T.P.R. Episode 9 - SEM vs SMM
Sam: Good day to you wherever you may be. This is Episode 9 of the Production Room brought to you by Replay The Collective Marketing Agency. Today I'm joined by my co-host Mikhael Alfon and Hannah Moyer. Mikael Alfon, He's our Head of Content Strategy and Hannah Moyer She's our head of Operations. Today, We're going to talk about search engine marketing and social media marketing. How they're fundamentally different and how they can be leveraged together to generate leads nurture leads and drive them to conversion. Search Engine Marketing as we all know, it's internet base it's based on search.
Sam: So when someone goes online they search for a product or service or whatever comes up on the search results page. The ability of a brand and a company to leverage those positions is based on organic and paid. So you can pay for positioning using like AdWords, Google Adwords so you can pay for premium positioning and you pay per click. or you can invest an opportunity to come up in the organic section and that is through relet, through basically through relevant content and leveraging the way that the search engines index content. so that you can come up for a relevant search results. Social Media Marketing obviously is leveraging social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and the list goes on and on and on and on. there's new social media networks that are coming up but those are really the kind of key the key ones that should be that, you should be focusing on social media platforms. Are are have built in data analytics tools the targeting especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are extremely granular you can. You can target anybody, you can go after interests and you can go out for a lot of demographics from income to from age to places. Where you live to Facebook pages that you like and to interest that you have and different things like that.
Sam: So as far as both types of marketing are concerned the main difference between the two obviously they're fundamentally different, in the sense that search engine marketing is really intent based right. Someone's going on a search engine and they're searching for something very specific whether it be a product or service or whether it be you know a place that they're looking to visit or question. that they're looking dancer or the list goes on and on and on for the things that you can search for obviously. The social media marketing is like kind of like face if we talk specifically about Facebook's kind of like a party. Right. Facebook created a platform for people to connect and engage with each other in a very unique and a social way. And then they figured out how to monetize that through advertising. So the Facebook advertising platform episode number five, we go into a lot of different strategies. So if you're currently advertising on Facebook or you're thinking about advertising on Facebook I suggest you go back to Episode 5. It's a great episode we really talked about how to really hone your skills there. We really targeting and run successful successful campaigns.
Sam: Mikhail when it comes to social media marketing companies really need to know their consumers, to increase the traffic to their sites and in order to drive traffic to their their properties from their social media platforms. What isn't and what is important for companies to research when it comes to company consumer trends?
Mikhail: I think one of the things that they can Research's ,what their competitors are doing. So you know if let's say, you're trying to compete with Coca-Cola and you have a cold drink what are they doing correctly and how are how is their audience reacting different marketing pieces or advertising pieces that they're putting out. And that's definitely one thing, that you can do in addition to that understand who you are actually going out to. You know it's interesting how many times that we've even talked to business owners that have great businesses. And their answer to Who is your target demographic is everyone. It's not right. So understanding who your buyer is is very important especially considering you can target exactly who that is using the Facebook and social.
Sam: So Facebook ad platform has grown to over five million advertisers that pay for advertising on Facebook every single month alone. And that number is growing every single day Facebook's ad platform is wildly successful. Because of the way that you're able to build campaigns the way that you're able to target your audiences. And there's a lot of there's you've probably noticed this you go on to Macy's Nordstrom's or you go somewhere on Amazon. You're looking for an iPad or you're looking for T-shirts or pants or shoes and you log on to your Facebook page you scroll through your news feed and you start to see that you're getting retargeted, for the same products that you were looking at. So I mean obviously a little weird in some way is a little creepy. Obviously there's there's you know there's some big brother aspects to that that may catch people by surprise and make them feel uncomfortable. For me I know that it's going to happen. So it doesn't necessarily surprise me maybe for people that are not in the advertising game. Maybe in older generations that's something that is a cause for concern for them it's not for me.
Sam: But when it comes to increasing sales is this something that should be used as an effective strategy or is it something that might turn off your turn off consumers?
Hannah: I think it can be. It can definitely be used for either in a good way or a bad way, for good or for evil. But I think it is valuable because people most likely, are not going to buy something. The first time they see it they're going to do the research. they are going to read the reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and whatever other online retailers that their product is at. And so they need that reminder of oh right I looked at those running shoes or that iPad maybe. Do I want to buy it or do I not oh maybe I should look at a different retailer. I want to look on eBay. And so the active retargeting is all part of the sales process and that's also interesting to know that ever since Facebook has acquired Instagram the data is linked. And so you may not see it on Facebook necessarily but you might see it on Instagram. And so that's something that I had some friends. Oh no. They have all my data. Is that if you sign up for that. And so you shouldn't really expect any surprises with how people are going to be retarded gay retargeting through it.
