For some, the week began on a high note, celebrating the New York Giants’ win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Internet marketers likely rejoiced too, but not necessarily because of the game’s actual outcome.
As is tradition, the commercials airing during the game generated substantial conversation on the web, and the integration of social media marketing into some of the campaigns signaled the channel’s value to some of the most recognizable brands in the world.
On Monday, Brafton highlighted the use of social in some of these campaigns, including Bud Light Platinum’s use of the hashtag “#MakeItPlatinum,” which quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Audi’s “#SoLongVampires” achieved similar success after the ad featuring a car with especially bright lights killing a series of vampires became an instant hit.
Other brands that mention social platforms in their ads included Best Buy, Cars.com and H&M, all of which generated online buzz with their campaigns.
The game itself, naturally, was a trending topic with players on the Patriots and Giants generating mentions on social platforms and frequent searches. Brafton reported that Super Bowl-related searches peaked around 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, just as the game began.
Among the most telling findings from an infographic Google made detailing search activity during the game was evidence that 41 percent of searches came from mobile devices of some kind, compared to just 25 percent prior to the game. Seeing the figure jump 16 percent demonstrates the growing reliance on smartphones in the U.S. and people’s comfort with the technology, as well as how it promotes internet searches among multitaskers.
The growth of the mobile device and its integration into daily lives is creating a greater demand for technology and marketing campaigns that allow users to enjoy the same experience on the go as they can in front of a computer. As such, Brafton reported on Wednesday that Google has officially rolled out Chrome for Android, an app that allows users to access bookmarks, tabs and settings from their desktop or laptop computer via their smartphone.
More unification concepts from Google are nothing new, as the company looks to turn the web into a customized experience for each Google user. Google first announced the application in November, but only just recently rolled out the Beta version of the Android application. Currently, only three devices that run on Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, can access it.
Despite the release of Chrome for Android, the week began on a fairly low note for the web browser. Brafton reported that the browser fell below 19 percent in total market share in the month. NetApplications released its numbers for the month, finding that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer picked up market share in January, as Chrome and Mozilla Firefox fell.
Brafton reported last month that a mistake from Google and a third-party agency resulted in paid, low-quality links directing to the Google Chrome homepage. As a result, Google punished itself, banishing the Chrome homepage from SERPs for 60 days. This period will expire soon, which will be critical for Google’s Chrome to recover.
Oddly enough, Google’s search service is working against Chrome. Any user searching for the term “web browser” will see results for Internet Explorer, Fire, Apple Safari and others browsers. The penalty is likely the cause of some of Chrome’s struggles in January.
In terms of search, Google picked up more ground in January, Brafton reported on Friday. ComScore’s search engine rankings for the month pegged Google at 66.2 percent of all search queries, growing 0.3 percent from December and pushing the company back toward two-thirds of the search market.
Microsoft’s Bing saw 0.1 percent growth in January, pushing it to 15.2 percent of the search market. While Google still leads Bing by more than 50 percent, its performance last month still represents a notable milestone. According to comScore, Yahoo shrunk 0.4 percent, giving Microsoft a 1.1 percent lead on Yahoo.
As a whole, search activity fell last month. Rather than demonstrate some form of lag in the market, this proves its overall strength more than anything. During December, the holiday shopping rush generated a massive search audience, which speaks to the value of integrated SEO strategies to drive web leads and conversions.
With content marketing and other channels, businesses often see their website jump in search rankings. Brafton reported on Friday that high search rankings are critical for attracting the 74 percent of consumers who do not click past the third SERP when conducting a search. AYTM conducted a survey of 400 consumers and found that most use search engines at least once per day, with many doing so even more frequently.
With Americans spending $50 billion online in the fourth quarter, according to comScore, the value of SEO is clear. The 14 percent growth in ecommerce compared to the same month in 2010 signals a recovering economy and opportunity for marketers to build their sales, Brafton reported. News content marketing material can help build SEO value and position brands to gain from increased search volumes and Americans’ willingness to shop online.
Brafton reported that the changing face of the web made reliable content a necessity on Thursday. The TekGroup conducted a survey of 1,000 professional journalists, 26 percent of whom said they visit digital newsrooms of businesses they’re shopping with or researching every day. Moreover, nearly all of the respondents reported that a content marketing campaign focused on original, high-quality articles is a competitive necessity for businesses. The SEO benefits aside, the web allows these organizations a chance to reach audiences and inform them with content.
Among the best ways to reach consumers through content is with trending topics. The Super Bowl demonstrated that this week. With Valentine’s Day ahead next week, similar results are expected and marketers might want to prepare for internet users’ frenzy for information about the holiday.