A recent report published by eMarketer highlights the importance search plays in building better brand health metrics and stronger brands. According to the report, brands do not grow or strengthen with the use of just one aspect of search; the growth comes from the combination of all search initiatives.
eMarketer defines search as threefold: search engine optimization (SEO) to boost organic rankings; discovering more about a brand’s customers or products via search ads or SEO; and using general search data to get a sense of a brand’s competition and target audience.
Search is a critical component of the online user’s experience. The article references a survey conducted by AYTM Marketer Research, which studied consumer use of search engine platforms. Survey results revealed that 63.5 percent of consumers use a search engine daily, a statistic that indicates search represents a significant location within the general online experience. A different survey, from PR agency Weber Shandwick, found that 81 percent of consumers worldwide consider online search results to be an influential factor in forming their opinion about a company. Based on these findings, brands have almost no choice but to connect with consumers via search.
eMarketer’s claims about the importance of search in brand building are supported by agency marketers, who use search in their content marketing strategies to foster brand awareness. A 2012 study from content discovery platform Outbrain revealed that almost 69 percent of marketers have used organic search optimization to increase the target audience’s awareness of branded content; 78 percent have used paid search.
Prominent publications such as Forbes have recently questioned the validity of SEO as a marketing initiative; eMarketer’s findings provide support to the contrary. As the report indicates, search indeed has an impact on overall marketing strategy.
Photo credit: AYTM Market Research company blog June 18, 2012