As a small business owner or manager, you might need to work a little harder to make sure potential customers in the Lancaster County area are aware of your business. Luckily, there are a number of strategies your business can take to give your name the extra boost it deserves. Brand advertising is a great way to improve the awareness of your business in the minds of consumers.

A brand advertising strategy helps businesses build customer loyalty. As Quantcast says, “the goal of brand advertising is to foster long-term positive recognition by establishing brand identity, credibility, and loyalty and connecting with prospects intellectually and emotionally.”

The following items are part of a successful brand advertising strategy:

  • Long-term focus: Brand advertising aims to establish a brand’s presence and identity over time. The goal is to lead to sustained customer engagement and loyalty.
  • Emotional appeal: Your strategy must create an emotional connection with your audience. But the particular emotions themselves can be whatever makes the most sense for your company. It can be anything from joy to humor to nostalgia. You should just make sure it’s positive, relatable, and memorable.
  • Consistency: Keep your messaging, design, and tone consistent. This will help to solidify your brand image in your potential and current customers’ minds. When your brand identity is consistent, your customer base will be more likely to recognize it.
  • Brand storytelling: A narrative is an essential part of brand advertising. This will personalize your brand and help to convey values, history, and mission.
  • Audience-centric: Brand advertising is all about understanding and resonating with your intended audience. It’s not just about selling them a product — it’s about building a meaningful relationship with them.

How Does Brand Advertising Add Value to Your Brand

According to Instapage: “With more consumers aware of your brand, the more they trust and stick with you throughout the buyer’s journey.” That means they’ll be more likely to take action when they see a performance-based advertisement. Once you have the building blocks of a solid brand advertising strategy, you’ll start to see significant value added to your brand in the forms of actual leads and sales later on.

You can expect brand advertising to add value to your campaigns in the following ways:

  • Establish your identity — A brand identity consists of your logo, fonts, brand colors, general web presence, and more. Once that happens, you’ll be able to make a great first impression on your current customers.
  • Build brand credibility — People will only buy from the brands they trust, and you can build trust with effective brand advertising. Create this credibility by establishing yourself as an industry leader against your competitors.
  • Build strong connections with prospective customers — The best brands offer solutions and build connections with their prospects. If someone feels like they can’t form a personal connection with your brand, they’ll likely dismiss you.

In this article, we’ll help you to create a plan for an effective brand advertising strategy for your business. You’ll walk away with the tools to establish trust, loyalty, and long-term success.

What Small Business Owners in Lancaster County Need to Understand About Brand Advertising

Brand advertising is incredibly powerful too. When it is done correctly, it can take your small business to the next level. But before you can achieve that goal, you need to understand what your business stands for and why your business even exists. Here are some important things that small business owners need to know about brand advertising:

  • Branding and marketing are two completely different things — Branding and marketing are not the same thing. Branding answers the why behind your brand. Marketing defines the ways that your brand is perceived in the world. Understanding the difference between the two is critical to the success of your business.
  • Creating brand guidelines is crucial to your success —  Creating guidelines provides tips for a clear understanding of your brand by employees and your customers. They should include the following items:
    • Visual components
    • Your mission and vision
    • Values
    • Messaging
    • Tone and voice
    • Brand personality
    • Target demographic
    • Buyer personas
  • Your brand is an iceberg — As ExtraCo Banks says, your brand is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to it than what’s on the surface. Your brand isn’t just fonts, colors, and your logo. It also needs to include your mission, vision, values, tone of voice, messaging, and more. These foundational pieces establish consistency with your brand and its personality.

When you take the time to understand the power of your brand and build upon it, you’ll create an infectious culture around your brand. Prospects will be drawn to your brand and customers will provide repeat business. That strong foundation will easily set you apart from the competition, providing success for years to come. 

7 Questions to Ask Before Deciding on a Brand Advertising Strategy

Brand advertising is important to any small business. But before you dive in, you need to finalize key components of creating a strategy. Here are some questions to consider before doing that.

How are Google Ads relevant to a small business in Lancaster County?

A strategically built Google Ads campaign ensures the right people see your ad at the right time. You can target audiences based on location, language, demographics, and interests. The Google Ads platform also lets you create engaging ad copy to entice prospective customers to click to your page. That means you’ll be able to create ads that appeal to consumers in Lancaster County looking for a specific product or service. Getting their attention at the right time means those consumers will be more likely to make a purchase.

What is a branded keyword?

Branded keywords are phrases or search terms that are associated with your brand and/or the products and services you offer. Your brand name and any common misspellings should be included in this list. While these keywords can be discovered through social media, make sure you don’t confuse them with hashtags or mentions online.

