How to Build Brand Awareness when the Competition Reduces Advertising Spending

When competition decides to cut advertising and marketing expenses, it creates a reduced noise level for every player in the industry. This trend of slashed budgets was evident in March during COVID-19, where 69% of brands expected their ad spend to decrease in 2020. While that statistic isn’t surprising, and in many cases was a necessity, it also creates a unique opportunity.

Historically, during recessions or periods of an economic downturn, some brands have leveraged reduced levels of competition to launch new products and services. Depending on your industry, this can a lucrative gamble that pays off when companies reallocate marketing and advertising spend accordingly.

So, how should your organization capitalize on reduced expenditures in advertising? Continue reading to learn a strategy to increase your brand awareness and maintain a consistent presence, regardless of economic factors beyond your control.

Launch a Branded Paid Search Campaign

Fewer advertisers in your industry give your brand a better chance of standing out amongst the competition. Branded paid search campaigns build brand awareness, introduces your organization to those unfamiliar with your products and services and can be used reengage with individuals that didn’t initially convert on your ads. Branded paid search campaigns are less expensive to bid for, since your company is bidding on its own keywords. This makes a branded campaign more cost-effective when compared to other paid campaigns. With a branded campaign, your company also has the potential to attract your competitor’s customers and entice them to give your brand a chance.

As WordStream notes, a branded paid search campaign also prevents your competition from bidding on your brand to increase their market share. Leveraging your own brand is an effective way to engage with prospective customers. If your company decides to lean into its brand for paid campaigns, we’ve provided tactics below to give your organization a framework for its implementation.

How to Amend Your Ad Copy to Reflect Your Customers Current Concerns

Before launching your branded campaign, your company should ensure its messaging is relevant for your customers’ needs and expectations. A crucial component to amending copy without coming across as pandering to your audience is by showing how your company is helping customers.

Feature Testimonials and Examples of How Your Company is Helping Customers

Instead of regurgitating the corporate copy of ‘we’re here to help in this unprecedented time’, feature testimonials that cite specific situations where your company has gone above and beyond. Any examples of how your company has personalized its customer service will exemplify your commitment and will give your messaging a better chance of resonating with your audience. Your company can start by targeting previous customers with this revised messaging. Simply build out a list of previous customers using email addresses and contact information.

Additionally, your organization can target individuals that previously visited your website. Test different audiences with your campaigns to see which list is the most effective in the short-term. That way, your organization has this historical data to compare to previous quarters and campaigns to determine consumer behavior and purchasing trends.

Include Softer Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Some consumers may be eager to return to their normal purchasing behavior, and your organization should cater to these users. That said, a ‘learn more’, ‘schedule an appointment’, ‘see how we’re helping’ and ‘find more resources’ CTAs may be more appropriate than a ‘buy now’ offer, depending on your industry. In any case, if your organization fails to convert these individuals, it can still use gather contact information through popups and landing pages to remarket and reengage with these individuals in subsequent campaigns to entice a conversion.

Invest in Conquesting Ads

To gain a competitive edge, your organization can bid on your competitors branded keywords. This tactic is called conquesting, and it is an effective way to suppress their rankings in paid search results, while earning your organization customers. Conquesting paid ads are a way to increase your brand’s visibility, while also ensuring that your competition doesn’t earn the #1 spot in paid search results. In that process, your organization can capture leads and interest using your competitors brand name. In terms of growing your brand awareness and increasing your market share, conquesting ads are a viable solution.

While this tactic can be perceived as an aggressive maneuver, it is more of a common practice than you might think. That said, it’s wise to weigh the potential risks that can come from bidding on your competition’s branded keywords.

Build Brand Awareness and Gain a Competitive Edge with Paid Experts

Maintaining a consistent presence with paid advertising yields numerous benefits, especially during a time of economic uncertainty. That said, if your team needs a trusted team of paid advertising experts to help your organization with its strategic approach, we can help. Contact our team and we’ll provide customized recommendations to help your organization achieve its desired results.


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