Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

TL;DR Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social media marketing is any social media action you take that is unpaid. If you’re posting about your blogs, sharing info with your followers, or commenting in social media groups, you’re marketing. Social media advertising is any action you take on social media that is paid. From boosted posts to full-on ads to like campaigns, social media advertising is what you pay for. 

If you don’t know the difference between social media marketing and social media advertising, it’s okay to admit it. The distinction can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re new to the social media world or to digital marketing—especially since they’re sometimes used (carelessly) as interchangeable. There is a difference between social media marketing vs. social media advertising, and it pays to know that difference and to incorporate both into your overarching digital strategy.  

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a crucial facet of any digital marketing strategy today. It encompasses your business’s online profiles on social media platforms, along with the social media activity of those platforms: posting, liking, commenting, sharing, and so on.

Social media marketing begins with creating company pages or profiles on relevant social networks. The networks that you choose will depend on your industry; B2Bs will likely find LinkedIn to be the most relevant network, since they’re marketing to other business professionals, while home builders and developers might make use of platforms like Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram to show off images of their homes and properties.

But it doesn’t end with just a page or profile. To effectively market using social media, interaction and engagement are key. Click To TweetYou need to interact with others on the platform by liking, commenting, and sharing their content, as well as by posting and sharing your own content. This will drive engagement, which is when others interact with your content—liking, commenting, sharing, and clicking.  

What kind of content should you share and post? 

Again, this depends on the platform and your industry. Industrial manufacturers may not have much luck posting photos of their products on Instagram. (Are the insides of factories usually very aesthetically pleasing? No.) But, they’ll have more success posting content about their processes, sharing their blog content, sharing relevant articles and news from industry publications, and posting infographics on LinkedIn. 

Twitter is great for sharing links, but because tweets are limited to 280 characters, it’s not the place for longform content. 

Instagram is designed for sharing images, and while you can use an image to promote a piece of content, you can’t link from a post directly. You have to include the link in your bio, which might not be the most effective way to direct people to that link. 

Why Do Social Media Marketing?

One of the major principles of inbound marketing is bringing your ideal customers to you. Since your ideal customers are using social media—everyone is—having a social media presence is a necessity if you want to draw in potential customers. 

Creating a community through social media marketing has some major benefits, like building brand awareness and helping to establish your industry reputation as an authority in your field. Also, it can establish your company as enjoyable to interact with, which can result in people converting to customers when they do need your company’s products or services.  

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising (also known as paid social) involves running paid ads on various social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These can include banner ads as well as native ads and activities like boosting posts or like campaigns. Social media ads are often charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression basis. 

You can use paid social to promote content, like a whitepaper or guide that your company or marketing agency has created. You can develop an ad around this content you’re offering, or boost the posts where you shared the content offer. This increases the reach of your content, which can lead to more website traffic and conversions of visitors to leads. 

Why do Paid Social?

Targeting

Promotional posts on social media don’t have a ton of reach on their own and aren’t likely to get a lot of organic engagement. Paid social allows you to specifically target audiences. This targeting is no joke, either. Depending on the platform, you can target audiences by criteria such as location, age, gender, search history, interests and activities, device use, even things like employer or job title. 

Since you’re paying either by the number of clicks or impressions (views) your ad gets, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most for your social media ad budget. You do this through targeting, which ensures that only the most relevant people (aka, your ideal customers) see your ads. This makes paid social a high-ROI advertising strategy. 

Additionally, the analytics that social media advertising platforms provide you can help better understand your audience and fine-tune your advertisements for better reach, engagement, and ROI.

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Essentially, advertising is a form of marketing that uses advertisements, which are paid notices that appear on public platforms. Not all marketing is advertising, but all advertising is marketing. 

When we talk about social media marketing vs. social media advertising, however, we’re generally making a distinction between paid and unpaid methods of marketing using social media. Social media advertising refers to the paid methods (like PPC ads) and social media marketing the unpaid methods (like your social media posts and shares). Click To Tweet

Which is Better? Social Media Marketing or Social Media Advertising?

If you’ve read this far, you probably already know what we’re going to say: you need both. 

  • Social media marketing helps you build a community and foster relationships with current and potential customers—it’s a long game. 

  • Social media advertising puts your name/products/services/links in front of people who are looking for what you offer right now

Both of these strategies can generate leads and sales, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. Using social media for both its organic (unpaid) and paid methods of reaching your intended audience is simply the most effective use of the vast power of social media. 

Marketing vs. advertising: that is the question. Click To Tweet However, when you use both, you can optimize your results for the best possible outcome. Not sure you have the team to handle both advertising and marketing? Get in touch with Evenbound. We specialize in both inbound and outbound marketing and would love to help. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

3 Outbound Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

3 Outbound Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

3 Outbound Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

If you’re into digital marketing at all, you’ve probably heard that outbound marketing strategies are over. And in a lot of ways, they are. Today’s consumers don’t answer cold calls, they hate being sold to with scammy commercials, and they’ve set their email inboxes to automatically filter out promotional emails. Outbound marketing, in the old, Don Draper version of itself, no longer exists. And if it does exist, it very rarely works.

via GIPHY

But that doesn’t mean that all outbound marketing is done or totally ineffective. It just means that we marketers have to change the way we approach outbound marketing.

