Web marketing is not always about getting clicks to your website: it can also be used to improve your brand awareness. As your website starts to appear in more searches, even if you are not getting many clicks you can be sure that your brand recognition is improving.
Another way that you can achieve this very effectively – and with very little investment – is through CPC.
If you don’t like the thought of paying for advertising then don’t go just yet! The technique I’m about to show you will not cost very much at all. Indeed, you could even carry out a successful campaign without spending a penny.
CPC for Brand Advertising
Firstly, here’s a very quick overview of CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising. These are adverts which appear in response to certain conditions (for example, the keywords used in a web search or the subject of a webpage), and the advertiser only makes a payment when the advert is clicked on.
You will see them as the sponsored results listed at the top and down the side of a Google search results page, as well as within Facebook and on certain websites within advertising networks (the biggest of which is the Google network).
Wherever adverts appear, the advertiser has chosen specific keywords or demographics that they want to trigger their ads, and the aim is normally to attract as many qualified clicks as possible.
We are going to use the same technique, but turn it on its head. Instead of trying to attract clicks, we are going to use CPC for brand advertising. We want people to see our company name and become familiar with our brand whilst making their searches or surfing the web so that they can associate our name with something positive – all without us having to pay for it.
My Childhood Football Team
Let’s use my childhood football team, Carlisle United, as an example.
People searching for Carlisle United online are not going to be looking for my company. They are more likely to be looking for information and news on their favourite football team.
However, I could easily write a quick advert to appear for these keywords in a Google search, so that when someone searches for ‘Carlisle United’ the first thing they see is a message of support from my company or a quick message congratulating them on a recent win.
There are no other competing ads, so there is a good chance that they will at least notice my ad.
The aim is to associate my brand with their football club, just like many larger companies are doing when they buy advertising space on the football pitch each week which might cost them thousands of pounds.
As long as no one clicks on my ads, I don’t pay a thing. And even if I do attract some clicks, the sums involved are likely to be very small.
The Possibilities are Endless
This is just one example I threw together. You could use the same idea to support a charity like Oxfam, an important local event or campaign, or a national event like the Olympics.
Whatever you choose, try to focus on keywords which are slightly more specific so that your ads have fewer competitors (preferably none) and stand a better chance of being noticed.
Using the Display Network
As well as creating ads that target searches, you can use the same technique to make your ads appear on actual websites – often bypassing other expensive advertising options.
By creating a banner add for Google’s Display Network, your advert can often turn up on large websites which charge hundreds of pounds or more for a standard advertising slot, meaning you can build brand awareness for free.
You could also look into targeting users on Facebook. Going back to our example of Carlisle United, you could choose to target everyone on Facebook who is a supporter of the club, and then create an advert to show up on their profiles.
Again, this performs the same function of associating your brand with something positive for free, or at least very cheaply.
Cheap and Effective Marketing
This technique is cheap and very easy to set up. Have a think about possible events, clubs, teams, campaigns or charities you might like to use to build your brand awareness, then set up a campaign in Google or one of the other advertising networks.
Check to see if you are getting any clicks, and if you are receiving too many and spending more than you want to then you can simply change your keywords or stop the campaign completely and try something else.
However, if you receive no clicks then you have just found a very cheap way to carry out brand advertising for your company.