Advertising , Search Engine Marketing , Search Engine Optimization , Social Media
Posted by John Smulo

SMM or PPC Marketing – Which one should you use?

When it comes to gaining traffic to your website, you can use different approaches. The three main methods to use are SMM, PPC, and SEO. Each of these three methods has the potential of driving traffic to your website, but in this article, we will explore the first two.

Are these two services in competition or do they work symbiotically? To answer this question, you will need to understand more about each method. To start, here is a brief definition of SMM and PPC.

Defining SMM and PPC

SMM (Social Media Marketing) is the use of social media platforms to foster interest, engage with a target market and achieve certain business goals. These goals may be ones such as thought leadership, brand awareness, fundraising, and sales.

PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising involves placing adverts across the internet that people click on and arrive at your website. The most common PPC campaigns are through Google Adwords where you pay the search engine to show your ad when a user enters a specific keyword.

Social PPC: In certain ways, SMM works in a similar way to PPC marketing. Facebook Ads allows users to create ads and target an audience, much like Google AdWords. Social PPC is advertising placed on a social platform with a price assigned on a per-click basis.

Think of Twitter’s promoted Tweets and Pinterest’s promoted pins. Social PPC involves paying a social platform for ad placement regardless of what keywords are entered. In some cases, you can target a specific user group based on factors such as age, gender or marital status.

To determine which of these types of marketing to use, here are some factors to take into consideration.

Variability of SMM and PPC Tools

SMM triumphs over PPC marketing in the variability of tools advertisers can utilize, from video ads, hashtags, categorized targeting, and vlogging. This allows advertisers to display their products and services in more creative ways. They can reinforce their brand image and create credibility.

The emphasis tends to be on promoting awareness rather than promoting action, and high search volumes don’t always correlate with high conversion rates.

SMM and PPC Costs

The investment required to get traffic differs, depending on what method is used to drive traffic. SMM takes place over a longer term so costs are more spread out and so they may not be felt as much. SMM marketing generally costs less than PPC marketing. If money is limited, it can provide a cheaper alternative.

PPC advertising can be an expense, but it is less expensive if it is optimized correctly. Businesses pay for the ads and then pay again when someone clicks on them.

If you can get keywords, ads, landing pages, and campaigns all working well together, you can expect a quick return on investment and increase profits for your business. But mismanagement can lead to a seriously diminished advertising budget.

When it comes to PPC campaigns, businesses prefer to use an agency or consultant, unlike SEO which they prefer to handle themselves. Users searching for an SMM strategy are also willing to hire an expert. It may cost less in the long run to hire experts.

Keywords and Search Volumes

Google AdWords keyword planner analyses historic data over time and utilizes many algorithms to find good keywords. It enables you to discover relevant and cost-effective keywords to use for your industry.

Based on data presented on the Moz blog, it is evident that you will pay less for keywords with a larger search volume. Those keywords are informational search terms, rather than commercial ones.

PPC attracts fewer searchers, but users are more likely to convert. The social media niche can attract a high volume of searchers, but as only 4% of these queries are commercial, they are less likely to convert.

Analytics

SMM is harder to optimize than PPC, and so ad campaigns may be less effective. Analytics are found on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn but not at the same level as you find on PPC platforms.

PPC marketing allows you to measure and optimize data more thoroughly than when marketing on social media.

Reports are produced that make it possible to analyze KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and see whether ads are being clicked and generating conversions and profits. More control over campaigns allows you to optimize user experience and filter out unnecessary traffic.

Time

SMM can take time to bring traffic to your website. Strategies evolve, and there’s a constant need to produce relevant, interesting content. Keeping your content visible can be tricky with all the ‘noise’ on social media.

Content for social media has to feel ‘human’ and account for tastes, emotions, trends, and language. Human judgment has to be involved and therefore planning social media content can be a time-consuming task.

To make the most of SMM, you need to know what tools to use and give the process time and commitment. If you hassle people to join your Twitter feed or constantly beg people to share your posts, you will kill your following. A social following has to be grown slowly and organically.

Unlike SMM, you can launch PPC Marketing quickly and get traffic to your site immediately. It only works while the ads are in place and once a campaign ends, your premium slot evaporates.

If you have just launched a site and you want visibility sooner rather than later, a PPC campaign may be a good idea.

A PPC campaign has to be monitored carefully to get the highest return on investment. One aspect that you need to monitor is your keywords – making sure high performing keywords have higher bids.

On a weekly basis, you need to evaluate the quality of your leads, your keywords, your ads, and your landing pages.

Types of Traffic

SMM allows brands to develop strong, meaningful relationships and gain useful feedback. This type of marketing can be used to promote more credibility and trust.

Building up an audience in this way can eventually generate huge sales if it’s done right. It can also allow brands to target different audiences differently by using the right social media platform.

Getting people to your website is not enough. The quality of the traffic counts. Traffic that is more highly defined has a greater potential for conversion.

Traffic coming from a PPC campaign means that customers are already searching for a product or service. They usually click on the first few URLs for any information they require, hence the advantage of using PPC marketing.

SMM or PPC: Which One Is For Me? Final Thoughts

Both SMM and PPC have strengths – SMM is more creative than PPC and offers more options for creating a strong brand identity and gaining user trust. SMM may be a relatively new concept, but when compared to PPC it enjoys very high search volumes. That being said, less of these are commercial queries, and so fewer of them are likely to convert, although conversions are certainly increasing.

PPC offers more analysis and optimization, helping you to make informed decisions. In a world that is increasingly dependent on digital marketing, SMM and PPC bring combined value. Using both in a symbiotic way can help to generate awareness and conversions.

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