Moving your performance marketing toward your digital brand marketing strategy

I have witnessed it a number of times within in-house teams. How do we know that we are getting value from our brand building strategy? This can be measured but it requires the right KPIs to be set from the start of the campaign.

Common pitfalls of digital brand building campaigns

Often I have seen brand focussed campaigns put together, which do not have a clear call to action. Sometimes the goal for the campaigns are changed following the launch which just adds to the confusion.

From this sort of campaign I’ve often heard it said “this channel doesn’t work for our company/our industry/our segment”. For me as a digital marketer this is so frustrating. a

These opinions will often be based on a campaign that delivered poor results. People seem to blame the channel for this rather than considering how the messaging, the timing or the product/service being promoted could have also contributed to the campaign’s (lack of) success.

Also people fail to distinguish between paid and organic uses of a channel. I have spoken to numerous marketers that will say “I don’t use PPC as we get more value from SEO”, for me this isn’t an either – or situation. If you are looking at attribution modelling in Google Analytics, for an established brand the most popular channel will generally be Direct followed by Organic Search.

This doesn’t give you the full picture of how people hear about your brand, your products or services.

The evolution of paid campaigns

Then if you look at your search console data you will see that most of these searches will be for branded search terms. For me I had to see this a number of times before the penny dropped for me….

I then worked for smaller businesses without established brand names and I realised how different the environment was. The amount of enquiries that were needed to make a single sale was far higher.

I spoke to the sales team who informed me that “everything in their industry was very price focussed”. This time, when I heard the same answer as before, I found it curious. This was when the penny dropped for me.

Your brand is literally everything for a small business.

Brand wins over performance marketing

If your company starts to get more organic traffic through to your site for branded keywords I used to get annoyed as to me it wasn’t “proper marketing”. I used to think that if people found you by searching for a specific keyword, you had then climbed the rankings to offer that specific service then you were “winning at digital”.

The fact that previous employers generated little revenue through non-branded keywords, I thought, was down to sloppy marketing campaigns. In part this may have been true. However these large brands had actually already won.

As marketers we do need to be more mindful in our brand awareness campaigns, they need to be strategic. If your brand (your competitive advantage) is going to be sustained and grown your brand persona needs to stand for something. Knowing your company values and how this is reflected in the work that you do and the way that you market your business is vital.

Your brand awareness campaigns need to serve the specific purpose of reaffirming your values. To highlight how these values relate to the work that you are doing day in and day out.

When the work that you do is growing your business whilst reaffirming your brand that is when you are winning as a small business.

For help building a long term brand strategy, feel free to get in touch.

John is a data driven marketing specialist and website manager who lives in South East London. When he isn't blogging for us he works for NHS Property Services.

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