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We are all searching. Through websites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Yahoo and, of course, the search goliath Google, people are flocking to online mediums every day. And as this herd is ever-increasing in size, search specialists, acting as the shepherds of the Internet, have a lot more to deal with. Our job is to help people find what they are searching for in the most efficient way possible — while delivering positive ROI for our clients. In doing this, we are moving SEM from periphery to a prominent position in the media world.
Search roles are evolving and growing just as the industry is — there is a lot more to think about and be responsible for. Partnerships are proving to be a vital component in dealing with this ever-changing medium. These partnerships can vary in type — clients, publishers, creative agencies, account managers, offline teams and online digital teams. Here I will explore why these partnerships are so critical to the success of each campaign… and why, sometimes, even the ‘shepherds’ work better in packs.
Search specialists are now guiding client management. We have more contact with the client on a regular basis. There is more at our reach including the overall objective, explanation of the product/service and expectation of SEM results from the client — and we are really starting to see this quality information come through. If we are part of the planning process from the beginning, we can then understand and prepare tailored campaigns for the client every step of the way, which ensure we run a successful campaign time and time again.
Relationships between the search team and the publishers are important, as there are frequent changes to the platforms and rules. As an example, six months ago we used to be able to promote competitions on a Facebook Page, now we have to create a canvas page, or app instead. As a result there are longer planning windows and small budget increases. The publishers give us many insights, case studies and involve us in Beta testing (released to only a limited amount of people to trial). All of these elements ensure that we have up-to-date knowledge and the information to stay ahead of our competitors.
Clients either have an internal creative team or an external creative agency. It is ideal if we are put in contact with them directly to ensure that our ideas are being put forward accurately. We need the experts to come together and create ideas that are feasible as well as engaging for the consumer. A search workshop has been organised for a specific client, in which members from our media agency, the client and creative agency all get together to discuss search and digital opportunities. If all members are on the same page of what can be achieved, then we can start moving towards future goals.
Offline & Online Teams
Integration of the offline and online teams. These relationships are important to create and maintain to ensure maximum effect on a clients campaign. As an example, we would want SEM to run simultaneously with other online and offline media. If there is a peak in search and we had not made a change in our campaign we would want to know where it came from. When we know what is going on in other channels, we are able to put forward accurate results.
Account managers are the people that know what’s going on, they know the story, they have the information and they hold the power. They are the leaders in this group of partnerships and it is our job to work together. It is imperative that we keep in the loop at all times.
The many responsibilities of a search specialist are rapidly evolving. These partnerships will help us succeed in our job effectively and push us to be the experts we know we are. We are all searching, yes. And together, we are finding it possible to reach greater levels than ever before.