If you’ve read our blog before, you know we’re inbound marketing junkies. It’s a way of life, and we love it. Inbound marketing is absolutely the marketing tactic that speaks to today’s consumers, and we often use outbound marketing tactics to bolster our inbound marketing strategy.

When used with tact and purpose, 21st-century outbound marketing tactics are an excellent way to draw more leads into your inbound marketing flywheel.

Not quite sure about that? Let’s take a look at three specific outbound marketing strategies that will actually work to draw in new, qualified leads:

PPC and Paid Search

Pay-per-click and paid search advertising are amazing ways to draw in new traffic. We especially love them for our clients who are just setting up a new website. Since it takes time for Google to crawl and index new websites, paid search is a great workaround to draw in new, qualified leads immediately, until the organic rankings can catch up.

PPC is considered an outbound marketing tactic because you’re paying for it. Instead of letting consumers come to you, you’re pushing your message out to them.

However, unlike outbound marketing tactics of the past, paid search can be highly targeted to address only the consumers who are actually good fits for your product or service. We’ve written extensively about PPC, so I won’t dive into it too far in this blog.

If you want to learn more about PPC specifically, check out this page, or this blog about optimizing your PPC budget for targeted results.

For the purposes of this blog, all you really need to know is that by bidding on quality, long-tail keywords that are relevant to your product or service, you can put your company front and center on the search engine results pages your target buyers are looking for.  

Paid search is a great way to get in front of the audience you want, pulling more of those qualified buyers into your inbound marketing flywheel. Click To Tweet

While it is an outbound marketing strategy, it’s not abrasive or in the consumer’s face. Instead, it offers a product or service that’s relevant to their search, and then it will bring them to your website, where you can use other inbound marketing tactics to further nurture your lead. It’s the perfect example of inbound and outbound marketing strategies working together to grow your company’s revenue.

Social Media Advertising

Don’t tell me you’ve never clicked on a Facebook or Instagram ad.

via GIPHY

Girl, same.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so good at delivering tailored, personalized content to their users, and social media advertising is one way to take advantage of those platforms.

When you have a clear picture of who your audience is, you can develop social media ads that speak exactly to your target buyer. Social media platforms have robust demographic and targeting features that allow you to ensure your selected audience is very specific and highly likely to have an interest in your product or service.

Remarketing ads are a great example of social media advertising as an outbound marketing strategy that actually delivers. They follow someone who has actually been on your site and who has interacted with your content and maybe even thought about downloading a content offer or making a purchase.

When that prospect navigates away before making a purchase or download, they become a candidate for your remarketing ad. Now, when that prospect heads to their social media page, they’ll see an ad for your product or your brand on their social media feed. This remarketing ad is the perfect way to keep your company top-of-mind and keep calling those prospects back to complete their action.

Remarketing and other forms of social media advertising are especially effective outbound marketing strategies because they’re not delivering your message to just any consumer. They’re directed at specific individuals who are likely to, or who already do have an interest in your product or service.

Targeted Email Workflows

Many people don’t consider email to be “outbound marketing”. But, if you’ve ever gotten an email from a bot or about 15 follow-up emails from an insurance company you didn’t reach out to first, you know that’s just not true.

There's a right way and a wrong way to do outbound email marketing. And the first rule is to only email people who want to be emailed. Click To Tweet

(Check out the Golden Rule of Email Workflows here.)

Targeted email workflows work best if you have obtained contact’s email addresses in a white-hat way. That means, they gave you their email address, whether through a subscribe button or by downloading a content offer.

Buying email address is not quality outbound marketing. It’s obnoxious, and it’s unlikely to deliver any kind of quality ROI.

From there, you can use targeted email workflows to nurture specific segments of your email list according to their pain points, challenges, and needs. You’re reaching out to a client, so it is an outbound marketing strategy, but you’re doing so with the prospect’s best interest at heart, which is why it will be effective.

Again, we won’t go too in-depth here, because we have a lot of other resources about email marketing. See: Amp up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation.

The key takeaway here is that when you use email workflows to genuinely nurture leads with content they care about, and that solves a problem of theirs, you’re using outbound marketing to keep drawing new prospects back into your flywheel.

Bottom line? Outbound marketing, or the process of marketing by reaching out to consumers, leads, and prospects, is still a viable way to market. When you use outbound marketing strategies with 21st-century consumers in mind, you can actually produce some significant results.

Want to learn more about how outbound marketing can deliver you quality leads, right now? Let’s chat.

Outbound marketing is tricky in a world of consumers who don’t want to be sold to. We can help. Digital marketing, both inbound and outbound, is our bread and butter, and we’d love to see how our tactics can work to grow your company!

