With online marketing, there’s always a debate about the best strategy to grow a brand and a business.
Usually the debate centres around where to spend your time on items that can give you free / organic traffic.
Of course, if we all had unlimited marketing budgets that would be great, but for (most) of us, that’s not the case.
So let’s break it down. If you had to pick one… is SEO or social media marketing be the better option?
Often, businesses will hire an SEO expert or agency to increase their visibility in the search engines without even thinking about social media and the traffic that it can bring to their business.
We’re still talking startup/smb.
Similarly, there are those who focus their attention entirely on building a social media following without spending any time on SEO.
Business owners who grew up with social media, are definitely more likely to understand the value.
However is there a true advantage to prioritizing one over the other?
Targeting an Audience
To bring in relevant traffic and sales, it’s important to be able to target a specific audience.
It is definitely easier to target an appropriate audience on social media platforms.
Most social media platforms allow you to create ads that specifically target people within a certain demographic who will be interested in your niche.
SEO is not quite as targeted. Although you can certainly target those interested in your niche, you generally cannot target a specific demographic.
How Much Effort Is Involved?
To ensure a return on investment, you’ll want to consider how much effort is required to promote your content via social media and SEO.
With social media, you’ll have to plan and post regular content on the various platforms.
While there are tools available that can make this process easier, you still have to do this on a consistent basis.
Social media marketing is not something that you can rely on to work without your own efforts.
Each post you make will only have a short shelf life, so you’ll need to make an effort each day.
SEO, on the other hand, will require work, but once you start to rank your web pages, there will be less ongoing work involved.
SEO is always a long game.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to expect short term results with SEO.
Which Content Should You Use?
Whether you are performing SEO or social media marketing, you’ll need to create content.
The type of content you create will make a big impact on your traffic and whether your audience engages with it or not.
When writing content for your website or blog, usually long-form content will work best.
This means that you may need to create articles of a few thousand words, rather than a couple of hundred.
For social media, images and videos will work best and will be shared across the community if they resonate with the audience.
When this occurs and your content starts to be shared, you’ll also see an increase in traffic to your website.
So, Which is Better – SEO or Social Media Marketing?
You’ll see the most benefits from incorporating both SEO and social media marketing into your online marketing efforts.
HA! That’s the worst answer ever.
It’s the truth.
However, it doesn’t have to be painful.
Write long articles and embed images and videos into your content.
Doing this will increase engagement and time spent on your website, therefore showing the search engines that your content is good and can be trusted.
Plus, people will share content on social media that they find to be interesting and valuable.
Search engines also use social media as a ranking factor, so it’s worth building your social media presence as it will help with your SEO. Building traffic via SEO to your website will also help people to engage on social media too.
Adopt a Gary V style content strategy, using one long form piece of content to develop multiple short form/social posts.
Even though SEO and social media marketing are different, there’s crossovers, similarities and strategies to help you kick ass at both.
And… they’re both necessary.
So suck it up princess, if you are doing one, and not the other, you’re leaving serious money (and traffic) on the table.