Get in touch with our team
Feature image for 07.04.2017


3 min read

BrightonSEO: Sam Vandermark – Looking Beyond Paid Search For Better Biddable Results

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Voice & image search is enabling users to search any time and anywhere, making search part of our customer’s everyday routine.

Adoption of digital voice assistance is predicted to see exponential growth over the next few years, with brands being able to interact with consumers in a more conversational way. Facebook messenger ChatBots, for example, allow brands to access customers at the exact moment they’re ready to convert.

Any search marketer will know that traditional paid search methods are returning a poorer ROI than they were five years ago. Traditional search is becoming more and more competitive; Google AdWords supplies less data than ever before and recent changes (such as the removal of right-hand column ads) means that marketers are having to work harder (and spend harder) to reach their audiences.

Sam highlights the need for search marketers to become more creative. The industry is no longer ‘search marketing’, it’s now ‘online marketing’. It’s time to break out the search bubble.

Sam talks about using tools to see beyond your demographic model to find affinity audiences, then bringing these affinities together for more tactical marketing strategies. As well as a whole host of specialist tools out there to help you do this, simply uploading past customer data to Google Analytics or Facebook can provide valuable information. Sam uses the example of the Jo Malone brand, who found affinity audiences in those who also had an interest in Angelina Jolie and high-street furniture stores (who knew?).

Another key point of Sam’s talk is harnessing the impact of TV advertising. As much as us search marketers (sorry.. ‘online marketers’) hate to admit it; TV works, in that it creates demand.

But did you know there are tools out there to activate your search and social campaigns at the exact moment your TV ad is aired? Google AdWords has shared scripts that allow you to target TV slots for a while now, but tools like TVTY, 4C, and WyWy activate campaigns according to TV ad schedules at the exact moment your ads go out.

Not got the budget for TV? Use your competitor’s TV campaigns as a tool to drive category interest for your product.

Sam uses the example of BooHoo (an online clothing retailer with a young female audience). They’ve recently run Spring 2017 collection TV ad campaigns with carefully timed slots during shows such as Made In Chelsea. If you/your client is a competitor of Boohoo, there’s a two-pronged approach to take here;

  1. Create a search campaign for spring clothing to be activated while the show is airing. Let your competitor generate the category interest (and take the associated budget hit), then make your products available with added value.
  2. TV programmes, particularly ones like Made In Chelsea, generate a huge amount of socail media engagement. Scheduling your social ad campaigns in line with TV schedules is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on the ‘second screen’ by targeting those engaging with the show.

In the summary we were told; BE BRAVE! But more importnatly, integrate. Have conversations with your offline marketing and brand teams to break the search silo.