Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Choosing Search vs. Social
It’s an age-old (er, decade old) battle: Paid Search vs. Social Media. While they both have advantages and work best together, today we will highlight areas where paid search has the upper hand.
SEM Is Intent-Based
Social media is full of articles, pictures, and videos that cover all of a consumer’s interests. But in paid search, customers don’t typically find you unless they’re searching for you or something you offer.
This means that traffic coming from search to your site is usually consumers who are lower in the marketing funnel and are closer to becoming customers. Think if it like casting a smaller, more refined net, with target-customer-shaped holes.
SEM Provides Unique Data
One of the most powerful assets of paid search campaigns is its keyword lists. If you look closely, search keywords and phrasing offer golden insights into the mind of your customer. Keywords and phrases can influence creative, help you understand your customer, and plug into your website or landing pages for better SEO ranking.
SEM Is Better for B2B
Let’s face it: social media wasn’t made for B2B advertising. Social feeds are built for distraction – users want something shiny they can see quickly, understand immediately, and keep scrolling past.
Speaking of scrolling, that’s what most users do on social media. CPG and other DTC products have an advantage here, as they’re inherently more enticing than B2B services. An ice-cold bottle of beer with on an artful backdrop is just going to get more likes and shares than an ad for small business IT services.
There’s no unfair competition in paid search. Your B2B brand isn’t competing with B2C products, and anyone who sees your ad is looking for exactly what you offer.
While we believe the real discussion is not search versus social, instead it is search plus social, consider search’s unique advantages and if they are aligned with your brand’s objectives during your next media allocation.