Integrating Search and Social - The Perfect Combination for Your Ad Campaign

Digital advertising pros have a great opportunity in 2019 to integrate social media into their Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns to help boost conversions and revenue.

Social media strategies have grown to be a key part of marketers’ advertising campaigns. Marketers are seeing higher results when they create great content for adaptable use across multiple channels. For instance, juice drinks company Bai reached 15 million people and increased its ad recall by 17 points by running a video campaign on Instagram and Facebook. And using Twitter for ads around its Mayochup campaign in 2018 helped Heinz increased its brand awareness by 28%, with over 1 billion impressions in just 48 hours.

Adding social dollars on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other networks have many benefits to marketers, including higher brand awareness, more personalization opportunities to consumers, stronger data capabilities and better audience targeting. Some marketers have reported seeing a faster ROI from social media ad activity, compared to traditional organic search and content marketing techniques, which build online momentum over time.

For your agency to do this right, it makes sense to get your social and SEM teams on the same page. For instance, task the social media team with learning about how consumer search behavior affects social media results. Use your client social media insights and search analytics to create a more targeted ad campaign. Digging through the data will open up areas for collaboration for social campaign effectiveness.

Benefits of SEM/Social Integration

Here are some of the clear benefits to integrating search and social into your digital advertising campaigns:

  • Raising brand awareness

  • Increased personalization opportunities

  • Stronger data capability

  • Better audience targeting

Raising Brand Awareness

Integrating search and social brings a great deal of brand awareness to your target audience. These consumers can learn about your brand through social media, and then utilize search once they are ready for additional details or in need of your product.  The trick to raising brand awareness is to find, nurture, and reward your avid followers. By consistently offering engaging content on social media channels, brands can boost their follower count using tactics such as exclusive offers, contests, and giveaways.  

Increase Areas for Personalization

Social media can be used to build trust, and brands can build this trust with personalization efforts. One example might be to nurture top-of-the-funnel consumers on social media for your brand's products and services. In capturing these consumers' attention with your content, you can drive them to your site(s) for data capture and the high possibility of conversions.

Stronger Data

Integrating social into your search strategies can produce better data for your marketing teams. Social media success can help to fill any gaps in search data. You can also create opportunities to mine social data and evaluate audience habits. This new wealth of data can be useful in your existing analytics, and you will be able to use these gained insights in your upcoming SEM campaigns.

Targeting Audiences

You can also find new ways to target audiences by combining the strengths of both SEM and social media. There are various ways to integrate these strategies, such as by creating lookalike audiences, utilizing search landing pages (with social URLs as the bait), and targeting different demographics with a variety of messages in search.

If your SEM strategy isn't incorporating elements of social media, you should rethink your overall marketing strategy. Today, social is much more than just having accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use these channels to build your brand image, personalize your interactions, engage with your local consumer base, and gain followers.

Determining the Right Media Mix for Your Ad Campaign


Today's digital media advertising opportunities are more niched, numerous, and fragmented than ever before. Key target audiences are scattered on streaming TV outlets, online video sites, social media platforms, cable TV and elsewhere. The goal for marketers is to find the most efficient, accurate, and targeted blend of media to use in digital display, mobile ads, in-video advertising, web-only channels, and others.   

Let’s have a look at some of the elements that go into determining the right media mix for your next advertising campaign. 

Find the Right Media Mix

Using multiple advertising mediums to promote your products and services is often a great idea for a campaign, but it's important to get that mix right. Different combinations work better with different audiences. It’s essential that you understand your target audience to determine what media mix to use to use. The choices you make in your media strategy will determine how successful you are with your advertising strategy.

Here are two key thoughts for guidance with your eventual media mix: 1) defining your target audience with a reasonable amount of certainty, and 2) backing up your choices of media with accurate and current data of your audience's media consumption habits.

Define the target audience

Defining the target audience for your product or service should take into account basic demographic data like gender, income, age, location and education levels. You should also know who are likely customers for your offering. Your team can develop customer personas to further drill down on your likely target audience types.

Use good data to choose media targets

Collecting more data on your target audience increases your opportunities to see relevant media matches, across formats, platforms and time zones. This should be clean data. This data can include organic research, industry research, competitor audits and more. Learning how to gather, analyze and effectively use data is one of the most important tools in any digital marketer’s toolkit.

