Brand awareness is the double-edged sword that can be difficult to quantify but necessary to drive your business’s KPIs (or Key Performance Indicators for those of you new to the paid media world). There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation that we can give you since each sales funnel is as unique as a business’s operations. However, we do have a couple of recommendations that you can explore if you’re looking for strategies to increase your brand exposure via paid media and SEM marketing:
Invest in Paid Media that Fuels Your Funnel
Your primary goals for paid media and brand visibility should be to provide enough traffic coming into the funnel to convert and enough touch points along the way that help to push qualified leads down the funnel towards a sale. Exploring paid media channels such as Google Ads and Paid Social Media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or LinkedIn are great considerations for two main reasons:
- When you invest directly into these platforms, you receive a direct response that you or your advertising agency can track, strategize and optimize towards.
- Over time, this investment can help to build a better picture of your overall CPA (cost per acquisition) which can fuel your strategy for other marketing efforts.
So what comes at the top of the funnel? Brand awareness. Customers cannot enter your funnel without first being informed that you exist. The below strategies are some of our recommendations to gain brand awareness at the top of the funnel.
1. Own Your Brand Visibility by Bidding On It Directly
One of the simplest ways to start increasing your visibility in digital marketing is to capture the lowest hanging fruit: those already aware of and searching for your brand. Along with an organic SEO strategy, you can implement a branded search campaign on Google Ads. With the right budget, this campaign can ensure that you come up top of page with the right message when users search for your brand.
This is why when you search for major brands, like JCPenney, the first ad you see provides all of the information you might need to shop. Let’s explore the below example together:
The above ad drives business goals that JCPenney has determined are important to their bottom line and will interest consumers. These include things like moving old inventory in clearance, providing COVID-19 safe shopping experiences, and driving jewelry sales close to the holiday season. This may seem like your run-of-the-mill text ad, but it has a few things going for it: it’s timely, it’s enticing, and it’s there 100% of the time because they are running Google Ads for top of page bid. By bidding on their brand name and keeping these ads up to date, JCPenney has ensured that customers who are the easiest to convert see the right message at the right time.
This is just an example to get you thinking along the lines of branded search awareness campaigns. It also illustrates why bidding on your own brand can be an important and easy way to use paid media to drive brand visibility.
2. Try Out the Google Display Network for Brand Awareness
Another great strategy for paid media to increase brand awareness is to meet people where they spend their time online. One of our favorite platforms for running brand awareness ads is the Google Display Network. This network can be used for top of the funnel awareness by leveraging some of the audiences below, but it is also a wonderful remarketing tool for those customers who fall mid-funnel.
In our world today, users are accessing an average of 89 websites per day according to a Nielson survey. The beauty of Google’s structure is that the Google Display Network includes over 2 billion websites, and their Display Network advertising gives your brand access to advertise on these sites directly.
Here are a couple of audiences within Google’s Display network that can be leveraged to bring in new traffic or retarget traffic to keep users in your funnel:
- Remarketing Audiences: Users who have visited your entire website or a specific page on your website.
- Similar Audiences: Based on your remarketing lists, these are groups of users who behave similarly to the users in one of your retargeting lists.
- In-Market Audiences: Users which Google has determined are actively researching a particular product or service and who are likely to purchase.
- Custom Intent Audiences: Groups of users, based on keyword groupings, who have either searched for or are likely interested in certain keyphrases.
- Affinity and Custom Affinity: These are very broad and reach users interested in very wide ranging topics like “business travelers,” “fashionistas,” or “home decor enthusiasts”. (See full list here)
This network accommodates a variety of ad formats, but the most popular are in the form of banner ads. Another creative option for this type of ad is Responsive Display Ads, which automatically rotate images, headlines and other assets to form a variety of ads and test between them. Your paid media expert at Agency Entourage can recommend how best to represent your brand online with new or existing creative assets.
Youtube is the second most popular social media platform with over 2 billion users watching 1 billion hours of video per day. If our streaming consumption habits have taught us anything, it’s that video is the king of content. It’s the quickest way to convey your message concisely, and the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so a combination of messaging and imagery within video is the best way to get someone to understand your message.
Youtube advertising offers a couple of key aspects that make it a great platform for building brand awareness:
- Advertisements on this channel are targeted, so you can reach customers searching for specific topics, in specific locations, during key times of the day.
- YouTube offers clickable call-to-actions (CTAs) within their ads, which can lead users directly to your chosen URL.
- With a combination of Youtube Analytics and Google Analytics, you can see your data performing in real time and adjust your strategy accordingly.
All of these platforms are great for brand awareness ads through paid media. Would you like to talk about how to increase your company’s brand visibility? Contact us today to speak to an expert at Agency Entourage. We’re here to partner with you to reach your goals.
Image from Getty Images #1137601005