Branding With A Pay Per Click Twist
by Neal Lebar

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an outstanding media to use
to Brand your mark (company or products). Through search engine
browsing, your target prospect comes directly to you, searching
for what youíre offering. If youíre in the top few positions
the prospect will see your mark over and over again Ė even if
they donít click on your link. Since you are only charged when
someone actually clicks on your link, you may actually pay a
very small amount for advertising but have tremendous frequency
and reach for your campaign.

When I began marketing for one of my clients about 15 months ago
using PPC, I never expected or intended to "Brand" their company. 
It was thrilling enough that our acquisition cost and volume was 
considerably better than with traditional advertising. The impact 
of the branding that we have inadvertently accomplished is paying 
dividends big time, less than one year later.

The Great Equalizer

One day about 9 months into the PPC campaign, four people in
suits Ė white shirts and dressed to kill, show up at my clientís
office. They represented the sales manager down to the area
rep. for a new product. They found us on the Internet and were
cold calling in the area - as they said, "youíre ads are
everywhere on the Net." They assumed from our Internet
presence that our client was a large company with hundreds of
employees. The expression on their faces was priceless as they
were told, "what you see is what weíve got", as they looked at
the five full time employees in the 1,500 sq foot office.

I like to refer to the Internet as "The Great Equalizer", since
you have the power to look and act like a major corporation,
until, they come for a visit :)

Frequency and Reach

The basics behind Branding lie in the frequency of the ad and
the percent of your target market reached. Conceptually, the
prospect needs to see the ad over and over again (15 to 20
times) before they act. This has been true with traditional
media such as TV, Radio, Direct Mail and Print. Initially, I
thought that PPC didnít fit into this model as people are
searching specifically for your products, however the results
have proven different. I had never considered the exposure we
were getting from the 99% that did NOT click on our ad (link).

PPC campaigns that I have run for an extended period of time are
now proving that Branding is paying off. Using the same budget
as a year ago and maintaining the top 3 positions for most of
the keywords over that time are delivering increases in
acquisitions by more than 50%. Certainly, there are many
factors to consider such as market growth, competition and the
cost per acquisition. Iíve spent a considerable amount of time
analyzing these factors to conclude that the factors have
remained relatively constant and the only logical explanation is
the strength of our Branding. Maintaining the top positions
for more than 150 keywords, everyday for over a year has made
this brand recognizable to our target market. People will
search for a product and then come back again and again to do
further research before they buy. If your brand is constantly
in front of them, when theyíre ready, they will act. On the
other hand, if your ad disappears and is no longer listed, you
will lose the opportunity and continuity.

50,000 Viewers Daily

Millions of searches are performed everyday by millions of
people using millions of keywords. In addition, less than 1% of
these searches results in a click to a top listed site. This
means that for every time a top link is clicked, there are 99
other times that the ad is viewed for free. If the ad is in one
of the top positions, itís guaranteed to be seen every time.
Here lies the great value of PPC in regard to Branding Ė 99% of
the time itís FREE! The 1% of the time that the link is clicked
on, a relevant prospect visits your website. It turns out that
a successful PPC sales campaign can also result in a successful
Branding campaign. In addition, if your main goal is to Brand
your mark, itís free 99% of the time Ė sounds like a win Ė win
here.

Consider these numbers: If you receive 500 clicks a day,
approximately 50,000 people will view your Brand mark every day
(this assumes a 1% click through rate). In one year, about
4,000,000 people will have viewed your Brand mark.

What sets PPC apart from most other advertising is that the
prospective customers are looking (searching) for your products.
With TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Print and other traditional media,
very few of the people are actually looking for the products
being advertised. In addition, you're only charged when
someone clicks on your link and visits your website.

One factor that is very important when Branding your mark is,
frequency. Itís essential that you maintain consistency of
exposure for an extended period of time. It takes several
months to Brand a mark and when you have, the numbers will tell
the story and the suits will start showing up at your door.


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Neal Lebar has helped launch several Internet based companies
since 1996. He has proven that Internet marketing absolutely
works and can generate returns far greater than traditional
media.  Visit - www.innovate-inc.com , www.extenderware.com or
write nlebar@innovate-inc.com.
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