Since the emergence of the Internet, digital marketing has helped transform many companies by providing them with an endless stream of high-quality traffic.
While digital marketing is not new to most people, in recent years there have been some dramatic changes in the way companies can advertise online. Simple banner ads are no longer the means of reference.
Instead, the growing popularity of social media networks and search engines have created many new opportunities for advertisers to take advantage of.
Known as search ads and social ads, these two advertising models are used by thousands of companies to drive highly targeted traffic to their websites. But for novice marketers, these two models can look incredibly similar, which often begs the question:
Which one should I use?
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To help you understand the differences between the two and decide what your investment is worth, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each. At the end of this article, you will not only have a consistent understanding of how the two work, but you will also know which one is right for you or your company.
What is search ads?
Paid search is one of the oldest advertising strategies on the market and has been around since the early 2000s. Made popular by companies like Google and its Google AdWords network, more than $ 95 billion is spent on paid search every year.
And, based on current statistics, that number is only expected to increase as more and more businesses take advantage of online advertising.
The basis of paid search revolves around an advertiser who pays a search engine to promote his site to specific users. Specific users can be targeted by the keyword they search for and the user’s location.
The combination of these targeting options allows advertisers to target their ideal demographics much more easily than they were able in the past. This in turn helps them to get much better results for their media investments.
Considering that Google receives more than 42 billion visits per month from almost every country in the world, it is easy to see why paid search is so popular. No matter what industry or business you’re in, there’s a lot of traffic available.
The ads themselves on these platforms generally follow strict guidelines and allow only text-only ads that blend with the search engine results. Compared to traditional banner advertising, they can seem very monotonous, which is not exactly what advertisers want. However, the results say the opposite, since the ads appear as an option exactly when the consumer seeks the solution, thus being more assertive. In addition to the fact that the advertiser only pays when the user clicks on your ad.
Considering that billions are spent each year on Google AdWords, it is clear that advertisers are getting a solid return.
What is social ads?
A new advertising strategy, which is attracting the attention of advertisers everywhere, is called social ads due to advertisers paying to give more reach to their publications on networks.
Powered by gigantic online social media sites that retrieve databases of immeasurable user behavior, such as Facebook and Instagram, social ads are a new type of advertising that allows advertisers to target specific individuals based on their tastes.
Instead of targeting users based on a specific word or phrase, advertisers can target users based on gender, age, likes, and interests, to name a few.
Considering that Facebook and Instagram have more than 3 billion combined users and more than 24 billion monthly visits, it is clear that advertisers are so excited about the growth of social ads.
Unlike text-only ads, which are often seen on paid searches, social media advertising allows advertisers to display visual ads that greatly help improve the clickthrough rate and user interaction. Advertisers also have the option of allowing users to comment and like their ads, as well as interacting with unpaid content.
It is this level of user interaction that makes paid social so different from other advertising models.
In addition to allowing users to interact with the ad, these ads also blend very well with organic content, making them less invasive for the end-user.
In a world already full of ads, not bombarding users with ads at every opportunity is a good thing. Although there have been several fights with ad-blocking plug-ins in the past, for now, paid social media has stood out.
What are the dissents between paid and social search?
For many new marketers, paid search and paid social may look very similar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Both advertising models stand out in different areas; therefore, it is essential to understand which is best for a particular niche or industry.
The most notable differences between the two models are that paid search is best for targeting users who already know what they want. If a user is searching to buy a product on Google and your ad appears at the top, they’ll most likely click on it. Most users who already know what they want will likely look for different companies that sell the same item to compare prices.
Compare that to paid social networks, and users are more likely to be impulse buyers who aren’t necessarily looking for something in particular to buy. But if they see something they’re interested in while browsing social media, they may be inclined to buy it.
This subtle difference can often have a huge impact on the success of the advertising method in a specific niche or industry.
To summarize the differences between paid and paid social research, the question is basically between generating and meeting demand. At Google, an existing demand is met for, who are already looking for the product or service. On social networks, publications invade the user’s feed and try to awaken their interest and generate new demand.
With that in mind, it’s clear that your product or service has a big impact on which one you should use. It is important to highlight that they are not exclusive strategies.
Declaring the winner
If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re sorry to have hopes, but there’s really no winner.
As a marketer, you may be wondering:
What is the best advertising channel to reach my target audience?
It depends on what your company does and how your audience interacts online. For some companies, Google ADS will be the winner, while for other companies it will be social ads.
The most important thing is to understand your customer’s journey and where you are most likely to leave potential.
If you are selling sneakers or clothes, it is very unlikely that people will know exactly what they are looking for. Instead, they’ll probably be browsing to see what stands out from them.
In this example, running paid social media is probably the best option, as it allows advertisers to use images to gain visual appeal. While in other circumstances for items like washing machines, using paid search would probably be better.
A good way to see which competing advertising channels in your niche are using is to access SpyFu and enter the domain. This will tell you whether they are showing paid search ads, what keywords they are targeting, and how much they are spending.
To check if they are showing paid social ads, you should visit Facebook and check their business page.
If they are spending more money on a particular advertising channel, chances are that that channel will be profitable for them. Why waste time and money finding out what works when you can just hitch a ride on their search?