SEO vs Social Media Marketing Post Covid19 – Who’s the winner?

As the world slowly begins to transition away from the confines brought on by lockdown’s and quarantines across the globe, businesses are now left with the difficult decision of choosing how to allocate a depleted marketing budget. So which is the best option, arguably the two heavyweights of the digital marketing world, SEO or Social Media Marketing. Widely considered to be complements of each other by many digital marketing strategists, while others argue they are direct substitutes of one another. So what’s the best option? 

Search Engine Optimisation 

We’ll start with SEO, the king of organic traffic. While many businesses pull back their marketing budget, could now be the time to shift focus into a dedicated SEO strategy and leapfrog your competitors with the aim of achieving the prestigious one, two and three positions? 

So, what are the positives? When compared to social media marketing, there’s one huge, noticeable difference and that is intent. Organic traffic comes directly from intent driven action, consumers searching for keywords and search terms directly related to your business and the products or services that you sell. So, with this in mind, surely this would be the place to pour your marketing reserves into? We now have to consider the downsides and although there aren’t many, there are some you should consider when making your final decision. 

The biggest negative to SEO is the timeframe that comes with it. SEO is not an overnight success story. It can take weeks if not months for Google to start recognizing key changes made on your site and can take even longer should you be in a competitive industry competing with other businesses who are also very active with their search engine optimisation strategies. 

Social Media Marketing 

So, could social media marketing be a more viable option? Let’s get straight to the positives. Marketing on social media is very instant. A good social media marketer could whip up several campaigns and ad variations on Facebook within half an hour and should Facebook approve them instantly, you could be up and running, receiving traffic to your site and potential sales within a few hours. 

Unlike SEO, social media marketing doesn’t take months to see results, you can see the impact of social media marketing instantly. So, what are the downsides to SMM? Firstly, the intent isn’t there. You are displaying an ad in front of people who could potentially become a customer, but it’s not like you are displaying ads in front of people who are actively looking for you, they very much might be, but 9 times out of 10, it’s quite unlikely. 

Now what about the core positives and there are plenty. Firstly, the targeting capabilities, you can reach customers who may have never heard of you and get in front of them early and directly in front of them through their mobile phones. Social media marketing is incredibly cost effective. If you have a budget of $1000 a month, then that’s all you have to spend. You can add in cost controls and tell Facebook, don’t spend anymore than this amount. 

So there you have it, a quick comparison between the two kings of the digital marketing world, SEO and social media marketing. The final outcome will be very dependent on time and budget, do you have the patience to wait for a longer term result with SEO or are you needing quicker wins with social media marketing? 

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