Social media vs PPC advertising

PPC vs social media advertising

Read about the difference between social media vs PPC advertising

What’s the difference between social media adverts and PPC?

There’s a time and a place for all skills in the digital marketing toolbox, and knowing when to use them is the key to success. Two practices that are often compared are two of the most popular paid models for advertising: social media and PPC (Pay Per Click) ads.

Social media ads are run using platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to place advertising within the feeds of their users. PPC advertising, such as Google’s AdWords system, places paid advertisements in a search engines results pages. So, what’s the difference? And more importantly, which one deserves a portion of your valuable marketing budget?

The key difference between the two advertising models is the way that you can target a potential audience. Each has its merits and limitations and it’s important to understand the difference before making a decision.

PPC adverts

PPC advertising is based on keywords, things that users of a particular search engine might type in, when they are looking for content or answers. The things that people search are signs of ‘purchasing intent’ and can be used to serve them ads that are specific to your products or services. For example, if a user searches for ‘women’s red shoes’ and you happen to sell a product that matches that description, you might want to place an ad targeting that key phrase.

The downside is that they may be searching for red shoes that are less than $50 and your online store is selling them at $200. It can be difficult to capture exactly the right people via PPC and it’s important to understand how programmatic advertising works.

Social media adverts

Social media adverts harness the massive amount of information that they have collected on their users to serve ads based on a wide range of factors. This includes demographics, webographics and psychographics.

You can advertise across all social media channels from Facebook to Snapchat. Bear in mind it may not be relevant to your audience, so it’s critical to define your audience first.

Used properly, both platforms can be effective for generating sales and leads for a business.

Some strategies utilise both PPC and social media advertising and it’s worth testing both and comparing the results if your budget allows for it. The key is to weigh up how you feel your audience and customers might prefer to be served the information and products that you’re offering.

For example, if your product offering is something that relies on visuals to be effective, social media advertising would be a strong choice. However, if your product is something that you might struggle to target users based on their interests, PPC would possibly be more effective. It’s about finding the method that works best for you.

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