Less than one-quarter of web users said that Fathers' Day advertisement campaigns influenced purchase decisions, however, SEO efforts around the day might have helped brands win visibility as the topic was among the main Hot Searches for Google on Sunday.

A report from AYTM Market Research found that more than 77 percent of consumers are unaffected by advertisements aimed at Fathers’ Day. Many of these respondents see ads on television, the web and several other media, and have found they are increasingly immune to these more overt kinds of selling, which suggests more organic methods – including social and content marketing – are better for reaching prospects.

Just 22.7 percent of people said Fathers’ Day sales or other campaigns impacted their purchase decisions. However, marketers can still use these events and holidays to drive conversions on the web. It requires a shift in thinking, though, to ensure that the message used to attract prospects (and ultimately convert them) is received. Although AYTM found Fathers’ Day ads were ignored, search activity shows brands publishing information about the holiday still stood to gain visibility.

Google’s Hot Searches listed “fathers’ day” and “fathers’ day quotes” as two of the most frequently searched terms on Sunday. As such, targeting the more than 2.1 million people who turned to Google to find organic web content about Fathers’ Day can drive sales.

In the past, Brafton has reported that about 90 percent of consumers use search at some point in the purchase process. On days like Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day and other holidays typically associated with family and gift-giving, content marketing and SEO can be especially effective methods of driving website traffic and guiding prospects to conversion.

Google even offered marketers a little lift with a Google Doodle with a Fathers’ Day theme. The adjustment to the homepage inevitably drove more searches for their term. Additionally, Google made an update to both its freshness algorithm and trends pages that give prime SERP real estate to updated content about hot searches, and this will likely help marketers leverage events and holidays more effectively.

The addition of Hot Searches to Google Trends means that users will see recent, quality web content related to popular search terms along with images and links associated with the news stories. Brafton reported that the freshness update, which was part of May’s search quality updates, was likely aimed at this new element of Google search. Previously, Google’s Trends activity only showed a list of hot searches on its homepage.

Considering alternates to ad campaigns around similar events might help brands reach ad-immune audiences, and content marketing efforts can help businesses reach holiday shoppers throughout the year. In the past, Brafton has highlighted holidays, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and other nationally relevant events, such as the Super Bowl, as topics content writers can focus on to give sites an extra shot of timeliness and SEO appeal.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.