We have had lots of questions with many wondering what the future of marketing looks like? With so much happening this year it's been hard to predict but there’s been a debate raging among industry experts over which strategy is best to grow your wedding business for a little while.
Would SEO or social media marketing be the better option?
Often, the wedding businesses we work with will hire an SEO expert or agency to increase their online visibility in the search engines without even thinking about social media and the traffic that it can bring to their business and similarly, there are those wedding pro's who focus their attention entirely on building a social media following without spending any time on their SEO at all! With changes on the horizon not only for social media (yay! keywords!) but also with the way we not only shop online but discover content as consumers becoming way more accessible across social media platforms let's compare both strategies to see which option is best to get more eyes on your beautiful product and services.
Targeting an Audience
First and foremost before we go into anything else.......to bring in relevant traffic and sales, i.e- real life couples getting married who are interested in your products and services - it’s important to be able to target a specific audience. It is definitely easier to target an appropriate audience on social media platforms. Otherwise - What's the Point? You still need to pay the bills.
Most social media platforms allow you to create ads that specifically target people within a certain demographic who will be interested in your niche but you guys know that we love a bit of organic growth here at TWISN......that's not to say....ad's don't work. We are sure they do! However we find that .....even if you do decide to spend on ads in your business - it's best to know how to build and convert audiences organically - at the very least so you know that the person you are hiring is doing a good job - but also last week some major ad headaches went down across Insta and Facebook - the ad managers didn't even know what was going on.....and those business owners who threw a load of money at ad's or ad companies for their end of year marketing campaigns and seasonal product launches - have had to delay those launches - costing them money. Not ideal....during peak engagement season.....for sure!
SEO is not quite as targeted as running ads on social media. Although you can certainly target those interested in your niche and business, you generally cannot target a specific demographic. Search engines strive to provide customers with descriptive and reliable information. Sounds good right? Especially when we think of our audience demographics - couples planning their weddings, many for the first time - they are going to want reliable and good quality information and who better to give it to them, than you! After all it ticks a couple of things off in your couples mind:
1) Firstly - Can I trust this person - surely if Google is ranking your website and your sources and information is helpful and solves an issue for that client then TICK!
2) Secondly - It sets you up as the authority in your field. See point one but as clients are checking out your website and your online presence and when it comes down to decision time this reliable and descriptive information then builds up crazy like and trust in you as the authority in your niche - and the person to complete their wedding day dreams.
This does means your content must match the intent of the user to rank highly.
If the user has an informational intent to seek out your content (eg they want to find out Google will rank relevant, quality product guides above a product page which is good news for the wedding industry! Whether you have a product eg...from a bride box subscription to a service like a cocktail bar writing informative helpful content about the benefits of your services is a win, win!
A for Effort
To ensure you don't just think you are busy and you actually get a return on the time you are putting in, you’ll want to consider how much effort is required to promote your content via social media and SEO.
With social media, you’ll have to plan and post regular content on the various platforms - but in 2020 if you really aren't doing this already - you should get this into your marketing strategy pronto for the new year. Repeat after me.......you should do this on a consistent basis. No! The internet isn't going to break, if you take a pause (I love a good social media cleanse!) - but is your client going to be a whole load of impressed even if they do come across you and you haven't posted since pre-rona? let me answer that......probably not!
Social media marketing is not something that you can rely on to work without your own efforts. Each post you make will only have a short shelf life, so you’ll need to make an effort each day. But you can repurpose content - especially as seasons change, as new followers discover you and as we head into a whole new class of weddings for 2021/2022 and beyond - even supporting the couples you have who may have had to postpone their wedding makes for engaging content for your wedding business social media.
SEO, on the other hand, will require work, but once you start to rank your web pages, there will be less ongoing work involved.
Whether you are performing SEO or social media marketing, you’ll need to create content. The type of content you create will make a big impact on your traffic and whether your audience engages, clicks on it and reads it or not.
When writing content for your website or blog, usually long-form content will work best. This means that you may need to create articles and helpful about me pages of a few thousand words, rather than a couple of hundred.
For social media, images and videos will work best and will be shared across the community if they resonate with the audience. When this occurs and your content starts to be shared, you’ll also see an increase in traffic to your website. And for 2021 start getting into the habit of creating informative posts with keyword rich descriptions when posting too.
So, Which is Better - SEO or Social Media Marketing?
You’ll see the most benefits from incorporating both SEO and social media marketing into your online marketing efforts.
Write long articles and embed images and videos into your content. Doing this will increase engagement and time spent on your website, therefore showing the search engines that your content is good and can be trusted. Plus, when you create content that resonates with your target couples they will share on social media what they find valuable and interesting.
Whatever product or service you offer, you have a target audience that you want to market to. The issue that we all have is your target audience are all likely at different stages of the sales journey. Some couples know exactly what they want and immediately convert on your website, but others may not be at this stage yet, and the idea of your product/service is merely a consideration. Without the content to match their intent, many of these users won’t find your website at all.
Search engines nowadays use social media as a ranking factor, so it’s worth building your social media presence as it will help with your SEO. Building traffic via SEO to your website will also help people to engage on social media too. When making purchasing decisions in my own life I switch constantly between social media and websites for a variety of reasons, discovery of products or services, to validate the business to check whether I can go and collect or if it needs to be delivered, and for ideas on how to use that product in my day-to-day life and how that service would add that something missing. Couples getting married are doing this too!
So, while SEO and social media marketing are different, they each help the other and the end goal of both is the same - to help increase traffic to your website, products, or services. The answer actually is easy: do both!
If you would like to keep up with the changes on social media strategy and enjoy a good kindle book you can grab our ultimate guide to modern day marketing on social media here.
We also chat keywords and setting up your social media accounts for SEO in our 7 days to grow your socials online course for only £10 until the end of the year!
For those who would like to make sure their business is totally client ready with both their SEO and Social Media marketing our resource hubs for you. Check that out here!
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Take Care.... Katie xxx