February 2, 2015 / PPC 101, Social Media, Uncategorized

164653172 (1)Social advertising and paid search are both powerful digital marketing tools that can be leveraged to increase traffic as well as E-commerce sales. Individually, each advertising platform has its own merits, but how can marketers integrate their digital marketing initiatives to make all the elements work better together to achieve greater overall sales success?

Paid search and social advertising can be utilized to promote awareness and visibility of a brand or product. Although the average click-through rate is lower for social ads than paid search, social advertising allows you to promote original organic content in a way that is not possible with paid search.

Where there’s push, there’s pull

Pull marketing typically applies to situations in which users have stated a need, and push marketing applies when a need has not been specified. In a digital space, the lines between push and pull strategies are becoming increasingly blurred. Because of the advanced targeting options on social media, most notably on Facebook, the line between push and pull is hard to define. While paid search targeting is determined by keywords, social advertising allows for targeting by location, age, gender, marital status, and more. Although the ad is still being pushed to the user, this allows for some pull because businesses can craft and push messaging toward prequalified target audiences. Social advertising isn’t a “pure push” tactic because users are targeted based on specified interests; nor is it a “pure pull” tactic, because users are not actively seeking information.

Social advertising allows marketers to utilize the rich behavioral data available on Facebook and other social media platforms to reach a specific audience. Although still lower than the average paid search click-through rate, which recently hit an all-time high, Facebook has seen an impressive 148% increase in click-through rates year-over-year. This can be attributed to improved audience-targeting capabilities.

Your objective matters

Facebook ad click-through rates averaged 0.36% globally during the second quarter of 2014. With paid search, one can expect a click-through rate of about 2%; with a well-executed strategy, that rate could increase.

Social ads tend to perform better than paid search in terms of building awareness and hitting reach/frequency targets, but if easily-measured ROI is your only goal, paid search may be the better option.

A paid search campaign can capture impressions, but social advertising can help fill the gaps of your marketing campaign. With social advertising, you can reach consumers who may or may not be actively engaging with your brand or even considering your brand. In the 2013 State of Search Report, 55% of respondents expected social media spending to increase in 2014. Research shows while spending on both paid search and social advertising campaigns has increased year over year, growth in social advertising spending has been significantly higher: paid search spending saw an increase of 19%, versus an 81% increase in social advertising spending.

Synergy between search and social

Social advertising can also be used in tandem with paid search to create synergy of message across multiple channels. Using targeting to reinforce the tactics employed via other digital marketing vehicles can create a powerful and effective campaign.

Here are a few ways you can use social advertising and paid search in tandem:

  • Research the behavior of your target audiences. You may find that a specific demographic searches for certain keywords more than others. To create synergy between paid search and social ads, use social ads to target that demographic. This creates a cohesive campaign that targets the correct demographics in paid search and social ads.
  • Ad content can be repurposed between the two, allowing consumers to make a connection between them. Integrating ad messaging with targeting could help boost brand recall and perhaps even sales.
  • Analyze conversations that take place around social media campaigns and then use those discoveries to find new keywords for paid search campaigns.

Paid search and social advertising are two very effective digital marketing tactics, and both can be implemented as components of an integrated, holistic campaign. It is important to understand the expectations and potential results of each and know how you’re going to measure success against each one. Once an overarching strategy is defined, you can make better use of unique social advertising features to reinforce what you’re doing via paid search and other vehicles and then leverage each to drive conversion as you define it.

How do you incorporate social advertising in your digital marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

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