Many companies understand that they need a diversified approach to their digital marketing efforts. With so many digital tools at their disposal, it makes sense that brands would want to maximize their reach by leveraging the power of every platform available to them. However, what most brands fail to realize is that paying equal attention to search and social marketing efforts may not always be the best strategy. In fact, it could end up depleting their ad spend without providing the results they seek.

Developing an effective digital marketing mix involves strategic thinking and a firm understanding of how search engine and social media marketing work to achieve specific business goals. By taking the time to understand how their business objectives align with certain marketing strategies, brands can make smarter decisions and see a stronger return on their ad spend.

The Inverse Correlation Between Search & Social Marketing

It may be surprising to some that search engine and social media marketing don’t always go hand-in-hand, nor are they universally suitable for achieving a company’s overarching marketing goals. In fact, there is an inverse correlation between the businesses that are best-suited for search engine marketing and those that perform best with social media marketing.

Generally speaking, social media marketing is a great tool for businesses focused on generating brand awareness and influencing demand. While brands can build lead generation campaigns through social media platforms, these initiatives are not as robust as those offered through search engine marketing solutions. Instead, social media marketing is a great option for brands seeking to influence consumer behavior and drive attention to their products and services.

By contrast, search engine marketing is an ideal solution for businesses seeking to increase conversions and generate viable leads. This is due to the fact that consumers who are already searching for a business’ products and services are more inclined to convert, submit their information, and make a purchase compared to those that are passively scrolling through their social feeds.

For these reasons, it’s imperative that brands optimize their marketing efforts based on user intent, tailoring their marketing mix to help guide the consumer journey from beginning to end. To accomplish this, businesses must first understand how their search volume and profit per acquisition ultimately impact digital marketing success or failure.


Determining Marketing Strategy Based on Volume & Profit

Building an impactful digital marketing mix starts with a firm understanding of one’s business model. In general, businesses that have a high search volume and low profit per acquisition are great candidates for social media campaigns. These include businesses like apparel companies, restaurants, or department stores. On the other hand, businesses with low search volume and high profit per acquisition — such as lawyers, plumbers, or HVAC technicians — will generally benefit more from a search engine marketing campaign.

However, there are other factors to consider that may influence a brand’s digital marketing mix, including:

  • Competition: The higher the competition, the better suited the business is for social media marketing. Businesses with lower competition will have more success running search campaigns.


  • Brand Image: Some businesses naturally perform better on social media. For example, a veterinarian might have low search volume, high profit per acquisition, and low competition; however, any social media marketer can attest to the fact that animal-oriented content generate much higher levels of engagement.


  • Customer Lifetime Value: Repeat business is another way to determine whether or not social or search marketing is right for a brand. If customers make smaller purchases but patronize the business more frequently, the brand would likely benefit from a social campaign. On the other hand, businesses with customers that purchase high-ticket products and services once every few years will have greater success with a search campaign.
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Another datapoint businesses may consider is their conversion rate. While not as influential a factor as some of the others mentioned in this section, conversion rate can help determine the best marketing mix. Generally, the lower the conversion rate, the better a business will perform on social media while the opposite is true for businesses that perform better with search campaigns.

Striking a Balance to Drive Digital Marketing Success

Businesses seeking to make the biggest impact through their digital marketing efforts should absolutely leverage all of the tools at their disposal. However, exactly how much effort is allotted to each marketing platform is a crucial component to consider in order to develop the best strategy. By gaining an understanding of their business model, search analytics, and target consumer behavior, businesses can strike the right balance between search and social media marketing to influence the consumer journey and drive continued success.