As part of a series looking at trends in search marketing, The Drum explores what impact, if any, the blank canvas of 'Empty13' is likely to have on the world of SEO and PPC.
Dubbed 'Empty13' due to a lack of events and inspiration such as the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations of 2012, it has been suggested marketers will need to think outside the box this year to engage consumers
. But what role will search marketing play in increasing online engagement?
Dan Robins, head of search, Carat
As well as the usual “highly engaged traffic driving high converting traffic at strong ROIs” line, I would say one of the most overlooked things search can offer is insight – there are multiple search-based tools available in the market, many of which are free, which can really help advertisers shape their strategies and get more from them, eg. Google Trends to see the breakout terms people are looking for which the advertiser could join the bandwagon on, or competitor analysis tools such as Adthena, which help better shape flighting, budgets and flagship offers.
Alex Craven, CEO, Bloom
Search and social is playing an increasingly important role in informing all marketing strategy. Big data allows marketers to better understand their customers’ journey and model behaviour to create highly targeted campaigns that will deliver the appropriate message at the right time.
Jonathan Argile, SEO lead, Stickyeyes
Search marketing is essentially the building block and glue that holds any digital marketing strategy together, and this will continue throughout 2013. Search marketing gives us a solid platform in which to launch additional marketing campaigns such as PPC, email and social media.
With mobile search developing year on year, the organic rankings are playing a major part in acquisition of potential new and returning customers to websites. With comparison websites becoming more and more dominant at the top of organic rankings, a strong search campaign is needed by every company to continue to ensure they are maximising potential across their targeted keywords.
Adrian Durow, head of SEO and CRO, Thinking Juice
Search marketing has been used to being a ‘constant’ for a long time now. The amount of users going to Google to look for stuff has increased year on year. The amount of search queries has increased year on year.
Great content doesn’t need to be based on an event, it needs to be based on differentiation and user compulsion.
Chris Rowett, head of PPC, Epiphany
The lack of big headlines for 2013 means more advertisers will be relying on their display, social and video advertising online to generate interest. The key to making sure this delivers results is having a constant presence on search marketing, which means great SEO rankings, extensive PPC keyword lists and effective management of marketing budgets. It is also crucial to attribute any value back to your display, social, video, email and other activity using conversion attribution, so that you can focus your marketing where it is most effective.
Sri Sharma, managing director & founder, Net Media Planet
I see search marketing getting closer to display advertising and so aiding wider online marketing strategies to evolve in 2013. Real time bidding (RTB) sits with display advertising and is the technical means to buying display advertising on an impression by impression basis in real time. I see huge growth in the space of RTB as it enables display advertising to achieve results more profitably. It is an area that utilises the paid search marketing performance orientated mindset and is a great example where search is going to help online marketing strategies evolve in 2013.
Duncan Parry, COO, STEAK
Search campaigns achieve their full potential when they are planned, along with all digital channels, at the start of the marketing process – especially given the potential for mobile social and mobile social to span the gap between TV, print and outdoor advertising and digital sales or engagement. So good planning and campaign integration are the answer, as they always have been. We have to question if the lack of an Olympics or Jubilee in 2013 will be significant, though. Brands marketed themselves off and online before 2012, after all.
Stuart Devlin, digital director, E-Strategy
For many organisations, 2013 could well revert to conventional trends which have been inevitably affected by events such as the Olympics in 2012. Forward thinking and planning will be crucial to search marketing in 2013 and agencies should be working with their clients to plan and implement a multi-faceted search marketing campaign, which incorporates content, social and traditional search techniques to maximise visibility, traffic levels and conversions during key buying periods.
Matt Isaacs, CEO & founding partner, Essence
Search can support online marketing strategies by allowing marketers to use one of the biggest online marketing platforms to be creative. With the right management, search can be tactical and impressive without being risky. Ads can be live, and paused, within minutes, so marketers should be more adventurous.
These insights appeared in a search marketing supplement published by The Drum.
Blank canvas image via Flickr