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Paid Search or Paid Social? Which is Better for Your Business

26 Feb

In online marketing Pay-per-Click advertising takes a leading spot as a powerful tool for driving sales and creating brand awareness. Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising offers you effective, direct, and swift ways of extending your reach, connecting with your audiences, and beginning to sell quickly.

Ad systems have evolved often featuring new elements and improvements to allow marketers and business owners to run better marketing campaigns every time they do it. If you are going for PPC advertising, you want to sort out things to see which one to use. There are different kinds of Pay-per-Click advertising including Paid Search and Paid Social. Since Pay-per-Click advertising can be difficult and complex, you may want to liaise with Pay per Click experts to handle the process for you. You will stand a chance of getting better results when you seek professional help from marketers.

Depending on your goals, you may consider Paid Search or Paid Social or even both for your advertising campaigns. What you should never forget is that it’s ‘paid’ business, regardless of which PPC platform you choose from the two, it will slowly or rapidly be chipping away at the ad spending. It is therefore paramount that you have a platform that gives you the best results at a minimal cost. So, which one works for you – Paid Search or Paid Social?

When it comes to search campaigns vs. social campaigns, they offer different benefits. They also function in unique ways and they demand different strategies or even investments.

Paid Social vs. Paid Search: What’s the Difference?

Before we discuss the strong points and weak points of paid social and paid search, it is important we look at how both work. Often, you will find that paid search advertising and paid social advertising work differently - but they all involve a cost. You have to pay for advertising. So how, do they differ in functionality?

Paid Search

When it comes to paid search, it shows ads in regard to search queries. The best-known platform for paid search is Google Ads. Most other search engines also offer paid search advertising including Bing and Yahoo or DuckDuckGo. A peculiar thing with paid search is that it’s intent-based advertising. Audiences see the ads you have placed because they actively want to get a solution to a problem they have. The audience doing checking your ad is usually ready or let’s say almost ready to buy – and that’s something business should appreciate.

For instance, if an individual searches “wedding flowers”, it likely that they are hosting a wedding soon and are looking forward to purchasing flowers. If you have a business that sells flowers for wedding events, you can do a paid search ad based on that term. Something you should realize here is that when getting in front of audiences who have high purchase intent, it makes it difficult to beat paid search. In this case, you don’t even need to convince individuals they have an issue they want to solve – what you should do is convince them you have the right solution.

Whether you are doing paid social advertising or paid search advertising, it is always recommended that you check with dedicated PPC experts. Every dollar you are putting into the campaigns needs to be accounted for and if not careful, you could spend hefty amounts of dollars on campaigns that never yield any results. There are many considerations to make and at times, what you think may work your business may not be so. Expert PPC advertising teams understand the ins and outs of the campaigns and will evaluate your business, your goals, your target audience, and your budget to come up with an appropriate PPC advertising strategy that produces results.

Paid Social

Unlike paid search ads that appear on SERPs after a search query, with paid social ads, they show up when audiences are visiting social media platforms for example Twitter, YoutTube, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Unlike paid search, the audience here may not be actively seeking a solution to a problem they have. They may not even realize they have a problem. So, it’s a different situation that requires an intuitive approach when creating the ads.

Paid social ads are just like other classic forms of ads like billboards, radio ads or TV commercials. Rather than having the customer get to you, you highlight a need that they could have and offer a solution to that need. Here, you hope that the audiences are going to resonate with your messages and consider buying from you. So, paid social ads can present an uphill battle. The positive thing about paid social ads is that you can be able to track their performance. This way, you can see how audiences respond to the ad you made and make adjustments to the messaging or targetted audiences.

If you happen to hit right your paid social campaign, it can drive you a lot of business by having a large number of individuals who want to purchase from you. Let’s say, for example, you want to paint your home’s interior space– you can be lured by the social media feels to consider using a particular paint or shade.

Generally speaking, paid search ads work to harvest demand – there is already demand because the audience has a problem they want to solve. Social ads, on the other hand, happen even without the audiences having a problem or immediate need for the product.

What’s The Best Choice for Your Business?

If it were possible for you, you could market your product everywhere and on every platform or even anytime. However, due to financial and time limitations, it is difficult to pursue all those opportunities. So, should you go the paid search way or the paid social way?

