Social and search need to work together

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Integrating your search and social marketing efforts can help you multiply results: Insights from the Marin Software white paper

Most marketing directors today have learned the power of search engine marketing and social media marketing. Unfortunately, while most of them understand the return on investment that these two channels can offer, many of them continue to operate both channels separately from one another. Integrating the two channels into a single marketing platform can drive even higher ROI by giving a complete 360-degree view of the customer and better identifying potential high-value customers.

That’s the message behind “The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising: A Best Practices Guide for Cross-Channel Marketing.” This new white paper, published by Marin Software, argues that SEM and social media marketing operate differently from one another, play a different role in the buyer journey and are much more effective when used in combination with one another.

According to the white paper, marketing efforts suffer when different channels are siloed-off from one another. Today, marketing must be all about the customer, instead of being about the channel used to reach the customer. Since search engine marketing and social media marketing provide different insights about the customer, the white paper argues that the two channels should be combined into something that can give a complete view of the customer.

  • Search can tell a marketer what a customer wants
  • Social can tell a marketer who a customer is

When examined separately, these two insights don’t mean very much. However, when search and social are combined, giving an integrated view of who a customer is and what their buying intentions are, marketers have a much clearer perspective on how to best target that customer.

The benefits of marketing channel integration don’t stop with greater customer insight. It also helps ensure that marketing messages and promotions are clear and consistent across all channels. As the Marin Software white paper points out, when search and social channels operate separately from one another, messages can get muddled.

For example, marketers in the search silo may be sending customers a message of “high quality,” while marketers in the social silo are sending a message of “low price.” Integrating the two silos ensures that both search and social will be sending customers consistent messaging, which helps increase the likelihood that customers will identify with the message and find the company trustworthy.

The white paper also points out that search marketing and social marketing should not function separately from one another because they both serve a different purpose in the customer lifecycle. For instance, many users click social ads early on in their buyer life cycles. When they eventually make a purchase, those social ads will only be attributed as a factor in their conversion if the social channel is integrated with the search channel.

The final reason that integrating search and social together is perhaps the most powerful one of all: integration leads to higher marketing ROI. A survey performed by Marin as part of the white paper demonstrates that customers who interact with both social and search ads from a company are far more likely to purchase from that company than customers who only interact with search ads or only interact with social ads. In addition, customers who interacted with both search and social ads drove significantly higher revenue than customers who interacted with only a single channel.

What do these results mean for marketers? According to the Marin white paper, they illustrate the fact that customers are more likely to do business with a company if that company’s messaging is reinforced over multiple channels, while marketers are more likely to make informed decisions about how to optimize marketing resources when they have a clear view of a customer’s complete buying journey over multiple channels.

Read the white paper to learn more about Marin Software’s ideas on integrating search engine and social media marketing to form a single customer-focused marketing platform.


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