As the web continues to become more social, the worlds of traditional paid online advertising and “free” social media marketing are becoming increasingly more convoluted. Pay-per-click campaigns that were once results-driven and entirely self-contained are beginning to produce long-term brand improvements, while free brand-driven social campaigns are producing remarkable direct action.
It’s part of an inevitable shift – one that’s affected every part of the internet over the last few years, and is likely to continue to do so. Websites that were once isolated properties – connected to other sites only through their outbound and inbound links – are showing up in news feeds and messages, linking them both to individuals and to the many groups that make up the social media world.
For advertisers, this is a powerful and potentially rewarding new dynamic. The idea that paid search and display advertising campaigns could have secondary benefits – in this case, connections as part of a social network – is valuable. It means that advertisers can integrate social media into their long-term sales funnel, using it to build relationships with their customers and create great connections.
It also means that expenses can be lowered, due to the interesting dynamics of social media-based advertising platforms. Facebook’s advertising platform allows the owners of social media fanpages and brands to integrate their social strategy into their pay-per-click marketing efforts. Rather than a focus on paying for clicks, advertisers can instead pay for “likes” and other actions using Facebook.
Integrating your social media pages with Facebook’s advertising platform also produces a sizable reduction in click pricing – another benefit for pay-per-click advertisers. Similarly, new research suggests that brands with which people are familiar – particularly those that we’ve come to know about through social media – generally experience higher click-through rates when advertising.
All of this evidence points towards a benefit in integrating your direct response display and search advertising efforts, and your social media branding efforts. The two worlds are colliding, but it isn’t a bad thing for advertisers. In fact, for advertisers that understand how a brand can influence direct response advertising, it can produce huge benefits when it comes to boosting sales and inquiries.
If your business is separated into two sides – the action-driven side, and the brand recognition side – it’s time to make some changes. Using socially-driven advertising tools such as Facebook Ads or micro-community targeting, it’s no longer impossible to bring your direct response efforts in line with the long-term ambitions of your brand.