Unless you are blissfully ignorant, chances are you’ve been affected by or at least have heard about the collapse of the stock market and the slowing global economy. Marketing is still essential, perhaps more so, during a recession; however budgets are being squeezed and many companies view marketing as an extracurricular activity. The recent emergence of the “new” media is a deluge of offerings and strategies competing for a marketers strained resources, but which route is the most effective use of those resources?

The various types of social media get a lot of attention from Internet Marketing Company employees and the press. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr are all popular and generate plenty of conversation from the digital pundits. Social media provides nearly 24 hour contact with an interested and dedicated network. However, to be effective, all require a large investment of time to generate content and constantly remain in contact with your audience. Also the ROI from social media can be difficult to ascertain and is not always proportional to the amount of time and money invested. A friend on Facebook does not equal a loyal customer.

Investing in keywords as a search tool can become relatively expensive, but the investment can become revenue as the search engines drive traffic to your brand’s website. Traffic results have the added benefit of being measurable nearly in real time through free web-traffic analyzing software such as Google Analytics. Keyword buys, although more expensive, work to increase traffic and return real and actionable results.

All in all:

Even though the initial investment in search will require a larger percentage of the marketing budget over social media, the measurability of the results leads to a more concrete ROI.