Shankapotomus, is all I have to say.
So I am sitting around with some friends last weekend watching sports on TV. We get to laughing about the E*Trade baby ads. Well, what do you know? We ended up whipping out the laptop and searching for the ads to watch them a few times. What a brilliant creative execution -- and how brilliant that we were able to re-enjoy the ads again together as friends.
Then of course, much to my friends' chagrin, I started waxing poetic about the merits of SEM, video, and social media optimization. After much grief, I gave up my proverbial podium and we went back to sports.
Now it seems I have a much more appropriate podium.... My point is that great creative begets the need for video search optimization and social media integration. With video searches on Google growing at a rapid pace, and YouTube with 88 million unique monthly searches, -- of which branded commercial queries are the fastest growing category -- you can't ignore this trend
If you do a search on Google for "shankapotomus," E*Trade is very visible within the SERP. What impressed me here was that E*Trade has its result bang on top, with a user-generated video. Then look at the results underneath the two videos - Urban Dictionary, Wikipedia, Steve Eck's blog and a MySpace post. E*Trade's really done a good job of leveraging social media and video assets to monopolize the SERP, and there isn't even a sponsored search listing.
I don't think enough advertisers leverage this potentially valuable extension of their TV efforts. This is an excellent example of advertisers making some great creative and then doing the little extra things to ensure they can get the extra mileage out of their traditional creative and media investment. Those extra little things are not rocket science, but under-utilized. Simply putting your creative assets out there on YouTube and other sites for consumers to find and optimizing the listings to rank well is an important step.
After making it easy for audiences to find, brands need to make it easy for users to share and interact with the brand. This combination is crucial because if it's good, consumers will go online and look for the branded commercial, but also look to make it their own. All of this increases brand exposure and visibility within search.
It's not just on "shankapotomus" queries, either; the SERP for "etrade" also shows the importance of video and social extensions to brand searches. When you view the results, note that E*Trade owns the results from sponsored links through the above-the-fold natural listings. We have all seen Google's research regarding the benefits of top paid and natural placement aplenty, so I don't need to belabor that point.
This thinking also applies with searches within social communities. A Facebook results page for the same branded query shows that both E*Trade's core branded presence exists along with the actual creative.
As you can see, well-executed social and video search that leverages great creative only helps an advertiser's overall SEM efforts for increased visibility and brand exposures. This on the heels of a well-structured traditional media buy only makes the concerted effort that much more valuable for the brand. To me this example also illustrates the importance of coordinating paid and earned social media with a well-rounded search marketing strategy.
I hope this short example only inspires all of you to better optimize and leverage your video assets and social media to improve your overall SEM efforts.
To go along with this theme, let's use the blog space below to vote on a name for advertisers that don't do this. What is our industry's equivalent to a golfing shankapotomus? Readers, I ask you -- you tell me.