Get Rid of “Search-Only” Channel Blindness Once and For All

“Must manage Search campaigns. Must make them work. Nothing else matters.” Um… Do you have blinders on? Suffer from a one-track mind? Stuck in a rut? No matter what you call it, the truth is anyone who is managing Search campaigns and ignoring all other channels may just have a problem.

Sometimes the problem is just as simple as knowledge. Yes – there are other options! More often than not there are other mitigating factors. Perhaps you, your client or your boss (for those in-house folks) are gun shy of trying new channels. Maybe a previous campaign manager tested a new channel and completely screwed it up. And maybe there just isn’t enough budget to do anything else but Search PPC.

Display and Social advertising channels continue to grow at an impressive clip. New features and opportunities are being announced all the time. There is so much potential out there. Let’s take a look at opportunities for channel expansion (high level) and how you can start planning to given one of them a try.

Non-Search Advertising Channels

  • YouTube: YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google. So there are a lot of eye balls to get in front of. YouTube offers advertising solutions that are similar to Search and others that are more contextual similar to Display. Run ads against video content or advertise your own video content. This channel is still developing features and capabilities – so keep your eyes open!
  • Display – Google Display Network: Much as been written about the GDN. But it always bears repeating that the GDN is a goldmine for advertisers. Contextual, placement, category and demographic targeting allow you to zero in on your audience. And retargeting (aka remarketing) is becoming more and more important in the online marketing mix.
  • Display – Non-Google: Where do I even start. The world of non-Google display is vast. Take some time to become familiar with the various players in the field and what each one offers. Match these service offerings with your goals. And just like the GDN, retargeting is a major player with any Display network.
  • Social Ads: Facebook! Twitter! LinkedIN! And more! Social media usage grows. Each company’s monetization strategies grows, too. This means more options for advertisers.
  • Social Retargeting:
    Retargeting on social channels is just as powerful as display. It started with Facebook’s FBX exchange. Now Twitter is getting in on the action.

Make a Plan

As with any campaign you launch for Search, your expansion into new channels should start with a plan of action.

  • What channel(s) do you want to test? Choose the channels that are a good fit with your target audience and your own comfort level (at first, anyways).
  • What are your goals? Determine if you are simply expanding into new channels for demand generation or if you aim to generate conversions.
  • What is the budget? Budget can be a hindrance no matter where you are advertising. Some Display services have minimum ad buys, etc. Be aware of this. Also, if your ability to expand into new channels was caused by a lack of budget in the first place – work with your decision makers to set aside a test budget. This way everyone is on the same page.
  • Test. Analyze the results (direct response and attributed value). Rinse. Repeat.

Image used courtesy of Stewf at Flickr.