Online Marketing – What’s the Difference Between Adwords, Social Media, Email and SEO?

While each channel plays a key role in your digital marketing plan, few can be considered more important than the other four. At least, not at first glance.

Picking your poison(s) carefully is crucial to digital marketing success. The wrong move and you’ll shoot yourself in the foot. For instance, depending solely on Adwords to propel your website traffic can leave you vulnerable to online scams and untrustworthy affiliates.

Why Online Marketing Is the Ultimate ‘Outsourced’ Marketing Strategy

In the age of digital marketing, businesses of all sizes can thrive. Thanks to the widespread adoption of SEO, social media platforms, and paid media (i.e. Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Google Adsense) nearly anyone can invest in marketing technology with relative confidence that their efforts will pay off.

Outsourcing your in-house marketing team is now possible and, depending on your budget, potentially cost-effective. Why?

  • Traditional marketing is expensive and, for larger organizations, requires a massive investment in training and personnel.
  • With so much competition, brands need to focus on acquiring new customers instead of keeping existing ones.
  • Marketing technology provides the ability to efficiently scale and manage marketing programs across all channels and platforms.

In this guide, we’ll explore the differences between Adwords, social media, email, and SEO so you can decide which channel(s) suit your business best.

How to Choose the Right Online Marketing Channels for Your Business

In order to choose the right channels for your online marketing, you need to consider a number of factors. These include how experienced your target audience is in using that channel, the type of content that can be created, and how much you’re willing to spend on each one.

If you’re just getting started, consider investing in Adwords, which is free. You’ll learn more about this option in the next section.

Adwords vs. Organic SEO

Depending on your marketing budget and how experienced your audience is in using search engines, you may decide between Adwords and SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO is considered the ‘old’ school of online marketing and involves the use of ‘white hat’ techniques to improve the organic ranking of your website in search results. The advantage of SEO is that it’s free to implement and, for the most part, doesn’t require any specific training to manage. All you need is a little know-how and a lot of creativity.

On the other hand, Adwords is typically considered the ‘new’ school of online marketing and involves the use of ‘black hat’ techniques to gain unearned rankings in search results. The advantage of Adwords is that it’s easy to implement (requires no specific training) and, because it uses automated processes, offers more flexibility around spending and performance.

If you have a limited budget and want to see maximum results for your investment, consider investing in Adwords. If you have a significant budget and a more experienced audience, consider investing in SEO.

Facebook Ads vs. Twitter Cards vs. Instagram Posts

There are three social media platforms that we recommend you consider when choosing which channels to invest in: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As the name suggests, Facebook is a social media platform where users can connect with friends and family, or form groups and communities. In other words, it’s a place to connect with people. While it was once considered a hub for ‘fake news’ and misinformation, Facebook has taken several measures to combat this, including factoring viral content into its algorithm and hiring a public prosecutor to deal with these issues. Still, as much as we’d like to believe that Facebook is a safe place for businesses, you should still approach this platform with caution.

Twitter is a social media platform where users can post and engage with content directly from brands and other users. If you’ve ever watched ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, you’ll know exactly what Twitter is. Still, despite the name, Twitter is more than just a place to post and engage with content. It also offers a variety of tools and features that can be beneficial to your business.

Instagram is a social media platform where users can share and engage with photos and videos. As much as we love to post on Instagram, this is, essentially, a place for people to consume content. Still, much like Twitter, Instagram offers a variety of tools and features that can be beneficial to your business — from analytics to audience building to contests and more.

As you can see, each of these platforms is very different from one another. While they may all be considered ‘social media’ platforms, each one is used for different purposes and should be approached with a specific strategy in mind.

Email Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Depending on your marketing budget and how experienced your audience is in using email, you may decide between email marketing and digital marketing. Email marketing is simply the use of email to communicate with your customers and potential customers. The goal is to enhance your relationship with existing customers by providing them with value and new opportunities.

On the other hand, digital marketing is considered to be ‘all forms of advertising delivered digitally’ and involves the use of multiple channels (i.e. search, social media, and email) to gain traction with consumers. The advantage of digital marketing is that it’s a highly effective way to reach your audience wherever they are, throughout the world. In addition, with the right strategy, you can increase your reach with consumers by incorporating different platforms and channels.

If you have a significant marketing budget or your audience is highly experienced in using email, consider using this platform to drive awareness and consideration in the marketplace. If you have a limited marketing budget or your audience is less experienced in using email, consider using this channel to strengthen your existing relationships with current customers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Marketing Channel

Now that you have a basic understanding of the differences between the various channels, let’s dive into their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages

Advantages

Each of the following has a great advantage that makes it an important channel to consider:

  • Search
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Social media
  • EMAIL (email marketing)
  • Paid media (i.e. Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads)

In the next section, we’ll discuss each one in more detail.

Disadvantages

Each of the following has a significant disadvantage that makes it a less than ideal channel to invest in:

  • Search
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Social media
  • EMAIL (email marketing)
  • Paid media (i.e. Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads)

In the next section, we’ll discuss each one in more detail.

Searches

Thanks to the popularity of YORSE, we’re going to discuss SEO first, as it’s the most important factor to consider when choosing your channels. When it comes to SEO, it’s all about getting your website to show up at the top of search results for relevant keywords. Since people are typically searching for answers to their questions online, focusing on gaining high domain authority and investing in relevant keywords is essential to getting your site to show up when someone type in a query.

One important thing to keep in mind with regards to SEO is that, while it’s great to have high domain authority, you may also end up with poor click-through rates if your site isn’t well-optimized for mobile devices.

Now, you may be thinking, ‘How can I get my website to rank high in search results if no one knows about it?’ The answer is simple: you have to promote your website. So how do you go about doing this? You could start by publishing quality content regularly. Doing this will not only make your site more attractive to search engines, but it will also encourage potential customers to learn more about your business. This, in turn, can lead to customers and potential customers discovering your site online.