Penut butter and jelly sandwich
By Jen Bassik Jul 8 2015

#CentroInAction: The Perfect Pairing of Search and Social

Like peanut butter and jelly, search and social channels have a harmonious relationship that make them better when they’re together. For a long time, the relationship status between these channels were labeled as “it’s complicated.” Yet, over time, research continued to point toward an interconnection between the two.

In 2009, GroupM released one of the first studies that cited a 50% CTR increase in paid search when consumers were exposed to social media.1 In 2013, Kenshoo published that paid search audience segments exposed to Facebook advertising generated 30% more ROAS.2 Kenshoo reinforced these findings most recently in a 2014 report that provided additional evidence that Facebook advertising has a direct, positive effect on paid search performance and that the cross-channel impact increases as the investment ratio of Facebook to paid search spending rises.3 So it comes as no surprise that Centro would experience a similar finding with a client that integrated social into its search program.

The client, a food and grocery brand, was in the business of delivering quality meat in bulk to consumers at great value. The client started off its campaign in early January with a search focused program. The client’s goal was to drive sales through online orders and earn an aggressive ROAS above $4. Believing that search was the lowest funnel channel to result in the best ROAS, it invested over $160k for a five month program. Immediately, the non-branded keywords attributed to the highest performance.

In March, Centro recommended adding a Facebook program to the marketing mix as a two week test in the Jacksonville and Denver markets. At the end of that experimental period, search started to see noticeable lifts in impressions. Most significantly, the increase in traffic came entirely from brand-specific keywords, resulting in 7x more budget being spent in this category. In terms of sales, search experienced 111% increase in Denver and 212% increase in Jacksonville for all brand terms. A spike in search volume told us that awareness for the client’s brand increased during this time.

Chris Costello, Kenshoo’s director of marketing research, explains this phenomenon perfectly. “At the end of the day, search inventory is finite. There are only so many people searching for things. Running Facebook ads can not only get more people to search but they can make the search ads work better by instilling brand preference in searchers and driving them to convert at higher rates. It means that marketers can get more bang for their search buck.”4 In addition to driving incremental search lift, social exceeded the client’s goal by earning a $5.69 return on ad spend, thereby securing additional investment for future markets.

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And so we come to understand this symbiotic love story between search – a powerful medium for capturing intent – and Facebook – a proven platform for driving more people to browse, share, and buy. Each platform influences the customer at a different stage in their journey, thus creating an influential experience as they move down the funnel. Brands seeking to create successful digital campaigns should focus on fostering collaboration between the different platforms. Once a united front is created, marketers will be able to maximize the power of each platform and reach their brand’s ultimate potential.

At Centro, we offer a modern approach to digital media. With over 13 years and 100,000 campaigns to our name, we leverage advanced technology, proven tactics, and industry expertise to build campaigns around the channels and platforms that drive the greatest results for our client’s specific business needs. People and technology are at the heart of Centro, and are the essential parts in every #CentroInAction story.

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1 Comscore: Interplay between Search Marketing and Social Media; 2009
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2009/10/GroupM-Search-and-comScore-Release-Study-on-the-Interplay-Between-Search- Marketing-and-Social-Media
2 Kenshoo: Facebook Advertising Boosts Paid Search Performance; 2013
https://fbcdn-dragon-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t39.2365-6/10333103_723691344359357_707295480_n.pdf
3 Kenshoo: Finding the Sweet Spot for Search and Social Investment; 2014
https://fbcdn-dragon-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xft1/t39.2365-6/10173508_689408781106188_750268884_n.pdf
4 https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Boosting-Paid-Search-Campaigns-with-Facebook\