Paid search at its core is a dynamic, competitive, ever-changing auction space where retailers and brands alike are competing to get in front of the same consumer. But with so many different calls to actions, different price points, and different sources of information appearing within every search, how do you set your brand apart and create a loyal consumer in an efficient and affordable way?
The Importance Of Creating A Bond
Mother and child. Man and dog. New England and the Boston Red Sox. There are some bonds that last a lifetime. When it comes to paid search, consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers should take a lesson from them.
When it comes to CPG marketing and managing effective paid search campaigns, it is crucial to create a bond between your brand and the consumer to facilitate loyalty. A quick examination of your own brand loyalties demonstrates exactly why. For instance, think about a product that you are personally brand-loyal to. No matter what is on sale when you shop, chances are this item makes it in your cart. But why?
Your brand loyalty may have resulted from various influences. Perhaps its legacy loyalty and was passed down to you from a family member. Or maybe it could be described as comfort loyalty as it may have been with you for a long time or remind you of your childhood. Or it could very well be associated with necessity because you had a need and this product satisfied what you were looking for. Whatever the source of influence, the brand successfully bonded with you at some point, and as a result, you stick with it time after time.
Try This At Home
Here are four tips will help you stretch your budget by targeting your consumers more effectively and at different levels of the purchase funnel. In addition, they will also help you build a bond with your consumer online, and potentially turn a one-time consumer into a lifetime customer.
Always be on. Search is on-demand marketing. Consumers are searching for information 24/7, and the expectation is that you need to make information available to searchers whenever they are online. iProspect user behavior research showed that 37% of consumers believe that leading brands should appear at the top of the search results. To satisfy consumer expectations, it is important that your ad be found when someone searches for your brand. Because marketers usually don’t have infinite budgets, and evergreen strategies can be costly, you should identify a set of core terms that are important to your brand, image and business that you want to “win” on at all times, and set aside a portion of your search marketing budget specifically for these terms.
Engage early. Although lower funnel purchase-type keywords may appear to yield a higher ROI at first glance, including higher funnel lifestyle-level keywords in your campaigns can help facilitate a relationship with your consumers early on. For example, a typical paid search strategy for a pet food brand may target users who have qualified themselves as pet owners, or those who are searching for pet food. But what if that brand intentionally targeted consumers before they even had a pet by including lifestyle level keywords such as “dog breeds” and “types of dogs?” Although the final purchase outcome of this type of term will be delayed, this strategy may lead to a higher lifetime customer value through brand engagement, versus a one-time purchase value.
Extend your brand beyond the website. In the age of branded Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels, marketers now have many more options to engage with their consumers. Forming a bond with consumers online is about delivering valuable content and providing the best experience. Paid search campaigns offer the flexibility for engagement with consumers by driving them to these social destinations where different types of content exist. Using social media websites or review forums as destination pages for your paid search campaigns can help deliver the best content for your consumers regardless of where they are in their decision making process. Remember, many consumers want to connect with the brands they believe in, but they just don’t have a place to do so. Smart marketers will connect with them in a forum where they can actually talk to your brand.
Speak with consumers, not at them. Everyone knows that the most effective relationships have a dialogue and ongoing communication between the parties. Forming bonds with your consumers online is no different. Speaking at your consumers works initially to peak their interest, but to maintain that interest and facilitate brand loyalty, you need to provide ongoing value. The first step in effective online communication is to figure out what types of conversations you should be having with your consumers, and the best forums for these discussions to take place—either on your website or elsewhere. In addition, it is important to connect with their lifestyle interests. Valuable brand conversation goes beyond speaking to consumers about your products. Instead, it should show them how your products connect with their interests, beliefs or values.
Given the cluttered, confusing, and highly competitive online marketplace, CPG brands should leverage paid search to foster loyalty and create a bond with consumers that could last a lifetime.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.