There have been reports like the recent Kenshoo report that find Social advertising activities have a positive influence on Branded Search. In fact, the study claims that Social can increase Branded Search conversions by as much as 19%, and decreases CPA by 10%. Add3 is a digital marketing agency that specializes in Search (SEM & SEO), Display & Paid Social advertising, focused on direct response & driving conversions. Of course, we loved this case study & wanted to chime in.
The focus of the Kenshoo case study was actually finding a sweet spot of Social spend to Branded Search conversions. The study claimed that too little spend would have a minimal effect, and too much spend would not incrementally increase results. Here is the chart:
As you can see, the sweet spot for spend meant that both Conversion Volume & Conversion Rate on Paid Search were optimal, driving the most conversions.
Add3’s approach to Search & Paid Social is a bit different than simply using Social advertising to boost Branded Search. We see Branded Search lift more as a halo effect, and instead measure success with different Key Performance Indicators.
Having run over $1.5mm in paid Social & $35mm in Search ads in the past year, Add3 strives to drive the most effective Cost Per Acquisition for our clients. On Facebook, Add3 uses a First-Click attribution model with a 28-day post-click window. For some retail E-commerce clients, Add3 has driven a Return On Ad Spend based upon the above parameters as high as 5:1. As we like to say, CPA is in our DNA.
A secondary Key Performance Indicator with which Add3 measures success is quality web traffic. Average CPC’s on Facebook fall between $.50 & $1, so a client could expect 15k-30k website visitors based upon a $15k ad spend. Moreover, with robust & segmented targeting, Add3 will drive as high as 90% brand new sessions – visitors who have never visited the site, measured by Google Analytics.
In this way, Add3 increases opportunities for other channels including Branded Search to work harder. Constantly adding new users to the funnel also adds new users into the cookie pool for Retargeting opportunities. With conversions as a primary goal, Add3 will optimize audiences based upon conversions, often driving high volumes of new users as well.
The Take Home Point:
The Kenshoo report is a great focal point for marketers who are able to understand the full attribution funnel, and who are looking to integrate their channels. What it does not account for are metrics like Return On Ad Spend. If the sweet spot to drive increased Branded Search costs more than the return otherwise, then attempting to increase Branded Search through Social could actually hurt your bottom line. Therefore, focus on driving positive ROAS & the rest will come!