Using Social Research Insights to Build Search Marketing Strategies

The integration of social media and search marketing is a relatively new concept for many businesses. But social media marketing has come a long way since making its first appearance in the digital world. As tools and expertise continue to improve, social marketing initiatives no longer consist of merely pushing a company’s message out across Facebook and Twitter in hopes of stirring up some engagement (and if yours do, read on because you, my friend, will soon be left behind in a cloud of dust).

In other words, social has become much more than a mere channel for communicating with consumers. Instead, smart marketers are using social research as a tool for uncovering consumer insights and using them to improve various facets of their businesses – from customer service and staffing optimization to price sensitivity analysis and competitive research. For today’s conversation, we’re going to focus on the many ways we can utilize social research insights to build more effective and better informed search campaigns.

Social research consists of more than just monitoring consumer conversations taking place on Facebook and Twitter. Through social research, these conversations are not only monitored in real time across all social platforms (think forums, blogs, etc. – anywhere consumers may be talking about your brand), but they are also measured and evaluated. By analyzing consumer perceptions about a brand, we’re able to glean actionable insights that can be applied elsewhere. One example is your search campaigns.

Three ways to use social research insights to inform search campaign strategies:

1. Speak your audience’s language

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Through social research, we can evaluate the kind of language consumers use when talking about a brand’s products, services or industry. These findings can then be applied when writing website copy that will have the most impact on SEO and increase the likelihood that your site will rank for organic search terms. Beyond organic, you can also use those terms as keywords to target your audience within paid search marketing campaigns. Using your target audience’s language within organic and paid search campaigns increases impressions and saturation.

2. The right message at the right time

Based on consumer insights obtained through social research, it’s possible to see what consumers are saying when exploring your products and services online, but have yet to decide on a specific brand. Let’s say your company sells tires. Through social research, we can find out if consumers are more likely to be undecided on a winter tire, for example. Armed with that knowledge, we can choose to be more aggressive with our paid search marketing campaigns specific to winter tires and adjust our messaging accordingly. Along the same lines, let’s say people are talking about winter tires as early as August. Even if you don’t anticipate the early interest, you can uncover it through social research, at which point you could adjust your campaigns to aggressively target that audience at that time.

3. The right message in the right place

Do you know everywhere conversations are taking place about your brand online? Think of all the various blogs, forums and review sites that aren’t as easy to track down as Facebook or Twitter may be. Through social research, we can see forums where consumers are most likely to be undecided about a particular product or service and can then ramp up the brand’s presence within those social platforms. For example, let’s say there’s a particular forum where consumers are discussing where they can go to get a certain service that you happen to provide. Through the Google Display Network, you could strengthen your presence on the site using a text ad that directs consumers to your website where they can get more information about that specific service.

Social research can and should be used to develop more successful SEO and paid search marketing campaigns. It provides insight into current demand, where consumers are in the buying process, and how best to target your audience through messaging that resonates best with them.

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