Search And Social Becomes New Metric For Online Advertising

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The next wave of technology platforms for the online advertising industry will combine social and search engine metrics. As the two mediums become the "new metric" to determine media buys for campaigns, a variety of companies like SearchIgnite will release dashboards and tools. Some like Covario and Involver already give a clear view of social and search click paths and sentiment.

SearchIgnite, which provides search optimization and digital media attribution platforms and applications, wants customers to have access to search and social data through one platform, so engineers have been working to provide clients the ability to track social triggers in the search platform. Roger Barnette, SearchIgnite chief executive officer, tells me how social crosses a lot of lines and it will become more important to analyze and track the way people interact with social and search, and how social bleeds into mobile.

Marketers will want to know how social and search influence consumer behavior before media buys get made, Barnette says. Attribution becomes very important because it influences all the media channels. If you get it wrong the media mix will produce a negative impact on the return on investment (ROI).

SearchIgnite isn't the only platform provider integrating the ability to analyze search data alongside social. Search engine marketing agency Covario introduced a cross-media dashboard in June.

Covario Social Media Insight (SMI), a module in the Covario Cross Media Optimization (CMO) platform, incorporates data from social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, as well as blogs, to augment existing analytic capabilities already supported for paid search, SEO and display advertising.

Companies supporting social data dashboards have also begun integrating social and search engine data. Involver on Tuesday released Audience Management Platform (AMP), an integrated social marketing dashboard that lets marketers monitor, publish, schedule and manage their brand's strategy on Facebook, Twitter, and across the social Web. The tool pulls in search data through RSS feeds, but engineers are looking to add it through an API in the future. The dashboard presents the data to marketers in a separate window, allowing you to view social and search side-by-side.

AMP also lets marketers search for brand mentions and keywords across social networks; review, moderate and respond to consumer conversations; build and execute a content calendar that keeps fans and followers engaged; integrate analytics platforms to understand marketing results; and tap into Involver's suite of applications such as Polls, Coupons, Quizzes, Lead Generation, Sweepstakes, Email Signup, YouTube, RSS and Twitter.

The data dumps into two buckets: demographics, and behavior. The tool can measure things like how much time people spend in a photo or video gallery, or how many questions people take in a quiz and their answers. That data flows into the dashboard. The platform doesn't do it today, but think about how much more insight marketers could gain by analyzing search data alongside social data.

The product roadmap will integrate AMP into other marketing systems, but Rahim Fazal, chief executive officer at Involver, declined to elaborate. The platform supports marketing applications, measurement, monitoring and monetization. Involver supports about 80,000 customers that reach 200 million Fans on Facebook. Some of the clients-Facebook, MSNBC's Today Show, and The White House Commission on Remembrance, among others gained access to the beta version of AMP earlier this year.

As Covario Chief Executive Officer Russ Mann put it, the growth in social will only lead marketers to integrate more of "buzz" as a key indicator into the effectiveness of paid search and display ad campaigns.

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