend. There are few better marketing methods than word-of-mouth. Social media allows people to sing the praises of your organization to their network of friends. (It also allows them to air their grievances, so be sure your product or service delivers what you promise.)
  • Social media gives you the unique opportunity to engage with your customers on a personal and yet massive way. You can connect with customers, build relationships, and address customer concerns.
  • Social media provides you the opportunity to develop rabid fans through providing value and being authentic.
  • Social media networks allow you to advertise to members of various social networks through granular demographic targeting. Social networks know their member’s ages, genders, likes, dislikes, and much more, so you can be very specific about who your advertising reaches.
  • Two major factors contribute to search engine ranking: content and site popularity. Social media marketing is a primary method of gaining link popularity and generating viral traffic.

Now What?

So, which of these two marketing strategies is right for your organization? The simple answer is a mix of both. Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing work hand-in-hand. The good news is that regardless of budget size or available time, you can get started today in a way that makes sense for your organization. The key is to get started; prospective customers can’t contact you if they can’t find you.

Contact us today to help you implement a strategy that raises your visibility!

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