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Is integrating search and social vital to online advertising success?

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6th May 2014
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Advertisers who are able to successfully drive users through both social and search channels are gaining two-times the conversion rate of users driven through search alone, according to research from Marin Software.

The study draws on trends uncovered by the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, an advertising data set from leading global brands that manage more than $6 billion in annual advertising spend.

It discovered that search campaigns that are managed alongside social media advertising had a 26% increase in revenue per click in Q1 2014, compared with search on its own, while revenue per conversion increased by 58% when search and social advertising campaigns were integrated.

Users who clicked on both a search and social ad contributed four times more revenue per click than users who clicked on a social ad only.

The statistics are a clear indication of the growing importance of cross-channel marketing, and provide proof to the notion that advertisers need to deliver a clear message through multiple online channels.

Facebook, which recently reported mobile advertising profits for Q1 of 2014 in excess of $600m, has long championed the importance of brands advertising cross-channels, and its position as social media leader appears to be paying off:

“Advertisers are becoming increasingly focused on reaching their target customers – across multiple channels – using audience data to deliver the richest, most tailored experience possible,” says Michael Randall, director of marketing solutions, Facebook.

“Facebook has become a critical part of the multi-channel advertising ecosystem because of our ability to reach a massive, highly engaged, global audience using buying signals collected across an array of other channels and publishers.”

Marin’s report, The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising suggests that a failure to create advertising campaigns can often come down to how and where budgets are managed within organisations. It found that those companies that siloed their approach to campaign management often found adverts being dedicated to individual channels as opposed to cross-channels, based on customer behaviour, which was restricting revenue as a result.

It also suggested that often, the technology platform marketers used was restricting their ability to break down silos and target across channels.

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