The answer to that question depends on various factors including:

  • Who are you targeting to market to?
  • What are you marketing?
  • What is your marketing goal
  • What budget do you have?
  • How fast do you want the results?

For Fast Results – Paid Search Advertising

There are times when you feel that are starved for sales meaning you want to get sales fast it would mean that paid search is the best option. In this situation, you need to have leads in or your merchandise is out. The audience you have might not be large, however, the marketing that you’re targeting is ready to buy. This is the upselling point about the market. A paid search ad allows you to get audiences who are at the bottom part of your marketing funnel. In most cases, paid search isn’t a long term game. Audiences see your adverts and they click or they don’t. in case they click, they covert meaning they purchase or they don’t.

Although you can retarget to capture sales you may have lost, in most cases, the audiences are just very close to buying and you just need to give them that opportunity.

Think of it this way – you have a water pipe that is broken, do you wait until that time a plumber will come to your home or you have to search for one immediately? While you might not choose the plumber who appears on the first ad, it is likely that you will have hired a plumber in less than an hour. You are ready to convert or to buy the service, it’s just that you have left with the choice of selecting the right plumbing company from the paid search ads you find.

Most paid search platform facilitates rapid decision making – they are designed to help convert before the intent of the audience fades away. While you may get results fast with paid search ads, it’s also likely that you take longer to see results. It depends on how you play it out and how you convince the audiences to convert.

Want to Keep Costs Down - It Depends

The answer as to what platform costs less may not be straightforward. It will depend on the scenarios. Google Ads clicks, for example, cost more compared to Bing’s – however, even when you decide to play with only one search engine platform like Google Ads, you may still find there are variations in the cost. For instance, when you use a keyword such as “candy shop near me” it may cost you like “3.00 per click while a term like “personal injury lawyer near me” goes for something like $75.00 per click. There is an increase in price per click in relation to a correlating increase in the purchase value of the product or service you are selling.

On average, social ads tend to be a bit affordable to click when compared to their search counterparts. If you are going to have a paid social ad on Facebook, the leading social channel, it will cost about $1.00 but it can rise to the levels of $3 or so dollars. While there are variations in social ads costs, you find that rather by that variation occurring by purchase value or industry, the costs tend to increase with the amount of competition for the target audience. Since it is difficult to determine when the competition is low and when it’s high, you should try to set the benchmarks that you can use in your social ad campaigns during your Pay per Click advertising.

Read the Blog: Tips to Optimize Google Shopping Campaigns in 2020

Although paid search ads may cost more, they are more direct. A person may only need to make one click on your Google Ad where you pay $5 for the click but you immediately get that sale. If you look at Facebook, you may have to pay like $0.10 something like a video view, you again pay $4 for the lead generation advert and again $3 for a click before the conversion. This adds up and you could have yourself paying a lot of dollars even than the paid search. An important thing to say here is that the conversion rates per impressions in social channels are basically lower than in paid search ads.

For Brand Awareness – Paid Social

When it comes to brand awareness, you should vogue for social since you don’t need individuals to be searching for your products or your business in order to build a relationship. You just need to get to their feeds and show them things like videos, images or even share content. Social ads can be ideal for storytelling but search ads dwell on putting forward the best benefits or features or services a business offers.

With social ads, you can get a huge reach of audiences faster where people begin to learn more about your brand as you continue engaging them. What’s best is to ensure you set up funnels within social media in order to remind the users who you’re as you offer new content.

The Bottomline

Whether paid social or paid search advertising is the best deal largely depends on other factors like the type of your business, the kind of audiences you target, and your business goals. Paid search may benefit your business in a faster way than the paid social advertising. It is also possible that you can combine both paid search and social campaigns to help you attain your goals and connect with more audiences or build complex funnels. For example, you could use search ads to bring audiences into your funnel before you use display and social ads to make follow-ups thus increasing the likelihood of converting.

Paid social may also be used if you want to create brand awareness before you employ search ads to capture the audiences when they seek for you during the time they are ready to purchase. Since paid advertising takes a good chunk of your money, you want to see how you save in your campaigns by getting the results right and using professionals who charge affordably. With PPC experts in India, you can be able to run your social and search advertising campaigns at a reasonable price and be able to get good results.

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