Forget About SEM (Read the Fine Print Please)

6/24/2014

- Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President

That’s right, you read the headline correctly. The concept of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is limiting. It implies “keyword search”, which is an important element not to be overlooked in a Digital Marketing strategy, but one that must be complemented by many others. Advertising via bidding on relevant keywords queried by a searcher is certainly capable of reaching an interested party, however it isn’t the only way to gain business. Think beyond Search Engine Marketing toward Digital or Interactive Marketing, so you are encompassing all of the viable advertising tactics available to your business.

Here are some other digital advertising considerations, some of them relatively new and others that are important enough to revisit:

  • NEW: Do-It-Yourself Promoted Pins via Pinterest. Although the promoted pins are not a new feature, they had been reserved for bigger (selected) brands until recently. Now, Pinterest is rolling out this advertising feature to everyone, through a self-serve platform.
  • NEW: Remarketing on Twitter. This is a relatively new feature that has great acquisition and revenue potential for brand’s that maintain an active Twitter account. By placing a piece of code from Twitter on your site to track sessions, site visitors who visit Twitter later can be remarketed to through your Twitter advertising account (promoted tweets or accounts).
  • NEW: Parental Targeting through Google AdWords (available in limited beta testing). This could be a tremendous targeting feature for certain advertisers that want to connect with this audience via Google’s Display Network. However, the feedback from privacy advocates on this one may not be as positive, once rolled out and announced officially.
  • AdWords: Video, Display & Mobile options are all available tactics to leverage directly through your existing interface. If you aren’t testing and experimenting with all of these, you should be. Max Braglia, our Manager of Interactive Advertising, shares more on video ads, one of these key Google AdWords strategies. In addition, I recently shared feedback on the latest and greatest from Google for mobile app advertising through AdWords.
  • Instagram Ads. Late last year I shared about these when they were first announced. We have started to see some traction from advertisers in the use of these, but adoption seems to be limited to bigger brands.

Whatever you are promoting or selling, research all of the options available to market your business online. SEM is an important staple and one that I (still 9 years later) highly recommend, but it shouldn’t be the only channel in your Digital Advertising arsenal.

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