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Paid Search vs Paid Social – Which Is Better for Print?

Paid Search vs Paid Social - Which Is Better for Print?

Paid Search vs Paid Social – Which Is Better for Print?

As a print service provider, you are always looking for more ways to generate visibility, leads and ultimately new sales. Marketing online using ads is one of those ways you can accomplish that but we understand you may be hesitant to take the leap. Maybe you don’t know enough about paid search or paid social media to get started, or you’ve tried it in the past and didn’t see ROI(which we hear a lot).  Regardless of your history or experience, we are here to help you better understand the two marketing strategies. 

You may be asking which is better for your print business, Paid Search or Paid Social?  It all comes down to what your business goals are, your budget, your target audience, etc. Both are excellent print marketing strategies so we’re going to dive into each one.


PPC For Print Companies

What exactly is PPC? It stands for pay per click and it’s an advertising method where you run ads online and only pay when someone clicks on your ad. One form of PPC is Paid Search and it can be a really effective strategy for print companies like you looking to get in front of print buyers looking for the products and services you offer. 

Pros of PPC for Print

    • You’re able to place an ad directly in front of potential customers searching for the exact thing you offer. For example, someone may type in Google Search “Direct Mail Printing Near Me” which makes it super clear exactly what they are looking for. Then you’re able to create an ad and get in front of those people promoting your direct mail services in hopes they click on the ad, visit your website, and work with you. 
    • PPC is heavily focused on local search which presents the opportunity for you to show up in the search results in your area. You can bid on search terms that include your geographic location to increase your chances of your ads showing for those terms. 

Cons of PPC for Print

    • The PPC space for Print can be a difficult playing field unless you know the game because a lot of common print products are heavily “commoditized” meaning you search for “Brochures” or “Flyers” and big name print companies show up with their eCommerce shopping functionality readily available within the search results and if you’re businesses isn’t set up that way, it’s hard to beat those companies. 
    • It’s easy to waste ad spend on PPC because if you bid on broad match terms, your ads can be shown, and clicked on, by a lot of people that aren’t actually looking for your print products or services. 


Paid Social for Print

Paid Social as a marketing strategy can include a number of different channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter / X. Unlike PPC, you’re paying for impressions (people seeing your ads) not just paying for clicks. Using social media ads, you’re able to use a wide variety of data and information available for individuals to target them with your ads.

Pros of Paid Social for Print

    • The biggest benefit of running social ads for your print business is that you are able to get hyper specific with your targeting to ensure your ads are in front of the print buyers you want to work with. You can use age, location, job title, company information and company size to really narrow down your audience. 
    • While everyone is on social media, there aren’t a lot of print companies running social media ads so it’s not heavily saturated yet. There’s an opportunity to stand out. 

Cons of Paid Social for Print

    • Since you’re paying for impressions running social ads, it can be a more expensive ad platform. This is why it is critical that you have a solid target audience so all of your ad dollars are going where you want them to. 
    • It can be more difficult to run effective ads on social media without having extensive knowledge of the platform because there are so many options and decisions to be made while building out your campaign.


Ultimately, there is no easy answer to the question “Should I Run PPC or Paid Social For My Print Company?”. If you want to gain more local customers and have a smaller budget, you may want to start with paid search. If you want to get hyper specific and target specific companies and roles within those companies and have a little more money to spend, start with paid social. The good news is that you can update, change or pause your online advertising efforts at any time until you find what works best for your print business!



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    Account Executive and Social Media Manager