In the modern, online world, digital marketing is the driving force behind the growth and long-term success of every company. Without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy covering various methods and platforms, there is no way to effectively get your brand on the online map, and in front of the eyes and ears of your demographic.
With the staggering rise of social media users all over the world, and the increasing emphasis digital marketers put on SEO, an interesting question starts to emerge in the business world: which of these marketing methods should you use to grow your business. The answer is, there is no definitive answer, let’s just get that out of the way.
Your ideal solution, however, will depend on your marketing goals. Let’s take a look at the differences between these popular marketing tactics to help you better understand their purpose and potential in the online realm.
Brand awareness vs immediate conversions
Right off the bat, there is a distinct difference between the two that not many people notice immediately – social media marketing serves the purpose of improving your brand awareness in the online world, while search traffic is a better tool for generating fast conversions. They do complement each other, though, as SEO-friendly content is an essential part of your social media strategy.
Through likes, mentions, hashtags, and shares, people on social media will spread the word of your brand and help you gain the traction and recognition you deserve, but you shouldn’t expect this to yield increased conversions, at least not immediately. On the other hand, visitors from search engines are more likely to make a purchase right now, but less likely to share or talk to others about your brand.
This is simply because search visitors are coming in with a specific goal in mind – they were searching for your products and services, and they are ready to purchase from you.
Monitoring engagement and making improvements
There is a need to monitor how each of your marketing tactics fairs in the online world so that you can safely improve your marketing game over time. When it comes to SEO, search traffic is highly-visible and very easy to monitor and report. However, it can be difficult to precisely determine the engagement rate.
On the other hand, an effective social media monitoring strategy can offer insight into solid engagement metrics you can easily track – such as likes, comments, mentions, and shares. Still, monitoring social traffic as a whole is not that easy to do. That being said, combining these two strategies and monitoring their performance will give you a comprehensive view of the overall success of your marketing efforts.
The different topics, styles, and formats
Content marketing is the name of the digital marketing game, however, not all marketing methods were made to thrive on the same type of content. In fact, content diversification is one of the most important methods every marketer worth their salt should use, as it gives you the opportunity to appeal to the different sensibilities depending on the platform and its audience.
Every platform on the web has its preferred content type. For instance, social media dwellers are more likely to engage with a piece of content that elicits an emotional response from them, while SEO-driven content should be more meticulously written, in a longer form and chock-full of useful information. One builds emotional relationships and the other rational credibility.
You can, therefore, tailor your content strategy per the marketing method you’re using. Craft engaging imagery and infographics with compelling copy and descriptions to strike an emotional chord with your audience, but keep your articles long, in-depth and thorough, SEO-friendly, and authoritative.
Real-time results vs slow and steady
There are numerous reasons why social media marketing and SEO should be the two main marketing methods in your overarching digital marketing strategy. One of these reasons is that both deliver results but in very different ways. The other reason is that, out of all effective digital marketing methods out there, these two have the highest potential for reach, brand authority and awareness, and of course, conversions.
So, what are the results you can expect from social media marketing and SEO? Social media is a place where people from all over the world communicate with each other constantly, and therefore, it’s a place where results can be seen within mere minutes. Posts appear in news feeds in front of a huge audience, and can improve brand awareness instantly.
On the other hand, SEO is more of a slow-and-steady participant in the race, gradually building up your online reputation and credibility with search engines, and helping you rank higher for relevant keywords. The former requires continuous effort to stay on top, and the results are short-lasting. The latter can take years, but every piece of SEO content becomes a passive source of traffic and builds brand authority.
Effort vs longevity and impact
Speaking of effort vs impact, it’s safe to say that social media is a rich traffic pool you need to invest in constantly. Churning out engaging posts day after day, tailoring it to appeal to the varying sensibilities of unique audience types, and doing it all meticulously over months will eventually build a strong following and help you spread the word of your brand. That said, keep in mind that every action you take on social media will more likely than not be short-lived.
Search traffic, conversely, has the potential to be a continuous source of visitors. Once written and optimized for search engines, your content will continue to fuel your website with credibility and authority, both in the eyes of the relevant search engines and your audience. Remember, though, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dish out stellar content on a regular basis – it just means that you can get away with fewer posts per week.
By now, you probably gathered that both of these marketing methods are highly specialized and effective in their own right – so naturally, you should incorporate both into your marketing strategy. Use these distinct differences to your advantage, and craft winning content across the board for maximum engagement and improved traffic.
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.
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