04 Sep SEO or Social Media Marketing: Which Should You Use?
If you are looking to grow your business, you may be debating the best strategy to use for online marketing. Two popular and highly effective strategies to employ are SEO and Social Media Marketing but there are important factors to consider in helping determine which approach is right for you.
SEO or Social Media Marketing, which online marketing strategy is best? Social media marketing is often better for spreading causes, ideas, and awareness. SEO is vital for selling specific products and services that people are looking for. Which strategy is best for you will depend a lot on your specific goals and business. In most cases, an interdependent strategy that combines the best elements of social media marketing and SEO together is the best approach.
A common misconception in the self-improvement world is that the key to improvement is working on your areas of weakness. At first glance, it seems like a logical approach, if we improve in our weak areas and remain strong in our areas of natural strength the result should be that we are stronger overall. Right? Over the last decade, many people have begun to challenge this thinking. Tom Rath, the author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, says, “What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths-and can call on the right strength at the right time.” The same can be said for great marketers. A master marketer understands the strengths of multiple mediums and platforms to reach different people. Many people hinder their personal development by trying to improve their weaknesses instead of maximizing their strengths. In-experienced marketers often waste time and money trying to get better at something that isn’t working instead of expanding something that is working. Good marketers focus on how the right online marketing strategy best matches the strengths of their message with the needs of their audience.
Building An Online Marketing Strategy That Uses The Strengths of Both SEO and Social Media Marketing
Is SEO or Social Media Marketing the best fit for you and your business or non-profit organization? We are going to examine the strengths of both social media marketing and search engine optimization (commonly abbreviated to SEO) and the best ways to utilize these strengths for your benefit. We will also look at how to assess your business, market and personal goals to create a digital marketing strategy that delivers powerful results and how our team at McWilliams Media can help you in this process. We will go over trends and stats for how many consumers shop and search online that impact how and where you should position your marketing messages. If you are debating whether social media marketing or SEO is best for you or if you are frustrated with the results you are getting with each one, our hope is to help you re-think your strategy and feel confident in your path forward. The world of internet marketing can feel like a vast overwhelming ocean with complicated choices and buzzwords. Social Media Marketing or SEO? Pay Per Click or Organic Search? Facebook or Twitter? Email Marketing or Re-Targeting Campaigns? Organic SEO or Local SEO? How do we navigate this ocean of options? The keyword to consider is “navigate”. Unfortunately, many business owners do not really navigate the world of digital marketing, they are simply floating along hoping something will work. It’s time to set a course and set sail. Onward Intrepid Internet Marketer!
Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy That Matches The Goals You Have For Your Business
At McWilliams Media, we offer a free strategy session to people who want to stop floating along hoping something works with their digital marketing and start setting a course and seeing results. We start by assessing your current business and online marketing to see what is working well and what is underperforming. This often includes looking at your website to see if it is set up to convert potential leads to customers. Even if you excel at social media marketing or SEO you won’t see great results if those efforts send people to a poorly designed website that doesn’t convert people on a purchase decision. In our strategy session, we also try to understand your audience and customer basis. One thing that differentiates McWilliams Media from other marketing firms is our focus on personal relationships. We believe in treating people like people, not numbers, demographics or socio-economic indicators. This begins with our relationship with each of our clients understanding their hopes and dreams for their business or organization. It also influences how we think about reaching your target audience. We believe in education and empowerment. We do not want any of our clients feeling like social media marketing or SEO is a black mysterious box that you have to throw money in and cross your fingers. We work hard to educate our clients so that they know how the process works and form a strategy that resonates with them. Treating people like people, not numbers, also helps us craft marketing messages for our clients that resonate with their audience and customers. We try to understand the hopes, fears, aspirations, and challenges of your audience so that we can position a clear message on the right channel to reach them in a way that cuts through the noise and helps them solve their problem.
The Strengths of Social Media Marketing
What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing is using social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and many others) to connect with customers and spread your message. Social media strengths include.
Social Media Marketing is great for content that stirs an emotional response.
Although it is not always a good thing there is a reason that social media is famous for spreading anger and vitriol. It is a good medium for emotional messages. Does your marketing message have an emotional appeal of some kind? If it does, then social media is probably a good place to spread your message.
