Should PPC, SEO, and social media form part of your overall marketing strategy or do you only have to choose one marketing channel? Here’s why you should be integrating SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.
If you’re a business that has previously only been focusing on separate marketing efforts, it’s time for a wake up call.
The consumers don’t think about your marketing in silos, and neither should you! The fact is that in many agencies, SEO, PPC, and social media teams work independently from each other with almost no integration into their various campaigns... and their client’s overall business goals. You need to start integrating your SEO, PPC, and social media efforts to enhance your marketing strategy.
Should all of these marketing channels form part of your strategy or do you only have to choose one channel?
Before we can answer the above question, it’s important to understand the differences between the three marketing channels so you can make an informed decision.
So, without further ado, here are some definitions we need to get out of the way:
- SEO: According to Moz, a company focused on SEO, search engine optimisation is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
- PPC: Wordstream, an online advertising company says: “PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to ‘earn’ those visits organically.”
- Social media: The Balance, an online company providing money tips and advice, says: “Social media is a series of websites and applications designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently and in real-time. Most people today define social media as apps on their smartphone or tablet, but the truth is, this communication tool started with computers.”
Something that’s really important for us at Spitfire Inbound is collaboration between employees, departments and marketing efforts. As a business, our objective has always been driving quality leads that can further be nurtured into customers.
This approach supports the alignment of social media, PPC, and SEO campaigns to achieve a common goal: turning strangers into customers.
According to Search Engine Land, a search engine marketing platform, “running organic and paid search campaigns simultaneously (with a single point of truth in reporting) allows integrated marketing teams to define the keywords that have the highest conversion rate and therefore determine the themes that will optimise a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy. To work effectively, however, it must be rolled out across SEO, PPC, social media, PR and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), with each team working closely together in order to achieve the brand’s end goals.”
SEO yields a higher ROI
PPC can instantly attract people to your website who are actively looking for your product or service. People tend to trust SEO results more as it can give you a higher return on investment in the long run. When both PPC and SEO are implemented and optimised correctly to drive conversions on your website, it allows you to ‘own’ your traffic as opposed to ‘renting’ it on an ongoing basis. You don’t need to constantly add more resources to attract new traffic, but you can instead focus on attracting return visitors to your website.
Although the purpose of PPC is to attract people who are looking for a particular product or service, it has its shortcomings when you are trying to build a database of consumers. In our digital age, consumers are looking for products and services tailored to their individual needs and it’s important that you know as much as possible about your consumer. You’ll need to be aware of what other products and services they like and what friends in their networks like it too.
Although PPC gives you the opportunity to remarket to audiences, it does not give you the flexibility and creative options you might get from social media channels to tailor your messages.
Social media is more targeted
PPC focuses on attracting traffic to your website, but social media’s purpose is to attract a more targeted audience at an earlier stage in their buyer’s journey. People are socialising and sharing information on a daily basis and want information to read, share and comment on. Social media platforms are perfect for this.
According to Upwork, a global freelancing database, “the other benefit in social media advertising is, the platforms have access to much more detailed demographics than Google & Bing ads. Social media collects everything about us from our relationship status to our favorite music, to our travel plans, and so on. This is very helpful to businesses who want to pay for ads that will reach their exact target market.”
Using social media for retargeting purposes is an area that still needs to be explored by many marketers. A good example where PPC and social media play a role would be on eCommerce websites. You can use Facebook to retarget visitors who abandon your shopping cart and use a similar strategy in PPC to target visitors who have seen your product previously. Take a look at these 5 social media retargeting strategies that maximise sales.
How does integrating your SEO, PPC, and social media efforts enhance your marketing strategy?
According to Lauren Espach, Social Media and Digital Content Manager at Spitfire, there are a few ways in which your marketing strategy can be enhanced through social media, SEO and PPC:
- It’s a more holistic approach, and the various channels support each other in the digital ecosystem.
- There is a higher chance of reaching your desired audience, on the channels that they are on. This will result in increased engagement and ultimately brand advocacy among your audience.
- Consistent messaging. This ensures that your brand is easily recognizable across all marketing channels and touchpoints as well as a unified experience for your audience.
