When you need to protect your brand with Paid Media

You will likely be recommended by your paid media staff or agency partner to always buy branded search keywords in Google/Bing/Amazon as it typically results in the highest-converting traffic that you will get to your website. In many cases this could be good advice, but it is certainly not universal to all companies. Here are some tips to help you evaluate whether you should be spending Paid Media dollars for branded keywords:

Do you currently own the top spots in Google/Amazon/other search engines for your brand term organically?

-If the answer is “No”, then 100% you need to be buying your branded terms
-If the answer is “Yes”, then go to the next couple of points.

Are direct brand competitors aggressively poaching on your branded terms?

-If the answer is “No”, then you may be wasting your money. Typically, you only need to spend Paid Media dollars if aggressive poaching is going on and you are not visible organically.
-If the answer is “Yes”, then you need to be buying your branded search terms.

Are retailers and partners bidding on your branded terms?

This is where it gets a little cloudy and you need to try and make the best possible business decision. If you are a brand that relies on retailers or partners to sell your product, and you are ok with the wholesale margin, I would not buy your branded terms and compete against them. Let them fight for it and capture some of that low hanging fruit. If you make them happy with some easy conversions they may promote your product more on their own site, it is just helpful to the relationship. If you are transitioning to a more direct to consumer model and you don’t care about helping them, then start competing against them!

The point of this clip is that there are positives and negatives to bidding on your branded terms and it shouldn’t be treated as a universal strategy that fits everyone. Not only could it soak up a lot of budget for traffic and sales you may have already received anyways, but you may piss off your partners as well.

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