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Top of Mind Can Help Top of Search Results

For years, smart marketers have known that appearing high up in search results matters, but the smartest marketers also know that it takes more than this to get users to actually click on a search ad or search result.

A new study from Facebook’s advertising unit, together with Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv, found that many users who first saw other content from Proactiv were more likely to click on a search ad later.

According to Ad Age’s Jack Neff, “It’s tempting to credit a sale to the last thing a customer saw or heard before it happened, even though the reason is often far more complex. Even direct marketers with full access to their sales data aren’t immune to this tendency, called the “last-click attribution” fallacy in digital marketing analytics.”

The new research showed that many people who saw a display ad later clicked on a search ad. And Neff interviewed other marketers who pointed to other online and offline media as drivers of search advertising clicks.

This doesn’t come as a surprise — consumers who are exposed to a brand don’t necessarily throw down their newspapers or turn off their TVs and run to purchase a product. And they don’t even necessarily click to purchase from within an online story or when viewing a display ad for something they may want. However, the next time that consumer is exposed to the brand — whether it’s in search advertising, online display advertising or on a store shelf — he is far more likely to buy that product.

And think about what this means for complex products that need an explanation of how and why to use them. More varied media exposure definitely is a driver of search advertising.

The key is that your marketing, advertising, public relations and content marketing strategies all need to be tied together thematically to reinforce each other. Topics and themes that matter to you should be integrated within all your marketing efforts.

Plain and simple: Top of mind can help top of search results.

Image Credit: AlexOakenman – Fotolia.com

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