With people wanting to maximize their dollars more and more these days, I am often asked, “If I had to spend money in an area online to market my business, what would it be? Should I use Google Adwords or do the “Social Media” thing?” The thing is, most people think that if you do not have a ton of time, you can treat it like a heat wave oven and “set it and forget it.” This is far from the truth. As a matter of fact, if you do it this way there is a good chance that you will find yourself spending a lot of money and not getting any return! Believe me, your budget can get gone really quick when you are paying $10 per click and people are going to your website and realizing that they are not in the right place.
One illustration of how an inexperienced Google advertiser may waste time and money is in the example from entrepreneur.com below. It shows how not knowing your market and/or the difference in the different networks you are advertising on, can cost you $’s!
“Let’s say you sell a product for parents who home school their kids. On Google, you could bid on the term “home school,” but what kind of visitors would you get? You’d find that most visitors were curious people who were thinking about home schooling, not people who were already doing it. Why? Because home schoolers don’t type “home school” into Google. They already know what home school is.
You’ll do better to bid on more specific words. However, if you go to the Content Network and bid on “home school”, your ad will show on sites where hard-core home schoolers hang out every day. The Content Network gives you easier access to enthusiasts than search.”
If you are thinking that social media is easier to maintain than pay per click campaigns, then you are sadly mistaken. Most people feel like just because they know all about Facebook and have tons of friends that they can navigate a successful social media campaign. The fact is that social networking for business across all social mediums takes a lot of knowledge and clever writing. You have to make sure you are talking to and engaging your audience and not selling to them while still using your keyword sets and companies message to help build your brand awareness.
You also have to keep in mind that this decision also depends on your target audience. If you have a target market of teens then you should be in the social media realm. If your average age customer is older, then you should not rule out social media, but leaning more towards a content based Adwords campaign might yield the best results.
I would always recommend consulting with a professional firm before trying to go at a Google Adwords campaign. If you do not have the time and know-how to invest in a good social media campaign, you should also consult a professional. If for nothing else, to get everything set up correctly. I recommend this not just because my company offers these services, but because I have had to personally set-up new accounts for people who have lost hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars with little or no leads to show for it. Even if you get leads, are they good quality leads? Do not spend tons of money or start a huge Adwords campaign until you have consulted a professional - or you could be spending money for no reason.