The digital marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, especially as it relates to the strength and diversity of advertising channels. In 2016, Facebook and Google accounted for 99% of revenue growth from digital advertising, according to Pivotal Research Group. On top of that, Business Insider reports that Facebook in particular accounted for 77% of the digital advertising industry’s overall growth. Figures like this demonstrate the growing need to invest in multi-channel digital advertising, especially in traditionally higher-funnel platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.

Understanding how to develop and maintain a strong multi-channel strategy is now becoming crucial to success in digital advertising. Here are a few tips on how you should be bridging the gap between search and social advertising.

facebook and sem bridging the gap

Even if one advertising channel feels more obscure to you than the other, it’s important to bridge the gap for a cohesive digital strategy. Image via Pexels

Divide and fail to conquer

Using a siloed digital strategy can negatively impact not only direct account performance but also your overall brand perception. Using different themes in your language across channels, especially for prospecting efforts, can prevent users from connecting the dots when seeing your ads and reduce brand recognition.

Beyond that, you lose the ability to control a customer’s journey through the funnel. For example, if somebody is introduced to your brand via Facebook prospecting, you would want to ask for a low-commitment conversion, such as downloading a whitepaper. From there, it’s logical to assume that the user would perform a branded search on Google if they want more information. This demonstrates additional intent, so you should ask for more commitment than a download – and you should not send them back to the same piece of content.

Guiding a consumer through the funnel and controlling the messaging they see along the way is highly beneficial in not only securing a purchase, but also delivering a better consumer experience and generating more loyalty.

The symbiosis of search and social

The most common example we provide our clients of one channel benefitting the other is to gather Audience Insights data from Facebook and apply it to our SEM targeting. While this is without a doubt an incredibly useful tool, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cross-channel insights.

This relationship is not a one-way street. We can use search query report data from our SEM account to learn new ways that consumers are searching for our product. If our Facebook prospecting copy speaks to “breathable athleticwear,” but we find that users who search “lightweight tanks” on Google have higher conversion rates, we can create more engagement with consumers by adjusting our ad copy.

New product launches for both B2B and B2C are a fantastic opportunity to flex your multi-channel muscles. You might encounter situations where you’re given channel-specific budgets that are weighted heavily to the higher direct-return channel. The question that often comes up is, “Why aren’t we spending our full SEM budget for this?” The short answer is that if you don’t generate awareness through other channels, nobody is going to search for your products! Using social channels to promote new launches boosts performance on Facebook as well as SEM search volume. More awareness means more searches, which ultimately leads to more revenue.