Commentary

When Social Becomes Currency For Search Marketers

Marketers keep hearing how data will become "gold" for brands, but how can sharing content and commenting on social sites apply to search marketers? Social signals will influence search rankings through push technology like Google Now and voice search technology from Apple, Google and Microsoft, but here are a few tips that marketers can apply today.

Yoram Greener, technology, digital and social analyst at Vivaldi Partners, believes social signals will influence search marketing by supporting algorithms beyond query terms as consumers speak or type words. Search becomes the "you" in the meaning such as content browsing on Facebook, Twitter, and video views. He also points to the importance in the frequency and the timing of browsing and clicking, and comments, conversions parsed by keywords used in tweets, comments and posts, indicating opinions, intent, sentiment, topics, products and more.

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Since content drives consumer reactions through likes, shares, posts, and comments, search marketers continually need to create, post, and distribute content that drives the relationship between search and social. The social metrics not only become the foundation of search campaigns, but Greener believes the media helps marketers to attribute comparable value to social campaigns through peer-to peer engagement per content such as scripting keywords, or keyword density that correlates to engagement through clicks, posts, and shares.

More companies and agencies agree that branded content continues to become more important. MailOnline released a survey in May revealing that 66% of brands and 65% of agencies participating in the survey of more than 600 online advertising and marketing executives say content has become very important or most important to their marketing mix. Some 70% of brands and 77% of agencies said they deployed branded content marketing for advertising within the past year.

When asked about their content marketing activities, 83% of brands said they use content to support Web site or email campaigns, but more than two-thirds have partnered with content providers to create and distribute branded content beyond their own Web sites.

Greener also believes companies can benefit from good social activity by maintaining buzz and gaining natural links. He said brands need to communicate on their Facebook walls, and more importantly, off their walls daily in blogs, forums, and peer-to-peer networks using keywords or phrases reflecting their position, products and services. It's about decentralizing editorial and content.

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