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Why should your SEM agency manage your Social campaigns?

Published: April 3, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

We’ve already covered why clients using two competent agencies to run SEM and display campaigns can benefit by consolidating under one umbrella. Today we’ll turn our attention to the optimized intersection of SEM and Social campaigns. Here’s what consolidation of SEM and Social campaigns under one agency can do for you:

Improved reporting and analytics

The value of “view-through conversion” metric of display campaigns, which measures how effective a display impression is at pushing consumers through the funnel, can only properly be measured if data at the end of the funnel (SEM) is available. The same is true of measuring the value of display clicks that do not lead to immediate conversions.
Note that social data also helps complete this picture; when different agencies are managing these channels, the data is fragmented and unreliable.
Google Analytics (shown below) can help track conversion paths if the same team owns search and social (and display) campaigns. This data is invaluable for gauging the value of social clicks and knowing how the channels interact. While many social clicks don’t lead directly to sales, they push the user down the funnel to an eventual sale. This data would be compromised if different teams were running the channels separately.

Google analytics SEM can help Social campaigns by…

1)     Improving targeting
Social advertisers can use search intent-driven data to create contextually targeted or behaviorally targeted strategies for Facebook and LinkedIn; top-performing search queries can also be used in Twitter keyword targeting. For example, for one client, a top searched and best-converting query is Ruby on Rails, so we know to target Ruby on Rails developers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and possibly devote more budget to that group.
Contextual targeting through AdWords also helps form opinions on the best targeting for social. It gives insights into interests, job titles, etc. Geo-targeting definitely helps if the client is large enough to segment social advertising. Being armed with the top geo-information helps frame the campaigns in social so we are sending qualified traffic off-site.
The demographics of remarketing audiences in AdWords can inform display advertisers of the demographics of converted AdWords users. These demographics (shown below) should be used in social targeting as well.

Social campaigns can help SEM by…

1)     Feeding the funnel
Search is an incredible channel for capturing intent, but doesn’t work for new brands or new product types; there’s nobody searching for them (for example, what would keywords would you have chosen to buy for Tivo in 1998?). Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are powerful channels for creating brand and product awareness because they do not rely on intent or keyword targeting. Although they can absolutely be effective for direct response, they represent funnel entry points for audiences inaccessible to search marketers.
2)     Keyword expansion
Social media monitoring can provide keywords and messaging that may be less expensive than Google’s suggested keywords. Comments on social media posts and adds may provide insight into phrases or keywords that you would not otherwise have considered.
3)     Providing consistent branding/messaging
Different agencies running search and social campaigns will not be reliably consistent in messaging. Branding consistency is much more achievable when both channels are managed by one team, as shown below. (Note: character limits are not as strict in social ads, so there is room to experiment with phrases that may help inform search ads.)

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Have you seen additional benefits from running both campaigns under one agency? Drop a comment
-Client Services Manager Jessica Carr contributed to this post.

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