Paid search vs. Paid social - why they should work together and not against each other

Paid advertising comes in many shapes and forms.

Within businesses there is always the debate of whether paid search or paid social will be the best tool to achieve their goals and objectives.

The real truth of the matter is that there is no either/or in this situation. If you’re going to be investing in paid advertising online, then they should be working together to achieve both improved conversion rates and brand awareness.

Have you ever looked at your paid online activity and wondered what it’s really doing for your business? Understanding what both will bring to the table will help you to see why they should both be part of your marketing strategy. 

Search and social sit in different areas of a buyer’s journey, carry different levels of competition and vary in cost.

Search is intent based - an anticipation of who target audiences will be and what keywords they will be searching for. Social is interruptive - we cannot target by intent, but instead by personal, professional, demographic and psychographic segments allowing us to reach the most relevant audience.

Search is the tool best for when a consumer is already aware of your brand - when they’ve already progressed along the sales funnel. Directly searching for keywords means the audience is close to buying, whilst Social would be placed at the top of the funnel, functioning best for brand awareness and initial engagement. What’s better than searching for a keyword? How about searching for your company’s name? Social gets your message in front of new and large audiences and can therefore fuel your search campaigns. 

Search and social should work together to increase the traffic to your site and your SEO ranking on SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Google doesn’t take into account your social following, but anyone searching for your business will see your social channels listed on SERP. Combined with how social channels act as search engines themselves, there’s really no reason to not be treating paid search and social in the same manner, and using them together. 

By only doing one or the other you are missing out on the potential of social which forces your content upon the many. Conversely, if you’re not running a search campaign you’re missing out on any follow up traffic from social activity, and missing out on an extremely efficient and much appreciated activity for sales teams. 

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