Search and social marketing need to become more interdependent as digital marketing matures.
As Chair of ADMA’s (Australian Data Marketing Association) Search and Social Expert Group, I posted ideas on ADMA’s blog highlighting the importance of aligning an organisation’s social and search activities.
Every marketer will become a content marketer
My core argument for coordinating these two seemingly different digital marketing practices is in support of content marketing.
In the post, I refer to a Content Marketing Institute report that states “overall, 61 percent of Australian marketers (70 percent of B2C and 59 percent of B2B) plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.”
As Joe Pulizzi from the Content Marketing Institute states in a separate post, content marketing is an opportunity for marketers to build an integrated program that leads to a point of differentiation in the marketplace.
A content led strategy turns brands from advertisers into programmers (check out the 7P’s of social media management for greater context). As ‘content programmers’, brands will need to support their content marketing strategies with an effective distribution / discovery strategy.
That’s where search and social marketing need to pair up to optimise the effectiveness of a brand’s content efforts.
An example of search, social and content working together is how Volkswagen electronically sewed together a series of images that appeared in sequence for the keyword phrase “ultimate business car”.
Support the consumer while on their ‘path’ to purchase
I think we’ll see more of this integrated thinking as consumers move beyond the desktop as the core screen to pull in information when making purchase decisions.
I suspect this trend will lead to the implementation of an ‘always on’ branded content strategy. The objective of this strategy is to ensure a customer / consumer will be able to find relevant information as it relates to their phase of the path to purchase.
Google’s ‘Mobile Moments Search Study’ found “45% of all mobile searches are goal orientated and 51% of study participants were more likely to make a purchase”.
Social signals influence search results
Another argument for combining search and social marketing lies in the connection / influence social activity has on search results.
Google’s search algorithm uses over 200 factors to produce search results. Through primary research, Search Engine Land outlines their evidence of a positive correlation between search and social.
The content distributed in social media channels must be relevant to encourage someone to share/comment to generate the ‘social signals’ to influence the Google search algorithm. Another argument that social, search and content efforts need to be aligned.
As well, the launch of Google Authorship directly integrates content with the author’s Google Plus social profile. The Google Plus social profile image will accompany the author’s content within a Google search result.
With Facebook’s revamped search function, it will be fascinating to watch which tech giant (GOOG or FB) is better able to generate content / information most relevant to the shopper.
What does this mean for the Australian search or social marketer?
Professional search and social marketers will need to increase their applied knowledge of the ‘other’ discipline if they truly want to build a foundation of success as a content marketer.
They will also need to make sure their agencies (media, creative, PR, social, SE and etc) are also integrating search and social marketing.
For you social marketers, why put off tomorrow, what you can do today? Check out the links below to help you get started in SEO.
The Art of SEO (book)
Please list any other SEO resources (books / online course) you recommend in the comment section below.