SMA vs. PPC - Which comes up top?

If you’re a business looking to get your name out there, you may have consulted a marketing agency to see what your options are. You might have been bombarded with lots of different terminology from SEO to PPC, it’s a lot to take in! When it comes to advertising online there are two routes we like to propose to our clients, these are social media advertising and pay per click advertising or in a marketer’s shorthand SMA and PPC.


We all know social media can’t be ignored. We scroll through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds daily, even hourly. There’s a large audience out there to be tapped into and target. So what’s your strategy?



Pay Per Click Advertising – PPC


You know those little ads that pop up on google when you search? They pay to be there on a cost per click basis. You decide your maximum cost per click (how much you’re willing to pay) and go from there. The most commonly used is Google AdWords but there are also Bing and Yahoo ads. So why bother with a PPC campaign?


Firstly, your ads are in front of a large potential audience. In theory the people who you’ll be targeting with your Google AdWords ads already have an interest or need for your product or service as they’re searching for it. This presents potentially great conversion rates. A Google AdWords PPC campaign is also fully customisable enabling you to select relevant keywords and ensure any keywords you don’t want triggering your ad are removed.


However as with all tools, it does have disadvantages (though not necessarily for your business!). For example depending on your sector clicks can be expensive. Although this is often not the case, we have had previous clients paying up to £15 per click! There is also no opportunity to add imagery to promote your product unlike social media advertising (which we’ll get too soon), and you’re also pushing your product or service out to customers at a late stage within the buying process. This can help with your goal conversions rate as discussed but it does narrow down who you’re targeting, and doesn’t necessarily open you up to new markets.



Social Media Advertising – SMA


We’ve had some fantastic results for our clients using this form of advertising and it’s relatively cheap too! So let’s talk through the benefits. Firstly, a major advantage is the advanced targeting options. Social media has a lot of information about us all and this is a goldmine for advertising. Ads can be targeted to users with certain demographics and interests. Unlike PPC, it also offers the option to use imagery and video to capture the interest of the user.


Due to the nature of SMA and unlike PPC, you’re capturing potential consumers early on in the buying process, before they realise their need. Although this can result in fewer conversions, ultimately raising brand awareness and prompting your products and services might lead to a sale! In our experience, the goal conversion rate has also been the same if not better than PCC.



Which path do you choose – PPC or SMA?


From our experience we suggest initially splitting your online advertising budget and allocating half to each. It’s best to see what works for you! As with all marketing plans a range of tools should be used, not just advertising. Why not take a look at our other marketing services and see what else is available to you.


Want more information regarding pay-per-click or social media advertising? Get in touch with us and one of our team will gladly offer you some advice and information!