Marketing can take many faces, as there are countless ways to approach promoting your brand on the internet. Today we are digging into the digital side of marketing with SEO, SEM, and social media.

Each of these marketing strategies can become a major source of where you produce website traffic. All three build upon raising brand awareness and how your content reaches consumers. Deciding between which of them will most effectively help you grow all depends on your unique business and how you want to present yourself to the public.

SEO

With the SEO(search engine optimization) side of search marketing, you’re using organic strategies to build authority among your industry and increase visibility to the search engine ranking page(SERP). Rather than using paid ways of getting content in front of people, SEO optimizes your digital presence in a way that’s easy for your market segment to connect and find. 

There’s the technical side of SEO that involves going back to the foundation of your website and enhancing certain elements of your site’s structure. These tactics concern your site speed, crawlability, mobile accessibility, site construction, and security.

Then some strategies improve a website’s content as a whole to contribute to your SERP results. Advancing each of your website’s pages to a particular keyword(s) is one tactic. When those words are used in search engines, it increases your chances of showing up on top of SERP. A great way to build your brand’s reputation and trust is to connect your website to other successful, high-quality websites – something called backlinking. When websites link to your brand’s site, it shows search engines that you’re reliable and trustworthy.

SEM

SEM (search engine marketing) is often interchangeable and confused with SEO. On the other hand, SEM is the part of search marketing focusing on paid tactics to gain connections and visibility with your audience. SEM strategies, often called pay-per-click marketing, consist of creating and optimizing search ads. As well as setting up the budget paying for the ads and their placement.

The most common search provider used with this strategy is Google Ads. Businesses organize keyword searches for relevant keywords in their industry to then create ad campaigns targeted around those words. These campaigns are typically designed to target specific audiences. So when users search for those keywords, they see custom ads on the top SERP page showcasing your company’s product or service.

Social Media

While SEO or SEM may increase your reach to search engines, social media is an outlet where you can directly communicate with your consumers. It’s a way of humanizing your brand and truly connecting your mission to your audience. Using platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others to build relationships.

Although just broadcasting quality content to generate website traffic isn’t the only method of marketing you can practice with social media. You start promoting engagement and establishing a community around your brand. With this, you can monitor and measure all the feedback coming directly from your customers, and serving as a channel of customer support.

With social media comes the advertising world too. Like with search marketing, you can create ad campaigns to reach particular audiences outside of your following to generate traffic.

Which is recommended?

SEO, SEM, and social media marketing all play a vital role in how far your business will go in terms of success. One is not necessarily better than the other, but each has different attributes that help businesses reach audiences that best suit their purposes. You need to first look deep into the goals of your company and what you envision it to become, for yourself and consumers. 

How well do you know your market segment? What type of content attracts your target audience the best? Ask yourself what the competition is like in your industry. Are there brands battling for relevant keywords or rather a lot of organic content gaps to fill? Does your brand already have a sense of authority set in your industry? Or even consider what the average cost-per-click rate would be in your segment. 

If your budget is on the low end, organic tactics that come with social media and SEO may be more appealing than using paid advertisements. Although if you’d like to target to a specific crowd that’s easy to measure, using paid ads is a safe bet. Especially if your audience typically knows what they want when they search for it.

Considering all these questions is a step towards setting up a foundation for your marketing plan. To uncover what exactly your business needs to get it’s product or service out there in the most attractive way. Ideally, using more than one of these sides of marketing would be the best choice to generate more sales and build your brand.