Brand Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

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In the early days of advertising, brand marketing was “the” way to get your company or product noticed. Every company hoped to have enough budget to buy Coca-Cola scale type advertising to put their product in the face of the consumer. This continues today in traditional media. With the largest advertisers likely the same ones in the Mad Men years (i.e. Coca-Cola).

The major difference between now and then, is that in the online space, your budget doesn’t determine how much exposure you get online. With social media and networking sites, it is easier than ever to get noticed. It just takes time and creativity to get your brand noticed.

Here are a couple of examples of how companies are getting noticed online:

  • Submit your products to be reviewed. Major electronics makers have been doing this over a number of years on CNet and Gizmodo, where they do professional product reviews. The shift that’s occurred in recent years is that now bloggers, as well as consumers, have gotten into the act. For example, if you searched YouTube for “Flip Mino HD Reviews“, you’d get a whole host of reviewers giving the product a spin. It’s like 1,180, 5-10 minute mini commercials of the product.
  • Although many will argue that Email Marketing is a direct marketing tactic (which it technically is). If done tastefully by offering useful content or eye-catching imagery (think of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad), it can also be seen as a brand marketing tool. Think of how many emails you have gotten from Target, Gap, Amazon, etc. where they have been invited into your inbox and their brand is being reinforced on a weekly or monthly basis. Although you may not purchase from them because of an email you had received, their emails are keeping them top-of-mind the next time you look for household items, or jeans or books. All this for pennies per email sent.
  • Facebook Ads are notorious for not getting as many clickthroughs compared to other pay per click platforms like Google Adwords. But all the more reason why it can be a great branding tool. Think about it. You get to target your demographic right down to the type of TV shows and the city they live in, for less than a cup of coffee a day!

Online marketing is largely seen as a great direct marketing playing field. But with social media, email marketing and a few other creative tactics you can leverage the online space to keep your brand top of mind and in consideration when it does come time to buy.

Why Bidding on Your Brand Name in PPC Advertising is Worth It

For most companies like Torsion, it’s easy for them to gain top rankings in search results for their company name or product brand names. Barring any major issues with your website, Google does a pretty good job of making sure a company website ranks in the top 5 for their company name (assuming that your company name is unique).

This is one of the reasons why many PPC advertising campaign managers typically don’t bid on their own company name in Google AdWords. They assume this type of campaign is a waste of campaign budget.

However, there is evidence to the contrary that bidding on your own brand or company name in pay per click advertising is important.

1. Increases Brand Affinity & Purchase Intent – Research indicates that when a company is ranked #1 in the organic result as well as in the paid search result, they have a higher likelihood of looking favourably on the brand, recalling the brand as well as purchasing from them.

2. Your Brand Could Be Closing the Sale – Even in the online space, there is a purchasing cycle. This is likely more evident for high dollar purchases or B2B purchasing behaviour, where more research is required to make an informed purchasing decision. Your customers could be clicking on one of your PPC advertising ads (such as product names or terminology) during their initial research, however, if you find that those ads aren’t resulting in a direct sale, it’s likely because your customers are performing additional research before committing. They could be looking at third-party product reviews or opinions from social media users. Once they do commit to purchasing from you, they will likely look for your brand name or company name to find you again. This phenomenon is called First Click vs. Last Click sales attribution. If your brand isn’t easily found during the final leg of the purchasing cycle, you could be missing out on a sale. Bidding on your brand ensures you are there when it counts.

3. Your Competitors Could Be Stealing Your Traffic – With Google’s new lax trademark bidding policy, your competitors are now allowed to bid on your trademarked keywords such as your company name. If their paid search ads appear ahead of your organic search listing, you’re missing out on traffic that should have been yours.

So before you think of cutting out your brand names from your PPC advertising campaign, consider the affect it could have for your overall PPC campaign.

As always I welcome any comments!