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target market Search engine marketing has grown exponentially in the UK, so just how has social media changed the way we campaign? WORDS Neil Adams

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earch engine marketing, or SEM, has become one of the most important service industries for companies looking to run marketing programmes online. Despite the recession and the myriad of financial problems many businesses are facing, this is one of the few areas seeing solid growth, year on year.

The rise of social media This growth has been spurred by a plethora of factors including increased internet usage, the rising importance of social media, and the growth in smartphone use and tablet technology. Our heavy reliance on the internet for work and pleasure means we are spending more time online. However, social media has become the most used form of online entertainment, and media buying across social media platforms has risen dramatically. The growth of new technologies has made mobile advertising of central importance to reaching and engaging with customers.

Overall, the opportunities for companies to engage with and sell to customers online are growing exponentially and it is therefore unsurprising that SEM is growing in direct proportion. Online marketing is simply proving to be one of the most cost-effective ways of advertising and increasing sales.

A shift in spending Due to the economic slowdown, 2011 was an interesting year of growth within the SEM sector. As overall budgets are squeezed, many companies are simply moving their advertising spend towards a more direct return-on-investment based form of marketing, and away from traditional mediums. According to a report from Econsultancy, 59% of companies and 79% of agencies have reported increased costs for Google Ad Words campaigns; but have increased their spends nevertheless. Investment in paid search has also grown significantly, with 39% of companies now spending over £100,000 annually on ‘paid for’ search traffic. Investment

in search engine optimisation has also boasted year-on-year growth, reaching £514 million in 2011. In terms of social media, three quarters of agencies have reported an increased pay-per-click investment in Facebook. Across the board companies and agencies have highlighted the growing importance of social media, and the increasing importance of mobile technology. Overall, it is clear that online spend is becoming increasingly important to companies looking to expand their reach in the most cost-effective way. Having an extensive online presence is paramount to business success. SEM growth is indicative of the importance the internet plays in the new digital society, and corporate success is increasingly becoming tied to how a company is able to adapt to this medium. The internet has undoubtedly revolutionised and continues to revolutionise the business world, and its importance cannot be underestimated.

Photo: www.mediasphere.com

Having an extensive online presence is paramount to business success

www.techcitymagazine.co.uk

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Tech City Magazine  

Tech City Magazine is the first publication for the Tech City area of London. The magazine is a business / lifestyle publication promoting...

Tech City Magazine  

Tech City Magazine is the first publication for the Tech City area of London. The magazine is a business / lifestyle publication promoting...

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