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Which Is the Best Online Advertising Strategy: PPC or Social Media?

Posted by Pete Stafford on February 26, 2019 at 3:53 PM

iStock-979017404Today, marketers are forced to navigate more advertising platforms than ever before and deciding where to allocate budget has become increasingly challenging. However, the success of your online advertising strategy relies on your ability to choose wisely.

Two of the most common types of online advertising are pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and social media advertising. To help you make the most of your budget, we're going to delve into the benefits of each strategy.

Benefits of PPC Advertising

PPC advertising is still one of the best methods for driving qualified leads and earning your organization a significant ROI. In fact, Google advertising and search tools helped generate $283 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses, according to data from Google.

The number one driver of success in this online advertising strategy is your quality score, or the overall quality of your keywords, ads and landing page. The more relevant these assets, the better the user experience and the more likely your ads are to show in prime spots. As your ad CTR increases, so will your quality score. By creating relevant ad assets, targeting carefully and bidding wisely, you'll ensure success with PPC.

Benefits of Social Media Advertising

As a savvy marketer, you know social media helps you build brand recognition in a place where people already spend a lot of time online. In fact, social media engagement accounts for one out of every three minutes spent online globally, according to data shared by Hootsuite.

As with PPC advertising, success in this type of online advertising strategy depends on effective targeting. One method you may want to consider is using lookalike audiences, which allows you to leverage your current list of customers to find other users who are similar in terms of online behavior and key demographics. This way, you're not wasting your budget inadvertently targeting people unlikely to convert.

Things to Consider

Whether you're investing in PPC or social media ads, it's important to consider the following:

  • Industry:Are you targeting consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B)? And where does your audience spend time throughout the buyer's journey?
  • Target Audience:Who are your typical buyers? If you're a B2C company, you'll want to consider factors like age, income level and interests. If you're a B2B company, you'll want to consider factors like job title, company size and vertical.
  • Campaign Goals:Are you looking to raise brand awareness, or are you attempting to move buyers down the funnel toward a purchase?

Social media marketing can help familiarize your audience with your brand and encourage continued brand loyalty among existing customers, while PPC can help drive action in the crucial decision-making moment of an online search.

So which is better, PPC or social media ads? Well, the short answer is both, and they can even work in tandem. A well-executed paid search effort may drive the ideal customer to browse the company's social media profiles as well. Meanwhile, the brand loyalty built through social media efforts done right could lead to more long-term engagement with the brand — paid search efforts and all — in the future.

By ensuring you have ads in both spaces, you can engage your audience every step of the buyer's journey.

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Topics: targeted display advertising, social media, digital advertising, ppc

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