Where to Funnel Your Digital Marketing Dollars: PPC vs. Social Media

By January 24, 2017PPC
Digital Neighbor PPC vs. Social Media

You’re probably aware that Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising and social media are important components of any digital strategy. Along with a well-developed website that has been properly optimized for search engines, PPC advertising via Google and other search engines can help increase page views and direct your target audience to your site when they most need you (i.e. when they’re searching your keywords).

The PPC game has grown since Google AdWords first disrupted the online advertising scene. In addition to the behemoth search engine, Yahoo! and Bing both operate PPC ad companies, as do social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When trying to determine whether or not to run a PPC campaign, it’s important to consider where to feature your ads. Many companies focus on Google and Facebook as a large part of the market uses those two resources.

With the ubiquity of social media, however, many business owners may be questioning whether they should drop PPC in favor of organic social media growth. It’s almost like free ads, right?

Well, not quite.

Pros and Cons of PPC vs. Social Media

PPC is targeted, while social media is not.

With a well-crafted PPC campaign, your ads appear when your chosen keywords are searched for. Using social media to post doesn’t have the same effect. While you can certainly spark awareness of your brand and enter into dialogues with potential or current customers and clients, your messages may not be visible on their timeline when they’re ready for more information.

The life of a social media message is short. Estimates place the lifespan of a tweet around 18 minutes. That means that your highest chance of engagement will be within the first 18 minutes of posting your message. Afterward, it will get pushed further down your followers’ timelines, making it less likely that they’ll see it. While you could post variations of your message every twenty minutes or so, that’s annoying. Not only is it a bit time consuming (even with auto schedulers), but your followers will probably start unfollowing.

Both methods take dedicated time.

To ensure a successful PPC campaign that not only increases page views but that leads to conversions and further interaction with your site, you’ll need to spend time honing your campaign. You’ll need to focus on monetizing the keywords that your target audience is searching for. Even when it appears that your campaigns are operational and drawing traffic, you’ll want to monitor your KPIs and ensure that it’s the right type of traffic. You’ll likely need to tweak campaigns as you go in order to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.

Social media campaigns are similar. Whether you’re committed to organic social media growth or are planning on promoting your posts and tweets, you’ll need to take a look at what is working and what isn’t. If you’re interested in real-time engagement, you’ll need to set aside dedicated time or delegate the task to someone who can commit to conversing with your followers in a brand appropriate way.

PPC leads to faster results.

Most businesses looking into increasing their pageviews are focused on results. While page views don’t necessarily equal sales, there is generally a positive correlation. PPC has proven itself as a mechanism for increasing page views, though a well-laid out SEO plan is the most effective way to establish your site as an authority page.

Though the effect of social media on page views isn’t clear, it has been shown that customers appreciate the ability to reach out to companies and connect via social media. It allows organizations to provide better customer service and to learn more about their target audience. Because of this, it remains an important part of any digital strategy.

Find Balance for Digital Marketing Success

If you’re thinking of focusing on either PPC or social media, we advise you to consider a more balanced strategy instead. Both PPC and social media have their benefits. By crafting a digital strategy that makes use of the best parts of both, you can increase your chances of success and better invest your time and money.

Researching your target audience and learning about how they prefer to find information and which social media channels they frequent can help you create a balanced plan that takes into account your target audience’s preferences.

At Digital Neighbor, we understand that crafting or revising a digital strategy can be difficult. That’s why we’re glad to offer our neighbors multiple services to fit their needs. From digital consulting to PPC campaign management and digital strategy creation, Digital Neighbor is ready to help you elevate your brand and share your message.

If you’re ready to learn more, contact Digital Neighbor today to discuss your business’s needs.