Group Of Multi-Ethnic People Social NetworkingGoogle, Facebook and other ad publishers provide powerful platforms for marketers. Paid search is achieving incredible results for online businesses, but which PPC campaign will most benefit your business?

The introduction between paid social and paid search has developed push and pull marketing options. Whilst search pulls in prospects actively searching for merchandise, social media can be used to push product awareness.

There is of course a strong claim for companies to utilise both strategies, but for many small businesses, a split budget is not an option. So if you had to choose between paid search and social advertising, what is the best choice?

Search marketing

PPC is a powerful marketing tool in that ads are displayed against an end-users search. This gives the ads relevance. And given the user-intent is focused on the advertised product, the chances of prospects clicking on your ad are increased.

Or are they?

When an end-user keys a search term into the engine, they are also given a list of organic results. And users will typically opt for an organic result over a paid ad.

However, attitudes are changing as organic search results do not always take the user to the page they actually want, but are directed to the Homepage instead.

PPC campaigns give marketers the option to link to landing pages which take searchers directly to the product or service page they are looking for to get further information.

Paid search also guarantees your ad will be displayed on page one of Google, and although there is still a lot of competition, enticing ad copy will increase your chances of a click-through.

Social advertising

Now that social media networks have pulled the plug on free advertising and limit the number of users that have access to your content, paid advertising is the only way for you to place you content in front of followers.

Social ads appear in news feeds of followers and flagged as paid ads. As with Google Adwords, advertisers are only charged when users click on the ads.

Although social ads will be seen by more people than search advertising, the user-intent is not there. Thus there are no guarantees anybody will be interested in your ad.

However, impulse purchasing is a common behaviour and with powerful ad copy, there is the possibility of attracting as much traffic as you would through search engines – if not more.

Having a budget big enough to tackle both search and social advertising is the best option – and arguably an ideal world.

But if you do have to make a choice between search and social, the most sensible thing to do is try them both and see which offers the best ROI. This will take time however as you have to test ads to find the right balance.

Whilst both paid search and social media advertising offers great benefits to companies, the difference in pull and push marketing could make a critical difference for your business.