Keep tabs on branded keywords to make sure you’re always looped in about the conversation surrounding your small business. Tags or mentions online will always trigger notifications. But the use of branded keywords on social will not. For example, a customer may be praising or venting about your business online, without tagging you. If you have a pulse on your branded keywords, you’ll never miss an opportunity to interact with your customers.

What is a non-branded keyword?

On the flip side, non-branded keywords are those that do not reference your business’s name or any common misspellings of it. While it’s important to rank for branded search terms, non-branded keywords are crucial for attracting prospective customers to your website.

For example, let’s say you run a children’s clothing boutique. Using non-branded keywords will allow your brand to be seen even if a consumer doesn’t know your brand yet, and is just using general search terms for a children’s clothing store in Lancaster County. That’s the power of non-branded keywords.

Ranking for non-branded keywords will help consumers come across your website when they are searching for services or products you sell. If you match their search intent, you’ll be able to convert them into customers.

What is brand name bidding?

Brand name bidding refers to purchasing your own name as a keyword in Google Ads. As Fraud Blocker says, “The primary goal of brand bidding is to capture high-intent traffic from users who are already familiar with your brand, while also protecting your brand against competitors who may want to capitalize on your brand equity.” This involves targeting search terms that include your brand names, product names, and any other term your business has trademarked. Doing this has the potential to perform better in organic Google searches and have some impact on your online reputation.

Should I pay for Google Ads on my business’s branded keywords?

The answer here is typically yes. Bidding on your branded keywords ensures your competitors cannot rank for them. As Abigail Beene with HawkSEM says, your competitors may attempt to bid on your keywords so their business will outrank yours.

She says: “If you have someone searching for your company, they will want to appear next to you or above you on the search results page so potential customers can check out their brand instead.”

If customers are searching for your business’s name, you’ll want to make sure your brand name comes up first in the search results. Try to set aside a small amount of your advertising budget to ensure you show up at the top of the search engine results page.

Are there some situations in which my business shouldn’t pay for Google Ads on branded keywords?

Believe it or not, there are some disadvantages to bidding on your own branded keywords. According to HawkSEM, here are the situations in which you should not bid on your branded keywords:

  • You have a strong organic presence — Bidding on branded keywords helps to ensure your business name comes up when consumers search for you. But if you already have a strong organic search presence, there’s no need to spend money on your keywords.
  • You’ve got a limited budget — If you only have limited money set aside for advertising, bid on non-branded keywords instead. That will help you cast a wider net for potential customers.
  • You have minimal competition — Bidding on branded keywords ensures that your competition can’t rank for those keywords instead. But if you don’t have the competition, there’s no need to spend that money.

What do I do if a competitor is already buying my branded keywords?

As of June 2019, Google abolished the restrictions that stopped brands from bidding on a competitor’s branded keyword. Competitors just can’t use your trademarked brand name in ad copy. If you find yourself in that situation, you have a few options:

  • Own your brand name — When someone else buys your branded keywords, they’re not interested in posting ads promoting your business. Write strategic ad copy that positions your brand in a positive way and attracts customers.
  • Reach out directly to the competitor — It doesn’t hurt to reach out directly to your competitor and ask them to remove those ads. In some cases, your competition may not actually be aware that it bid on your keywords. An advertising agency may have done that on their behalf.
  • File a trademark complaint with search engines — If your brand name is trademarked, you can file a trademark complaint to prevent all advertisers from using your brand keywords in ad copy. This won’t stop 100% of infringements, but it should greatly reduce them.
  • Bid on your competition’s brand keywords — If your competitor owns your keywords, beat them at their own game. Keep in mind that if you bid on another brand’s keywords, your cost-per-click (CPC) will be higher. But if you have the resources, there are benefits to the cost. Search Engine Journal says, “By targeting the competitor that bought your brand, you could force their CPCs higher, steal some of their lead volumes, and potentially force them to stop bidding on your brand name, which is a good thing.”

TL;DR: Turn to LNP Media Group to Get Your Small Business Noticed 

Our passion at LNP Media Group is serving small businesses in the Lancaster County area. Our digital marketing team has the tools, experience, and knowledge to reach exactly the audience your company wants at the right time. We’re proud to say that we have earned Google Partner status with thorough training and stellar results for our clients.

We provide a number of services to drive customers to your business and guarantee that your digital advertising campaigns are optimized for the best performance. Our digital marketing services include display, SEO, email marketing, paid search (PPC), social media marketing, and more.

LNP Media Group’s digital agency has a proven history of success. Contact us today to get started.