Paid search and social advertising are two major cornerstones of digital marketing plans and, for many organizations, comprise more than 50% of all online advertising budgets. Today, with the release of the Kenshoo white paper, Added Value: Facebook Advertising Boosts Paid Search Performance, marketers can get a bit smarter into how these two important channels work together to drive business goals.

The effectiveness of paid search has been well-documented, but the inherent value is undeniable even without the metrics that certainly back it up. For a brand to be there – right at the point in which a consumer is researching purchases at almost every step of the journey – always on, 24/7, 365 days a year is invaluable. The keyword is the single best data point any brand can have on any consumer as it reveals so much about an individual’s intent and can then be leveraged to match the most impactful ads, landing pages and offers.

Social advertising, although a bit of the new kid on the block, has also secured its rightful place in online media plans. The deep level of interaction and everyday usefulness that social networks offer to consumers are key components that make it such a great advertising channel. The rich data that can be used for insights and targeting as well as the functionality for consumers to exponentially share brand content and messaging with each other combine to offer marketers unlimited potential to build awareness and influence purchase behavior.

With these two channels delivering significant results and accounting for more than half of online advertising budgets, the opportunity to maximize the power of each by better understanding how they can work best together is an important initiative.

In essence, if you can get these two channels optimized, your total digital marketing foundation will be quite strong.

In Added Value: Facebook Advertising Boosts Paid Search Performance, Kenshoo analyzed a live campaign from a leading retailer with more than 2,500 stores in the United States during August and September 2013. In this paired market research, one set of consumers was exposed to just paid search advertising while another set was exposed to both paid search and Facebook advertising.

The results of this research clearly show that Facebook advertising has a positive effect on paid search performance. As you can see in this chart, the ROAS on the paid search group exposed to Facebook ads was 30% higher than that of the group that was only exposed to paid search. Facebook ads also improved other key metrics like AOV, CTR, and CPA.

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We knew that paid search and social advertising had some impact on each other and this study is the first in a series that Kenshoo will be releasing to get strong data points about this intersection into the hands of marketers. Kenshoo is uniquely positioned to deliver seminal research in this area based on our leadership in search and social and the fact that we’re a Facebook strategic Preferred Marketing Developer with native API solutions for Facebook, FBX, Twitter, Google, and Bing Ads.

So, there’s more to come! For now, 30% higher ROAS is an incredible place to start. We urge all advertisers who spend significant dollars in paid search and Facebook to perform similar tests themselves to help better understand where you can leverage the combined power of these two channels to best drive your business goals.

In the case of the retailer we examined, Facebook ads alone were deemed successful on their own merit, driving direct positive ROAS that exceeded campaign targets. Then, when you add in the fact that those Facebook ads also improved paid search ROAS by 30%, it makes an even stronger case for the value of social advertising and the imperative to manage these channels holistically.

1 + 1 = 3, while a bit of an overused analogy, is certainly an equation we’d all love to see more of in our marketing programs. This research should help marketers identify and act on this pattern when it comes to search and social.

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