The potential customers that visit your company’s website from an AdWords campaign may originate from a variety of search terms, depending on the keywords bought as part of the campaign. Brand terms are a way of attracting people who are already aware of and are in favour of your business. On the other hand, generic keywords are the mainstream terms used to appeal to those who are only looking for a particular product or service.
Finally, we have competitor keywords. Competitor keywords are a whole different breed of keywords. They open up a whole new dimension of advertising: attracting a segment of potential customers that would otherwise never know of your existence.
But while it may be tempting to just plunge right into using competitor keywords, one has to first understand the behaviour of these potential customers, as well as the nature of your business’ products and services. If not properly considered and implemented carefully, you may find yourself burning through your Google AdWords’ daily budget with little no returns to show for it.
So, here are some pointers to take note of before you jump in:
Awareness of the customer’s buying cycle
Unlike someone who inputs your brand term or a generic one, a customer who searches using your competitor’s brand name has already moved further along the buying cycle having short-listed your competitor as one of the prime candidates to buy from. If he sees your ad instead, or he sees your ad right next to your competitor’s, there is a higher chance he will ignore your ad. This will lead to a lower click-through rate.
For products with shorter/emergency buying cycles, like a plumber or locksmith, this may not be as apparent because the customer will just pick the most prominent ad. But for something with a longer cycle, this will be obvious. A strategy needs to be crafted to compel these people to click on your ad.
Know which products and services to go head to head with
Something to take note of is that while buying your own brand term is usually relatively cheap, buying your competitor’s one is not. This is due to the much lower click-through rate and relevancy which affects your Quality Score. So, if you’re going to play on your opponent’s turf, you need to have something that proves more compelling to the consumer.
For this, I will bring in an example of a vehicle rental company,”Acme Car Rental”. Acme rents and leases out all sorts of vehicles such as sedans, MPVs, trucks and vans, just to name a few. They are aware of a competitor of theirs, “Bravo Leasing”, which is a more established brand in the local market. Because Bravo is more renowned, they have a higher search volume than Acme’s.
As such, to leverage on this, Acme should first see if they have any vehicles in their fleet that possesses a unique selling point which they can craft into the ad text. This needs to be done to compel people who are searching for Bravo to come to their site instead. For instance, if they are currently having a promotion for their vans that is more attractive than Bravo’s, the ad text should reflect this. Doing this will help Acme to better poach these people away from Bravo.
Handling customers that come in via competitor keywords
The story does not end when the customer clicks on your ad and visits your website. How you interact with them can mean the difference between success and failure at this point. Usually, it’s a good idea to have unique landing page for the keywords you use, formulated to further convince the customer to consider your product. An example of this would be a landing page that highlights all the qualities that make your product better than the others in the market, without actually disclosing who the competition is.
It is also a good idea to inform the staff on the front-line if you do choose to use such an AdWords campaign. This is because the inquiries that come in from customers who were originally searching for your competitors will be different from those who were searching using generic terms. These customers contact you with your competitors’ brands in mind. So, your staff must be able to field these questions and eventually convert them into leads or sales.
Additionally, with Call Extensions on Google AdWords and the increasing number of mobile users, a situation may arise in which a customer calls your number thinking it belongs to your competitor. There are two possible routes of action here. One, you tell the customer that they called the wrong number. Or, two, your staff makes use of this opportunity to sell and market your product. Which one you choose to use will depend on your overall business and marketing strategy and how willing you are to go all out.
To find out how you can best employ competitor keywords in your SEM campaigns, call us at +65 6595 4000 and have a no-obligation consultation with any of our certified professionals today!