Studies show social media content compels viewers to navigate to branded websites for additional information.

Brands that create inner circles – places where their loyal customers can congregate and share information – often experience greater brand awareness and sales increases. However, social media has expanded the reach of branded web entities, giving marketers new opportunities to interact with prospective and current customers across the web. While optimizing and managing a traditional website remains central to online marketing success, social extensions hosted on networks like Facebook and YouTube give brands advantages, and marketers must create consistent campaigns that spread across each channel.

Old Spice GraphicIn a recent report from eMarketer, “What’s a Brand Site For? Engaging Consumers Across Multiple Channels,” researchers noted that brand dot-coms don’t generate significant amount of traffic each day, but remain primary resources for consumers seeking information about companies’ products or services. When organizations extend their reach to social sites, they also increase the amount of time their customers engage with their services on the web.

According to an October 2012 study from nRelate, 48 percent of online shoppers trust custom content from brand websites. The study also noted that no other content type achieved similar trustworthiness, not even mainstream news sites. More, visitors to brand websites spend 37 percent more in retail outlets than non-website visitors, according to a joint study by Accenture, dunnhumbyUSA and comScore.

Old Spice SuccessTo show the importance of branded social media accounts, Compete looked at how well Old Spice performed on its YouTube channel compared to its traditional website during the company’s popular ad campaigns. According to the source, traffic to Old Spice’s YouTube channel increased to 264,969 unique visitors during the month of its “MANta Claus” and “Smell is Power” efforts. Similarly, traffic to the company’s official web page surged to 56,525 visits that same month, a substantial increase from the 10,000 to 20,000 visits seen in months past.

Compete’s study highlights the value of social media content, especially as a traffic driver. While Old Spice’s video content efforts might not have converted viewers on the spot, a higher percentage of people navigated to the company’s official site because of the campaign, and the overall experience may have affected sales during the holiday season. Brands that learn from Old Spice’s success may discover the importance of cross-channel marketing for themselves.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.