What is a branded PPC campaign, and why should you run one?

Many marketing professionals may look at running a branded PPC campaign and see it as a waste of money, or at the very least, money that could be better spent elsewhere. But that’s the wrong approach.

What is a branded PPC campaign, and why should you run one?
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, June 27, 2023

Running branded PPC campaigns can have several significant benefits to your brand, such as connecting with relevant customers and increasing conversions. If you’ve not tested it before, you’re missing out on the chance to get your brand name out there.

In this guide, we’re going to cover what a branded PPC campaign is and run through some of the reasons why you should start running one. You’ll discover there are some compelling reasons to give it a try.

So, let’s get into how, and why it works.

What is brand bidding?

Put simply, a branded PPC campaign is when you bid on your own branded keywords. This can also include some of your product names. It might seem a bit of a unique tactic if you’re used to bidding on general keywords, but it does pay off. 

Solomon Timothy defines brand PPC as “A campaign [that] uses keywords and terms that include your company’s name or other brand elements.”

For example, if Nike uses that term in their paid search campaigns, that would be branded PPC. Additionally, if they were to use ‘Air Jordan’ or ‘Air Force 1’ that would also be considered branded search, despite not using the true brand name.

Some businesses and paid search professionals argue that bidding on your own keywords is a poor way to use your paid media budget. After all, you’re highly likely to rank first organically for your brand name and hero products anyway. Spending money at a click you’d likely get anyway doesn’t always seem like a smart idea. However, that’s the wrong way of thinking. Let’s explore why you should be bidding on branded keywords.

Dominate the SERPs & Increase Traffic

Even if you do rank organically at the top of the SERPs for your branded keywords, there are still several places for paid ads that appear above you. By bidding on your branded terms, you are also securing these valuable, above-the-fold spots. This will give you complete dominance of the top of the page, and give you the best chance to encourage the user to click through.

An additional advantage? It ensures that your competitors can’t compete on your branded keywords and potentially steal your customers. It’s a win-win. Finally, bidding on your brand terms will also allow you to outperform any affiliates or distributors you use. For example, if you sell refrigerators directly to consumers via your website but also sell your products via other sites such as Argos, AO or Amazon, you give yourself the best chance to capture these valuable customers.

Cheap Keywords & Increased Conversion Rates

One of the best reasons for bidding on branded keywords is that they are cheap. Because they have comparatively low levels of competition, you can expect to pay a lower CPC than if you were bidding on generic commercial terms. In fact, branded keywords are often the cheapest form of online traffic.

What’s more, people searching for branded keywords are much further along the purchase funnel than those using generic ones and have likely decided on the brand they want to buy. This means that branded PPC campaigns often have much higher conversion rates. To use the refrigerator example again, somebody searching for a ‘bosch fridge freezer’ is much more likely to click on the Bosch website and go on to convert than someone who searches ‘fridge freezer’ and is presented with multiple brands.

Boost Your Quality Score

Creating a branded PPC campaign is one of the best ways to boost your overall quality score on the account, improving your other PPC campaigns at the same time. Which keywords you choose have a positive impact on your quality score, and branded terms are by definition, high quality and relevant.

Control Your Messaging 

A well-executed branded PPC campaign gives you more control over your tone and messaging. In addition to your page titles and meta descriptions in your organic results, you also get the opportunity to create your ad copy and communicate your key messages and attract your ideal customer.

Branded campaigns offer you to immediately and effectively change your messaging based on current trends, upcoming product launches and audience insights. By changing your site links, you can also direct users to wherever you want with ease. 

Your branded keyword campaign are a great place to A/B test and experiment on your account without risking other, core campaigns. Find out what does and doesn’t work, and roll it out across your entire account. 

Plug Organic Keyword Gaps & Build Brand Awareness

Do you have product lines or categories of your site that don’t get as much traffic as you’d like? Or have you created a new section that you want to boost? Bidding on these branded keywords is a great way to give them a helping hand and plug any gaps.

SEO and other organic search tactics can take a while to see effects and PPC can help bridge the gap before your organic traffic starts picking up. This also applies if you are a new company looking for growth. 

In some cases, you might not rank organically for your brand name yet which may be impacting any other marketing you do as people search and can't find you. By bidding on your brand terms, you are guaranteeing the top spot of the SERPs until you become big enough to claim those organic spots.

As we’ve explored, branded PPC campaigns come with plenty of benefits, and really, it’s a no-brainer to free up some budget to start experimenting with them. They’re a great way to strengthen your brand and increase conversions. Contact us today to discuss your branding needs, and how we can help you with your branded search.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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