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Digital Marketing Tactics

Paid Social vs Paid Search: The Verdict

Whether you’re a new business just starting out or a seasoned company looking to expand, growth is always at the forefront of your plans.

But when you’re looking to grow you’re faced with a question; do you go with the new shiny social media method or with the tried and tested search engine approach?

Paid social or paid search? Which do you invest your hard-earned money into?

Well, the right answer for your business often depends on what you’re trying to market, who you’re trying to market to and what your marketing goals are.

When it comes to online marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of the most powerful tools that any business can use to market itself. Unfortunately, a downfall to the advances in technology is that with all of the features and options we now have available to us, it can be overwhelming to find the right way to market your business.

In this article, we will discuss these two marketing channels and try to determine which of them is better.

What’s the difference between Paid Social & Paid Search?

Paid Social

Paid social advertising is very similar to the classic forms of advertising that we all know such as billboards or TV commercials. Instead of waiting for potential customers to approach you, you use your ad to highlight a problem that you believe the person may have. Your ad generally proposes your business as the solution to this problem in the hope that it will resonate with your audience and spark some engagement.

Paid social ads are ads that appear when people are using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Unlike paid search, the user isn’t actively seeking a solution to a problem or interested in a product. In fact, they may not even realize that they have a problem.

With paid social media advertising, your ability to reach as large of an audience as you want is unmatched in any other platform. If you are looking to build awareness of your business in general, it’s pretty hard to beat the reach of paid social.

Social is fun, and it’s a platform where you can show creativity and let the customer know you’re more than just a business. Many brands have used social to generate impressive growth, but the average return on investment in social media unfortunately isn’t that remarkable.

 

Paid Search

On the other hand, paid search platforms only show ads related to a query posed by a user.

It is intent-based advertising, where the solution (your business) is shown to potential customers. These customers have engaged and actively shown they have an interest in businesses like yours. This means the audience is usually primed to purchase a product. This makes converting into a sale easier for your business. It’s your job to show them why they should buy your product.

Google Ads is by far the largest and best-known paid search platform. However, most other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo also offer paid search advertising options.

Getting in front of people with high purchase intent is invaluable for businesses and paid search provides just that. You don’t have to spend hours every week staying active on social media trying to convince people that they have a problem. You just have to convince them that your solution is right when the time comes.

On top of that, the return on investment (ROI) is better than with paid social media advertising.

What are your business needs?

With unlimited resources, your business could ideally market everywhere, on every single platform. However, in all businesses, there are time and budget limitations. This makes it very hard to take advantage of every advertising opportunity. This is also why as marketers we must optimize our advertising.

The whole point of advertising is to drive sales and generate profit, burning through all your resources won’t help that.

With that in mind, ask yourself the question: Do you want to drive sales fast, or do you want to build brand awareness for your business?

Drive Sales Fast – Paid Search

When your business is in need of sales quickly to generate more revenue than paid search is probably your best bet. As it’s intent-based advertising you get access to potential customers who are already halfway down the marketing funnel and ready to buy. This method bypasses the entire conversion funnel and jumps straight into closing the deal. This should result in quicker conversions for less cost.

However, the audience you get exposed to may not be very large as your target audience is very limited. For example, “People who are ready to buy my exact product at this exact time.” This means that the stream of customers may quickly run dry and you’ll need to strategize a longer-term plan.

If you want to drive quick and cheap sales for your business, then paid search is essential to your game plan.

Build Brand Awareness- Paid Social

As a business, you must always think about the future and plan ahead. Business generally isn’t a short-term game and a quick buck will only get you so far. To see positive and scalable growth you have to build awareness of your brand

This is an area where paid social truly shines.

Social media gives your business an outlet to effectively communicate with the public. It allows you to express your brand image and ethos. Building trust is always key to growing a loyal following and social media is a great place to do this.

Paid social ads target consumers higher up in the marketing funnel. Your business is selling something that people don’t realize that they need yet.

The Verdict

When you’re advertising your company, there are lots of ways for you to tap into growth. You can try SEO, paid search, social media, outreach, and many other techniques.

So, the real question: Should you advertise on paid social or paid search?

Ideally, you should use both of these marketing channels to utilize every tool available to benefit your business.

The right marketing channel for your business depends on your goals as outlined above and the products or services you’re selling. That’s why it’s so important to understand how each marketing channel works. Try to explore its strengths and weaknesses and what it can do for your business.

In this day and age, online platforms such as Facebook and Google make it so easy to advertise that you should absolutely conduct both paid social and paid search marketing for your business.

Both platforms provide extraordinary automation and predictive analytic software. They both create advertising returns that have previously been unheard of. If you have the time and resources then our conclusion is the avail of both paid search and paid search advertising.

How Optily can help

If you don’t have the time to spend advertising on both marketing channels then why not let us do it for you.

Optily is the only eCommerce single-click ad spend optimizer.

Our intelligent and innovative technology connects all your online ad accounts. With just a single click, Optily ensures you make the most of your advertising budget. Meaning that you don’t have to spend hours figuring out if your Instagram campaign deserves more budget today than Youtube.

We make cross-platform advertising easy and efficient, making a combination of paid social and paid search effortless.