03 Dec 2018by Chris Weir

SEO, SEM, SMM, & PPC in Digital Marketing

Let’s start by decoding the most confused acronyms of Digital Marketing:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing
  • SMM – Social Media Marketing
  • PPC – Pay-Per-Click


SEO and SEM deal specifically with search engines like: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. With SEO, we are attempting to optimize our marketing content and contextualize the delivery. In other words, the content should be written and designed in such a way that makes it more likely for it to be discovered in search results by the intended audience.

That concept isn’t necessarily new to marketing, as we have always tried to get our message to the right audience. However, with digital marketing (website, blog, videos, articles, etc.), we are able to be very specific with our targeting. By optimizing our content and contextualizing the delivery to the right audience, we are able to be much more strategic with our budget.


SMM deals specifically with your marketing efforts on social platforms like: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. etc. etc. We separate these efforts specifically because they should not look and feel like your other marketing efforts. Social Media is about connection, engagement, and adding value. It is not designed, or really good at, sales or pushing products and services like, for instance, an AdWords campaign on Google.

I have spoken with so many business owners who shy away from Social Media because they either don’t understand it, and/or they are too lazy to learn about it. I also get the owners who spent $1,000 on Facebook ads that didn’t work, and they refuse to try again. However, those same owners will waste 10 times that on TV and be perfectly fine. Certain social media marketing and advertising avenues are so overwhelmingly and disproportionately underpriced today, you are grossly falling short of your potential reach and revenue growth if you ignore them.


Pay-Per-Click is a type of digital ad you can run either on search engines or social media. It works exactly as it sounds: you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. There are variations of this set-up that will generally get lumped into PPC; for instance, instead of paying for each click, you can pay a smaller amount every time someone views your ad, whether they click or not. The price per view is significantly less that what you would pay for a click, but it’s the same concept.

This is the primary means of digital advertising. The price is mostly based on the value of the keyword(s) you choose to associate with your ad. For instance, if I run an ad based on the keyword “Advertising Agency”, the competition for that keyword will be very high as many people will use that keyword in their search to find an advertising agency. Therefore, the cost that I will pay per click of my ad using that keyword will be higher.

Digital marketing and advertising is not rocket science. It’s still marketing and advertising, only now we have additional tools. And notice I say additional, not different. Attention can still be earned from traditional methods of marketing and advertising. However, what you have to consider is whether or not the return on your investment to earn that attention, justifies the investment that is required. I recommend finding the most underpriced avenue and doubling down.


Do you need help with your digital marketing efforts?  I encourage you to consider my media company, Two Second Media.  Or, if you have a question you would like to ask me, click here.

Categories: Chris Weir Answers