Why Should B2B Marketers Integrate Their Search and Social Strategies?

Eva Johnson, Director of Marketing and Communications

Did you know that a 2017 eMarketer report found that 84.2% of B2B marketers use social media to acquire customers*? No longer do B2B marketers see social media marketing as an elective tactic, but rather as a necessary conduit to influence and engage customers.

The same eMarketer survey also showed that paid search is a popular marketing tactic among B2B marketers, with 59.7% leveraging this channel to target and acquire leads. Paid search is vital to a brand’s overall marketing strategy, for it effectively capitalizes on a customer’s intent. 

At DWA, we’ve found that leveraging paid search and social in tandem can lead to conversion rates that are 2x higher than performance from running only one tactic. Wouldn’t we all like a little more money in our pockets?

A recent campaign’s performance illustrated the benefit of informing search optimizations with social data, and vice versa. Our paid search execution for a WAN optimization appliance company resulted in:

  • 53% increase in contacts (i.e., those who submitted lead forms)
  • 34% increase in conversion rate

The same campaign’s paid social execution resulted in:

  • 65% increase in conversions

When B2B marketers are utilizing both channels, they should do so in a manner that allows for the sharing of audience and performance data. As discussed in an earlier blog post, “REAL Integrated Marketing is Not Too Far from You,” merely checking the boxes for multiple media channels doesn’t equal an integrated marketing plan. B2B marketers should strive to identify the same customer across both channels to allow for:

  • The retargeting of users on social networks who searched for keywords or previously showed interest in a brand’s product or service
  • The retargeting of users with search ads after they engaged with a brand’s social media ad
  • Optimization that accounts for a unified view of an audience’s behavior on both channels

Easier said than done, right?

To fulfill the integrations mentioned above, it helps to work with an agency or technology partner that does the heavy lifting for you. Platforms such as Marin Software allow marketers to execute their search and social advertising through a single platform, helping to bridge data and insights necessary for a well thought out and lucrative plan.

Combining data from both executions also allows marketers to map their buyers’ paths to conversion. Running both programs in parallel through a cross-channel advertising platform allows for the consolidation of key intent data and audiences between search and social. Doing so enables more efficient optimizations and expedites the timeline to move customers down the sales funnel.

B2B marketers who are already running search and social programs can take advantage of one of the many free audits offered by agencies and technology companies that specialize in these channels. An audit will recommend a few simple optimizations to improve current programs and increase ROI. It will also encourage a holistic way of thinking about data, which is essential to any integrated marketing plan.

To learn more about why you should run search and social in tandem, reach out to us.


*eMarketer, “B2B Social Media 2017: Tying Efforts Back to Larger Business Goals,” February 2017