Mikhail: Yeah. Additionally
Mikhail: I think before you know a long time ago it was like you did what seven touch points to convert somebody. Right now it's increased to like 42 different touch points. It's not any less intrusive than Geico having a billboard at the Angels stadium or the Dodgers Stadium right. It's like why are you here. It makes no sense but it's just like said staying in somebody's mind consistently.
Hannah: So yeah I think that other point of that is that on Facebook if people are scrolling through they're free to engage with it. I saw an article for it where it was. Sorry but that, because there is going on Facebook they're free to engage with that which makes them more likely to actually click because they're not really doing anything. If they get an e-mail they're probably looking at something else and planning an event or whatever people are using e-mail for. And so e-mail marketing definitely has its value its own space and you have their email address. But utilizing that downtime and the lazy factor of oh it's 3:00 p.m. at work and I'm bored. I don't work. It work that way. I look at it.
Sam: Gotcha. So in this umbrella of Search Engine Marketing There's search engine optimization. I touched on it briefly. Search Engine Optimization focuses on your positioning in the organic section right. In the place that is not paid. So a SEO is like you there's a lot of there's on page, there's off page as SEO that you can do. The descriptions in the meta data and all those types of things in the back and the in the source code of the page itself the things that the search engine uses to rank pages. On that is sort of kind of falling by the wayside and it's a lot. It's very much heavily content based right you can't it's all about unique and original content and your ability to create unique and original content so that the search engines consider you to be relevant. And so that you can come up on the search results page higher ranking organically so you don't have to pay per click. Why is it important for companies to use both on page and off page strategies?
Mikhail: Well you've got to look at your Web site as as an online space as your storefront right. That's where essentially you want people to come to either opt in to some email campaign or purchase product. whatever it might be while you're off page SEO for those that may not know, what that is it's like you know making sure that you're featured in different articles impacting so on and so forth. That's those are like additional billboards for you that are driving traffic back to your Web site. So you have to let people know that you exist. And if your you know your what is it. Bath bomb Web site isn't going to come up against the other hundred million bath bomb websites. then you have to be in multiple places like social media and you know different publications that match that match your industry to make sure that you're found. You know look at and this is another thing and it kind of goes back to your first question. Look at what comes out, when you search for any sort of product or any sort of topic. A lot of times you're going to see you know there's different publications that may come up. But there's also tweets there's also Facebook there's also Instagram pages and social pages so OFF-SIDE ASIO's definitely very important especially since it's highly competitive on the on site SEO world.
Sam: So I mean as far as this SEO. world is concerned. It seems to me like the first page of Google is becoming like where are we going to one day look.
Sam: I mean when you go on mobile you do a search, it's like pretty much all ads like a lot of the ads. A lot of the space there is taken up by paid search. Is that will there be a day where we log in do a search and it's all ads?
Mikhail: Yes and No but I think it's going to weigh heavily and it's going to weigh heavily on what other people are saying about what you're doing and we're already seeing that now with like Amazon people are searching on Amazon for a lot of different products. So it depends on what in what industry but in products for example. The more real reviews that you have in the better, that your reviews are the higher chance you have of coming up. So it's leaning to more social so yeah.
Sam: So social is huge. How is it that some, how can a company use both search and social together in to generate leads and drive them towards a conversion event?
Mikhail: Social can be used for Discovery. Again it is a type of SEO right. So you know if you're creating new content and pushing it out there let's back up two seconds. Create your blog your video your audio piece whatever it is posted on your Web site. Take that link. Put it out on social media. And then that's kind of your shared content that you're using a piece of on content on your site and now using it as a billboard on social pages such as Instagram ,Twitter so on and so forth. So the idea is to attract somebody with that unique piece of content have them and have that content drive them to your Web site and there too. If you want to be really shy about it you know to view the whole article, you got to sign up or just have them there and hopefully you're delivering enough value or somebody will actually want to opt in for a newsletter or buy some of your stuff.
