I recently completed extensive research on marketing synergies. (Full disclosure: I consult with TUNE as a mobile economist.)
Here are five stories from marketing experts who synergized paid, earned, and owned channels and achieved outsized results.
Social commerce: 680 percent boost
Sandra Rand has worked in organic and paid marketing for 12 years, and currently plies her trade for Massachusetts-based agency OrionCKB.
Mixing organic and paid social in the right proportions has helped her massively increase social commerce.
"One client saw a branding video -- one that was not product-focused or with a strong call to action to buy -- really get traction on Facebook organically," Rand says. "It resonated because it hit people at an emotional level and sold them into the importance of the company's mission. Once we put some paid social budget behind it, it took off and sales followed."
Sales followed, yes, but ad costs went down, and return on ad spend jumped as well:
"This approach, using a video intended for organic as an ad, reduced cost-per-action by 3.6% and increased return on ad spend by 24 percent. With the increased level of volume, we were also able to increase the number of purchases driven by Facebook 680 percent!"
Organic social boosts brand--and sales: 50 percent
We know that social proof matters. It's an indicator of success, of authenticity, of longevity, and of influence. In short, it builds brand.
"If there were two Facebook pages selling the same exact product, yet one page had 15 likes and the other page had 15,000 likes, which page would you buy from?" asks Tucker Ferwerda of Zero to Hero. "We have found that the more followers that we have, the more engagement we have, and the more optimized we can make our social media channels, the more our organic and paid reach compliment each other."
The question is, however: By how much?
"Organic traffic, especially when it's hyperactive, completes the marketing efforts. Our Instagram accounts that are above 10,000 followers work better and get better conversions than the pages just starting out by at least 50 percent," Ferwerda says. The longer someone follows, the more valuable they tend to be, he adds: "That's because they are followers, have been around the block longer, and have trusted our brands. Organic traffic converts better!"
Organic social boosts paid and earned web traffic: 1000 percent
Doing better at organic social can lead to an opportunity to improve paid as well. Perhaps not always as much as TeliApp, a digital marketing firm in New Jersey, managed to achieve for a manufacturing client, however.
Not shockingly, it involves being human and not a sales machine on social.
"For two different clients of ours, one an insurance franchisee and another a home goods manufacturer and distributor, we noticed that posting about current events that are related to their products works better than merely posting about the product itself," Joshua Weiss, TeliApp's CEO, says. "The supporting data was overwhelming, and so we modified both their respective organic and paid search campaigns. For one client, we increased their Facebook page following by nearly 1,900%, and their corresponding website traffic by over 1,000% over the same three-day period."
There are clearly multiple synergies working here.
Better organic social led to better owned media: more fans and followers. Adding paid into the mix -- with the learnings from organic social -- improved both fans and followers and a mix of earned and paid traffic to an owned asset: the client's website.
Organic relationship management boosts paid SEM/PPC: 25 percent
Online relationship management includes reviews of a company and its products, among other things. Focusing on reputation can not only boost your brand, but also improve your click-through rate on paid search ads.
"We did some ORM for a client in Boston who sells medical equipment," Rahal of Little Dragon Media says. "This resulted in an overall score of 4.8 stars out of 5."
That in itself is useful, and can lead to better reputation and better organic search placement, higher organic search click-through rates, and probably even better conversion rates when potential customers arrive at your website.
But it also had an impact on paid search:
"We were then able to add the reviews as an 'ad extension' on our Google Adwords ads, which improved click-through rate on our ads by over 25 percent," Rahal says.
Organic SEO + paid SEM/Shopping ads boosts revenue: 800 percent
Marketers who don't seek and exploit synergies between paid and organic marketing channels are missing out on pure gold.
Alison Garrison, a senior director of marketing at Volusion, an ecommerce platform for SMBs, saw a long 12 months' worth of organic search engine optimization hit pay dirt when she added Google Shopping ads.
"After kicking off a Shopping feeds campaign, the SEO work that had been going for about a year gained significant traction, and traffic from organic search increased 325% overall and more than 400 percent from mobile alone year-over-year," she says.
But revenue absolutely jumped through the roof as well ... including organic search revenue.
"Revenue from organic search increased by 240 percent during that period," Garrison says. "Shopping feeds ads were key to success here -- overall traffic increased by more than 2,500%, mobile traffic increased by more than 10,000 percent, revenue increased by more than 800 percent, mobile revenue increased by more than 80,000 percent -- not a typo."
Clearly, her client was starting from a small base of web and mobile revenue. Still, the results are impressive.
Channel synergy works
Intention channel synergy building is a smart strategic move for marketers that lowers costs, improves result, and generates lasting value in owned and earned from transient bursts of paid media.
My full report, with many more examples and a deep explanation of how and why channel synergies function, is available here.