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Search Critical in Brand-Building Strategies

Search leads consumers to new branded content

August 6, 2012

Brand marketers are increasingly using search to leverage their overall branding goals. That’s true even for the many companies that never sell their products online. A new eMarketer report examines six strategic ways brands can improve their overall campaigns by using search marketing.

The new report, “Search for Branding: Tools for Better Campaigns” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions about how marketers can better utilize search to strengthen overall branding, including:

  • Besides increasing awareness and website traffic, how can search marketing help overall branding efforts?
  • When it comes to branding, is paid search more important than SEO?
  • What makes search problematic for brand-oriented goals?

When considering whether or not to weave search into a brand’s total campaign, there is one simple, inarguable reason why brands should use it: Search is where the audience can be found. AYTM Market Research found that as of June 2012, the vast majority of US internet users used search engines either daily (63.5%) or fairly often (21.0%).

Frequency with Which US Internet Users Use Search Engines, June 2012 (% of respondents)

“Brands need search—and not just paid ads and higher organic rankings—to help them achieve their overall marketing goals,” said eMarketer. “They also need the search data that can give them unique insights both into their target audience’s interests, intents and perceptions and into their competition’s. And they need to connect all their search activities to their overall branding campaigns.”

Key Takeaways from “Search for Branding: Tools for Better Campaigns:”

  • Brands doing little or no search, must construct an initial plan.
  • Brands that have more fully integrated search into their campaigns need to make connections. Pinpointing the relationship between online and offline helps brands show that each element in their efforts, including search, is part of a holistic process.
  • Since search does not stand on its own, all brands should continually develop a broad range of destinations and content that take advantage of the keywords, key phrases and language the target audience uses.
  • Education may be needed to overcome resistance from departments within the brand’s organization that might still insist search is merely a direct response channel, not one for branding goals.

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