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Digital Marketing: PPC vs Social Media Marketing

digital marketing

No modern marketing strategy is complete without the presence of digital marketing. Electronic media facilitates an unprecedented level of business to customer interaction, and digital marketing is the key to prompting this interaction. A superior marketing strategy will enable your business to gain enhanced insights into target audience behavior and generate strong brand awareness which is invaluable in a competitive environment. While digital marketing can take on many forms, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Social Media Marketing are two of the most powerful tools available.

PPC

PPC is a form of paid digital marketing using search engine advertising. You select a keyword or phrase, and when it is searched, your ad appears at the top of the search results. Prices per click are auction based, pricing is determined by type of keyword, (broad match, phrase match or exact match) competition, and location, hence the term Pay-Per-Click. However, this click leads the user directly to your page and will often result in a sale for your business as you are offering what the user was searching for!

Google AdWords is the most popular PPC platform and it is based on a fee bidding system. Popular keywords and phrases require higher fee bids to ensure that your ad is the first one to appear at the top of the search results. Some pros and cons of PPC are laid out below:

Pros

  • PPC facilitates targeted digital marketing as your ad is displayed specifically to an audience that has already shown an interest in your product/service by searching for it online.
  • PPC platforms provide useful metrics such as the number of views and number of clicks on your ad. These metrics can be used to gauge the performance of your ad.
  • You only pay when your ad is clicked and the return on this investment can be large if this click is converted to a sale.

Cons

  • The click fee can be high for very popular keywords and phrases.
  • Maintaining your PPC campaign can be complex and time-consuming.
  • PPC still follows the traditional one-way model of marketing and some consumers have become desensitized to this.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media applications provide more than just a platform for status updates about your weekend and for sharing photos of cats. Social Media Marketing can be used as an extremely relevant digital marketing tool which allows you to communicate with people who are enthusiastic about your brand.

This form of marketing offers the unique benefit of two-way communication between your business and the customer. Your social media presence reflects the culture of your business and anyone who visits your profile is able to “like” and “share” your content with others. The dream of every digital marketer is to have a social media marketing campaign “go viral” – a single video posted on your business profile could be viewed by millions of people. Some pros and cons of Social Media Marketing are laid out below:

Pros

  • Your target audience can engage with you directly and provide feedback on their levels of satisfaction with your product/service.
  • Setting up social media profiles is free and you do not pay for traffic to your profiles.
  • Brand recognition is dramatically heightened when your target audience is exposed to your brand daily through their own social media profiles.

Cons

  • Trends in social media change rapidly so your profiles must be actively managed to remain relevant.
  • You are competing with many other businesses for your target audience’s attention.
  • There is difficulty in measuring the success of a Social Media Marketing campaign as it is intangible.

Final Decisions

Factors such as your marketing budget, the size of your business, and the type of product/service that you offer will all influence your choice of medium. Experiment with both PPC and Social Media Marketing to determine which tool is most suited to your business’s needs. Often, the combination of well-targeted PPC ads and an engaging social media presence will yield the best results. Digital marketing is an absolutely vital component of any modern marketing strategy, so don’t get left behind; make your online presence felt!


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