<< by on October 6th, 2009
Tuesday Oct 6th, session on “The Interplay of Social Media & Paid Search,” – Although it may seem obvious that consumer exposure to social media has affected search behavior, until now no formal research has confirmed this. Along with the results of a new study on paid search and social media, this SMX East session examines the correlation between social media exposure and the purchase funnel. It also offers further insights for marketers into the interplay between the two. The Moderator for the event is Andrew Goodman, Founder and Principal, Page Zero Media. The Speakers: John Antognoli, Senior Director, Account Management, M80; Chris Copeland, CEO, GroupM Search, The Americas; Graham Mudd, Vice President Search & Media, comScore, Inc.
Chris Copeland started the presentation off by laying out a foundation of how social media has evolved over the past year. Some basic questions that are often asked by businesses about social media are related to what it means for brands and how it ties into other online marketing media.
The gray area for businesses today comes in when trying to be able to better interpret and understand the information they have gathered and how all the various forms of media should be used in order for them to fit together and work most effectively.
Chris went on to define what he considers to be the three basic forms of media today: Paid media, owned media, and earned media.
- Paid Media: paid ads; traditional advertiser attitude is that they will create an ad and people will be “wowed” and ultimately move to purchase in the store front. An example of this is seeing a BMW car ad in a newspaper and moving to purchase without taking any other consideration.
- Owned Media: online website or some sort of medium your business owns in which you provide information about your product or service offerings.
- Earned media: social media platform on which others can create content and talk about your company
Chris believes the goal for a business should be to expose consumers to its owned media and its earned media. Under those circumstances, it would ultimately provide a better environment for any paid media dollars to then work more effectively.
Graham Mudd then expanded on Chris’ points by explaining the parameters of the study they conducted and how they came to this conclusion.
The study used a behavioral methodology to categorize users’ activities (Intensity of behaviors, search behaviors, click behaviors, visitation /what sites they visit) from May to July 2009 in the automotive, CPG, and telecommunications industries in the United States.
From what they found, they were able to divide the behaviors of internet users into 6 segments (listed in order of decreasing pervasiveness:
- relevant social: not necessarily an organized effort with paid
- paid and relevant social: is an organized effort within paid campaigns and relevant social
- influenced social: what forms of relevant social consumers find useful
- influenced social and paid: the relevant social which is a part of an organized campaign or effort by the business.
- social users who want to use social
The large amount of satisticul data presented from the study provided evidence that if you organize your media efforts and push more upper funnel engagement activities, it will ultimately prove to be a more effective way to drive the more desired low-funnel activities. As a refresher, the traditional “purchase funnel” illustrates the mental process a consumer takes before purchasing a product:
Awareness -> Consideration -> Preference -> Action -> Loyalty