Building a Better Brand Campaign

October 12, 2009

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Brand campaigns are easy, right? Just throw some variations on your business name and url into an ad group, set some ads, and let the engines take care of the rest. But then again, you’ve spent a lot of time building your brand; why not spend a little more time on how you advertise it? I’ve seen a number of brand campaigns benefit greatly from some simple reorganisation, and with a little work, you too can make sure you are maximising your brand’s exposure. To start, I would recommend that every brand campaign has, at a minimum, three ad groups:

Brand General: This is where you put all the variations on your business’s name- Acme, Acme Inc, Acme Incorporated, etc. Make sure you have the terms launched on all three match types, and that your bidding is appropriate. Don’t be afraid to bid high since your superior click through rate and quality score will keep your actual costs per click low.

In many ways, these are your most important terms since they’ll drive the most traffic and conversions. They’re also the most likely to be targeted by your competitors or affiliates. Having them separate will allow you to closely monitor their performance and ensure that no one is using your hard earned brand recognition for their own benefit.

Brand URL: You’re going to want to cover all the variations on your website’s URL here. Remember that people are going to mess up the easy parts sometimes, so make sure to include variations with and without the “www.”, “.com”, and any punctuation like periods or hyphens. On the same note, if you’re a two word business (Acme Widgets) with a one word domain (acmewidgets.com), make sure to account for how people might mistake that by adding spaces or hyphens (acme-widgets.com). Tools like ChannelAdvisor’s built in broad match analyzer and keyword generator can help you pinpoint the different ways that customers type your URL, and they’re also great for coming up with common spelling errors, which leads us to our next group…

Brand Misspellings:  Your customers are going to misspell your name from time to time, so you need this ad group to catch their mistakes and point them in the right direction. Misspellings typically have lower quality scores then the correct versions, so isolating them in their own ad groups keeps them from dragging down the ad group quality scores for your top performers. It also allows you to create separate ads for the misspellings, which is particularly important if you use keyword insertion in your other ads. No need to reinforce any spelling mistakes by pulling them into your ads!

Now those three are a good starting point, but I’m sure every business can think of at least a few more. If you’re known for particular products, you’ll want to add groups for those. “Acme widgets” and “Acme gadgets,” for example, should be in separate groups than “Acme Inc.” Do you have a popular catalogueueue or mailing list? How about a well known slogan? You’ll want those in their own groups with their own specific ad copy, too.

In our own experience, we have seen clients’ Brand impressions increase by as much as 50% from these simple changes. This means that they’re protecting their Brand and minimizing the number of times they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by losing a prospect to a competitor or a bad review in the SERPs.  Spend a little time on your brand campaign, and you’ll do the same!

Written by Kevin Hill (kevin.hill at channeladvisor.com)