Last week, we looked at how intent around branding terms picked up early in the new year. Effective branding, while an integral piece of an overall marketing strategy, can be a nebulous task. This week we’ll focus on intent trends around marketing tactics that are less dependent on the fickleness of customers’ perceptions.
The past week saw slight upticks in two related terms: “social media optimization (SMO)” and “search engine optimization (SEO).” The former refers to the ability to understand and leverage the content that performs best on social channels. While this term saw a dip in mid-October of last year, as measured by Bombora, it appears to be picking up steam. Marketers know that everyone was very online this past year -- researching, communicating, consuming, transacting—and that social factored heavily into these activities.
SMO and SEO are interlinked: A prominent social standing improves a brand’s SEO. If the goal is to get a brand and its products and services in front of as many relevant eyeballs as possible, these two tactics need to be prioritized. It’s difficult to conceive of a post-inauguration social environment, but our bet is that marketers are anticipating an opening for their messages to resonate, in contrast to the past few months.
There are other reasons why these terms may be gaining a bit of traction. The first is the death of the cookie; social offers marketers the opportunity to target individuals in absence of cookies (even if this means transacting on audiences within a walled garden). The second is increased emphasis on e-commerce and its relation to SEO. SEO and e-commerce strategies need to operate in lockstep, and the past year expedited many brands’ interest in enabling (or owning) digital transactions.