Brand Term Bidding: An offensive + defensive strategy - Travel Edition

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There’s ongoing debate for digital marketers on the value of bidding on your own brand terms. The data scientists at Bing Ads recently tackled a big question: “To bid or not to bid?”

Turns out, bidding on your brand is a strategic move, allowing you to play both defense and offense at the same time. Offense in capturing more clicks, and defense in preventing your competitors from winning clicks to your brand terms. Score!

For more vertical insights, visit bingads.com/industryinsights

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Brand Term Bidding: An offensive + defensive strategy - Travel Edition

  1. 1. The value of bidding on your brand terms An offensive and defensive strategy for digital marketers Travel Edition
  2. 2. There’s ongoing debate about the inclusion of brand name keywords in search marketing campaigns. Performance of brand name keywords varies according to many factors, including the competitiveness of the industry segment.
  3. 3. The researchers at Bing Ads recently tackled a big question that advertisers wrestle with… “To bid or not to bid on brand terms?”
  4. 4. We analyzed 400,000 impressions for travel on Bing in December 2014.
  5. 5. And included the majority of the brand terms searched for in the travel vertical.
  6. 6. We compared two scenarios: 1) When a brand term ad was not present on the search results page 2) When a brand term ad was present on the search results page
  7. 7. Because Bing Ads is a search engine, we have deep insight into what’s happening on the search results page – for any brand, advertiser, and industry. Since we can see all the clicks on the page, we can tell if the clicks go to your brand, your competitor, or somewhere else.
  8. 8. We found two things. Advertisers who bid on their brand terms received: More clicks. And fewer clicks went to competitors.
  9. 9. By bidding on your brand terms, you are playing offense and defense at the same time. Driving more clicks on offense, and preventing your competitors from winning clicks to your brand terms on defense. Score!
  10. 10. Let’s start.
  11. 11. We looked at how many clicks this travel brand got without a brand ad present on the search results page. Here’s where people clicked – the top organic positions. “travel brand”.com Travel
  12. 12. Here’s where people clicked: The brand ad (mainline position 1) The top organic positions Then we looked at how many clicks a brand got with a brand ad present in search results page. “travel brand”.com Travel
  13. 13. First let’s look at the results when an advertiser is not bidding on their brand terms in the travel space.
  14. 14. Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. People clicked the top organic positions For the travel industry, when no brand ad is present, the brand received 61% of clicks on the search results page – from organic listings. “travel brand” flight“travel brand”.com No brand ad 61% Travel
  15. 15. Do clicks increase when we add a brand ad?
  16. 16. 88% Brand ad + organic Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. Yes. Clicks increased 27% when a brand ad was present. “travel brand”.com Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Travel
  17. 17. Gain Brand ad + organic 61% 27% Booyah! That’s 27% clicks gained as a result of brand term bidding. Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. No brand ad 61% Travel
  18. 18. 43% Brand ad + organic 45% TO BRAND AD TO ORGANIC Here’s where the clicks will go: Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. “travel brand”.com Travel
  19. 19. ➊ Our research shows that Brand term bidding helps deliver more clicks. More clicks? Let’s break that down.
  20. 20. What about cannibalization? Wouldn’t I receive some of those clicks anyway if I didn’t bid on my brand terms?
  21. 21. Incremental (paid) clicks from the brand ad Overlap: paid clicks you may have received free anyway from organic listing 43% No brand ad 61% Brand ad + organic 18% 27% Yes, some paid clicks you may have received anyway organically. But you also received 27% incremental clicks! Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. Total: 88% Travel
  22. 22. Do your competitors get your clicks?
  23. 23. You bet. But not as many as if you bid on your brand terms.
  24. 24. ➊ Our research shows that brand term bidding helps deliver more clicks. ➋ Brand term bidding means fewer clicks to competitors. Bidding on your brand terms reduces opportunities for your competitors to capture your customers or their mindshare if they bid on your brand terms.
  25. 25. 88% No brand ad 61% Brand ad + organic 39% 12% Your competitor You Your competitor You Competitors are getting nearly 40% of clicks when no brand ad is present. Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. Travel
  26. 26. How many of these clicks to competitors were on their ad?
  27. 27. 88% No brand ad 61% Brand ad + organic 19% 8% 20% 4% Competitor ad Competitor organic Competitor ad Competitor organic Great question. When a brand ad was present, clicks on competitors’ ads decreased from 20% to 4%. Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Brand ad in main line position 1 and top organic listings. You You Travel
  28. 28. Let’s take a look at a few examples from individual travel advertisers.
  29. 29. Without a brand ad present, this major travel company’s competitors capture nearly half of the clicks for some searches. 57% www.”travelbrand”.com 73% “Travel brand” flights 52% “Travel brand” flights search 27% 43% 48% Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. “Travel brand” represents actual results of a top travel industry brand. Competitor Ad No Brand Ad Travel
  30. 30. Oh snap!
  31. 31. High fives all around for this major travel company. Competitor ads captured only up to 11% of clicks with a brand ad present. 89% ”Travel brand” 99% “Travel brand” car rentals 99% “Travel brand”.com 11% Source: Bing Ads Internal Data, December 2014. Competitor Ad Brand Ad + Organic 1% 1% “Travel brand” represents actual results of a top travel industry brand. Travel
  32. 32. Booyah!
  33. 33. Let’s recap that.
  34. 34. Brand term bidding is a strategy that allows you to play offense and defense at the same time. Bidding on your brand terms reduces opportunities for your competitors to capture your customers or their mindshare if they bid on your brand terms. ❶ PLAY OFFENSE Brand term bidding helps deliver more clicks. ❷ PLAY DEFENSE Brand term bidding means fewer clicks to competitors.
  35. 35. What do I risk if I don’t bid on my brand terms? ❶ Getting a lower “click-yield” or rate of clicks/searches, even with a strong SEO strategy in place.
  36. 36. What do I risk if I don’t bid on my brand terms? As we saw, you can risk losing nearly half of clicks if you don’t bid on your brand terms. ❷ Losing clicks to competitors attempting to “conquest” the searches for your brand. Don’t let your competitors steal demand for your brand – your clicks and leads.
  37. 37. What’s the best way to get started?
  38. 38. To learn more about the value of bidding on your brand terms, check out the complete Bing Ads research study and white paper The beauty of search advertising is that advertisers can make data-driven decisions – like whether or not to bid on their brand terms. And the best way to glean these insights is through testing to understand how your brand performs based on your objectives. Ready, set, bid (on your brand terms)!

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