Friday Jun 20, 2014

Your Paid Social Marketing is Feeling Lonely

There was a time not long ago when a lot of thought leadership articles talked about the need for the cooperation and integration amongst departments in the enterprise (not happening at breakneck speed by the way).  Now, apparently a call is also needed for paid marketing efforts, including paid social marketing, to also not be walled off from each other.

I suppose wherever there are limited dollars and multiple paid options, there will be little tugs-of-war to see where the money lands. But just as CMO’s and CIO’s have benefits to reap from working in tandem, so too do paid ad options.

Here at Oracle Social, we have several inaugural paid social platforms integrated into the Oracle SRM, one of them being Kenshoo. They wondered how adding Facebook ads to paid search campaigns would affect performance and cost. So they ran a campaign with Experian to foster online applications for their credit reports.

After a couple of weeks of exposing different US audiences to different Facebook ads spending totals, they saw a 19% average jump in total conversions for those that saw the Facebook ads vs. those that only saw the paid search ads. For those who did see Facebook ads, average cost-per-acquisition was down 10%. Why? Our friend conversions!

In fact, conversions kept going up as Facebook ad spend went up. Naturally, they eventually found a “sweet spot” at which the most benefit was being harvested for the least expense. But the point is that any belief one paid marketing tactic has no affect on the others, that multiple types can’t leverage each other toward the same goal, is wrong.

Adweek has commented that we are in the "paid" chapter of social’s evolution. All that means is the social networks need revenue, so paying-to-play to the audiences we brands spent years and dollars amassing is the order of the day. The good news is, it works.

Social brings reach, targeting, retargeting, user sharing, social big data, location…all kinds of things that drive critical relevancy to ad messaging. These abilities in social ad products will only continue to grow. Using paid social to give your content a fighting chance to win organic validation and thus, benefit search results, is becoming standard practice. Such worthy content is even being called “the new SEO.”

So if that’s the case, Kenshoo’s findings shouldn’t startle us very much. Kenshoo’s Chris Costello points out, “There are only so many people searching for things. Running Facebook ads can not only get more people to search, but they can make the search ads work better by instilling brand preference in searchers and driving them to convert at higher rates.”

A Visu survey shows marketers are increasingly “getting it,” orchestrating paid social with not just search, but with their entire menu of digital and traditional media choices. Putting paid social marketing in its own box presupposes customers are only exposed to one paid media choice during a purchasing journey. Kenshoo’s Aaron Goldman says nope, they don’t distinguish between channels, and this study proves brands that think like customers and don’t force paid social to go it alone will see cross-channel rewards.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial


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