Dig­i­tal mar­keters know that SEM is a great mar­ket­ing tool for action-based mar­ket­ing; it is capa­ble of real-time updates, direct links, var­i­ous calls to action, and redi­rec­tions. For these and other rea­sons, mar­keters use SEM mostly to drive cus­tomers to take action. But SEM is more than just a cat­a­lyst for imme­di­ate action. It can also be a brand­ing tool and a way to build up your brand in front of a large audi­ence. Here are three ways you might build up your brand using SEM.

1. Run on Your Own Brand Terms

SEM mar­keters often won­der: is it worth it to run SEM ads on my own brand terms? The short answer: yes. Some SEM mar­keters think they don’t need to run on their own brand terms because SEO results will cover all the searches of their company’s brand terms. If you don’t run on your own brand terms in SEM, you are los­ing an oppor­tu­nity and hand­ing that oppor­tu­nity over to some­one else.

Run­ning on your brand terms you have the chance to build up your brand’s image from the searchers’ per­spec­tive. Also, if you don’t run on your own brand terms, it opens up the pos­si­bil­ity of your rivals run­ning on these terms and steal­ing your cus­tomers. Run­ning on your brand terms is rel­a­tively inex­pen­sive (con­sid­er­ing your rel­e­vance), and it is an oppor­tu­nity to cul­ti­vate your brand’s image and ensure com­peti­tors don’t steal your customers.

2. Incor­po­rate Brand Messages

Print ads, bill­boards, and tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials are great tools for incor­po­rat­ing brand mes­sages, taglines, and unique sell­ing points into your mar­ket­ing cam­paign, but so is search. In fact, search pro­vides the unique oppor­tu­nity to con­stantly adjust your mes­sage for lit­tle to no cost. If your brand mes­sages change, your SEM ads can do so easily.

You should incor­po­rate brand mes­sages into your SEM by bid­ding on phrases asso­ci­ated with your brand.

 26-IMAGE-Building Your Brand With SEM

Lit­tle Cae­sars uses the tagline “pizza pizza” in their tele­vi­sion adver­tise­ments. A quick search for those terms pro­duces an SEM adver­tise­ment for Lit­tle Caesars.

If cus­tomers are look­ing for your brand by way of your tagline or brand mes­sages, then they are cer­tainly inter­ested. Make it easy for them to find your prod­ucts and take action by bid­ding on terms and phrases asso­ci­ated with your brand. If you have long-tail catch phrases or taglines, you might con­sider using an exact match on those key­words so you don’t waste money on searchers look­ing for unre­lated results.

3. Adver­tise on Con­tent Networks

Con­tent net­works are net­works of web­sites that will adver­tise your SEM ads if your ads are rel­e­vant to a par­tic­u­lar web­site within the con­tent net­work. You can opt in to con­tent net­work­ing adver­tis­ing when you set up your SEM cam­paign. This gives you the oppor­tu­nity to tar­get cus­tomers in con­tex­tu­ally rel­e­vant sit­u­a­tions, out­side of search engines. Con­tent net­work adver­tis­ing is sim­i­lar to dis­play adver­tis­ing, but is more accu­rately an SEM fea­ture because con­tent net­work ads fea­ture the same copy and con­tent you use in your SEM ads. You can build up your brand by adver­tis­ing on con­tent net­works because you will be reach­ing cus­tomers who have inter­ests related to your product.

SEM is great for action-based mar­ket­ing, but also indis­pens­able as a brand-marketing tool. If used cor­rectly, SEM can help build up your brand, spread its reach, and improve its rep­u­ta­tion. Of course, SEM will still be able to lead your cus­tomers to action too, when they are ready.