Want to grow your business with the power of online marketing? But do not know what’s best for your business.
Do not worry!
In this blog, we will look at the difference between SEO or search engine optimization and SMM or social media marketing. We will also know what will make your product and services more searchable for users?
Before we look at which marketing channel will be the right fit for you, let’s briefly understand both channels.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of getting to grow your business or your website to appear on search engines by getting indexed and ranked for the desired user search query. When done correctly, users will be able to find your website on search engines like Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo for the desired search term.
Why use SEO to grow your business?
“You should always have a well-rounded portfolio of ways to get leads” – Matt Cutts
Often referred to as organic, natural or earned results because you do not have to pay search engines to rank your website. Users have trust on results that appear naturally on Google because they trust on Google and its ability to show them the best possible result.
What is SMM?
Social Media Marketing or SMM is the practice of sharing fun, creative and value-added micro-content by the use of text, image and video format with your users on social sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to name a few. Doing so helps to create a brand personality and create a friendly interaction with your fans which may lead to driving sales and acquiring new customers.
Why use social media?
People do not like brands that try to sell to them with straight-forward promotional content. Content that tells a story and one that the customer can connect to is much better. That is the reason often times social media is referred to as storytelling.
SEO vs SMM
Read : Do You have these 7 Social Media Tactics to Raise Your Brand’s Awareness?
I am sure your mind might be already racing now!
You must be wondering:
“Now that I know more about SEO and SMM, how do I decide which one is the best for me?”
Well, do not worry I am here to clear that in a moment. But first, you have to answer which type of business you have. This will help you pick the right channel.
1. Emergency Products & Services
Do you offer emergency products & services? Does your business have an immediate essential need? Many times a user quickly logins to Google to find a product or service for an immediate requirement. Does your business serve an immediate requirement of the user?
Take for example, your air conditioner is not working properly and you need local air conditioner repair service that can fix it. What do you do? You jump on Google and search for a repair service, right?
That’s a business filling the immediate essential need of users.
Your business is such that it will have customers that will be searching for your services on search engines. This is an immediate requirement that needs to be met with urgency.
If your business falls into this category of immediate essential need, consider ranking well for the search terms related to your business.
“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results”
With proper on page SEO and building quality links, you will get good SEO results. It will help the website ranking of your business go higher in search results. Ideally, you are looking at ranking on the first page on Google and it is best to rank within the first three Google results. This will drive maximum search traffic to your website with better sales and business.
The point here is:
You don’t have to spend money on Facebook advertising to get a million likes when your customers are searching for your products in search engines. Invest your money in organic SEO and reap the benefits on a long-term basis.
2. Impulse Products & Services to grow your business
Do you have a business that depends on impulsive buying habit of a user? It might be the case that a user is not searching for your business in search engines but happen to stumble upon your business in social media.
When a user is on a social media network, he might come across a quirky product or service that interest him but it is not an immediate necessity. In such cases, an internet user might make an impulsive purchase via social media.
Say for example, if you are a printed t-shirts online, chances are you might find the customers in social media. Buying a t-shirt is something that depends on the impulsive buying habit of the user.
Talking about printed t-shirts, Custom Ink is a company that provides custom printed t-shirts. They have a good Facebook fan following and do a good job when it comes to social media marketing.
If you are selling something unique like this, selling custom t-shirts or a stand-up comedy services, it is most likely to meet desired customers through Facebook advertising. You can focus on building a good social media following and telling the story of your business through social media.
Create stories that are fun and engaging. Your customers should be able to relate themselves with your stories. Provide promotional offers and seasonal discounts to grab customers. Your aim is to keep your audiences engaged and share your content.
3. Viral Marketing
“Viral is one of the most grossly misused terms in marketing today” – Karen Nelson
Every brand dreams of going viral on social media. The viral effect helps to distribute your content and grow your social following.
Social media is a great platform for viral marketing. If a user finds something interesting and worth sharing with a friend, he will be happy to share it. The more the content gets shared on social media, the more fans and followers you get which leads to a viral marketing effect.
Read: Do you want to write an article that goes viral?
What if You Need Both?
“My business needs both SEO and SMM, but which one should I prioritize?” Before you decide which marketing channel to prioritize, you need to understand how each channel works?
Though you do not have to pay any money to Google to rank your website, you might have to hire an SEO specialist to help you rank well in Google. The SEO results are not an overnight phenomenon. It takes time, so be patient.
Depending on how competitive your target keywords are, you can expect anywhere between three to six months to start seeing some solid results. And SEO is not a work-now and forget about its process. You need to consistently keep optimizing your website and build links to keep your ranking up.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first”
Keep producing shareable content that adds value to the user. More shares increase your chances of going viral, which means getting a good following over a short period of time.
So which marketing channel should you prioritize?
Firstly, check if your customers are searching for your business on search engines. You can find that out with some keyword research using keyword planner of Google Adwords. If you have high search volume, means people are searching for your business.
For example, I did a keyword search for printed t-shirts in Tennessee. The keyword “custom t-shirts” has a 1K-10K average monthly search which is a pretty decent amount of customers I would want on my website if I am in the t-shirt business.
Secondly, let’s say you have a decent business but looking to grow over a period of time; you have some time to do organic SEO and climb up the Google results. You can make SEO your priority. Make sure that your website and blog is rich with unique content to your website about your products and services.
If your business appeals to the age group between 25 – 34 who are amongst the highest number of Facebook users, chances are most of your customers are already on social media. The graph shows the number of Facebook users by age in the U.S. as of January 2017 (in millions) according to www.statista.com.
But here’s the kicker:
If you have a good marketing budget, you can invest it on Facebook advertising and reach your desired audiences in a very short period of time. So if you want to market your business fast to your customers, choose social media. Share fun and valuable content that engages the user.
Now that you know the difference between SEO and SMM, how each platform works and how to prioritize your marketing channel. You should be able to choose the right channel and invest your time and money to grow your business. Check our social media packages here.