There have been two main categories of digital marketing tactics for some time:
- SEO Marketing
- Social Media Marketing.
The two have been used as rivals, and probably for good reason, because it looks like it’s the opposite of the other in many ways.
But are they really rivals?
In this article I want to highlight the differences between these two digital marketing services tactics, but also, if and how they can be used together, to maximize different components such as market penetration, rank higher on SERPs and ultimately viral and maximum conversion.
First, Let’s Explore SEO & SEM
There is a big, deep-rooted difference between SEO and SMM: SEO “tricks” SERPs in the idea that your page is worth a high ranking. It tries to play by the rules of an algorithm. Ultimately, it tries to engage a robot to find value in your page.
SMM is the exact opposite: Social Media Marketing “cheats” people into the idea that your product is worth a high ranking. It tries to play according to the rules of the audience. Ultimately, it tries to enable a person to find value for your product.
Pay attention to these two sentences? I bet the answer is yes. So, SEO and SMM can differ in one important aspect – human interaction, that is – but they can complement each other in most ways, because someone’s weakness is the power of the other.
Now Let’s Think about the Target Audience
SEO and SMM have different target groups, as is completely normal. After all, we are talking about two different tactics. But someone can thrive where the other fails. What do I mean by that?
When you use the Social Media Marketing tactics, you need to know your target audience, know what they are all about, create your personas and do your research.
That is why it is easy to find your target audience in Social Media, because SMM is about observing and finding – or even “stealing” – an existing group of people.
Now SEO tactics require one simple thing: predicting needs. Predict conversations. Find keywords. By predicting conversations, you essentially predict the needs. And by predicting needs, you can always stay one step ahead of the competition.
To do that, you can use an SEO tool such as Ahrefs, Moz and / or Nightwatch.
And if you apply that ability to predict things for your SMM efforts, it will work wonders for you.
What about Your Brand?
Let’s say you want to increase brand awareness. Of course the content you post is of great importance when it comes to that.
Go ahead and choose a photo, a video, an infographic and place it on your Facebook or Instagram page. Make sure the copy of the post is smart and enticing and the CTA is strong, ensures consistency with the brand (just like the rest of the content should do) and followed by the link to your website.
Now the photo is there to grab your audience’s attention, so make it worthwhile, relevant to the post and catchy but not too catchy – you don’t want your audience to forget that they should click on your link and visit your website .
This SMM technique sounds like it has nothing to do with SEO, but this cannot be further from the truth. Let me explain why: reputation is one of the most important things when it comes to SMM. You need a high level of involvement, beautiful and enticing content, a strong brand voice and consistency.
All these elements can help brands reach customers through social media, creating a customer base that will be quite large.
A brand that will not disappear in the near future is a brand being searched for on Google.
A brand that is searched on Google is a brand that most likely scores higher on SERPs, both for the brand name but also for important components that can be used as keywords.
Of course we all know what a Google ranking as a result of brand searches and non-brand keywords means: more people visit your page, see your product, subscribe to your newsletter and hopefully become loyal customers.
Oh, and watch the reviews that you get. Reviews and the way you respond to them can influence how customers perceive your brand. The better you get into it, the more people are looking for you, the more organic traffic you will eventually have.
More about Brand Awareness and the Role of Email Marketing
That’s a tricky one, but worth it.
So you have followers on social media, you have visitors to your website, you have traffic, you have subscribers to your newsletter, SMM has led to brand research and searches with brand names have caused your SEO to get off the roof!
So what happens now that you want to take the time and apply SEO principles to your emails?
The first thing to remember is that Google gives high rankings to websites that people don’t refer back to.
A high ranking is a result of SEO. And your e-mail marketing strategy can help you with that.
These are excerpts from an email newsletter from a blog. The way the newsletter is created is easy – too easy! – for the reader to click on the link, read the article or watch the video and post the link to social media so that more people can see it.
These people will be redirected to this website, viewing, signing up for the newsletter, maybe they will share your links on their own social media pages – blogs, even? – and so on, and so on … You understand!
Not to mention the fact that your content is promoted in this way without blowing up your marketing budget.
Oh, and there’s something else. You may need to consider adding a ‘forward to a friend’ button and sharing your campaign and giving you even more traffic! Many email marketing and automation platforms offer that feature.
And that will result in more searches, more shares, higher rankings, and so on and so forth. So as you understand, email marketing can work to your advantage in unexpected ways.
The point is that email marketing brings your brand slowly but surely into the mind of your target audience, to the point where they are trained to expect your email newsletter.
But let’s continue with other exciting ways in which you can let SEO and Social Media Marketing, the two rivals, work together.
Time is Money or Not
Social Media Marketing requires constant innovation, planning, being one step ahead, content that has consistency and is smart and dynamic … Oh, and its content is not exactly evergreen, as a blog would be.
Social media have trends and trends tend to fade over time. This is the most important factor that keeps marketers on their toes, because SMM requires innovation, speed and commitment – lots and lots of commitment!
On the other hand, SEO stands for the long game. It is more laid-back in a way, but you will constantly have to search for new keywords, new techniques and you will have to be able to predict desires.
So it takes longer to see the results of SEO tactics, but it takes more effort to keep track of the SMM tactics. You see where the link is, don’t you?
Use SMM for short-term results, such as collecting impressions and interactions, and achieving brand recognition.
And when you succeed in finding out the patterns of your audience, you have a clear idea about what to predict and which keywords to use so that your SEO tactics become a success!
Also, remember that there is a connection between SMM and the dreaded Google algorithm.
See how Matthew Woodward succeeded in testing the theory and scoring higher and higher on both sides of the marketing currency.
Let’s Talk about Influencer Marketing
It may seem a bit unrelated, but bear with me. Influencers have everything to do with SMM, right? And there are many on social media, which gives you much more options for them to show your content.
Now influencers are mentioned for a reason: they can promote content or products and influence opinions.
And by promoting your website, you get a high-value link that you didn’t have before.
In addition, with all the organic searches that will take place for your brand, if an influencer decides to promote you, Google will certainly find value by ranking you high enough so that you can generate more leads and more revenue.
To Sum Up
Maybe Google does not include SMM in its algorithm.
Maybe the results of SMM are not nearly as effective, in the long term, as the results of SEO. But the two can be miraculously combined, because one has what the other lacks.
Just Think about it this Way:
Social media platforms implement images and videos in a way that SEO simply cannot, while SEO favors long text. And SMM is about knowing the person, while SEO is about predicting someone’s thoughts.
Using nothing to cover the other’s weaknesses is like leaving money on the table. Or like ordering the best cooked steak, but not buying the best bottle of red wine to go with it.
Visit Digital Media Trend for more information about SEO & SMO.