With all the talk about social networks and engagement, when it comes to getting things done, we rely on search. The image above was part of the set I used last Fall at the Inbound Marketing Summit when we talked about the importance of creating content for sharing.
There was another interesting study I did not mention at the time that confirms a few of the following statements on social media as content delivery mechanism to:
- help conversions
- connect to value
- build relationships
- extend to influentials
- engage via education
They are all outcomes I've had the opportunity to experience and deliver on -- yes, outcomes even though some may seem a bit like fluff to the more hard core marketers (Third Tribe anyone?).
The study I came across later was conducted by GroupM Search and explores the interplay of social and search. There is a connection between activities in one, and results in the other -- actually it's more appropriate to call it a lift, as in the chart below.
Some highlights in the report:
- Consumers exposed to a brand’s influenced social media and paid search are 2.8 times more likely to search for that brand’s products
- There's a 50% CTR increase in paid search when consumers were exposed to both influenced social media and paid search
- There's a 42-point lift in searcher penetration around brand product terms when consumers were exposed to both influenced social media and paid search compared to paid alone
When we discover something, in this case a brand, we're more prone to being influenced by that discovery in our search behavior. One of the key findings in the study revealed that social media exposure is correlated with lower-funnel search behavior.
This is not unlike the off line behavior of thinking about buying a car, then making friends on Twitter and other places with the folks who are test driving the Ford Fiesta -- and with the additional conversation about the Toyota recalls in the same context, now all of a sudden that is one of the brands you're open to searching.
The rest depends on Ford's ability to sustain a conversation strategy in social networks, the type of comments and peer reviews the automaker's cars get in the space, its own content, and its ad budget. Because integration is what works best in marketing communications.
Earned mentions, along with owned and paid media. Multimedia, where multi touch takes on a whole new meaning, still works.
SEM or paid search works better when the awareness and the consideration are influenced in social media. This to me reads a bit like the old massive ad buys are rapidly moving towards organic and digital activities with results that in turn produce better down-the-funnel performance with paid media.
What do you do with this information?
Let's take a look at a few ideas we can drill down on in future posts:
- clearly, you need to have a strategy for social. No matter your business size, and we know small businesses are a bit reluctant to pull scarce resources towards it, or maybe there isn't a way small businesses have been able to scale existing case studies and ideas. Your strategy cannot be defined by the tools -- they come and go
- you need to have a competitive landscape monitoring system going on, as well as a mechanism to capture what you learn -- customer intelligence, potential partners, this parties who influence people who could be in your funnel -- and a process to act upon it
- your marketing communications activities need to be integrated -- media, paid search, organic search, interactions, PR, promotions, etc. and strung along a cycle that maps to buyers on content -- don't think of it as campaigns, think more like greater activations over a continuum
This is what I've got.
What else would you add? Does the information surprise you?
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