SEM and paid social are both performance channels with particular strengths and weaknesses; SEM captures intent where Facebook doesn’t, but Facebook can open awareness to a huge new audience that AdWords can’t reached.

Used intelligently together, however, these two channels can combine for a powerhouse marketing campaign. Here are five ways to integrate the two for immediate results.

  1. Generate demand/brand awareness: To attract users at the top of the funnel, use Facebook to increase share of voice, brand engagement, and awareness. This will help generate demand. As users begin to learn about your product and services, they’ll end up going back to Google later and performing a search. You can capture and convert those with SEM.

image0012. Leverage Facebook for remarketing: Let’s say you’ve been successful in getting your ad to high-intent audiences via SEM and you’ve been able to bring them on your site. However, for one reason or another, we were unable to get them to convert. We can leverage Facebook for additional scale on high-intent customers by using remarketing and getting our brand back in the eye of those visitors. We can leverage Facebook’s creative options to take another stab at convincing them (with value props, product imagery, etc.) to convert as well as sending the user to a highly relevant page to finish the job.

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  1. Use Facebook for re-engagement: If you are a business where users can come and convert multiple times (think: ecomm – toy stores, apparel, etc., or services – spas, food delivery, etc.), you’ll want to use SEM to capture those high-intent users initially. Once they have made a purchase or signup and you have gotten that 1st-party data (email really), Facebook is a perfect avenue to remind these customers later on about great deals, new products/offerings, etc., to lure them back in for new purchases. Facebook allows you to upload 1st-party data to narrow out your customer base within their members and allow you to show your ads directly to that audience.

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  1. Leverage lookalike audiences: In the same vein as above, there are a bunch of good options in Facebook to really leverage our 1st-party data to help us capture incremental unique users. Let’s say we have been able to build up a great customer base via SEM. However, often there’s a limited number of people searching for our product/service, and we want to venture out to get our offering to more audiences. A great way to do this in an efficient manner is to take our customer list (ideally segmenting them out into smaller lists of audiences with a similarity – for example, high LTV, medium LTV, and low LTV) and upload that into Facebook, essentially creating website custom audiences. From those website custom audiences, we can then use Facebook’s lookalike technology to find additional audiences that show characteristics/traits very similar to our customer base.

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  1. Go after your competitors: Double up on your competition by going after audiences who like competitors in Facebook – target them specifically on Facebook and bid on competitor terms in SEM. If we continue to get our brand in front of these audiences, they’ll become familiar with our name, and with the right ads we should be able to capture enough interest to bring them onto our site via either Facebook or SEM.

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Have you developed any other ways to use Facebook and SEM campaigns together (replicating successful messaging, for example)? Leave a comment!

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Sana Ansari
Sana Ansari, General Manager of 3Q Accelerate , has worked in digital marketing since 2009, with stints at QuinStreet and Accenture preceding her tenure at 3Q. Sana has worked with a range of clients, from SMBs to enterprise accounts, helping companies make exponential revenue gains and driving profitable spend in verticals including insurance, travel, and eCommerce. Sana's expertise in SEM, the Google Display Network, landing page optimization, copy and creative optimization, remarketing, and driving lead quality has been fueled by a data-centric methodology reinforced in all of her team members. In her time at 3Q, she has been responsible for driving some of the agency's greatest success stories, taking companies with limited budgets and big ideas and turning them into names familiar across the country.