Check the data from media viewing research sites including comScore, Nielsen, and local network affiliates, depending on your product or service. Collect specific data on gender, income, and region. Using the right data can provide the insight needed to boost engagement among target audiences and increase return on investment (ROI).

Omnichannel approach

Marketers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to online advertising. Instead of narrowly focusing on a few niche channels, advertisers are going wide across the board. This means using retargeting, web ads, email marketing, online display ads, direct mail, social media ad programs, and pay-per-click channels to gain the attention of online customers.

The ultimate goal in an omnichannel approach is to spread the touches with your customers. The more times they see your ads, the more attention you can bring to your product or service

Use different media effectively

Maybe your budget doesn’t allow for for a wide omnichannel approach. Maybe your target audience stays glued to YouTube sports clips every evening. You'll find this out by analyzing the YouTube viewer data for your preferred target customer. If that’s the cae, you can concentrate a portion of your ad spend on this particular platform. In another example, Instagram may be your preferred ad location if you are trying to reach a high concentration of educated adults across social media

While using different ways to advertise is often a great idea for a campaign, it's important to get that mix right. Do solid research, gain key data points and spread your campaign around different platforms to develop your next winning ad campaign. 



To Spend or Not to Spend? When You Do and Don't Need a Bigger Campaign Budget

There's no denying it: Advertising is big business. By 2021, experts estimate that marketers will spend close to $119 billion on everything from display advertising to email marketing, according to Forrester. Digital marketing is particularly important for marketers looking to craft effective campaigns. In 2018, the average company expects to allocate more than 40 percent of their budgets to digital, and that figure is expected to continue rising as technology evolves.

No matter the medium, one thing remains true across the board for businesses of all sizes and marketing budgets: plans change. And when they do, you're likely to face a major decision about your ongoing budget. It would be easy to assume that if a campaign is getting results, you should increase that budget — but that's not always the case.

To make an informed decision about increasing your budget, it helps to understand your return on ad spend (ROAS). To help set you on the right path, we gathered up the basics, including what ROAS is, how to calculate it, and why it matters. 

What Is ROAS?

By definition, ROAS is a metric that measures how effective a paid campaign performs. Sounds simple enough, but this key figure is crucial in comparing campaigns to determine the ones that are most profitable. ROAS can also reveal aspects of a campaign that are generating more revenue than others, and it helps managers determine where to bump up their advertising budgets or scale back to maximize returns. In short, ROAS is the calculation needed to figure out what's working and how to improve in the future. 

How ROAS Is Calculated

The basic formula is pretty simple: Revenue divided by cost equals ROAS. To see it in action, let's look at an example:

Marketers spent $2,000 on a campaign held in April, with $1,000 devoted to paid search and another $1,000 spent on display ads. In May, the team evaluated both components of the campaign and discovered that the paid search component created $10,000 in revenue, while the display portion generated $5,000. Using the formula above:

Paid Search: $10,000 divided by $1,000 gives you an ROAS of 10:1, or $10 revenue for every dollar spent.

Display: $5,000 divided by $1,000 gives you an ROAS of 5:1, or $5 revenue for every dollar spent.

If the team needs to choose where to increase spending, they now have a clearer picture of the components that are performing better.

Beyond the Basics

That same formula can be applied to different elements of a campaign, including ad groups and keywords. To calculate the ROAS for these elements, marketers need to track details such as the clicks that led to specific purchases, tracking conversions, and determining the amount of money that a campaign, individual ad, ad group, or keyword generates.

Other important metrics include the click-through conversion rate, calculated based on the number of conversions divided by the number of your link’s first-time clicks. This gives you good insight into how often views are converting for a specific ad. View-through conversions are a little trickier because they tell you more about viewers who see the ad, but don’t click on it immediately. Later, they find your website on their own and convert based on the impression the ad initially gave them.

Conversion tracking is easy if you're using online platforms like Facebook or Google Ads. Tracking sales is simple when you have good customer relationship management (CRM) software, which lets you tie all of your important marketing details to a new lead. When that lead turns into a customer or client, you can easily see the marketing efforts behind the sale.

Knowing where and when to adjust and allocate your budget to specific marketing efforts can make all the difference in your long-term success. ROAS is a great tool to help guide your decision-making process. When you use this metric instead of just going off results or revenue, you gain incredible insight into the campaigns (or aspects of campaigns) that are most effective and worthy of an increased budget.