Search Engine Marketing: Search Gets Social
Following the trend toward holistic online marketing, more companies are leveraging social networks for better search engine marketing (SEM) performance. Jeannette Kocsis, vice president of digital marketing at San Antonio-based direct and targeted marketing solutions provider Harte-Hanks Inc., says the foundation for getting optimal results from social networking includes integrating paid and natural search, thinking like a consumer and building your networks from the outside in to create a desirable user experience.
Here, she goes into further detail on the opportunities and challenges of adding social media networks to your SEM game plan.
Target Marketing: How can marketers leverage social media for SEM?
Jeannette Kocsis: A major component of social media is engagement. Sites that provide the right types of interaction mechanisms, such as blogs or chat, [and that are] driven by a sound strategy to the right audience, will set the stage for SEM success. Search is developing its own social aspects through shared bookmarks, tagging and rating systems. But without the right site strategy and user experience, the social search tools will not prove valuable since no one will be giving the site good ratings or [they] will be ignoring it altogether.
TM: How can marketers successfully use a holistic approach to SEM?
JK: It is more important than ever to integrate natural and paid search efforts. Each continues to provide unique benefits. Natural [search] provides traffic opportunities into each page of the site, providing relevant results to those who use search phrases (the long tail); paid search allows marketers to use conversion-based marketing through landing pages with controlled volume and results. Together, they meet the needs of diverse groups who are looking for information online, no matter where individuals might be in their relationship with your company.
TM: What methods are the most successful when working to optimize social media for search engine marketing?