Much has been said about Paid Search and its effectiveness as a direct marketing medium. It’s targeted, cost effective and generates tremendous results.
However, an often overlooked aspect of Paid Search is its effectiveness as a complimentary medium to other forms of media being deployed to market various products and services. For example, when a prospective customer sees an ad on TV or in a magazine, it is highly unlikely that they are going to stop what they are doing and act on the message or offer right there and then. More likely they are going to continue watching the program or reading that magazine. In fact, to assume that your target will be completely captivated by your ad and stop what they are currently doing to act on it, is a big assumption. And you know what they say about assumptions.
So is all lost? Not at all. While your prospect might not be able to recall the entire message word for word, it’s very likely that they can recall a portion of it. They might not know your company name, but remember the product name. They might not recall the headline, but remember a part of the concept. So, once they have finished doing what they are doing, where is this prospect going to go in order to turn this fragmented piece of information into a complete idea? The Search Engines.
Yes, as we all know, search engines are a great place to take an idea or big piece of information and turn it into something more. Therefore a user who is interested in what you have to offer, but does not necessarily have enough information to go directly to the source, is likely going to turn to the search engines in hope of finding the necessary information needed to access your product or service.
This is where Paid Search Engine Marketing can step in and really act as a means to extend the life of your other marketing efforts. By dissecting the message and thinking of all the various ways a user might react to or apply it to their lives, you can build a list of terms that, when searched on, will ensure that the prospect will be able to find your product or service, even if they can only recall a small portion of what was actually said in the advertisement.
Additionally, with Paid Search, you have the ability to choose which terms you want your product or service to be associated with, and assuming you have enough budget allocated, secure a high profile and very visible placement. You can also control the message that appears when users search on these terms to complement the message associated with your other marketing efforts and direct the user to a destination that provides them with everything they need to access or purchase your product and service. Additionally, the fact that you can turn it on and off based on the needs and timing associated with your other marketing efforts provides a huge degree of flexibility that ensures your message is placed exactly where and when you want it to be accessed.
Sounds pretty easy and basic enough doesn’t it? I mean, you’d think that all companies would take advantage of this strategy.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. In fact, more often than not, companies see Paid Search as an island; not something that can be tied into and extend the life of their other marketing or PR efforts.
A Case of Missed Opportunity – Bag, Borrow or Steal & Sex and the City Movie
To support this claim, just take a look at the company Bag, Borrow or Steal. This company received a huge boost – a direct mention in one of the of most hyped movie releases of the summer – Sex and the City, as well as a huge article in the May 27th edition of the Wall Street Journal. This is press and publicity that almost any company would kill for! The focus of the Wall Street Journal was how Bag, Borrow or Steal was planning to leverage the mention in the movie to grow their business.
So what has Bag, Borrow or Steal done to capitalize on their 10 seconds of movie fame? Well, according to the Wall Street Journal article they have trumpeted its affiliation with the movie on their website as well as launched a contest on YouTube. Now this is all great, but it really assumes that you are already somewhat familiar with the company or are going to remember this line from the movie.
My guess is that people will remember bits and pieces from the movie, such as the handbags being carried by the characters, but are they really going to remember a specific line from one particular scene? Not likely.
Therefore, by buying terms such as “Sex and the City Movie” or “Sex and the City Handbag”, Bag, Borrow or Steal could really extend the life of this mention in the movie and procure additional traffic and sales.
Additionally, my guess is that via PR they are pushing their YouTube contest and people are writing about it, just like we saw with the Wall Street Journal article. While this is nice, users still have to go and search out the contest. Therefore, people are likely going to turn to the search engines to search for the contest using terms such as “Sex and the City YouTube Contest” or “Sex and the City You Tube Contest”.
However, after reading this article, I decided to do some searching on my own, and much to my surprise, when I searched on all of the aforementioned terms, Bag, Borrow or Steal was nowhere to be found in the Paid Search results. Talk about a huge missed opportunity. Here is a company that received national press in the second most widely circulated paper in America, and you could not find them. Now this may have changed by now, but below are screen grabs of search results taken the day after the Wall Street Journal Article was published.
Search Result for “Sex and the City handbag”
Search Result for “Sex and the City youtube contest”
In short, whether they knew when the article was being published or not, once it was printed they should have had a plan of action in place. Therefore, by having a Paid Search campaign ready to go, they could have started capitalizing on their affiliation with the movie some time ago, or at least immediately after the article was published.
The moral of the story here is that Paid Search should not be looked at just as an isolated medium or silo in your online marketing program. Rather it should be closely integrated into all of your marketing efforts as it can really work to extend their reach and life. By considering how people use the search engines to complete ideas and to find what they are looking for based on what they have seen elsewhere, you can really garner tremendous added value from your marketing investment.
Therefore, whether you are doing a big PR Campaign or multifaceted advertising campaign, be sure to think about what happens next and the fact that by integrating Paid Search into your campaign strategy you can really extend its life and grow your business in the process.