On a Limited Marketing Budget: SEO or Social Media? Search Engine Optimization | December 1, 2011 | By Aaron Schoenberger

Nowadays times are tough for businesses, and often they’re stuck in a predicament: Invest in social media marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). The question is, what’s best?

Let me begin by saying that what’s best for one company may not be best for another. For example, a business looking to boost sales may see better returns from SEO whereas a business looking to maintain relationships with their customers will benefit from social media marketing. It’s all about what you’re looking to accomplish.

Search engine optimization is geared towards making websites rank better in search results for specific keywords/phrases, which allows companies to respond to a want or need. If a business wants an accountant in Los Angeles, they will likely search for “business accountant in Los Angeles” or something along those lines, and 42% of Google users click on the #1 result. Due to such, SEO is very consumer-driven and produces high conversion rates. But depending on the product or service being marketed, as well as the geographic region, getting the #1 slot can be a walk in the park or a mountain to climb.

On the flip side, companies with steady sales that are looking to increase revenue over time by building digital relationships with past, present and potential customers will find social media more appealing. Social media marketing is all about sharing information and interacting with others, and I always tell clients not to rely on social media as a magical revenue generator. Yes, some companies take off on social channels and rake in big bucks, but it’s not the norm. Usually it takes time to establish a social voice, become known on social channels, build a following, and finally revenue begins to climb.

When working with a limited marketing budget, I’ve found SEO to be the best choice for most companies. I say this because with SEO businesses have the ability to directly increase profits, and can then reinvest into social media. Unless a business owner is going to maintain their company’s social presence or pass the duties off to an in-house employee, hiring a social media marketing company isn’t always economical.

Lastly, remember that every company is different and therefore requires a tailored marketing approach. This article includes information on what I’ve experienced over the years, but shouldn’t definitively guide your marketing campaign.

Aaron Schoenberger
The Brainchild Group

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