We used to learn about who our audience was by putting cookies on our website and waiting for traffic to come so we could learn more about our visitors. For example, before people visited our site, perhaps they visited espn.com. So we potentially have a large sports audience as a segment of our brand, right?
The search process has become broken because the data landscape has become more fragmented and complex. If we know consumers attach certain keywords to our brand and that certain topics are becoming important to them, we can probably buy those words as search terms before they become expensive, and we can probably own them not only from a paid standpoint but also from a natural standpoint. But how do I find those keywords (see “Why Topic Discovery Beats Search”)?
When I put a search term into Google, typically eight of the top 10 results are social because consumers are creating enough content for that to happen. If I can discover the trends and themes consumers are creating, then I can put myself in the mix by building content to show up in that top eight to 10 results as well. As a media planner, I need to know the top trends and themes my consumers care about, so I can buy those terms and then optimize based on those terms as well.
Consumers today don’t search with long phrases. They search once and if they don’t get what they want, they tend to add to it and keep adding to it until they find what they want. The great thing about using social media data for topic discovery is you can see all of those searches connected together. For example, you can see the result is first “social,” then it’s “social media,” then “social media analytics,” and then “social media analytics paid.” This is what we call knowing the hierarchy of search, which can only be accomplished with topic discovery.
To read about more clever ways to strategically plan media using social media, check out this FREE eBook on the 5 new tricks for media planning.