Four Ways Marketers Can Drive Search Performance This Year

New search behaviors are on the rise, and this year marketers are going to see search shift beyond typing a query in a search engine box.  The Big Three engines -- Google, Bing, and Yahoo -- will inevitably continue to lead search marketing, but approximately 35% of searches now occur outside of search engines, according to a recent Wired article.

There are a number of ways brands can evolve their search strategies to capitalize on new and evolving consumer behaviors. From real-time to voice search, here are four new search opportunities that will help marketers drive performance and remain ahead in an increasingly diverse search landscape:

Real-Time Search on Twitter

People have been able to search Twitter to find accounts, tweets and trends, and to join relevant conversations since the platform launched. These search capabilities allow Twitter’s ad platform to bring SEM functionality to a non-SEM environment, making implementation easy and accessible for marketers.  When Twitter delivers search results, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts are served based on real-time intent. Twitter identifies popular queries through automated systems and then layers on a human analyst to categorize queries and display relevant results.

While search specifically has been no more than 5% of Twitter’s overall promoted inventory, its search volume can dramatically increase when interest spikes around a topic. To do real-time search on Twitter, marketers should post content that aligns with the brand’s mission and audience.  They should also utilize paid Twitter capabilities to broaden reach and grow their community.

Semantic Search on Facebook

Facebook launched Graph Search last January to filter information found within the social network’s platform as well as display web search content powered by Bing.  Leveraging data from the searcher and from the content his or her friends share, Facebook Graph Search’s results are tailored to each user. Google has been heading in a similar direction with its search algorithm, most recently with last summer’s Hummingbird algorithm update. With both platforms attempting to understand the intent and contextual meaning behind the query, ads served against searches could be impacted.

As Graph Search continues to mature and have an impact on Facebook’s advertising products, marketers can take advantage of this to tie their brands to relevant searches in the future.

Search on Syndication Networks

Search syndication advertising networks collect opportunities outside the Big Three and their search partner networks, comprising thousands of low-volume sites and serving ads against 300 million daily searches. Companies that manage these networks can distribute ads based on queries performed within a site, through a browser’s toolbar, against typed-in domains relevant to a marketer’s brand, and more.

Marketers should consider allocating resources to search syndication networks to supplement their investment in the bigger engines, especially if performance across the engines has reached a point of diminishing returns with an established budget.

Search Beyond the Keyboard

Today’s sophisticated engines and devices are increasingly using voice to deliver searchers to their results. Both Google and Apple have rolled out voice search across their mobile devices and operating systems, and consumer adoption is on the rise.

For example, Google’s mobile speech inputs experienced 6x growth when the iPhone introduced Siri in 2011. Ad opportunities within voice search are still limited, as there are no sponsored opportunities within Siri or Android’s default voice search app. However, voice searches conducted within mobile browsers can display text ads, presenting a new and growing opportunity for advertisers.

Marketers should begin adapting to voice search by using far-reaching match types and by implementing conversational keywords. As with any emerging space, it’s important to monitor for future developments.

Bottom line: These four search opportunities have the potential to drive additional performance, and can help marketers serve -- and exceed -- their campaigns’ goals.

Tags: search
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