I had the privilege of attending SMX East last week and was pumped with valuable SEO and PPC knowledge. On Day 1, I attended the Search Integration session, where much of the discussion was on branding. This session interested me because I’ve always thought that search is not a branding tool. However, this session made me change my mind – well kind of.
The four panelists that spoke were extremely lively (at 9am nonetheless) and were very knowledgeable in their fields. The only downside was that they all worked for huge companies such as Microsoft and MTV Networks. Therefore I found their information more applicable to similarly large companies. My key takeaways from the session were as follows:
Search Is A Great Place To Test Offline Messaging – When developing a new branding message, test it online first. Not only is pay per click advertising less commitment than offline media it is extremely less expensive. Also, by testing a new branding message online you have a better idea whether or not the message will be successful offline.
Integrate Commercial Terms Into The Search Campaign – When releasing new commercials, preview them to determine which words/ phrases users will search on (note they may have nothing to do with the product). Before the commercial’s release, add these keywords/ phrases to the search campaign with specific ads incorporating the terms.
Create Awareness – When announcing an event such as a sale or the season premiere of a show, search can be very effective. By creating a low budget pay per click campaign the goal may not be to generate clicks but to generate awareness. By putting the pertinent what, where, and when information in the ad, searchers do not need to click on the ad to get the necessary information. Therefore inexpensive awareness has been created because an expense is only incurred each time a user actually clicks on the ad.
Now for the disclaimer – This advice was taken from individuals who manage search campaigns for huge companies that already have very strong offline brands and huge advertising budgets. Smaller companies with lower budgets are recommended to stick to more targeted pay per click advertising.