Guest post from Cedric Chambaz , Marketing Manager, Search & SMB, Microsoft Advertising

Where's Wally?Search Marketing is a well-established marketing technique that can clearly help your drive traffic to your site and grow your business. Based on a cost-per-click model, you only pay when a prospect clicks on your ad to read more about the product or service they were proactively looking for. And at as little as 5p a click, this is a very cost-efficient driver of new business. If you want to get your head around what search can do for your business, you may want to read this introduction to search marketing.

Social media has also seen its popularity grow amongst SMBs, for quite a similar reason: it is inexpensive to get started. Creating a blog is free. Setting up a Twitter account, a Facebook page  or a Linkedin group too.  

And yet, it is not because it is cheap that it cannot prove costly.

It is a bit like DIY: you can do it all by yourself but you would not start rewiring your house without basic and yet critical knowledge about electrics. Same goes with search and social media. Both have rules that you can easily apply to inform your strategy, and if you do, you are assured to deliver against your objectives.

One of the key areas about search and social media marketing is how both can cross-fertilise each other to deliver incremental performances. Too often marketing disciplines in large corporations are siloed, but SMBs have an edge thanks to their leaner, more reactive, multidisciplinary organisations. And this is critical as search engines offer consumers more social media elements in their results pages: Microsoft’s search experience Bing now integrates Twitter feeds to offer real time search; it enables you to Ping your search results to your community through various social platforms; Bing also powers Facebook and with the completion of the Search Alliance, will soon power other iconic social sites such as Flickr.

So how can SMB address this challenge and turn this growing trend into actionable plans? Microsoft Advertising UK partnered with the IAB to compile an industry report on the correlation between search and social media. Actionable and pragmatic, this report is a depository of best practices which covers topics such as:

  • How to use Search Engine Marketing to your advantage in online PR crisis;
  • How to leverage social media in SEO efforts;
  • How to surface business and marketing needs through search and social analytics;
  • How to clean a legacy reputation from the search result pages; 
  • How to recruit the right talent for your organisation…

You can download this Search and Social Media report for free and get some actionable tips on how to get your search and social media strategies aligned into an efficient business powerhouse.