Sam: Gotcha. So now we've got technology like Alexa and Alexa skills are going to be a thing of the future right now. So it's one thing that we know really want to focus on but which allow Alexa allows people to talk speak a keyword phrase search for something without typing a keyboard touching and keyboard and then Alexa generates an answer. We've also got Siri for that too as well. How does this type of innovation affect search engines where Alexa answers are sourced from?
Mikhail: I think the thing I understand is that Amazon because most of that information is being sourced from Amazon. If you get the likes of dot com it's an Amazon company right. Amazon is a giant. And because most of people's buying behaviors are coming from or buying purchasing behaviors or coming from Amazon. We have to think again how can we optimize there. And it's not that you don't focus on Google because as it stands today. You know Google is still getting more search queries but Amazon in itself is a search engine as well. You know for different types of products. So I think that the bigger thing to understand is how people are searching is something to think about, because as it becomes a lot easier to do it we just have to be able to adapt. You know what I mean like we're not typing it in. Even Siri for example the the search results are never that great. You know you ask hey what's the best wing place around here and it says I found five wing places. The idea is to say what's the best wing place around here. Alexa and she says wing nuts.
Sam: So let's take a company for example, let's just pull an example for a company to say it's a consumer services company. so let's say a dentist or a law office let's say they've got 100 grand a year to spend on advertising and they've got a hundred thousand dollar budget and they're sitting around on their table or they're working with an agency and they're trying to figure out what to wear. How is it that they can best utilize that ads that those dollars, in order to accomplish our marketing initiatives which are to create leads to generate leads and create a demand right. Number one. Number two is to generate sales and build a brand So how is it that they can,where should they spend that money?
Sam: What should they do.
Hannah: Ideally it would be a mix. And so in the beginning the first say 60 90 days you want to have that split. Do your se do your social media marketing and then after that you test it because ultimately you can do research and you can see what's happening in your demographics. in your industry and the location but you need to see what works for your particular audience. so you find your audience puts them on Facebook to the content development across social media linked and whatever you want to do. And then you also work on the SEO and you can use a content that you're building for us to work in social media and any kind of finesse that you say maybe this month we pivot a little bit and we try something else and try some new keywords. And I know it's on a very hard and fast answer but ultimately to a point you're just making things up and you're just trying to you're figuring it out as you go on. The algorithms are changing. And just to keep up.
Mikhail: Well here's the thing.
Mikhail: As information becomes more it's more available. Right. And people can easily create all this information you have to do something that separates yourself. So generating sales and generating leads are complete is a completely different conversation than building a brand. But brand you know something that somebody like you know you take the big companies like Nike you take Mike Diamond plumber we are just talking about. He's built that brand over years and years and years and that's something that comes to mind. You think of basketball in sports you think of Nike because they built brand and you know driving, you know you've got to think of how your consumer is searching. Nobody is like I don't think anybody is going to be like see a Facebook ad for Alair and be like, oh shit I should divorce my wife today. Right. But they're probably going to search for best attorney on Google. So spend your ad dollars there in terms of building a brand though, using Facebook in taking your time and maybe resources in a camera or a camera crew or whatever it might be to create videos answering common questions around like you know, any law thing if it's a divorce.
Mikhail: I've never had to go through that thank goodness but it's like a divorce it's like what can I expect, in you know in child custody litigation whatever. It might be answering those types of questions to build trust within your community, so that when they do search you that read and they look you up and that reinforces that you're the dude. Will help will help your closing process and your sales process exponentially because you've essentially done the interview and that initial consultation for your people.
Sam: Interesting. So you can use search to capture that intent. Someone that searches for let's say personal injury attorney. Right. In Irvine California, they're not practicing their typing skills right they're looking for something very specific right. But in the process of selecting a lawyer there's a lot of research that goes into that. It's a very personal very important decision that needs to be made right and there's research and vetting that's going to be done until you know in order to come up with a you know a decision that someone feels comfortable with. So generating you know capturing that person when they're searching for those things so being there when they're searching that is great.
Sam: And then they land on your Web site that land on your landing page, you can pixel them. Right. And then you can retarget them on social media right. So building like you said like getting in front of a camera and answering common questions. Building trust with your audience and building yourself up as an authority figure someone who can be trusted is a great way to marry your search and your social media right. You bring people in because they're clearly looking for that. And then you build trust through social media by being able to leverage different sources of content that you couldn't necessarily do on search. So what do you think about that?
