Last week, we released The Skai Guide to Search and Social Intersections. In this Guide, facts are presented on why these two channels work amazingly well together, and the case is made that they should be managed together as part of a holistic, cross-channel digital marketing program.
In summary, the supporting evidence to combine search and social includes:
- Consumers spend a lot of their daily online time searching and socializing
- Searching and social networking are among the most trusted online activities
- More than 50% of many digital marketing budgets already being spent with these two channels
- Many studies (including our own) have proven the value of their synergy
- These two channels already impact each other, so marketers should apply more control versus letting them run wild and potentially impact each other negatively
After completing the Guide, my mind continued to buzz on this subject. I’ve been a paid search marketer for over a decade, and I find that social advertising is so complementary to paid search that I now feel that these two channels should be combined into a single, new channel.
For many marketers, especially ones with digital marketing budgets less than one or two million dollars, I suspect a media plan comprised almost completely of paid search, organic search, social advertising, and social media could be sufficient to achieve key business goals?
When I consider what a digital marketing plan would look like with just search and social, I see a full solution emerge:
- From a paid search account, you can buy search ads, display ads, mobile ads, retargeting ads, etc.
- From social, you have likes and interest targeted ads, retargeting ads, custom audience ads, demographic targeted ads, video ads, impactful native formats, etc.
- Organic search and social programs pick up the slack and can impact and influence consumers in a natural way that paid ads just cannot.
Let’s explore this a little deeper: say you had a program built solely on paid and organic search and social. What would it look like?
If the paid and organic facets of these two channels could be unified into a single program, the cross-channel synergy would be intense. Ad creation, targeting, flighting, management, optimization, etc. – it all comes together under one roof. One hand knows what the other is doing. The knowledge sharing potential of what’s working, what’s not working, what’s worked in the past, the goals for the future becomes streamlined. You have a single team working as if they had a single channel even though it comprises many different tactics and strategies.
Isn’t that really the ultimate articulation of a cross-channel program? Your copywriters aren’t siloed on different teams. Your program managers aren’t working on different goals. Your optimization and data teams can utilize cross-tactic insights to maximize the value of the entire program. Fewer processes. More transparency. More impactful, consolidated reports. The ability to be more nimble than ever before.
Of course, you would probably continue your email and affiliate programs. You would also supplement your programs with some very focused premium and RTB display, online video and mobile ads, etc., but what if the cornerstone of the entire digital marketing plan was a single, unified synergistic channel made of search and social?
What if just 50% of your total plan was this Searchial program? It would probably make the other 50% better too.
I’ve been in marketing for over a decade and everyone keeps chasing the dream of “omni-channel” marketing.
Let’s start with search and social. There’s just too many benefits at this point to ignore.