With the explosion in social media, many brands and even some social media agencies might be looking to forgo paid search advertising and instead focus on the closer to free social media marketing strategy. A new report by AYTM Market Research says that is typical because search is undervalued.
Among brands that do pay for search results, the results are unquestionably valuable, but there is another benefit to being active on search: brand exposure. Brand exposure is exactly what some think social networks can provide for free, but by being absent from search results the perception left with the searcher is that the brand is not important enough.
81% of respondents in a November survey said search results shape their perceptions of a business, even if the link is not clicked. There are only two factors that shape a brand’s perception more than presence/absence to search results: online reviews at 83% and what others are saying which stands at 88%.
The digital marketing company can decide to focus on the social networks, but to remain a valued representative for brands it must make some efforts in the search realm. By acting like the big name brands people are willing to think of small brands as competitors. But being absent in this field is ceding more ground than desired to the big names and agencies need to make their clients aware of this byproduct of paid search efforts.