Posted December 20, 2006 11:01 am by with 15 comments

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Pay-per-click advertising can be very effective channel for increasing your brand’s reach but PPC branding campaigns are often cost prohibitive. Bidding to top positions for your industry’s core terms is an excellent way to expose your brand to new audiences but the “short term ROI be-damned” strategy is usually risky business. Below are 9 strategies to help you build your brand without burning through your spend.

  1. Start with the campaign structure and creatives. Separate your branded terms from your other terms so that your ads’ creatives can be more easily controlled. Searches for your branded terms should always trigger ads with strong brand-based titles and messaging instead of your more traditional ads for industry terms.
  2. Bid on your branded terms, slogans and all their variations. While most everyone bids on their own branded terms, few remember to bid on slogans, alternate spellings and typos. While correctly spelled brand searches may often lead to your company’s organic search listings, casting a wide net ensures you capture searchers who are actively interested in your brand but might otherwise not be able to find you. These bids are especially important for capturing word-of-mouth referrals.
  3. Bid on branded terms in your industry. Brand based search terms are a common method of navigation and often have very little competition. Even high-volume branded terms often have only a handful of competitors and are usually available with low minimum CPCs. Make sure you follow the advertising platform’s terms of service and avoid using anyone else’s branded or trademarked terms in your creatives.
  4. Bid on your domain name and variations. Domain searches are also a popular means of navigation and generally less competitive. Bidding on your own domain name makes it more difficult for your competitors to appear prominently and bids for variations of your domain name are a great way to ensure you capture all potential visitors. Just like misspelled branded terms, offering searchers easy access to your website, despite their challenges with typing or spelling, is a great way to start their visitor experience on a positive note.
  5. Bid on your competition’s domain name and variations. Select a few of your competitors whose products or services align closely with your own and present searchers your brand’s core messaging. Just like bids for your own domain, be sure to include variations like “”, “domaincom”, etc.
  6. Bid on tradeshow and conference names. If you company spends a great deal of time and money on industry events, reinforcing your industry presence via PPC is an excellent way to maximize your investment. Start by creating a nice landing page for each event that explains your company’s involvement and then tailor your ads’ creatives to include a summary. Ads appearing just before and just after each event are an excellent way to seed event attendees with your brand and reinforce your participation.
  7. Bid on the names of your company’s awards. Whether your company has just been nominated for an award or you’ve just won your industry’s most prestigious honor, drawing attention to your achievement is always beneficial. Be sure to create an informative landing page that also includes links to further background reading on the award or nomination.
  8. Bid on the names of your organization’s key employees. Running ads for the names of your key industry and customer facing employees increases the likelihood that a positive brand message reaches the searcher.
  9. Take the high ground. While it would be quicker and easier to only create a couple of groups to target several groups of terms, investing the time to create highly-targeted landing pages and ad copy is critical step that can not be overlooked. Don’t bother trying to run a pay-per-click branding campaign if you aren’t going to fine tune the details – if you do you are just exposing your brand to more people, not building value.

Just as with any other channel you leverage for branding, PPC is also ultimately dependent upon the maturity of your message. If you can present searchers with a concise snapshot of your brand’s value, and then expand on their initial impression with quality landing pages, PPC offers a number of cost-effective opportunities to help you increase your brand’s reach. A wealth of 99 branding tips was recently published by Aviva Directory and is certainly worth a read if you missed it.