Which is More Profitable? Social Media Marketing (SMM) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Which is More Profitable? Social Media Marketing (SMM) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A lot of people have been asking this question, Social media marketing or search engine marketing? Which is best and more profitable? 

Well, it depends on what your goals are, who your audience is, what your product is, and so on and so on. There is no best or more profitable type of marketing, only what is going to work better for you.

Search engine marketing focuses on three main areas;

1. Pay Per Click: Optimizing Google Adwords campaigns for lower cost per click, higher quality score, and better landing page conversion rate.

2. Keyword Research: Finding high converting, low competitive keywords that get consistently high search volume.

3. Organic SEO: Increasing your ranking in the natural listings by obtaining quality links to your sites content. Organic SEO also focuses on making your content easily readable and indexable by the search engines.

Which is More Profitable? Social Media Marketing (SMM) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social media marketing takes a different approach, focusing on;

1. Influencer Marketing: Finding quality influencers with your target demographic to endorse your website or product.

2. Social Networking: Building a brand presence on all social media sites, including smaller networks like Vine, Pinterest and Instagram

3. Brand & Sentiment Optimization: Using social listening tools to find and correct negative brand sentiment while seamlessly promoting positive content.

4. Social Ad Management: Optimizing the PPC campaigns on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook.

There’s really no way to determine this other than by experimenting with each. I suggest taking a portion of your marketing budget and devoting some to social media marketing and some to search engine marketing to see what yields more desirable results for you.

Which is More Profitable? Social Media Marketing (SMM) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

There are a few things to keep in mind;

1. Know where your audience is: 

You might think that you’re going to get better leads by going after people on Linkedin, and discover that the majority of your users are active on Instagram. You’re going to have to try and fail a little bit before you find your most lucrative channel.

2. A world exists beyond Google: 

Sure, Google is the search engine giant, but you might want to consider looking into Bing Adwords. My guess is, it’s a much less saturated environment than the six-lettered-multicoloured behemoth, and the same can be said for other smaller search engines that offer advertising platforms.

3. Look for quality and quantity: 

You might be able to pull in a ton more leads with your social media marketing efforts, but are they as high quality as the people you’re adding to your funnel through search engine marketing? This is something else to keep in mind, as you’ll want to go after the highest quality leads you can.


A good business does both. I will say, however, that I have seen quite a few companies successfully run their business by doing just search engine marketing. It is also much more rare to see a successful business that only does social media marketing.

The trick is to not be afraid to experimenting so that you can continue to grow

Thanks for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me with any questions.

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