Social Marketing Versus
Generic SEO - Whatís The Difference?
by Dave Talbot
There are many different
methods of marketing your business website, on-line shop or e-commerce
website, but for many business owners there seems to be a bit of confusion
between what is considered generic back link building and what is a true
social marketing campaign, and more to the point what is the aim of each
Different SEO and web
marketing companies will of course employ different methodologies to promote
a site and more often than not you get what you pay for so to speak. Equally
there is bound to be a crossover in campaign strategies the debate of which
could go on for months, but the purpose of this article is to highlight the
key differences and aims of each type of campaign not what any single
campaign should contain.
Generic Search Engine
Typically the aim of a
generic search engine marketing campaign (SEM) is to develop relevant and
targeted anchor text back links to specific pages on your website to
increase your sites link profile and authority in the eyes of the search
This of course is all aimed
at improving your website ranking and to ensure your website becomes "known"
in the search engines for the particular key phrases you are most interested
in ranking for.
Low level or cheap link
building services often include article marketing, content distribution and
directory submissions, although most professional SEO practitioners will
probably dismiss directory submissions as the quality of these links is
generally very poor at best and sometimes dubious also.
Low level or cheap link
building services can also take advantage of what have become known as
social websites; typically these are in the form of blogs and other web 2.0
properties and even low level social bookmarking sites. Forum posting just
for the sake of links would also fall under this category.
The quality of budget link
building services can vary wildly but they are not to be sneezed at though,
as in many cases especially in less competitive or tight niches they can
prove to be very effective indeed and are often all that is needed to rank a
Social marketing campaigns
are quite different to generic search engine marketing campaigns although
there can be degree of crossover in many cases. A true social marketing
campaign is much more focused to generating leads and brand awareness as
well as meeting the targeted marketplace in its own backyard.
A social marketing campaign
however is also generally considered to be much further up the evolutionary
tree of link building so to speak and whilst it will still develop and
reward you with good quality back links to your site, social marketing
campaigns are generally of much higher quality in both their make up and
also can require a significant amount of planning and preparation..
Typically social marketing
campaigns will take advantage of prime and highly focussed Web 2.0
properties and business networking sites such as Face book, My Space,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Ecademy and so on, as well as other complimentary web
sites and social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and
Del.icio.us to name but a few .
The aim of a good social
marketing campaign is not to specifically develop back links per se
(although this is bound to happen) but to develop either brand or business
awareness in a defined market place where the products or services you or
your company supply will or could be in demand.
It is also to establish you
or your company as an industry authority, go to person or trusted advisor,
or even a business that can help other people solve their own problems or
critical business issues by the provision of quality goods and services.
The Downside of Social
Whilst the advantages of a
social marketing campaign are undeniable there are a number of downsides to
which it pays to be acutely aware of.
The main downside of social
marketing campaigns is the sheer amount of time and work that needs to be
maintained to develop a businessís authority or profile across many sites.
These types of campaign are
very hands on and involve ongoing social networking and subtle promotion of
a business or brand as well as the generation of useful/helpful relevant
content either for general publication or for posting on your own site as
quality information pages or blog posts, or as donated content for other
complimentary sites that are not in direct competition to your own.
It may be for example that
you want to develop a profile on forums relevant to the markets you are
trying to penetrate by posting quality useful help and advice (not just a
link post), but if not kept up to date or live these profiles can quickly
lose ground and your on-line identity will fade.
Most businesses pursuing
social marketing campaigns as an ongoing strategy will be spending at least
10- 20 hours plus a week in one form or another and although this can be
outsourced (often at considerable cost), typically this is done in house buy
either the business owner or the marketing person primarily because the
business has the internal product or service expertise to maintain a long
term focus and generate quality content.
What Is Right For Your
The correct or most
successful strategy required for each business will vary tremendously which
is why most SEO professionals will not even conduct a web marketing campaign
without some form of initial consultancy or competitive market assessment.
If time is not one of your
assets or your budget is tight then a generic link building campaign may be
all that is affordable to you, but if you are in a competitive market and
serious about your on-line business then it does simply not make good
business sense to second guess your requirements.
Bite the bullet and employ
the services of an SEO consultant even if only for initial consultancy as
the advice you receive more often than not will be highly beneficial to the
success of your on-line venture.
About the Author:
Dave Talbot: Search engine marketing and website promotion is an essential
ingredient for any on-line business. For affordable search engine marketing
and link building services visit