Google Ads and other paid search options have been around for quite some time (Since 2000 for Google Ads, then called AdWords). Paid social – ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – haven’t been with us for nearly as long. Facebook, for instance, began offering advertising in 2007, with most other platforms following suit over the next ten years.
Since then, these paid online advertising opportunities have exploded in popularity – and effectiveness. Which is “better” to use, though? Paid search advertising or paid social media advertising?
Answer: It depends on your business and marketing goals.
When Paid Search Advertising is Better
Use paid search (such as Google Ads and pay-per-click services on other search engines) when you want to “harvest” demand. People using search engines are looking for something specific. Either they need information about a problem or goal or they are looking for a certain type of product or service. You have no prior relationship with these prospects: they’ve never heard of you.
In addition, paid search is great if you’re offering a product. If someone is looking on a search engine to buy something specific and they see your ad right there on the right-hand corner of the results page, they very well may click the ad.
You want, in other words, “high conversion traffic.” You want to get a lot of people to your website quickly.
When Paid Social Media Advertising is Better
There are many reasons why paid social advertising could be better for you:
- You can target specific audiences based on their hobbies, network and interests, even their professions, and more.
- It is inexpensive, especially compared to paid search advertising. This allows businesses of just about any size to use their power.
- Because it can be highly targeted to an audience of your choice, it tends to have a higher click-through rate.
- The ads themselves can be much longer than a paid search ad – especially Facebook ads – letting you provide more information on your offering and/or creating a more eye-appealing ad.
Basically, paid social advertising will be the better digital marketing strategy if you want impulse buyers of your product – they’re members of your target audience (because of paid social targeting capabilities). Social advertising could be especially worthwhile if your marketing personas indicate your target market is prone to impulse purchases and/or uses a specific social channel regularly.
Also, if your business sells a service, social advertising is probably best, as it’s a way for you to get seen by your target audience over time, allowing them to “get to know you” and come to trust you.
Choosing Between the Two
There’s a lot more to paid search and social, of course. That’s why when it comes to digital marketing, Ingenex has your back. We can help you with your social media marketing – both paid and organic – as well as with your paid search advertising.