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Friday, 17 July 2020 11:41

When To Use Social Media And When To Use Search Engine Marketing

Author:  [Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Jason Khoo]

Social media and search engine marketing (SEM) are the two predominant forms of advertising that dominate the online marketing space. To succeed in marketing, it’s important for your business to grasp these marketing channels.

As companies invest more and more into their marketing efforts, the question naturally arises: Which is better?

Before I dive into that question, it is important to understand that the question itself is faulty. Neither social media nor SEM is better than the other. One medium may be better based on the needs of the individual business/industry; however, neither is inherently better than the other.

 

I am not going to clarify which one is better. Instead, I will seek to increase understanding of each medium so that your business can best utilize each tactic.

Strategy For Social Media

For the purpose of this article, social media encompasses the entire umbrella of organic social media marketing and paid social media advertising. Social media marketing offers businesses the opportunity to market to specific demographics and groups of people.

Here are the typical factors that can be leveraged in your social media marketing efforts:

  •  Demographics.
  •  Interests.
  •  Behavior.
  •  Connections.

If you take a closer look at the factors above, you will see that social media marketing offers companies a more traditional approach to marketing, one that they may have learned in college or business school.

Just like the days of old — when advertising dominated TVs, magazines and radio — social media offers much of the same. Companies try to engage with consumers, who are not there to look at their ads, in the hopes that the creative and messaging of the advertising is so good that it will stop consumers midscroll.

Therefore, social media works much more effectively for those businesses that have a strong understanding of their current customer base and/or have a strong understanding of the market they want to target. The caveat is that the market you are targeting has not shown interest or intent on a service like yours, so you must convince them otherwise with compelling ads.

Strategy For SEM/SEO

SEM, which encompasses paid search and search engine optimization (SEO), presents a much different marketing engagement opportunity than traditional advertising methods. As opposed to TV, radio and social media, where companies can target their ads and marketing to a target market based on demographics, interests and what they are currently engaging with, SEM focuses strictly on intent and psychographics.

 

The factors to leverage are:

  •  Search query.
  •  Location.
  •  Behavior.

This list looks smaller than that of social media marketing, but don’t assume that that means SEM is weaker. If you dig deeper into these factors, you will see that search engine marketing revolves much more around intent.

Let’s put it this way: In social media marketing, you know what your potential market looks like, what they are interested in and where they might be. On the search side, it’s flipped on its head. You know that the market is interested in your service/product because they Googled a keyword that is directly related to your product. However, you have no idea what their attributes are.

So, in SEM you are working in the reverse. You know that the person typing in a search term has shown interest; you now need to convince them that you are the one to go with and you need to verify that they fit the type of customer you serve.

Conclusion

The nature of online marketing becomes more and more sophisticated by the day. Companies need to go beyond just having a profile or website somewhere online; instead, they must understand how to be effective on any and all of the marketing channels they decide to pursue.

To understand which strategy to take, it not only depends on your business, but also the resources you have at your disposal. Social media offers the traditional target market approach with an attention, interest, desire and action strategy. SEM offers an intent approach where your target market doesn’t drive the market; it merely acts as a filter.

It bears repeating: Neither strategy is inherently better than the other. SEM and social media offer marketing mediums that are two sides of the same coin. The approaches may be different, but their efficacy and purpose are one and the same.

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Jason Khoo - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]

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