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BizReport : Search Marketing : February 28, 2018

Expert: Why SEM remains an important marketing approach

With the advent of mobile and social marketing mediums, many brands may have let search marketing take a back seat and a smaller portion of the advertising budget. That, according to one expert, is a mistake that should be corrected.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: For a while, most digital marketing headlines were about search engine marketing, but recently, SEM has fallen off the topics list. Why do you think this is?

Jose Singer, Vice President, Search and Yahoo Gemini Product at Oath: With so much innovation happening in the digital ad industry, new formats from full screen native ads, to mobile AR units, to immersive video have become an important part of a marketer's toolkit alongside search ads. Search advertising continues to be incredibly valuable to marketers and a key way to drive website traffic as well as new customer acquisition. What's new is how search is being used in combination with other ad formats for more effective campaigns. Additionally, with offerings like search on native ads, marketers can combine the performance and relevance of search with the creativity of native to better reach consumers with more personalized experiences. The market demand is clear. Kenshoo recently extended its existing search integration with Oath's Yahoo Gemini platform to now include native. Brands like Macy's have seen positive performance for seasonal and always-on campaigns with both search and search on native ads.

Kristina: How important is SEM for merchants and marketers now?

Jose: Search is often the first place consumers turn when considering and researching a purchase, so it's crucial that marketers continue to invest in search ad tactics. In our recent study, we heard directly from marketers on this very topic -- 94% said the importance of search is growing or staying the same. What's more, 39% of marketers said that search is still the most cost-effective way to achieve their goals.

Kristina: What is the role of SEM currently? And, related, what should the role be?

Jose: Based on our recent study, the top search advertising tactics include search engine text ads, search retargeting, search on native ads, product listings, and remarketing lists. In 2018, these tactics will only continue to grow and search retargeting in particular will help marketers convert new customers.

Kristina: What impact do you believe SEM will have on 2018?

Jose: 2018 will be about delivering better mobile ads that consumers want to engage with. Search ads and search data leveraged to deliver more relevant ad experiences based on user intet will be a key part of this growth and evolution.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips to improve or update brands' SEM strategy?

Jose: Think mobile. We constantly use our mobile devices to perform quick searches while on-the-go, so mobile search ads are an effective way to engage consumers and drive them to your mobile site or app -- but make sure it's an excellent mobile experience to keep them engaged.
Go native. Combining search and native ads can amplify your marketing impact. We've found that people are 3.6 times more likely to do a brand search and up to 56% more likely to notice a search ad if they've been exposed to a native ad. Companies like Macy's are taking advantage of this tactic, and partnering with Oath to drive positive results.
Test search retargeting. Retargeting tactics can help build a better connection with consumers that have shown interest in your products and ultimately increase not only brand love but sales -- a win for everyone.

Tags: Oath, search marketing, search marketing content, search marketing tips, SEM tips, SEM trends

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