Social Media Marketing is the best choice if an image or visuals are an important part of your content.
Visual images have a powerful effect on us. They have a powerful effect on the way we use social media too. Studies show that posts with images typically generate 53% more likes than those without images. Are visual elements an important part of your brand message? Do you enjoy sharing amazing before and after photos with your clients? Social Media Marketing can be a great way to use images to tell your brand’s story.
Social Media Marketing is best if you want to target a certain demographic, transition point or find people that are interested in a certain niche.
One big advantage of social media marketing is that it can help you access markets and audiences quickly that previously may have been difficult to identify or reach. Platforms like Facebook give marketers an incredible array of tools to use to target ads to certain demographics or interests.
Social Media Marketing can work well to spread awareness and create messages that spread person to person quickly.
Most small businesses live and die on referrals. Social media shares and recommendations are the modern-day referral and they can spread quickly person to person. Studies have shown that many people regard a recommendation on facebook as highly as they regard a verbal referral from a friend. Just be careful because the speed and power of social media can work against you too if a negative customer goes viral.
The Strengths of Search Engine Optimization
What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the art (and it is more art than science) of designing digital content and websites so that they get favorable results from online search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. SEO usually involves consistently posting high-quality website articles structured around specific keywords that you want your website to rank for. It also can involve internal and external linking structures, image optimization, speed enhancements, mobile optimization, meta-data, location citations and a host of other techniques that are all working together for the goal of a high ranking on search engines for certain keywords.
SEO is a better format for long-form text, detailed how to’s, etc and is a great way to educate and inform your customers.
One of the great ways to improve your SEO rankings (how you rank for certain keywords) is to write long-form articles that focus on answering questions around the specific keyword you are trying to rank for. Not only can these posts help drive traffic to your site, but they can also be a great resource to help educate potential customers about your products and services. Posts over 1,500 words usually rank higher on Google.
SEO is much better than social media for targeting what people are thinking about and searching for.
Although social media may be good for targeting a certain demographic or audience, SEO is absolutely essential if the primary goal of your digital market is to sell a product or service to people that are looking for that specific thing. Have a plumbing business and want your website to pop up when people are searching for a plumber? You need strong SEO on your website.
SEO is much better for sales conversion and has a higher conversion likelihood than social media.
Because SEO is the best strategy to get your product or service in front of people who are actively looking for it SEO tends to be more important for most businesses that are trying to convert leads into online customers. People may talk and share on social media but they are much more likely to buy when they find you because of something they were searching for.
SEO, once established, produces an ongoing, passive source of visitors instead of the quick burn of social media attention.
Social media can sometimes be a quick burn that doesn’t last long. SEO tends to be a long road that can pay better dividends later with less frenetic content and activity. Social media marketing needs constant content because every post has an extremely short lifespan.
How To Combine the Strengths of SEO and Social Media Marketing Into A Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy
So now that you have learned the strengths of social media marketing and SEO it’s time to put the strengths together in a complete digital marketing plan. Utilize the strengths of both strategies to help your business thrive.
If you primarily want to convert leads of people needing your product or service into customers, then focus the first part of your strategy on SEO. Identify the most important keywords for your business and make sure your website is well optimized. Consistently post SEO articles on your site that will help you build good organic rankings for those keywords. If you need help in this area we offer several different SEO plans to make sure you are getting high-quality content each month.
Use social media marketing and SEO together as a 1-2 punch. After a lead has converted and experienced your product or service, encourage them to engage with you on social media. If they had a great experience make it easy for them to share about it and share it with their friends. Keep your content fresh and keep them engaged. This will help you stay top of mind and make it more likely they will purchase from you again.
The Most Important Part Of Every Digital Marketing Strategy
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
-George S Patton
The most important of every strategy is execution. Whether you choose SEO or Social Media Marketing or a combination of both it will require work and execution.
How do I get started?
If you are debating between SEO or Social Media Marketing or trying to form a digital marketing strategy for your business, our free strategy session is a great place to start.
Digital marketing may require hard work and execution but it doesn’t have to be a journey that you take alone, our experienced and friendly team is here to help you set a course toward success.