Companies investing in digital marketing want to know that their campaigns are successful — that they will get a lift in brand awareness as a result of their marketing efforts. While it’s easy enough to measure the impact of digital campaigns using analytics, marketers often overlook another factor that positively contributes to digital campaign performance: offline media. Learn how offline media, including print, radio, and television, can lift search volume with positive payouts for brands.
How Offline Media Can Lift Your Search Volume
Customers hear about brands through online and offline channels. Showrooming – the practice of examining merchandise in a physical store and later buying it online – is becoming more and more common among consumers. This suggests that shoppers are less likely to head to the store to pick up a new product after hearing an ad for it. Today’s customers spend a lot of time researching products online before they buy to make sure they are selecting the right product for their needs.
After being exposed to a new company through ads, customers tend to take a step back and research the brand, usually going online to check the company’s website. Thus, offline or traditional advertisements direct consumers back to the online channel, where they can self-direct their research and work through the customer journey. Search is a key component of the customer journey, serving as the bridge between offline and online channels.
Traditional media campaigns include a range of familiar media types, from print and radio campaigns to television ads. While the term ”out–of–home advertising” may be less familiar to consumers, they do have a high familiarity with these assets, which include ads on bus shelters and phone booths, billboards, taxi advertisements, and bus wraps.
While all types of traditional media can deliver search lift, not all traditional ads may be appropriate for every brand or target demographic. Direct mail and TV advertising campaigns tend to reach consumers at home, and therefore are a natural fit for in-home services. Print advertising, radio advertising, and out–of–home advertising may reach users at home, at work, or in transition (while users are commuting, going out with friends, etc), so they work well for snacks, clothing, and impulse buys.
Knowing that your brand will get increased searched results by investing in traditional media, you can then determine which type of traditional media campaign is best based on your target audience, niche, and goals.
Radio Ad Effectiveness
In 2017, the Radio Advertising Bureau produced a comprehensive study on the relationship between radio advertisements and search data. The study examined more than 2,100 radio ads across six sectors: ecommerce, insurance, auto, auto aftermarket, jewelry, and wireless communications.
The study found that radio ads led to a 29 percent increase in search in general and that a variety of factors, from radio quality to time of day, affected campaign effectiveness.
Brands saw the biggest return on investment with radio ads that aired during the morning drive, which increased search volume by 33 percent. Midday radio ads led to a 32 percent search lift. Ads that aired during the afternoon commute led to a 29 percent boost in search volume, and evening ads saw a 13 percent increase in search volume.
Of particular importance is the search lift by sector: automotive ads saw a very slight lift. This was unsurprising because consumers typically shop online for cars well before they even hear an ad. Ecommerce brands experienced a 9 percent search lift from radio ads. Wireless communications brands saw an 18 percent lift from these ads. Auto aftermarket brands enjoyed a significant increase in search volume from radio ads, ranging from 31 percent to 65 percent. Insurance ads delivered anywhere from a 26 percent lift to 73 percent search lift after radio spots aired, and jewelry enjoyed the biggest search lift from radio – 370 percent.
The Radio Advertising Bureau compared radio’s ROI with that of TV advertisements within the insurance sector. Their study found that radio’s 73 percent ROI was 228 percent greater than the search lift from a comparable TV ad.
Television and Out–of–Home Ad Effectiveness
A Nielsen survey of 1,089 adults revealed the effect that television ads can have on search volume. 57 percent of users searched for information about a company after viewing a television ad.
The Nielsen study also examined the effectiveness of out–of–home ad campaigns on search volume. 46 percent of users searched online for company information after spotting an out–of–home ad campaign.
Print Ad Effectiveness
Direct mail is hardly a new form of advertising, but what may surprise marketers is how effective direct mail campaigns can be in the digital age, even among younger demographics. Consider that 12 percent of 18 to 21–year–olds responded to direct mail campaigns and that the average return on investment from a direct mailing is 29 percent.
By including digital calls to action on a direct mailing, brands can capture the best of both worlds. A report from Compu-Mail found that direct mailings that included digital advertisements generated a 28 percent higher conversion rate than direct mail campaigns that lacked a digital tie-in.
Marketing campaigns that combined traditional direct mail campaigns and digital ads were the most effective. Marketers that sent direct mail and had at least one digital campaign saw a 118 percent lift in campaign response rate.
As with radio, not all types of direct mail are created equal. Compu-Mail found that oversized mailings generated greater response rates, followed by postcard-sized campaigns and finally letter-sized mailings. Personalizing direct mailings further increased their effectiveness. For example, adding someone’s full name in color text led to a 135 percent increase in customer response rates.
In addition to direct mailings, consider print advertisements in newspapers or magazines. The Nielsen survey indicated that newspaper and magazine ads led to a 36 percent increase in online searches for companies.
Key Takeaways for Marketers
The overall message here is clear: today’s consumers are operating in a multi-channel world, where they are increasingly relying on both digital media and traditional media to make purchasing decisions. Brands that want to increase their search volume (and thus their revenue) cannot afford to ignore traditional media, be it print, radio, out–of–home advertisements, or television, because all of these channels positively affect search volume.
For marketers, it should never be a question of traditional media or digital media, but rather which traditional media campaign will best generate interest in the brand’s website and digital advertisements. By thinking critically about campaign performance through the lens of search lift as delivered by traditional media types, marketers can deliver significant search lift, which is the first step in the customer journey that ends with a conversion.
Looking to create an offline marketing strategy that will lift your search volume? Contact the marketing experts at Zero Gravity Marketing today.