18 May Five Ways to Capture Your Competitor’s Customers Using Their Own Branded Keywords
While bidding on your competitor’s branded keywords is not necessarily an innovative idea, doing it in a successful way requires a certain strategy and proper execution. There are two factors that should be reviewed when you want to go after this type of paid traffic – your campaign and account and then secondly, the user experience when the visitor clicks on the ad.
Let’s go over five steps we can implement when bidding on competitor’s terms:
Step 1. Create a Dedicated Budget
The first part is to create a dedicated budget specifically for generating traffic from your competitors brand names. We want to separate this budget from any current search marketing budget as it will contain it’s own special requirements.
Step 2. Create Separate Competitor Campaigns
Each competitor will have it’s own search volume and if we combine all the competitors into one campaign, the competitors with the highest search volume will be allocated the highest budget. This may not be the best approach because lesser known competitors may hold more attractive visitors. In other words, the largest searched competitor may not be the most important one.
Step 3. Write a Compelling Ad
If a visitor has typed in a branded keyword and sees your ad, chances are that they may not know you. This is your opportunity to create brand awareness. While it may be tempting to write how your brand is better than the other brand in your ad, be careful not to run afoul of trademark issues. The other, safer option is to write an introduction to your brand or something compelling that makes you unique to your competitor.
Step 4. Connect to Your Visitor
A visitor that you have attracted from using a competitor’s brand probably is aware of that competitor product line or service. Now that they have landed on your site, the page that they are viewing should be a compelling message that clearly identifies how your business differentiates from the brand they were searching for while still providing a solution to their needs. This should be a landing page dedicated to this sort of search. Ideally, this would be one landing page per competitor, but this may not be feasible depending on budget.
Since you know your product and you should know your competitor’s product, you can easily highlight why you are better. You don’t necessarily need to call out the other brand by name, but definitely highlight those areas that make you unique and better.
Step 5. Allow For an Easy Conversion
Once you’ve made the connection to the visitor, it’s time to ask them for a conversion. There are plenty of simple methods that accomplish this task – a trial membership, a free download, free product samples, etc. The key here is to provide value at no charge. This will motivate your visitors to your paid offerings.
Things to Understand with Bidding on Branded Keywords
While this approach undoubtably has it’s positive benefits, there are items that you should understand before jumping into this approach.
First, when you are bidding on a competitor’s brand, it’s entirely likely that the visitor has already made up their mind to choose that brand. This could lead to a low CTR (click through rate) and higher CPA (cost per acquisition). While the idea might be more of a branding strategy (getting your name linked to your more popular competitor), know that this can be a more expensive option than standard PPC. This is why we create a separate and dedicated budget.
Second, make sure you are bidding against the right competitor. While it might be nice to bid against Amazon.com or Nike, this may not be logical or realistic. Look for those competitors where you genuinely have a better offering. Maybe it’s a better price or more options. Whatever it is, the key here is to choose your competitors wisely.
Bidding on your competitors branded keywords can be a valuable tool in your toolbox when done smart. While it’s possibly a more expensive option than your standard PPC campaign, it has its unique rewards both in terms of increasing the exposure of your brand and quite possibly converting those customers who had plans to spend their money elsewhere.