• Tue. Jun 14th, 2022

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing: Understand the Difference

Digital marketing has become essential for businesses. As we now live in a digital age, it is imperative for all businesses, large, small and medium to implement some form of digital marketing.

Digital marketing does more than just market your business and promote your products or services. It can also increase brand awareness and help manage a company’s reputation.

Fortunately, there are a number of digital marketing strategies you can use to boost your business. These include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, and content marketing, all of which are considered pillars of internet marketing. .

Other digital marketing strategies include mobile, influencer, and affiliate marketing, which have recently taken off to boost business promotions.

But, as you can imagine, deciding which digital marketing strategies to implement can be difficult. Don’t worry, though. We’ll cover two of the most popular types of digital marketing that can skyrocket the reach of your business and brand across the internet: search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM).

Before we get into the details, let’s define digital marketing, then learn more about SEM and SMM and their differences to help you decide what to choose and how to implement the two digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing in a nutshell

When it comes to digital marketing, the idea is to promote a business, its goods or services through digital media. This involves reaching consumers through the web, mobile devices, search engines and social media.

Yes, there is more to digital marketing. It is an umbrella term encompassing many Internet marketing tactics such as SEO, PPC, email, and content marketing used to connect with consumers and increase engagement and conversions.

Apart from internet marketing tactics, digital marketing can also take place offline in video games, via smartphone apps, via mobile text messages or even on a subway platform. It’s a great way for businesses to connect with their target consumers.

With the right digital marketing strategy, you can increase your online visibility, website traffic, and improve product or service awareness, as well as boost customer engagement.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in a nutshell

Search engine marketing refers to a form of digital marketing through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It aims to increase the visibility and prominence of a business on search engine results pages (SERPs).

When your target consumers search online, you want to make sure that your website, webpage, or content appears first on the SERPs for users to see your offerings and click through to visit your website.

The two main types of search engine marketing are:


Search engine optimization is actually SEM. Its objective is to increase your visibility on search engines. The process involves updating your website (technical SEO) and producing relevant content (on-page SEO).

SEO also involves doing other things to promote your business outside of your site (off-page SEO). When implemented correctly, you can expect your website to rank higher in the SERPs.

To make sure, consider hiring an expert and a reputable one. SEO company who knows what they do to do SEO wonders on your business website.


Pay-per-click advertising also falls under SEM. Its purpose is to increase your website traffic. This campaign involves creating ads and displaying those ads on SERP.

Since PPC is a paid tactic, you have to pay to display your business’ links on the SERPs and get user clicks. The clicks will bring potential users to your website and this can translate into many opportunities for your business.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) in a nutshell

Social media marketing refers to a form of digital marketing in which you promote your business and your products or services through social media channels. These social media channels include digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many more.

When it comes to social media marketing, here are some examples of what you can do on digital platforms:

  • Facebook: Create Facebook ads promoting your products or services and target those ads to potential customers. You can also post and share valuable pieces of content to encourage customer engagement.
  • Instagram: Take pictures of your products and post them on Instagram. It’s a great way to showcase your products from different angles. Make them attractive to attract potential customers.
  • LinkedIn: Produce and publish relevant pieces of content on LinkedIn. This will make you a thought leader in your industry. You can also pursue networking and synergy with other related businesses.
  • YouTube / Tiktok: Create promotional video clips and post them on YouTube or Tiktok. You can present your products or services as a way to attract viewers.
  • Messenger: The Messenger application allows you to communicate with your customers. If they have any questions about your products or services, you can answer through this social media app. They can even place their orders or rent your services via Messenger.

Which to choose: SEM or SMM?

There is no denying that search engine marketing and social media marketing have become the most popular forms of digital marketing today. These are two quite effective digital marketing strategies.

If you have to choose between the two, consider the value and reach of each, as well as your marketing budget. Understand that each has its best practices and features, as well as its pros and cons.

Also consider your business goals and objectives, your target audience, and other key variables such as time and human resources when choosing between the two options. Then you can implement a digital marketing campaign that will really work for your business.

Better yet, consider employing both strategies to get the best results for your business. Both digital marketing strategies can be very beneficial when used together.