Hannah: I think it's yes to be the short version, but also how about retargeting earlier in this last episode where it feels a little slimy to retarget in legal battles or legal. I mean like if you're someone a divorce lawyer and then you target them about that that's kind of funny.
Mikhail: Is she ready to divorce your wife yet.
Hannah: Good idea.
Hannah: I mean execution but it's a personal injury or entrepreneurship. Not even in a bad, way it's someone who is looking for startup lawyers in San Francisco. Whom you retarget them on Facebook in court to incorporate. Yeah right. And so it's using it in a good way to create that transparency and that trust and just it's a big web and you can't really do one without the other.
Mikhail: You've got to under. Yeah yeah. And here's the thing too. I don't know about you but for me but when I find a new company or a new person or something like that the first thing, I'm doing is looking at googling their name or looking up to see if they have an Instagram seeing their Facebook.
Mikhail: So even if you don't decide to use Facebook ads for any sort of attorney or whatever it might be like .you should still have a presence there because the more active you are and the more content you have there is a good reference for people to think to themselves Oh wait he's the real deal. He's been doing this for a long time. He's spoken about a lot of these different things publicly. You know I mean he didn't just like get his you know he didn't just put up on the Web site that he's a lawyer you know. So it's a trust thing.
Sam: They're going to use those resources your social media page and things like that to make a decision. Yeah. Is a place where they can learn about you.
Hannah: Especially for millennials because I mean this is we're sitting on the table of millennials right now we do we go to the Instagram we go to Twitter linked in. And so if you're targeting an older audience, you might want to use it in a different way but you still want to have that presence because. First time I meet someone like Mikhail I go on Instagram and see how they're doing. So you want to have that really solid brand presence.
Sam: So what would you what advice would you give a company who's like they know they need to step up their advertising game. They know that they need to be a better marketer. What are the steps there too. Is it social media marketing is it a SEO or do they focus on their brand first.
Sam: what is sort of the order boxes that they need to check to make sure that the money that they are spending in advertising and marketing is going to actually you know produce fruit?
Mikhail: Make sure that your foundation is set up have your website done have some pieces of content done right. Make sure that your social profiles are set up and stay active on those things. Some of that is relatively free for those for the smaller new business. For example you can do. You can rent a Squarespace site for 20 bucks a month but make sure that you have essentially your storefront or your home set up in your foundation. After that I would say continue to depending on what your budget is. Continue to produce content you can do a lot of this yourself from your phone or from your laptop, if it's a blog or if it's you know a video or whatever whatever that might be. Fill that out while you're running ads on the platforms that make the most sense for you for a plumber or a lawyer whatever it might be. That's probably better for Search for you know for products like shoes linens and anything you know that type of thing. I don't one of those.
Sam: Consumer products.
Mikhail: Consumer products.
Mikhail: You know Facebook might be a better idea for you because it's like you know because it looks pretty. Those types of things tend to be impulse buys and buys and things like that. So you know you got to understand where you're at. But that would be the order.
Sam: So focus on who it is that you're going after and understand them understand their journey ,that they go through to make a purchase whether it's hiring or whether it's buying shoes right. So understanding those things doing the foundational work. Understanding your buyer persona developing your brand in turn only the external characteristics of your brand who you are why it is that you do what you do.
Sam: How do you do those things and then what exactly do you do to manifest those things in action and that, that work will ultimately determine where your focus needs to be. Your focus needs to be in both places but what your first step is or how is it that you can attack and create a cohesive strategy is going to be produce it or be a fruit of or a byproduct of your foundational work being done.
Mikhail: Yeah. And if you don't have any money then just search for your competitors follower list and start trying to find those people search hashtag. You know Santa Ana and reach out to people that way if you're a product to let them know about what it is there doesn't have to be a lot of money involved. If you don't have it but you know there's a lot of different things that businesses can do and because we're so connected there's no excuse as to why you can't be successful.
Hannah: Yet money is not an excuse.
Sam: They like I don't have money you've got to hustle. Yes.
Sam: All right guys.
Sam: Well this has been a great episode. Obviously social media marketing and Search Engine Marketing is a foundation of what we do and help for our clients. This has been a great episode. Hopefully you've been able to drive some value out of it and learn a little bit more about what your next move should be, on how you can maybe get yourself unstuck from a place where you are currently stuck. This has been an episode nine of the Production Room brought to you by Replay The Collective Marketing Agency. My name is Sam. I'm the Head of Growth Operations here and until next time don't stop growing.