Ever wondered how to market your business in a way you are able to generate the most return-on-investment? In today’s competitive environment, digital marketing and increased engagement on digital platforms have become crucial to every business, irrespective of the industry. Whenever digital marketing is mentioned, two prime candidates competing for greater attention always cross the mind of a marketer: Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.
Both have evolved in this era of technological advancement – playing a role in how marketplaces have come to thrive and facilitating businesses in expansion and growth by reaching out to the more specific audience by utilizing digital platforms in unique ways. However, the prime concern for an entrepreneur is to decide whether to spend the marketing budget on Search Engine Optimization or Social Media Marketing. Some entrepreneurs choose both channels; however, the question that arises is what should be the ratio of expenditure and focus on the two channels in order to garner the most traffic ultimately generating the most revenue.
What is, however, the most important is the process, whether you choose SEO or SMM. And when we talk about the process, one prerequisite is blatantly obvious – a reliable high-speed internet connection – for neither of the above mentioned two channels can prove fruitful if online connectivity lags. You must ensure to subscribe to service as solid as the one furnished by Spectrum Internet – with features and perks as enticing – a service that provides the unlimited utility of data without you having to break the bank.
Here, we will talk of the chief factors that can help determine what sort of a digital marketing arrangement can be the most suitable for your business, and briefly analyze to help you understand things better.
1. Type of Business
It should not be a matter of surprise the first factor to be considered is the type of business, and what it provides to the customer. There are two broad categories that are served by most businesses – either via the provision of products/goods or services – and these are: consumer needs and wants.
A need may be defined as a necessity, that can be fulfilled by a product or service, which furnishes a specific benefit. For instance, a refrigerator is a product that serves everyday necessity, and when it needs to be fixed due to malfunction, it necessitates a repair service. If we carry this example further, conventional human behavior suggests the user will go to search engines with the query ‘best refrigerators near me‘ when looking to purchase the product, and ‘refrigerator repair service near me’, when the product malfunctions. Now, it would be highly lucrative for your business, if it gets ranked among the top in SERP results when the above-mentioned query is returned by the search engine.
The scenario, however, changes, when the goal is to satisfy consumers wants.
A want may be defined as a desire, more often for a product, and less often for a service, that does not serve a necessity but would make the consumer ‘feel good’, so to speak. An example would be a themed cellphone cover, with a new design. It is highly likely the potential customer will not go seek it via a search engine query, but if a visual crosses their social media, and the theme appeals to their interest, they will engage with the post.
So, for businesses that serve the needs of people, a website or webpage, fully optimized for search engines, would be of more value than advertising their products/services on social media. On the other hand, if the business is fulfilling consumer wants, it would pay off better to focus more on social media marketing.
2. Target Audience
Target audience is always a determining factor when marketing any type of product/service and also influences the choice of a marketing channel. The cross-section of population with similar interests for whom the information regarding a particular product will be relevant makes the audience of a business. Therefore, determining the right target audience for a product/service is of immense importance for an entrepreneur.
Social media makes it easier for entrepreneurs to select their audience by utilizing a range of controls such as filters. Channels like Facebook and Instagram can target specific audiences, based on age group, interests, and location. These filters allow entrepreneurs to strive for maximum relevant engagement and be able to strike a better revenue per engagement ratio. This makes social media an ideal channel that can be leveraged to determine the most lucrative audience for a given product/service.
Targeting the right people for your product is trickier when done via search engines. Search engines do not target a specific demographic factor, rather focus on interpreting the intent behind the keywords that people search with when they run a query. This makes marketing more complex to conduct via search engines, at least in the beginning. But later, marketing via Search Engine Optimization does tend to provide a more conclusive outlook of the ideal target audience for a product.
Therefore, if a target audience is to be found and tested, it is better to opt for social media channels that can differentiate between audiences through various filters. Once the ideal consumer is discovered, webpages can be optimized for search engines to generate more relevant traffic through precise keywords.
The degree of effort and commitment of an entrepreneur, in terms of time invested in digital marketing, is another important aspect that must be considered before they decide on the channels of marketing.
Social media marketing requires a lot of day-to-day effort if posts are to be translated into engagements, leads, and revenue. The reason is the shelf-life of content on social media is very short. Most posts hit maximum reach within one or two days. Beyond that, new content needs to be published to maintain the traffic and to keep the audience engaged.
On the contrary, search engines are less stressful to work with, since the daily effort on a website is distributed over a long period of time, which the search engines might take to recognize the website as a trustworthy content provider. However, consistent effort to grow engagement of the target audience with the website still needs to be focused on from the SEO viewpoint too.
Therefore, if an entrepreneur can arrange to meet the day-to-day struggle of social media marketing, it becomes a great choice for them. Criticism can also be countered on social media. If however, continuous effort is an issue, then SEO can ensure the content is seen by the audience, even if that is to take time.
Many a time, people are unaware of the hidden cost involved in processes, be it SMM or SEO, or for that matter when choosing your internet connection. Speaking of hidden costs, articles like “Spectrum Hidden Cost” can help understand how businesses tend to operate in today’s cut-throat marketplace.
4. Immediate Hype vs Long Term Returns
These are two different results that an entrepreneur can obtain from the two different approaches being discussed. They would need to decide upon the path more favorable for their business.
Social Media Marketing has proven to create rapid results in the short-term, and get more viewers in a short period of time – something that is attributed to the short lifespan of posts on social channels. However, as the lifespan of each post matures, the post becomes redundant and is no longer lucrative for the business, necessitating an ongoing effort to sustain success.
SEO might take a long amount of time, but gains victory in the long-haul, in terms of the value of the published content – it can keep generating traffic on a post even years after it is published. Hence, it can be thought of as an investment at the time of publishing, one that keeps on bringing returns as the website grows.
It is evident be it SEO or Social Media Marketing, both channels of marketing have their undeniable benefits as well as limitations. The best strategy is to use both, and combine them in a manner that they may complement each other.
A good social media presence strengthens the brand image of a product and helps in bringing more people to websites, while SEO ascertains that a good webpage will attain the most relevant engagement.
Baldwin Jackson is a vivacious writer and digital marketing consultant, involved in taking businesses a notch higher. Since I am a part of the digital marketing industry for over 6 years, I know exactly how to use creativity and analytical abilities to assist a variety of online businesses. Also, I can proudly say that I have helped different brands improve their online visibility and create great lucrative opportunities for them. Well, in my spare time when I’m not working which is not often, you will find me engrossed in playing online games– thanks to my stable and steady Internet for giving me a lag-free gaming experience!