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Search Ads Versus Social Ads

Before deciding what platform to advertise on, you must first understand the purpose of your advertising. Some of the questions you should be asking are:

  • What part of the funnel are you trying to fill?
  • What message are you trying to communicate?
  • What is your budget?
  • How will you measure success?

While these questions might seem basic, they will dramatically adjust the strategy you should be utilizing depending on the answers.

For example, when examining the difference between search ads and social ads, you will find two vastly different approaches to advertising even though they are both online ads.

Search Ads are great for conversions

Search ads usually capture leads much further along in the buying cycle. In this case, your audience is actively seeking your product or service. It usually makes most sense to first capture as many of these leads as possible if the return on ad spend (ROAS), paired with the customer lifetime value (CLV), is profitable for the type of business you are trying to earn.

Social Ads are best for large audiences

Social ads, on the other hand, are more for creating brand awareness—most like traditional media. In this case, your audience is usually defined by demographic and interests. This is a great place to be when you are trying to get your message in front of a large audience at a relatively low cost. You are typically accumulating your target audience at the top of the funnel, in hopes to convert them into customers in the future, when they need your product/service.

Approach to selecting the right Digital Marketing

Which one is best for you? Having a well-balanced funnel is ideal; your organization should have a healthy mixture between direct (search ads) and non-direct (social ads) to create the ideal purchasing environment for your audience.

For example, if a potential customer performs a search, multiple organizations will be returned in the paid search results. If that potential customer recognizes an organization’s name because they have encountered branding ads on a social platform, the chances of that individual converting are significantly higher.

Most of the time, especially when an organization’s marketing budget is relatively small, we strongly encourage our partners to get the phones ringing first by focusing on search ads (low hanging fruit). Over time as revenue grows, we can begin to diversify advertising channels, which will ultimately increase brand awareness and help with the overall ROAS.

It is important to note that an organizations’ product/service, industry, growth needs, resources and current state of business are all variables that need thorough examination prior to placing marketing spends. With that being said, we strongly recommend working with a professional organization to help plan out a strategy the makes most sense for your particular needs.

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