• Should You Use a Brand Campaign With Paid Ads?

    9th January 2023

    Brand campaigns are powerful tools in digital marketing and paid advertising. They have a lot of benefits, but a few downsides too. Discover if using a brand campaign is right for your online business.

    What is a Brand Campaign?

    As the name suggests a brand campaign contains your business name and represents your actual company. In the world of digital marketing, this will include some of your main assets and brand elements. This could be your key products, features and services alongside your logo and slogans. Today we’ll be talking about a branded search campaign, rather than a branded display campaign as they are a little different in function.

    Brand campaigns are often considered to be very effective tools for digital marketing. They traditionally will have a high conversion rate and a significant return on investment (ROI).

    However just looking at the positive metrics alone doesn’t paint the full picture, so we’ll go over the pros and cons of using a brand campaign. With an understanding of their strengths and drawbacks, you’ll be able to decide if they’re worth testing for your online business.

    Brand Campaign Benefits

    So why use a branded search campaign? If it’s not targeting your main product and service keywords, how effective could it really be? Here are six reasons why you should consider using a brand campaign with paid ads.

    1. Paid ads can help your brand appear above search results

    You may notice when searching for a product or service that ads appear first on the results page. These are the top paid ad slots and the first thing people see. Running paid ads for your brand results in an incredibly high relevance with people very likely to click.

    Ads Appear Above Search Results

    Ads appear first, before organic search results.

    While paid ads aren’t for everyone it does provide you with a method of making sure your brand name (and ad details) is seen first and foremost.

    2. They can promote your latest offerings

    Brand campaigns are a great way to represent your brand with advertising. When people see your branded ads, they can associate your online business with what you offer. By adding your latest offers to your marketing channels directly, people will know what your company can do for them. Some offers you might want to consider including are:

    • New products or services
    • Special deals and discount periods
    • Promotional offers
    • Free offerings such a product trial

    There’s a greater benefit than just showing potential customers what services your company offers. With a brand campaign you can associate specific new offerings with your brand to appeal to both new and existing customers. This can lead to greater sign ups, registrations, downloads, sales and other conversions.

    3. Broader targeting

    If you know your target audience then brand campaigns are an ideal catch-all. While you may run specific campaigns with determined goals, these likely target segments of your audience. Using a brand campaign to your entire target audience can expose your brand and potential customers to new products and services that they may not have considered before.

    Additionally, if someone has shopped with you before (and were happy) then it’s more likely that they’ll shop with your company again. Seeing your branded ads can help remind customers, especially those on the precipice of converting, of your company and help nudge them towards that final destination of a purchase or sale.

    4. Brand campaigns are cost effective

    For the vast majority of companies brand campaigns are a very affordable way to advertise online with paid ads. This is due to the very high relevance between keywords, ad content and landing pages, as they’ll be fairly unique to your brand.

    Brand Campaign With Low CPC

    Brand campaigns often have low CPC. Other metrics also tend to perform very well.

    Many brand search campaigns end up costing between 1p and 10p per click. This can provide your website with a significantly greater number of clicks for the same cost as a regular search campaign.

    5. Secure your online presence

    Have you ever used a search engine to search for your own online business? If your main competitors show up with paid ads, they might be bidding on your brand instead of you!

    With a brand campaign, if someone searches for your company name, make sure that they see your own ads first!

    Brand campaigns can help protect your online presence alongside search results from competitors.

    6. High quality traffic

    Targeting brand keywords for ads can help drive users specifically interested in your company directly to your website. Because of this, compared to other types of campaigns, brand campaigns often generate high quality traffic. Visitors are more likely to click on your ads and convert if they’re looking for your website and products.

    Brand Search Example

    Bidding on brand terms can cause paid ads to appear first in brand searches.

    While users may find your website organically otherwise, brand campaigns give you full control over your ads, so you can really focus on getting (already interested) people to the right landing pages to make the conversion process as smooth as possible.

    7. They can catch longer, relevant keywords

    Long-tail keywords can be tricky to target as every additional keyword to a phrase could be one of hundreds of possible variations. Thankfully if those long keywords contain your brand name anywhere within them then a brand campaign can show your ads. This may seem like only a minor benefit, but the same phrase without your brand targeted could be targeted by many other companies and/or competitors.

    For example if Aillum decided to sell trainers (we don’t yet), someone could search for:

    • “running trainers suitable for hilly areas in scotland by aillum”

    A search campaign targeting just “running trainers” is going to have a lot of competition, but because “Aillum” is within the search term, a brand campaign will be able to show ads when that keyword phrase is searched for. Relevance is important for advertising algorithms and few things are more relevant than your own brand name.

    Brand Campaign Drawbacks

    With some of the positives covered, brand campaigns are looking pretty good! So are there any reasons to not use them? Of course (though it’ll depend on a few factors). Here are three reasons why you should consider avoiding a brand search campaign.

    1. Organic traffic may be impacted

    While brand campaigns are cost effective, so is proper search engine optimization (SEO). If implemented correctly, your website may appear first in the search results anyway. If your brand campaign ad appears above your own organic search result and someone clicks on the ad then that will cost you money. If your ad wasn’t there they may have clicked on the search result link for free.

    If running a brand campaign for the first time, be sure to check the impact and performance of your organic traffic through a tool such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

    2. Not ideal to find new customers

    If you’re looking to target new customers, it may be better to stick to other types of campaigns. People who search for your brand name already know you are. While some of these may be new customers who have seen other ads elsewhere or heard of you through word-of-mouth, many will be returning customers.

    If you want to target new customers only, we would recommend starting with other types of campaigns, such as a display campaign for Brand Awareness or search/shopping campaigns for specific products and services.

    3. They’re not for everyone

    While many brand names are unique, many also relate to the products or services sold. This can make keyword targeting quite difficult and require a significant amount of negative keywords and fine tuning.

    For example if you had a company named “The Coffee Shop” which exclusively sold coffee, then a brand campaign would need to compete with terms such as:

    • “local coffee shop”
    • “shops selling coffee”
    • “high quality coffee shop”

    While relevant in keywords, they’re not in context because they’re not related to the brand “The Coffee Shop” itself. While a brand campaign would still function, it would need to be regularly updated with new negative keywords and match types would need to be watched closely to keep the campaign performing well.

    So should you use a brand campaign?

    That will be up to you! We hope that highlighting some of the pros and cons of a brand campaign will help you decide if it’s right for your online business. Many automated (or “smart”) campaigns include brand terms which make them look like they perform well, but they do suffer from similar drawbacks because of this. Make the most of your paid ads by understanding how much they actually contribute to your business and why. As always, we recommend testing it and using the data to make your decisions going forward in the future.

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