Digital marketing platforms: strengths and weaknesses
By Manick Bhan
Every business faces the difficult challenge of determining where to best direct its digital marketing spend. Determining which platforms will be the most profitable for your business depends on your target audience, your budget, and how people find products and services like yours.
But there are overall strengths and weaknesses for each of the major digital marketing platforms, and your brand should consider these before determining how and where you allocate your digital marketing budget.
Major advertising platforms like Google Ads and Facebook can help you jumpstart traffic and reach a wider audience, while organic SEO can drive conversions and revenue for the long term. Ideally, a smart digital strategy will leverage the strengths of each platform while avoiding common gaps.
For any advertiser, the ultimate goal is to improve return on advertising investment (ROAS) to the point where your digital marketing is profitable and scalable. When combined effectively, these three digital marketing platforms can help your business achieve this goal.
Strengths and weaknesses of the main digital marketing platforms
Google Ads: Harness the Power of Search Intent (But at a Price)
Unlike other forms of digital advertising, Google Ads allows advertisers to reach users at the precise moment they express their intention for something. This is search engine advertising’s greatest value proposition, and no other digital marketing platform can match it. The power of search intent targeting is why the average small business invests around $ 10,000 per month in Google Ads.
Comparing PPC vs. SEO, the most obvious distinction is that advertisers pay for clicks rather than gaining them organically. If advertisers make the most of Google Ads campaign metrics and optimize their ads and PPC landers for conversions, then Google Ads can be a profitable marketing engine that drives quality clicks at a cost per acquisition (CPA) that matches. to their budget.
So what are the main strengths of the Google Ads platform?
- Reach out to users at the exact moment they express their intention for something
- Position yourself immediately above your competition when it is unrealistic to do so organically
- Use powerful Google campaign settings to optimize ads and bids
On the flip side, Google’s ad revenue has grown every year for the past decade. Why is that? The Google Ads model has enabled Google to become more competitive as more and more advertisers enter the market and want to gain market share and dominance. Therefore, every business should know that if their Google Ads campaigns aren’t optimized properly, they can get very expensive.
For these reasons, the main weaknesses of the Google Ads platform can be summarized as follows:
- High cost per click across all industries (as well as click fraud)
- Big brands that run unprofitable campaigns just to block their competition
- When your advertising budget runs out, all your website traffic runs out
One thing I see that digital businesses constantly get it wrong is that they end up spending way too much money on Google Ads because they rely too much on Google Ads recommendations and don’t properly optimize their campaign settings and their bids. This is why it is extremely important to work with a qualified PPC manager so that you do not pay more per click than necessary (remember, Google wants to make money on your investment!).
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Another common mistake is that some businesses put all of their eggs in the Google Ads basket. If your business is generating more revenue from paid search than from organic search, the time you stop paying for search ads is the time your traffic dries up.
Properly optimized Google Ads campaigns can be a great way to drive clicks, drive keyword traffic, and understand buyer intent. But to strengthen the long-term impact of your Google Ads investment, be sure to combine your efforts with other powerful digital platforms.
Facebook ads: target audiences with more granularity (and more competition)
Unlike Google Ads, Facebook users are not on the platform to search for products and services, but to connect with friends and family. This means that the buyer’s intention is significantly lower. However, users give Facebook so much personal information, giving digital advertisers the ability to target audiences with much more granularity than on any other digital advertising platform.
Facebook also requires users to have email and login to use the platform, while anyone with a web browser can use a free search engine like Google. For the most part, this eliminates the anonymity that makes click fraud and poor quality clicks more common with Google Ads.
Even as more and more companies direct their digital spend to Facebook, average CPCs with Facebook ads are still lower than those with Google ads. Since Facebook doesn’t target search intent, conversion rates are also lower. However, with so much lower CPCs, most advertisers end up paying a lower cost per conversion with their Facebook Ads than their Google Ads.
The main advantages of Facebook ads can be summarized as follows:
- CPCs are lower on Facebook than on the Google Ads platform
- Facebook platform eliminates anonymity, which means less click fraud
- Advertisers have the option of submitting a creation, while search engine ads are only textual.
- Advertisers can target users with much more granularity (e.g., by demographics, geographic location, interests, email addresses, pixel data, etc.)
Facebook ads have some weaknesses that digital marketers should pay attention to. They understand:
- Lower conversion rates due to lower purchase intention
- Brands compete with all advertisers on the platform, not just those in their industry
- Certain times create CPM increases, such as the holiday shopping season, political elections, and video or mobile game launches
- Facebook uses Pixel data to help your competition target your audience with more detail (Pro tip: never leave the Facebook Pixel on your website unless you actively use it!)
One of the best advantages of Facebook advertising is that, like Google Ads, it allows your business to reach a larger audience, but in my opinion it is a little easier to run profitable campaigns on the platform. Facebook form. A common mistake brands make with their digital marketing budget is that they don’t direct their spending enough to advertising on Facebook.
B2B and B2C brands in particular with a solid base of quality leads can re-engage their existing leads on the Facebook platform through personalized audience targeting. They can also generate similar leads through similar audiences.
For any brand with a tighter marketing budget that wants to reduce its ROAS, Facebook is a great platform to do so.
Organic SEO: Gain traffic in perpetuity (with a little patience and hard work)
With PPC platforms like Google and Facebook Ads, advertisers essentially “rent” website traffic. But with organic keyword rankings, brands own their website traffic in perpetuity. Working on SEO and building a brand through organic clicks is cheaper than paying for gambling, and the main benefit of SEO is that you get website traffic, but without the price.
Other strengths of organic SEO include:
- Brands can generate long-term clicks and conversions, not just until their advertising budget is exhausted
- Organic SEO is profitable and offers more room for error
- Organic rankings not only drive clicks and revenue, they elevate your brand authority and expertise in your industry niche.
So what are the weaknesses of organic SEO?
- It takes longer than PPC
- You can’t immediately outperform your competition
- A successful SEO strategy takes more time and resources
But SEO doesn’t always have to be slow. Organic SEO focuses on what search engines and users value in the long run. This means that even if the algorithms or CPCs change, the end goal does not change. In some industries, you may see the clicks start coming in just a few weeks.
The Ultimate Small Business Digital Marketing Toolkit
For any business, having a combination of Google Ads, Facebook advertising, and SEO is the ultimate digital marketing toolkit. Integrating organic and paid search is a great strategy, and I often like using PPC to quickly test the market hypothesis before high quality content optimization for the keywords that generated the best clicks in my PPC campaigns.
Overall, these three digital platforms provide incredible opportunities for brands to grow their market share and revenue. The key is to pair paid media with a solid foundation of organic SEO strategy. By leveraging the strengths of each platform, your business can keep clicks and conversions short and long term.
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