Is Social Advertising Replacing Search?

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The current state of digital marketing is in a boom. CMOs see this especially through digital channels such as mobile. To put it into perspective the Chief Marketing Officer Council’s 8th annual “State of Marketing” report showed that 54% of marketers plan to boost their budgets in 2014 (and if the trend continues we will certainly see this rise well through 2015).

Here is how that report was broken down:

SOMChart

Notice anything a little off about this graph? We’ll give you a few seconds…

The Search Engine Optimization!

Google has long been the go-to channel for digital marketing (since having 71% of the global search share); Ad Age is currently reporting that “Respondents ranked the search giant as the best ad platform for ROI, and its video channel, YouTube, fell fourth behind Facebook and Twitter.”

So then isn’t it a bit off that the search giant isn’t actually the main focus for digital marketers in 2014 (and the coming years, possibly)?

A Fundamental Difference in Purpose

Search is based around intent on finding information and providers of information/products/services; ads and marketing messages delivered through this medium are done so in a blanketed approach trying to grab your attention.

Social, on the other hand, tailors the message based on your interests, to whom you interact with, brands you follow, reviews you write, and all the various information loaded onto the network. It means that social channels know more about you than search which then allows the platform to provide you better, relevant results (which is far more appealing than the former).

It also comes down to how much information is collected and provided to marketers:

  • Search collects metrics like keywords, site visits, and how you’re navigating
  • Social collects metrics like age, income, location, interests, hobbies, and so much more

Put yourself in the shoes of a marketer and ask yourself which set of data you’d rather work with – of course it would be the channels that give you the ability to highly refine your marketing efforts based on particular metrics that match your goals.

A third reason why social is taking over search is through the simple layer of emotion:

  • Search really doesn’t give you the sense of whether the site, products, or services are being talked about, shared, liked, and being discussed outside of something like product reviews or a social bar on a landing page. Sure Google has pushed Authorship through Google+ but it’s not quite the same when you have the channels like Facebook & Twitter dominating the overall social usage.
  • Social, on the other hand, has all those social interactions up-front and center which greatly influences our purchasing decision; we, consumers, are much like a horde in which rally behind brands that produce value and allow us to be vocal within the community (because we want to share our experience with others)

You can see the bridge when social ties with other mediums such as television which creates an interactive experience with the brand which search cannot provide.

A way to go about this change

Social is (and will be) the dominant marketing channel because it has simply encompassed every part of our lives. People spend a great deal of time on their preferred social networking sites and each day they’re on a little bit longer. Couple the social with advancements in the mobile industry and it’s quite apparent that people are making the shift from doing search to utilizing crowd sourced information.

Wrapping your mind around this concept and starting campaigns on the main social channels (Facebook for example) can be tedious and daunting. We’d like to extend our aid, at adQuadrant, to you in this exciting time – give us a call or send an email and we’d be delighted to explain how digital marketing, with social, will become your star of ROI the remainder of 2014 and doubly so in 2015.

Post inspired by content on Nanigans.com.

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