As you know, effective branding amplifies brand awareness and recognition. It builds trust. It helps generate new customers. Best of all, it increases sales and revenue.
But, did you know that even the briefest exposure to a brand can affect a customer's behavior? It's true. You have the opportunity to shape customers' opinions of your brand in every interaction—even if that interaction only lasts a couple of seconds, like a pay-per-click ad.
Why branding is important
To set the scene, let's take a look at why branding matters in the first place.
Researchers at Duke University determined how powerful brands can be. In one of their tests, a group of university students was exposed to the Apple logo. It was flashed so quickly that respondents weren't even aware they were exposed to it. Another group was exposed to the IBM logo in the same manner.
Both groups were asked to list down all of the possible uses for a brick. Here's where it gets fascinating: Participants who had a brief glimpse of the Apple logo were found to be more creative when compared to the IBM group.
Here's another one. Researchers wanted to know how brands affect respondents' honesty. In the next experiment, two separate groups were exposed to the Disney and E! logos, respectively. They found that participants who saw the Disney logo behaved more honestly compared to those who saw the E! logo.
What does this tell marketers? Brands are deeply influential. For established brands (like Apple and Disney), it could mean investing more in product placement and other methods of exposure. For growing brands, it means paying attention to every touchpoint, no matter how brief.
For example, your PPC campaigns.
How to use pay-per-click to enhance your brand
Known as PPC, pay-per-click campaigns are a great way to amplify your product or service. But, when done deliberately, PPC can also help you amplify your brand message. Here are a few techniques you can use to optimize your PPC campaigns for brand awareness.
Optimizing your ad's exposure
- Use location targeting
Personalization refers to the process of adjusting content to match customers' needs and preferences. More brands are putting extra effort into their personalization efforts, and chances are, your brand is already implementing a similar strategy. But, have you considered adding some personalization to your PPC ad copy?
For instance, you can customize ad copy and sitelinks based on your customers' geographical locations. Let's say you're trying to make an ad for New York shoppers. In the ad, you can place sitelinks like the address of your store or products that are popular in New York. (Don't forget to add call and location extensions—they shorten the conversion cycle.)
Divide target audience into groups you want to personalize. Next, create ads based on those groups' preferences. Since the ads are location-based, consumers from other parts of the country or the world will not see the same content as those from New York. It's an easy way to make your ad appear more relevant to the user.
- Select specific sitelinks
Which sitelinks do you often use in your ads? What you choose to promote can either benefit your campaign or hurt it. If you plan on advertising to a specific audience, don't give them a general sitelink that isn't relevant or interesting to them.
For example, Clinique organizes their ads according to the different stages of the buying cycle. This way, each ad caters to more specific needs.
Clinique used "Shop Makeup" on their ad for customers who only intend to buy makeup. They added "New Arrivals" for visitors who might be interested in more products. For prospective buyers, the brand offered a "Top Selling Skincare" sitelink, making it easier for visitors to evaluate their products. They then offered a discount on first purchases to sweeten the deal.
Building trust in your brand
Most of the time, PPC marketers create ads that are designed for conversion. But, what about visitors who aren't ready to buy? What about consumers who want to know more about the brand before supporting it? Content marketing is great at building trust—and PPC campaigns are fantastic at delivering that content to target audiences.
- Use long-tail keywords
The long-tail keywords you use in your content marketing can also be used in your PPC campaigns. You can promote high-value content by using them as ads that match consumers' search queries.
For instance, if you have makeup tutorials, you can create ads for queries like "how to apply foundation." L'Oréal is one brand that practices this.
Googling "how to apply foundation" leads to a L'Oréal ad with the same keyword phrase. By providing content that consumers need, the company builds a reputation as an expert in the field. Consequently, they gain the consumers' trust, which will lead to conversions down the road.
- Keep track of your reputation
Customers seek out the pros and cons of different brands before supporting them. Though your efforts to gain their trust are strong, a few negative remarks could be enough to drive them away.
So, what can you do about it?
Through your PPC campaigns, you can protect and maintain your brand's reputation. By keeping track of search query reports (SQR), you can identify a rise in negative trends. You can then share this information with the marketing team and devise a strategy to deal with negative reviews and comments.
PPC is a great platform for brand-building. Not only does it empower you to shape your brand's story, it exposes large audiences to your message on-demand. [Click to tweet ] Take advantage of this powerful medium and show the world what your brand is made of.