Here are some opportunities for integration between PPC and social media:
1. Observe the competition
What trends and insights are your competitors using to boost their PPC and social media efforts? Look at who your competitors are targeting and find a link by targeting the same audience on PPC and social media platforms.
2. Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences
Easily find more people who like your current customers, visitors to your website as well as Facebook Fans.
As Facebook explains, “Lookalike Audiences helps you create new audiences based on traits from one of the following sources:
- Custom Audiences: Upload a list of your existing customers using Custom Audiences. Then use Lookalike Audiences to find people who resemble that audience.
- Website visitors: Install a Facebook Pixel on your site. Then create Lookalike Audiences based on people who've visited specific pages on your website.
- Page fans: Use Lookalike Audiences to create an audience based on people who like your Page.”
The insights from your Lookalike audiences will help you with retargeting on Google AdWords. Use a Facebook campaign targeting a custom audience who viewed your products and services and prompt them to fill in a Facebook form. Use their details on Google AdWords to convince them to purchase your products or services.
To build a Lookalike audience on HubSpot, select “Create an audience” on the Ads dashboard. Click: “Lookalike audience” on the side panel and select your list of contacts or visitors to your website as your source of audience. You can also refine your results by selecting a certain country or region to target.
3. Use Social Media and PPC to capture leads
Once your leads have made a purchase or signed up to your blog, they will receive an email. Use Facebook as a way to remind these customers at a later stage about specials, new products or offerings, or even content that can drive better sales.
“If you have a robust strategy and ad spend budget, you can gather leads from social media, this works well for B2B and inbound marketing.
Social Media also allows you to reach a potential audience that wouldn’t necessarily see lead ads on Google. Google is more intentional, whereas social media shows the ads to an audience that could be interested in your offer.” Lauren Espach.
SEO, PPC and social media efforts should support each other
For digital marketing to be successful, it’s really important to never focus on only one marketing channel as all of your efforts need to be integrated. SEO and site popularity (driven by social media) can influence your Google Ranking which can lead to cheaper PPC rates.
In our experience, paid advertising can be a really powerful weapon to use to help you have a presence online, especially if you’re starting with a new SEO campaign. To keep the ‘Quality Score’ higher and the cost per click low with Adwords, it’s important that your SEO and Adwords teams work hand in hand to ensure the pages that are used are as relevant as possible.
When it comes to social media, on the other hand, the factors contributing to your Google Ranking are link building and boosting your brand as a whole. Social shares further create inbound links to your website. Social links are considered as high quality links as social media platforms have a high web authority. It’s always important to create a working link of your website on all social media platforms and profiles as it will increase your website traffic. Social media pages with a high amount of followers will also rank better in searches. Lastly, you need to remember to always make your content easily accessible and searchable. Facebook, for example, makes it easy for search engines to recognise your content as can be seen below:
Image sourced from Social Media Examiner
How can combining PPC, SEO, and social media help improve your return on investment?
Mojalefa Mothudi, Spitfire Paid Media Specialist, advises that the best way to prove return on investment when combining PPC, SEO, and social media, is to take a multifaceted approach. In other words, don’t look at PPC, SEO and social media in isolation as each of them have their own perspectives to offer.
Lauren’s advice here is to use a tool like HubSpot to help you measure your ROI: “In HubSpot you can track all of your efforts across PPC and social media (paid and organic). It allows you to see which channel performs the best and it also allows you to be agile and responsive. For example, if you see Paid LinkedIn is getting more leads than PPC, budgets can be shifted to top-performing channels.”
Evidently, combining PPC, SEO, and social media can help improve your return on investment. We strongly advise that you always try to integrate these three marketing channels to achieve your overall business goals.
Trends and Predictions
According to the Search Engine Journal, these are the predictions for PPC for 2022:
- First-Party Data
- Audience Targeting & Segmentation
- Responsive Search Ads
- Conversion Tracking
- Small Business Education
- Return To Fundamentals
- Be Ready For Anything
Just remember, every successful PPC, SEO, and social media strategy needs a good website to back it up. Request a website review and find out how your website is performing.
Don’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket: integrating SEO, PPC and social media can yield excellent results and return on investment for your business.