Being and staying top of mind with existing and potential clients is essential for driving online performance marketing campaign results. Regardless of whether you are launching a Search, Affiliate, Email, Data Acquisition or Display Advertising initiative, those of us in digital marketing understand that maximizing brand messaging across all performance channels will greatly enhance the consumer experience. Customers won’t have to look for you. You’ll always be able to find them. However, some clients believe that the only way to garner such exposure is through social media. There is no question that social media is a significant marketing tool. But the online marketplace is far too complex and progressive to hedge all of your campaign bets on Facebook and Twitter. Social should not replace proven performance channels. It should be coordinated into a proper media mix.
Ineffective implementation of social media is a growing, problematic trend among digital marketers. Incorporating social media into a marketing campaign for the sake of using social media may get you “Friends” but it will fail to deliver revenue, which is the antithesis of an effective online performance program. By adding social to your performance media mix, your campaign will leverage consumer interest, heighten engagement and strengthen branding.
Let’s think of social media as a trendy sports car. It looks good, gets attention and people “like” it. But no matter how stylish it is, the car is useless without a skilled driver. To be truly operational, it needs someone who understands how it handles, knows when to power it up and appreciates the importance of continually improving it for maximum performance. This is the essence of social in the performance mix.
Social should drive results for campaigns as a vehicle for user engagement. It can aide email marketing and data acquisition initiatives by featuring buttons and links to opt-ins, subscriptions and sign-ups to deliver new conversions. Affiliates can better direct, track and monetize sales by steering the social conversation to their sites. Online display advertisers can target active consumers on social sites for their dynamic campaigns. Social media can benefit a comprehensive search campaign in the short-term and long-term. It can help engage consumers and drive relevant traffic for a Paid Search program, increase natural search rankings for SEO and enable performance marketers to establish positive messaging and branding as part of an Online Reputation Management process. When used correctly, social is a cost-effective, complimentary tool.
The appropriate implementation of social is essential to success. It is free to create a Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare account. For marketers, that’s something of a double-edged sword. Some clients think that the overall popularity of these social networking sites will generate instant buzz for their brands. They believe social media alone will increase revenue without an initial investment. But even the hottest car will stall without someone highly skilled behind the wheel. The truth is that social media on its own will fail to drive conversions, revenue or results for your online performance marketing programs. It must work for you within a fully optimized and expertly run media mix.
Getting the most out of your complete media mix requires specialized expertise across all channels. Leveraging this knowledge will facilitate branding, engagement and keep you top of mind with consumers and clients.