As consumers become multichannel buyers, marketers need to measure multiple touchpoints to make sure they understand their online campaigns.

The web has gone from an easily quantifiable system of content to a sprawling environment that defies measurement. Marketers like to think they can understand every element as long as they’ve got the right tools, but the truth is most brands are simply hunting for signals among the noise to help them determine which courses of action are the most effective. For example, as Brafton reported, building a list of social followers is helpful, but it’s more important to examine engagement than conduct an audience headcount.

A recent study by Marin Software has apparently found that one way to effectively measure web marketing is by looking at the touchpoints customers experience before producing conversions. It turns out that when search marketing campaigns are conducted in conjunction with social advertising, brands see 26 percent more revenue per click than search campaigns alone. They also see 68 percent more revenue per conversion when leads have come through a sales pipeline that includes both search and social ads.

To advertise socially or not to advertise socially?

Social advertising is becoming much more prominent in the wake of recent changes to major networks. Brands are seeing significant decreases in organic News Feed visibility on Facebook, and Twitter has introduced promoted Tweets and branded advertisements into users’ social experience. Both channels have subtly been promoting the idea that companies large and small invest in paid advertisement – Facebook through its small business camp and Twitter through advice to up-and-coming companies.

However, it isn’t entirely clear ads are the answer. They certainly seem effective at supplementing organic content marketing efforts, but Marin’s study found search and social essentially double both conversion rates and revenue per click – irrespective of whether the social touchpoint was an ad or not. So brands need to decide on their own whether they’re going to continue going the organic route or start investing in paid advertisements.

Organic content plays to Millennials

One important consideration brands should never forget to make is that Millenials – the largest and most lucrative cohort of consumers – have very unique content consumption habits. For example, as Brafton reported, they’re voracious consumers of video and other modern interactive media. At present, Facebook ads don’t allow for video plays in News Feeds – but organic social marketing does- so it pays to continue with traditional Facebook marketingand other natural approaches to reach customers on the web.