It’s every marketer and founder’s dream to see their potential clients actively seeking them out.
What could be better?
You don’t have to convince them; somewhere along the line, you’ve managed to relay all the benefits of your products and services to them and now they’re ready to buy from you.
The only thing is, when they look up your brand on Google, the first thing they see are five ads from your competitors. And these guys are promising even more.
Which results are they going to click on? Will they even scroll down to the fifth result where your homepage is finally showing up?
In most cases, they won’t.
And that’s one of the most important reasons why you need branded campaigns in your PPC mix.
In this article, we’re going to show you all the reasons why branded campaigns can boost your revenue.
Smaller competitors have always used the names of big brands to carve out a space for themselves on the market.
The same thing happens with PPC (pay-per-click) advertising these days.
For every SaaS you look up, there are at least three to five competitors bidding on their branded keywords.
Go ahead and Google “MailChimp.”
You’ll see at least one ad from the competitor before you see MailChimp’s ad. They even emphasize ‘Free Trial,’ something that MailChimp doesn’t explicitly mention in their ads or pages organically showing on Google.
In some cases, it sure seems like our competition knows what our products are lacking better than we do.
And by bidding on our branded keywords, competitors can funnel our customers to their products.
If you’re one of the lucky ones and your competitors aren’t already bidding on your branded keywords, know that this luck won’t last.
As soon as your product rises in popularity, your competitors will swoop in to bid on your keywords.
They’ll build their brand based on your work.
Don’t give your competitors a chance to take your brand equity and customers.
Instead, set up a branded campaign and intercept competitors by bidding on your branded keywords and keeping your customers to yourself.
How many signup/demo/trial CTAs do you have on your landing page?
More than one, right? And why?
The reasoning behind it is that the more links you provide to visitors, the more opportunities they’ll have to convert.
However, when you leave your branded keywords to search engine manipulation and competitors, you’ll be giving your customers only a few scattered opportunities to click through and buy your product.
When you use branded campaigns, you’re giving your customers more opportunities to convert – just like you do on your homepage.
Additionally, you control what they see.
You could set up a branded campaign so your ad prominently displays the latest promotions and benefits (e.g. free trials), and leads the potential customer to the landing page that’s best fit for their searcher intent.
Conversely, organic results aren’t the best at showing searchers what they came for.
A branded keyword may take them to organic listings displaying general pages such as the homepage or product listings.
A branded campaign will always take them where you want them to go.
Consider Intercom’s example:
They are bidding on their branded keyword, and their ad is being hyper-specific by showing potential customers:
AKA all the makings of an ad that makes people whip out their credit cards and say: “Yes, let me get it right now!”
Conversely, their organic listing (right below the ad) is not as structured.
It has 6 links below the ad text, which includes their “About” page – something the majority of potential customers may not be interested in.
The link will lead visitors to a generalized homepage with plenty of information, better suited to people who aren’t yet aware of what Intercom is.
Another huge benefit of using branded campaigns is the ability to reinforce searcher intent AKA show specific customers exactly what they came to your site for.
In PPC, the general rule of thumb is: the more specific you can be, the better.
This means understanding what type of customers you’re talking to; are they browsing for more information, or are they ready to buy your product?
When you set up a branded campaign with an ad reinforcing the benefits of conversion, you’ll be more likely to convert bottom of funnel customers.
It’s a win-win!
The more your customers see you appearing in the SERPs (search engine results pages), the more they will think your company is important.
After all, if you’re appearing in the results for all the terms they care about, you have got to be important.
This is where branded campaigns also become important for improving and reinforcing brand awareness.
If you’re only showing up for a select few results, customers will subconsciously think that you’re not all that important.
But if they look up your branded keywords and you’re everywhere – from ads to organic results – they’ll be more likely to trust you and your products.
If you decide to set up a branded campaign, you’ll have plenty of options to capture both pre-purchase and post-purchase audiences.
The top of the funnel otherwise known as the Awareness stage. Your potential customers are aware of your product but don’t know much about it. The Top of Funnel searches would be ‘Your Brand Name’. At this stage we want to serve them with an ad that gives them a little more information about your product and takes them to a landing page.
The middle of the funnel otherwise known as the consideration stage. This is when the prospect already knows about your product and the others on the market. They are trying to decide which is the best for them. This could be search terms like ‘Your Brand Name Reviews’ or ‘Your Brand Name vs Competitor Name’. We can use branded ads to quickly highlight why your product is best for the prospect and take them to an extremely relevant landing page.
