Why Marketers are Spending Less on Search and More on Performance display

By Michael FosterJuly 8, 2014

The only constant in online advertising is change, and this can be seen in search engine marketing these days, where prices are rising too fast for some marketers, particularly those looking to buy and sell leads. With important keywords getting pricier and pricier, some lead generators are saying “enough” and looking for alternatives to Google.

It’s a controversial topic, and not all marketers are following suit, pointing to the better quality of search-driven leads relative to the alternatives online. Yet a growing number of marketers are deciding that their search budgets need some strict discipline and a better option could be through a new channel entirely.

The strength of display

A surprising alternative has quietly grown in recent years: performance display. Many SEMs have incorporated display marketing into their campaigns for years, but they looked at their budgets a lot like a Ghostbuster: you don’t cross the streams.

That’s changing, and many of marketers are taking dollars out of their search budgets and putting them toward low-cost display inventory where the click-rates may be low and the leads they produce may be inferior. Still, the overall cost is far behind the cost of search as competition for the big keywords continues to heat up.

Additionally, the performance of display has been bolstered by improvements to targeting abilities and more inventory availability, which helps keep costs down and options up. In turn, specialists in search are reading up on display and diversifying their investments. For many marketers, the investment is paying off.

How to leverage online advertising in all forms

To incorporate performance display into your search campaigns to get more leads for less cost, you need to understand the channel and your target audience. Then you need to look at the targeting tools the publisher or platform offers you and optimize your bids accordingly.

Lead generation and display marketing can be a match made in heaven if the campaign is done right. For many marketers, though, a lot of lost dollars are spent chasing the wrong audience at the wrong time and in the wrong place. To avoid this trap, you need to learn more about user behavior, your audience’s interests and how to serve their needs most efficiently. In this way, strategizing for display can mirror strategizing for search, and it can yield enormous results if done correctly.



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