Brand Marketing & Direct Response: A Powerful Pair

Brand marketing & direct response

What is brand marketing?
What is direct response marketing?
How can my brand marketing and direct response marketing work together?

Marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, but it usually falls into 2 basic categories: brand marketing and direct response marketing.

What is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is about getting your name out there and building brand awareness. It’s designed to get people to think good things about your company and products so they remember you when they’re ready to buy.

What is Direct Response Marketing?

Direct response marketing targets people who are actively looking to buy products and services like yours, and encourages them to choose you over your competitors.

Let’s explore the difference between the 2 types.

Brand marketing and direct response marketing can be effective on their own but are usually more powerful when they work together.

How can my brand marketing and direct response marketing work together?

For example, say someone sees an ad for a blender with the tagline: “Small spend, powerful blend.” They don’t need a new blender, but they click on the ad and check out the site for a few seconds to see what the blenders look like.

Then, a few months later, that person puts too many frozen bananas in their blender and breaks it. So they need a new one, and do an online search for “blender.” An ad from the same company as before appears in their results.

Because they saw the ad with the catchy tagline months earlier, they remember the brand and associate it with having affordable, powerful blenders. So they click the ad and end up buying from that company.

If they’d never seen the online ad (the brand marketing), they may have been less likely to click on the search ad (the direct response marketing) because they may not have had any positive associations with the brand.

People who’ve already been to your site and are familiar with your brand are 2-3 times more likely to click on your name in search results and 2-3 times more likely to buy from you.

To make this combination work for your marketing, start by focusing on your brand marketing before getting into direct response marketing.

A key to brand marketing is knowing your target audience. Who exactly are you trying to sell to? What are their interests and online habits? Do some research and figure out the best places on the Internet to reach them.

Then you can buy display ads (the ads you see on websites, often on the side or top of the page) to run on the types of sites your target audience visits. You can also buy social media ads that target people who go to these sites.

Create marketing strategies to build brand awareness

Display Ads & SEM Search Engine Marketing

Display ads can be either brand or direct response marketing. If they have a call to action that tells people to buy something right now, it’s direct response marketing. If it’s a more general ad meant to make people aware of your brand and products, it’s brand marketing.
When your brand marketing is up and running, you can work to seal the deal with your direct response marketing.

Typically you do this with paid search ads. You can use a service like Google Ads to set up search ads that target potential customers who search for keywords relevant to your brand and products/services.

Your brand and product names are obvious keywords to set up ads for, but you should also use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Bing Keyword Research to find other keywords people search to find your products.

There are 2 main types of search ads you can set up: standard and remarketing, or RSLA (remarketing lists for search ads).

Standard search ads target people on the Internet who search for the keywords you’ve chosen. Remarketing search ads target only people who have been to your website before.

Because people who’ve already been to your site are 2-3 times more likely to click on your name in search results, remarketing search ads can give you much better results than standard ones.

Use the power of Analytic tools to measure results.

Taking Advantage of Analytics

If you use an analytics service for your website, it can give you the site visitor information you need to set up remarketing ads. If you’re just getting started and don’t have a big list of website visitors yet, doing more brand marketing can help you get there.
Now that we know remarketing ads can be better than standard ones, let’s consider how to spend your advertising dollars.

To see the value you’re getting out of search ads vs. remarketing, try doing a test where you split your money evenly between both types of ads for a month. Use the same keywords and ad copy for both.

After that month, look at the cost per click (how much you pay when someone clicks on your ad) and conversion rates (the percentage of people who click on your ad and then go on to buy something) for both types of ads.

The cost per click of your remarketing ads will probably be lower (that’s good), but the conversion rate will probably be higher (also good).

Say your standard ad costs $2 per click and has a conversion rate of 5%. That means you’re paying $40 for each conversion. Now say your remarketing ad costs $1 per click and converts at 10%. You’re only paying $10 per conversion.

If your remarketing search ads are outperforming your standard ones by a big margin in your test, you can use the money you’ve been spending on standard ads and invest it in more brand marketing, like social media and display ads.

That way, more people will learn about you and come to your site. You can then work to convert them with your remarketing search ads. This cycle can lead to more purchases than if you just targeted people with standard search ads.


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