Why use PPC branding campaigns?

PPC branding campaigns are becoming more and more common. Instead of the ‘traditional’ method of selecting websites to show your banners, branding campaigns are created on PPC networks (such as Google’s Display Network). That makes sense: paying per click is a valuable business model, and easy to sell to advertisers. No clicks? No cost!

Spamming banners IS NOT branding!

This gave way to a common misconception regarding PPC branding campaigns. Just create a quick-and-dirty generic PPC branding campaign and - hey presto! Lots of impressions and hardly any clicks - or costs. Sounds great! But is it?

Ultimately, you will pay a severe price. Search engine networks are getting more and more sophisticated. Google and Microsoft know very well that impressions without clicks make them lose money, and will penalize your PPC branding campaign - and your PPC account.

Without proper targeting, PPC branding campaigns will generate a very low clickrate (CTR). Savvy PPC advertising networks will notice that your campaign does not generate many clicks. And that means that they’re not making any money from your PPC branding campaign. As a result, they’ll show your branding campaign in less and less desirable places.

Examples of bad places for your brand to be shown are:

  • Under the fold (scrolling needed to see the ad)
  • Dimeaning topics, such as: sexual content or coarse language
  • 404 error-pages or ‘filler’-pages
  • Webpages relating to death or tragedy

You definitely don’t want your brand to be associated with such topics!

How to set up PPC branding campaigns

So how do you set up PPC branding campaigns? Head the following PPC branding guidelines and you’re well on your way:

  • Measure the effects

PPC branding campaigns are not geared towards sales or lead generation. Still, it is smart to optimize PPC branding campaigns for a soft KPI (key performance indicator). Examples are: bounce rate (BR), click rate (CTR), cost-per-non-bounce-visit (CPNBV) or cost-per-pageview (CPPV). People seeing your branding ads is great, but interaction indicates that your campaign reaches the right audience. And an engaged visitor is more likely to remember your brand, your slogan and your USP’s.

  • Don’t worry about clicks

Clicks are good. It means you’ve reached the right target audience. It does cost some advertising budget, but you can’t run effective PPC branding campaigns without willing to invest a little.

  • AB-testing for branding

Test all your advertisements, including your branding ads. This allows you to maximize the engagement and branding value generated by your PPC branding campaigns.

  • Engage your visitors

Once someone clicks on your banner, makes sure that they land on a proper landing page. Often, PPC branding campaigns just point to a company’s homepage. That is rarely the right page to inform an interested visitor about your brand. Lead visitors to a special landing page that communicates your logo, slogan and USP’s. Ask them to subscribe to your RSS feed or newsletter, to continue branding in the near future.

  • Use negative keywords

Negative keywords are keywords that you don’t want your brand to be associated with. You want to list those in your PPC branding campaigns, so your banners don’t show up on undesirable websites. Take a tour operator, for example. They would probably not want their banners to show on webpages with keywords as “tsunami”, “war” or “piracy” and should include such  keywords as negatives. Search advertising bureaus have tried and tested lists of negative keywords, allowing them to quick-start your PPC branding campaigns.

  • Avoid telephone numbers

Some PPC advertisers show their phone number in their ads. They hope that people will call instead of click. This way they still can get customers, but don’t have to pay for any clicks. This is a very cheap, short-term advertising strategy. It will affect all your PPC campaigns in your account in a negative way. Again, the lower your CTR, the more you will have to be willing to pay for each click, unless you want your banners to end up on nasty websites.

  • Capitalise on your own brand

Don’t forget to include your own brand in your keywords, combined with “review”, “testimonials”, “experience”, etc. This will ensure that when people are looking for your brand online, your advertisement will be shown (instead of your competitor’s).

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