PPC vs Paid Social: Which is Better to Generate More Leads

PPC and paid social are among the main marketing models and you may be wondering which is better for your manufacturing and retail business. In this article, we'll explain how each of them can help your company, the differences between them, and how to make an informed decision.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click and it's a digital advertising model in which brands pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ads. Also known as paid search, PPC is essentially a way of buying visits to your websites instead of trying to attract traffic organically. Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (for Bing and Yahoo! Ads) are the most popular services for PPC advertising on search engines.

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Fun fact: paid search is among the oldest advertising methods. It has been around since the early 2000s and was made popular by Google and its Google Adwords network.

Paid search is focused on people who have the intention of using the type of products and services you're offering. Therefore, PPC ads are created with the focus of being clicked on and, of course, leading to conversion.

What is paid social?

Paid social uses sponsored ads and other types of content to boost the presence of your website in third party pages and feed. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are currently the most popular platforms for paid social marketing. 

Paid social is mostly focused on branding. More exactly, while you'll push offers, social media is very much tailored to keep your brand top-of-mind, which will eventually lead to sales and partnerships. These platforms have a lot of options that help you create campaigns for people with certain interests, who work in specific fields, who recently traveled to certain places, who follow specific pages, and so on. So it's an audience that is less inclined to use your business' products and services at this time.

What is the main difference between paid search and social search?

PPC vs Paid Social: Which is Better to Generate More Leads

To new marketers, paid search and social search might sound pretty similar. Each of these marketing models excels in certain areas, therefore understanding how they differ from one another is key.

The most important difference between the two models is that paid search performs better at targeting users who are already interested in the type of products or services you sell --they know what they want. If someone is looking to purchase a product on Google or Bing and your ad shows up at the top of the page, chances are they're going to click on it. The vast majority of users who already know what they need will most probably search for different manufacturing companies that sell the same items and compare value and prices.

On paid social, on the other hand, users tend to be more in the 'impulsive buyer' category. This means that they aren't necessarily looking for a certain product or service, but if they happen to see something they like or they've been interested in for a while, then they might consider purchasing it.

This is a subtle difference, but it has a huge impact on the advertising campaign's success, especially when we're talking about the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

In comparison to Google Ads and Bing ads that tend to attract comparison shoppers, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, or Instagram attract impulse shoppers, which, if you work on factors such as storytelling, allow you to sell your products or services at a higher price point.

Moreover, unlike the paid search ads most of which are text-only paid social allows you to display visual ads. These will improve the interaction and click rate. Plus, you have the option to let users like and comment on the ads, just as they would do with non-paid content. This level of interaction from users is what makes social media advertising different not only from paid search but also from other advertising models.

Which one is better to generate more leads?

For food & beverage manufacturing companies that want to generate leads as quickly as possible, paid search (PPC) is the route to start with.

Paid search is ideal for guaranteed, high conversion traffic from users searching for the exact products or services you're selling. It's important for a manufacturing company to target customers who are actively looking for what you offer. Also, paid search gives you the awesome ability to maximize your brand's visibility in this extremely competitive industry. Paid social is an important advertising channel for any business and has a considerably broad audience.

By now, you should have a firm understanding of how both paid search and paid social work, as well as the advantages and value of each.