The bottom of the funnel otherwise known as the conversion stage. This is where the prospect is ready to whip out their credit card and make a decision. They could be searching ‘Your Brand Name Sign-Up’ or ‘Your Brand Name Trial’ and in this case we want to create an ad and point it to a landing page that makes this process as smooth as possible.
A customer is looking up your brand name because they’ve done their research and they’re 99% sure they want to buy your product. Then they land on your SERP, and see that you’re everywhere.
You’re in the ad space, you’re in the organic results.
When they click through on the ad prominently stating the most important benefit of buying your product today, they are taken to a highly-customized landing page.
You’ll have successfully reinforced their intent, all because there’s no mention of anyone but your company in the results for your branded keywords.c
However, you can use branded keywords for other funnel stages:
In this example from Intercom, the positive testimonial takes up a significant portion of the page. This is a great way to put the potential customer at ease and show proof that their product can help increase revenue – something that anyone would be interested in. When you see social proof like this, especially from a company as well known as Udemy it can really help to increase conversion.
2. Send a visitor looking for “[your brand name] vs [a competitor’s brand name]” to a comparison that clearly illustrates how you’re better.
When you’re putting together competitor landing pages it can be really beneficial to include a table like this one from Upcontent that highlights some of your tool’s key differentiators from the competition. We always include these on competitor landing pages as it reduces the chance of the visitor leaving your landing page to look at certain features or price points on your competitors site.
3. Send a visitor looking for “how to set up xyz in [your brand name]” to a detailed guide that will help them understand your product even more and consequently, improve their experience.
This could be a perfect example. If we were running Drift’s ads, it might make sense to send anyone searching for terms such as “How To Use Drift” to this guide that they have on their website outlining all of the best ways to use their tools. This would be more beneficial to the person searching, rather than sending them directly to the Drift homepage.
The opportunities are endless, but only if you bid on your branded keywords.
Otherwise, all of these searches could lead them to competitors or other sites that won’t be as positive about your brand as you will be.
Google real estate is a good indicator of how significant your market share is in reality. Mainly because Google influences billions of purchases every single day.
And the more you show up on Google, the more customers will you be able to convert.
We have stats to prove this. According to Wordstream, “41% of clicks on Google go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page” and when there are over 3.5 billion searches per day running branded campaigns is a great way to remain at the top of the list.
Your offer and your products matter. But how you phrase them matters even more.
As we’ve briefly touched on earlier in the article, organic listings don’t give you a lot of control over what your potential customers are shown when they search for your branded keywords.
Google shows them what it thinks they’ll want to see.
You and your team are wiser than bots, which is why you should use branded campaigns to test your messaging and drive even more conversions.
Additionally, if you test your messaging through ads, you may find that ad copy works better than your organic copy. You can always update it, as you’ll know exactly what kind of copy drives results.
Using branded campaigns can also be a great way to test landing pages, new products, features, or benefits you hadn’t previously considered. These types of campaigns will give you a plethora of unique customer insights.
For example, consider Oberlo’s branded ad above their organic results.
They link to success stories and dropshipping resources, as well as list plenty of benefits in the ad copy.
They can later use that knowledge to understand whether these benefits are valued by their customers, or not.
Otherwise, they’d be left to guesswork, and that’s never a good idea if you want to improve your SaaS marketing results.
Finally, branded campaigns are very cheap – a lot cheaper than your garden variety PPC campaigns. The competition isn’t as high as it is with other search terms.
Additionally, branded campaigns convert more than other campaigns since the people looking for your branded keywords are typically either in the consideration or even in the purchasing stage of the sales funnel.
To put it simply: the leads you get through branded search are high-quality leads. They know what they want.
All you have to do is push them forward, and give them an offer they can’t refuse. Before your competitors try to beat you at your own game.
Even if your competitors are already bidding on your branded keywords, you can improve your ad Quality Score through:
So even if your competitors are bidding on your branded keywords, you could still achieve a lot more for a lot less.
Not to mention that you’ll be keeping your customers, instead of letting your competitors swoop in and win them over when they’re in the most precarious phase of them all: purchasing.
When you increase the quality score of one ad, it will automatically reflect on your account, increasing your quality scores for other campaigns, as well.
And when you factor in higher conversion rates, the opportunity to grin in the face of your competition, and increased brand awareness, it becomes clear that the low branded campaign costs are a small price to pay for long-term results.
To sum it up, here are 5 reasons why you need branded campaigns in your PPC arsenal if you want to grow your revenue and increase your user base: