The Marriage of Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Advertising

A consistent and valuable pattern I’ve noticed while executing both Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Advertising campaigns is that they’re better together. Don’t get me wrong, they can both be successful as individuals. SEM is powerful because it is intent-driven and you capture traffic when people are specifically searching for your product, service, or business, whereas Social Media Advertising is powerful because you can acquire traffic by targeting likely customers who are earlier on in the conversion funnel. The synergy of both combined make them a serious power couple and here’s how:  

How Social Media Advertising helps Search Engine Marketing:

In SEM, it’s a best practice to bid on brand keywords (your company name that people would search for). These searches provide incredible value to any brand, so although your company’s organic result may appear on the top of a search results page, there is still value in taking up more real estate as well as controlling your message by bidding on brand keywords. A study conducted by Bing at the end of 2015 revealed that running ads on branded terms results in 31 percent more clicks overall for retail advertisers. Studies have also shown that due to the control over messaging and landing page experience, paid conversion rates can be upwards of 4X higher than organic conversion rates. Now, social media acquisition plays an important role by raising awareness and increasing branded searches, especially for smaller sized companies. Often times when people see an ad they’re interested in on social media, they’ll open up a search in a new window or search for the company later on. A client of ours saw a 5X increase in branded searches after launching a social media acquisition campaign, which in turn resulted in increased performance of the branded search campaign.  

How Search Engine Marketing helps Social Media Advertising:

Social media advertising generates demand, which SEM can then assist in fulfilling. So how can SEM help social media advertising? The answer here is retargeting. From my experience, social media retargeting campaigns are a great way to convert users who have previously visited the site but have yet to purchase. SEM can assist heavily in growing a pool of intent driven customers who can then be retargeted through social media ads. For example, if you’re a business-to-consumer (B2C) mattress company and you bid on relevant keywords resulting in someone to click through to your site after doing a search for mattresses, you can now retarget that user and keep your brand top of mind until they’re ready to convert.

When planning your digital marketing strategy, try not to break SEM and Social Media Advertising up. These two different, yet complementary, channels may be just what your business needs!

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