Forgetting Google: New SEM Strategy Expands Brand Discoverability
Marketing SEO

Forgetting Google: New SEM Strategy Expands Brand Discoverability

In today’s digital marketing world, there are certain behaviors that you take as a given: Most—if not all—of your audience has a Facebook account. Email addresses are only so good as your ability to verify they’re an actual, active account. People look for everything online using search engines—Google, primarily.

But a new infographic released by BloomReach suggests that your SEM strategy may need to expand to take into account some of the Internet’s more massive websites. With the explosion of content coming out of some of the Internet’s largest communities and websites, is it actually more effective for users to be searching directly on websites related to their product search, rather than on Google? And regardless, how should marketers adapt to this change in digital behavior?

Understanding Loyalty and Visibility

The key finding of interest in BloomReach’s study is the 44 percent of users who report going directly to Amazon for product searches. The study provides a number of possible reasons for this, namely that most users (75 percent) in the study reported that they felt Amazon did the best job personalizing their experience to their needs. Also tied into this behavior are user perceptions of authority and trust, particularly when it comes to products with reviews. While traditional engines like Google or Bing are most likely to provide the most exhaustive and wide-reaching research, for users who already know where they want to be looking it only presents an unnecessary step in their search.

A new study from BloomReach suggests expanding your SEM strategy may lie in moving away from traditional search engines.

This trend is also not limited to Amazon. In a Cison report from earlier this year, it was reported that 29 percent of active Pinterest users preferred to do searches directly on Pinterest than on a traditional search engine. In this, a similar relationship between the user and the platform can be seen as with Amazon—Pinterest’s predominantly visual format stands out as distinct from the user experience on Google, and as a result, it draws an audience of users who prefer it. Marketers will find that a solid SEM strategy is less about being the top ranked page on Google (though this remains crucial), and more about understanding where their specific audience is searching for products.

Ways to Widen Your Search Engine Marketing

There are some clear obstacles presented by this user shift. Here are a few ways to overcome and take advantage of a wider SEM strategy:

  • Learn Your Outlets: Though data isn’t always readily available, understanding where large populations of your audience gravitate can help you make healthy assumptions about where to test visibility. The most obvious place to start is usually whichever platform could possibly be reselling your product and is the most popular. Retailers should consider Amazon and eBay, as well as direct competitors.
  • Create Tertiary Content: Sometimes, your specific product might not be sellable through a popular platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be present. Find ways of marketing supplementary content on platforms to drive visibility for your brand (for instance, Amazon supports easy upload and sale of eBooks that could be filled with content that captures your audience and drives them to your site).
  • Stay Up-To-Date on Reports: Websites love to brag about their performance. Keeping up to date on who might be engaging large portions of your audience can help you know where to expand next.

Overall, marketers will find that developing their SEM strategies to grab audiences where they instinctually go not only can help provide additional returns with minimal budget strain, but it can also help your brand earn trust and credibility it never had before.

Subscribe to the Content Standard Newsletter to read original analysis around the latest marketing news and trends.

Recommended for you