When you think about search ads, you probably don’t associate them with brand awareness. And for the most part, search ads have never been associated with brand awareness…until now. In recent studies done by Google and Ipsos MediaCT in 2013, the two measured what impact, if any, search ads had on a company’s brand awareness. And come to find out, what we thought in the past was wrong.
Search ads do have an impact on brand awareness, and a rather big impact. So how can a digital marketing tool that is designed to drive traffic and conversions have an impact on brand awareness? Let’s us explain.
Before we get into how search ads impact brand awareness, let us give you a quick rundown of how the studies worked. Groups of U.S. consumers were given instructions to search for a specific category keyword (e.g. “running shoes” or smart phones.”) Once they performed the search, they were shown 1 of 2 pages. One page contained an ad, illustrating 1 of 12 specific categories with a specific brand in the top position. The other test page contained no ad for their search at all.
It was quite clear that those who were given the page that contained the ad were more aware of the specific brand after the test. Out of those who viewed the page containing the ad , 14.8% of them named the brand from the search ad when asked what they thought of first for that specific keyword. Only 8.2% from the group that contained no ad mentioned the specific brand first.
Google and Ipsos MediaCT went on to find other results from this study. Click here to see more results.
So What Does This All Mean?
That’s a good question. A significant part of brand awareness is getting your brand in front of the line, or at the top of the mind of consumers. For example, if you specialize in selling basketball shoes, when someone needs new basketball shoes, you want your brand to pop up in their mind first. That’s what brand awareness is all about.
From the results of this study, it shows that if you create search ads and can get them to pop up when a consumer is searching for specific keywords, again (e.g. “running shoes”, etc.), then you’ve got a better chance of your brand making it’s way to the front of the line in consumer’s minds.
Keep in mind, in order for search ads to help with your brand awareness, it doesn’t require consumers to click on your ads. BONUS!! By simply seeing the ad, it’s already increasing your brand awareness within that consumer.
What Should I Take From All Of This?
If you want to look at the small picture, it’s pretty simple: search ads are doing more than simply driving conversions. But if you want to take a step back and look at the big picture, this is what I take away from these results: digital marketing is always adapting, and sometimes the tools we use are measurable and predictable. But sometimes they’re not. Sometimes there is more going on behind the scenes, as demonstrated with this connection between search ads and brand awareness.
I’m assuming when search ads were first launched, no one was intending for them to help with brand awareness, but look what was unearthed in this study. So try some new tools out, because you never know the positive impact it can have on your digital marketing plan.