Typically wrongly used interchangeable, SEO and SEM are two different marketing channels that a business can utilize to get their message out to their target audiences on search engines like Google and Bing.
It can be easy to mix up the two because they can seem so similar, especially thanks to the similarity between their acronyms. There was a time back in the time where SEO was included in SEM, but now, these days, they are distinctly different in both terms and how they work
To help clear up any confusion on the matter of SEO and SEM, Sam Hollingsworth has written an article on the difference between the two terms.
Read his article over here to finally know the difference.