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

PPC for B2B Manufacturers: Everything You Need to Know

PPC for B2B Manufacturers: Everything You Need to Know

PPC for B2B Manufacturers: Everything You Need to Know

PPC advertisement is one of the quickest, most efficient, and most effective methods of getting your company name in front of prospective customers, driving traffic to your website, and converting leads. If you’re marketing your B2B in the digital space, you need to have a PPC strategy. Here’s what you need to know about PPC for B2Bs.

First of All, What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising, which is pretty straightforward: it is digital advertising for which you’re charged every time someone clicks on your ad. Most of the ads you see online every day are PPC ads. There are three major kinds of PPC ads: search network (a.k.a. paid search) ads, digital network ads, and social media (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) ads. Click To Tweet

How Do PPC Ads Work?

Paid search ads make your site a top result when people search for your chosen keywords—these are the sponsored links you’ve undoubtedly seen before when searching for something on Google. You select the keywords for which you want to be a top search result and the area in which you want to be the top result (local, regional, national, etc.), and your link is in the top results for people using those search terms, which drives clients to your site or landing pages. (New to paid search? Freshen up on the basics in our Complete Guide to Outbound Marketing.)

Display network ads are text and image ads purchased through a specific network (like Google) and are displayed on affiliate sites, garnering lots of relevant views. These affiliates can include local news sites, mobile apps, or other popular sites.

Social media ads are effectively targeted ads, as native advertisements or sidebar ads, on a specific social media platform. Because the users of social media platforms provide so much demographic information, you can easily target your ads to your ideal client type.

For B2B manufacturers, LinkedIn ads are one of the most effective types of PPC ads. LinkedIn a) has tons of users, b) allows you to target users by industry, company, job title, and job function so you can specifically target your ideal customers, and c) provides stats on who clicked on your ads so you can determine whether your ads are effective. (Read more on LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing here.)

How Can I Use PPC Ads Effectively for My B2B Manufacturing Company?

First, know that you should be using PPC ads. Then, develop a keyword strategy. You need to determine the keywords that are relevant to your business and industry, the search terms your potential customers use when looking for your products or services, and the keywords that your competitors are using.

You can use that information to create ad campaigns that take advantage of certain keywords strategically, and to deploy PPC campaigns for those strategic keywords across relevant platforms.

For more manufacturing PPC tips, be sure to check out 5 Easy Ways to Maximize your B2B’s PPC Budget, which has lots of useful information on how to bid on brand, optimize deployment, and otherwise get the most bang for your PPC-ad-spend-buck.

If PPC for B2Bs is too many acronyms for you, Evenbound can help. We create and deploy optimized PPC campaigns that will generate leads for your B2B manufacturing company and increase your marketing ROI — that’s an acronym we know you love. If you’re ready to expand your digital marketing strategy to include PPC advertising, get in touch.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

5 Easy Ways to Maximize Your B2B’s PPC Budget

5 Easy Ways to Maximize Your B2B’s PPC Budget

5 Easy Ways to Maximize Your B2B’s PPC Budget

When it comes to PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, you’re going to hear the same old adage repeated everywhere, “You have to spend money to make money.” While that’s true, it’s still important to be smart with how you spend it, especially since it’s easy to run through your PPC budget. Click costs are high, but there are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best possible return on your PPC costs.

1. Bid on Brand

Bidding on brand is essentially bidding on terms that are part of your brand, like your business name. This can be beneficial for numerous reasons:

  • It’s highly relevant to your business, duh, it is your business
  • People searching for your brand are already aware of your brand and closer to the decision stage (i.e., likely to convert)
  • Branded terms are usually inexpensive
  • You don’t want your competitors to bid on them
  • If your business is like many B2Bs and your product/service/industry is in your company name, it will show up in results for people searching for what you do

2. Optimize Deployment

Make sure your ads are optimized for location, dates, and time of day that generate the most qualified leads. Showing your ads when your ideal customers won’t see them isn’t generating you many qualified leads or conversions, so focus your efforts only on those locations and times that demonstrate high clickthrough and conversion rates. This is particularly relevant for B2Bs; with consumer products, people may be searching keywords at all times, but with B2B products and services, your customers are likely performing their searches during business hours–target your ads for those times.

3. Use Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are keywords for which your ad won’t show. Using negative keywords can eliminate irrelevant and unqualified clicks from visitors who aren’t actually searching for your product or service, or aren’t ready to convert. This can reduce your average cost-per-click and increase your clickthrough rate.

4. Bid on Long Tail Keywords

There is typically less competition, and therefore lower cost for long tail keywords. Yes, the search volume for these more specific keywords will be lower than a more general keyword, but the specificity will attract more qualified searchers.

5. Bid on Bottom of the Funnel Keywords

If you want to maximize conversions and sales that result from your PPC activities, bid on keywords that are targeting prospects who are already at the bottom of the marketing funnel, in the decision stage. These searchers are closer to making a purchase than those searching for general awareness keywords.

If you implement these strategies and you’re smart with your PPC budget, the high cost of clicks won’t ruin your ROI, but will instead, boost it. If you’re interested in maximizing your ROI when it comes to PPC and paid search, or are interested in developing your digital marketing strategy further, be sure to get in touch.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action