Digital MarketingEcommerceWhy a cohesive search, social, and ecommerce strategy is the key to conversions

Why a cohesive search, social, and ecommerce strategy is the key to conversions

Five ideas for how to streamline your search, social, and ecommerce strategies -- each of which is inextricably linked in the purchase process.

It’s tempting to think of search, social, and ecommerce as three separate areas. After all, we’ve all heard the term “divide and conquer.” But these days, the three are almost inextricably linked in the purchase process.

For example, I recently googled “Best eye makeup remover” and then looked up a few of the brands I read about on Amazon to see what users had to say. From there, I decided to think about it, and a few relevant Facebook ads might have been just the touch I needed to tip me in one direction or the other.

As consumers are increasingly bombarded with ads no matter where they are on the internet, standing out from the crowd with relevant messaging has become more important than ever before.

Making sure your brand experience is cohesive across channels, whether it’s paid search, social media, or ecommerce, is critical for moving curious researchers down the purchase funnel to become actual customers.

Content produced in collaboration with Marin Software.

Here are five ways to streamline your search, social, and ecommerce strategy:

  1. Brands can no longer rely on organic search results

The days of making sure you’re at the top of organic search results and calling it a day are over. These days, ecommerce marketplaces are rapidly catching up with Google and Bing for buyers in the research stages of their journeys. Think about the last time you went to Amazon. Chances are, you had some idea of what you were going to buy but probably browsed a lot of different options, reading reviews and comparing prices before you made your ultimate decision.

Promoting your products within ecommerce marketplaces is quickly becoming just as important as SEO. Make sure you’re using ecommerce display ad campaigns to not only standout among competitors but to keep them from encroaching on your target audience. Additionally, building a custom store within the marketplace capitalizes on the opportunity to build an immersive, tailored brand experience that’s insulated from competitive intruders.

  1. Adjust your Facebook messaging based on search data

But even as ecommerce marketplaces become important parts of a cohesive brand strategy, search remains just as vital as ever. And using search queries to create relevant messaging on social media is an excellent way to make the most of your customer insights.

Customers often tell Google exactly what they’re looking for, and having that information can make for highly relevant social media messaging. For example, for customers who express brand affinity in their searches, focus Facebook messaging on the the brand. But non-branded queries can also be converted by using relevant query data. So if your customer was searching for  pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco, use that highly specific information to make sure they know you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for.

  1. Let social engagement inform paid search strategies

And those highly relevant social media messages can also create a feedback loop to inform your paid search strategy. Facebook’s Audience Insights tool enables users to perform an audit of their customer base, providing highly relevant data such as age, gender, likes, purchase behavior and interests. Use these insights to create copywriting for your paid Google search campaigns that will speak directly to the type of customer that’s looking for your company. Customers don’t click on ads that don’t feel relevant, so the more specific your paid search can be, the better.

  1. Cross-channel cross-sell

Selling across channels doesn’t have to be super difficult. Here’s a simple tactic: when a user has just converted in search, increase their lifetime value by cross-selling them complementary products on Facebook. If a customer needs a tent, it stands to reason they might also need a sleeping bag.

Ads on ecommerce also offer ample opportunity for cross-selling. Sponsored search and sponsored brand campaigns enable users to match multiple products for a given query, so you can show the primary product for that query alongside related items.  

  1. Consolidate data

Measuring your success on all these platforms is no easy feat. Relying on publisher measurement tools runs the risk of double counting, since every channel is clamoring to claim credit for conversions that they touched.

Ecommerce marketplaces come with their own set of challenges. Without user-level reporting on conversions, it can be difficult to understand exactly how Facebook and Google may have driven conversions within ecommerce marketplaces. Right now, there are a few tools that can help with these insights, but they still need to be joined with other online conversions to get the complete picture.

The best solution for knowing exactly where your conversions are coming from is adopting a third-party platform to help stitch together data from all three channels. A third-party platform will help give a complete and accurate understanding of your cross-channel advertising performance, helping your team to better understand what’s working as well as what’s not.  

For more tips on how to make sure your cross-channel strategy converts, check out Marin Software’s white paper, Search, Social, and Ecommerce Guidebook.

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