TV Advertising, Traditional Marketing and SEO

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A couple of days ago I was watching TV and came across an ad heavily pushing a company website.  Today, I’m going to talk about integrating SEO and Social Media with large-scale, traditional marketing like this.

The TV ad that put this in my mind pushes the website as the brand.  It’s not the normal company website, they’ve launched this new one as part of a long running marketing campaign. 

We’ve talked a bit recently about where SEO fits in with an overall marketing strategy.  This ad left me wondering a few things.  They could have picked a name with keyword relevance to give their new website an edge in the search engines.  They didn’t.  It’s not always possible to.  Sometimes other names are just better and they work with the marketing strategy.  What I wonder though is this:

In all the money and effort they spent on that marketing campaign, how much did they put into SEO?

I’m not mentioning what the ad was and I’m not running off to analyse their SEO.  This isn’t about one campaign from one company.  It’s about integrating SEO for the long term benefit of the campaign.  It is fairly common practice to run campaigns across multiple media.  TV and radio and newspapers and billboards.  All mass media hitting consumers and generating awareness but with next to no targeting.  All at a cost far in excess of using search or Internet marketing in general.  Almost always for a lower ROI.

How Would Integrating SEO Help?

Lets say you run the same campaign but integrate SEO and social media into what you are doing.  The cost of adding these would be negligible considering the cost already put into the TV etc.  What would you get for it?

The TV ad is great.  It’s funny and it puts the brand in my mind.  I’d say it has done its job really well.  When the spend is done though, how long will it take me to forget about this company?  They’ve got themselves right to the front of my mind by interrupting my TV viewing with a good ad.  But they’ll go right to the back of it again as soon as they stop paying up for the TV time.

The ad is for car insurance.  If I was looking for car insurance, these guys are at the front of my mind.  It would definitely influence my decision but I probably wouldn’t go straight to them and buy.  It just doesn’t influence me that much.  Personally, I’d go to Google and search for “car insurance”.  Now.  If they are in the top few results, their TV advertising starts to pay off because I click through and they get a chance to sell me.

What I am trying to say is this.  The short term awareness generated by these campaigns can be great but it would be better if you integrate it with SEO.  More importantly, the buzz that is generated by these expensive campaigns can be converted into fuel to power link building and Social Media.  When the spend is done and the TV ads stop, the social media awareness remains.  The links remain and their SEO benefits remain. 

In two months time when you’re not advertising anymore, I’m still likely to go to Google and look for “car insurance”.  If I see you there, I’ll still remember your ad.  If I don’t see you there, I won’t.

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5 Responses to “TV Advertising, Traditional Marketing and SEO”

  1. says:

    TV Advertising, Traditional Marketing and SEO…

    It is fairly common practice to run marketing campaigns across multiple media and for TV ads to prominently feature websites. How often do these traditional media campaigns integrate SEO and Social Media though? What benefits would you get if they did?…

  2. yoni says:


    A great article and a very good premise.

    Except for the huge companies with astronomical budgets set aside for advertising on TV and the front page of the New York Times, ads are constrained by budgets. You are right that a good commercial can really capture your attention, but it can tend to fade away -out of sight, out of mind- after time and when the money for the ad-blitz runs out.

    Most people do go to Google as you say and even though it will give you 10 million results for “car insurance” I doubt that many people search past Page 2.


  3. SiteStream SEO says:

    Thanks Yoni

    The amounts being spent on large-scale TV ads and similar offline campaigns are pretty huge. Given today’s operating environment I’d hope that even those with deep pockets are looking at every way to max out their bang for buck. If you’re lucky enough to have the budget to be running this kind of marketing, then integrating SEO and Social has massive potential.

    You are of course right that few people go past page 2 on Google. Depending on the search and what results are turned up, few people get to page 2 and the top few results on page 1 hog the vast majority of the clicks.

  4. Really what’s going on is that clients are using several different companies for their various marketing initiatives and their web initiatives — so often the internal resources will not get together to coordinate. I have experienced this very thing recently, but the client just didn’t get it!

  5. Sarah says:

    Its is really a common practice to advertise a product on television as well as traditional way in marketing a product.But now a days when you advertise on TV, your commercial is not only competing with others, it is also competing with the viewer’s environment as well.Even if your commercial is being aired, viewers may never see it unless it is intrusive enough to capture their attention.