Competitor Advertising for PPC: Key Elements You Need to Include
Everyone has a competitor. Even Game of Thrones has Lord of the Rings. While that rivalry has died down in recent years, you can still find relics online comparing the two. People question “Which is better?” or “Which is really worth the investment of my time?” These questions are your prospects are asking about you and your competitors. This is precisely why you need to start a competitor advertising campaign.
While your adversaries probably aren’t bloodthirsty families or Uruk Hai, it can still get pretty cutthroat. You need competitor advertising PPC campaigns to let your prospects know why your solution is better. Use your enemies to your advantage, just like everyone in Westeros seems to.
First: What is competitor advertising in PPC?
Before we jump into how you should structure your competitor advertising campaigns, let’s define it. Unlike traditional competitor advertising where you name your competitor in your ad copy, PPC competitor advertising should not do that.
Earlier this month I discussed how to submit a trademark complaint to Google, and that’s precisely why you want to be hands-off with your competitor’s name. You don’t want them to mention you, and they won’t want the reverse. Play it safe, avoid the possibility of your ads getting taken down, and focus on doing competitive ads in a way that Google is OK with.
So how do you run a competitive ad without explicitly naming the competitor? You use their brand as your keywords. Gather their brand names, product names, brand-specific service terms, and other keywords they are looking to rank for in their PPC ads. This will be the basis of your campaign.
Now, let’s discuss what the backend of your campaign should look like.
One campaign to rule them all
Build one campaign for all of your competitors. This will ensure you stay organized and don’t clutter up your Google AdWords as you add more competitors to your campaign. Then, create ad groups based on the brand names of your competitors. You might even break it down further and create ad groups by products of competitors.
However, working under one campaign umbrella means you need to be aware of your ad spend. Make sure you adjust it as you add new ad groups. Making sure to increase your spend the more ad groups and ads you create under a campaign means you’re getting the most of your budget.
This is important. Since you can’t use your competitor’s name in the text of your ad, you need to ensure that your landing page is optimized for each of your competitors. If you are targeted a competitor who has multiple products, you might consider creating multiple landing pages for each of their products to ensure you get a higher quality score from Google.
This is where you differentiate yourself from your competitor. Because the one thing you don’t want to happen is for someone who clicks on your ad to think they’re going to your competitor’s website. Make it clear you’re an alternative. Make them know you’re you.
This is where you can get in front of their current customers or leads who might be beginning their journey and heard of your competitor first. This allows you to get in front of more eyes.
Remember you’re not calling out the specific name of your competitor, but you can use their ads to your advantage.
Check out what your competitors’ ads look like. Do they say they’re “the best,” “the fastest,” or “the most experienced tracker in a fellowship?” Call them out on it! When your ads appear side by side, yours will stand out.
Play with the expectations they set. For instance, if they boast speed, you might say “Don’t fall for fast. Get thorough.” If they claim they’re a great tracker, you might say “Don’t get lost. We know a better way.”
Take the context they give you and expand on it. But it’s important if you run ads that directly respond to competitor copy, you monitor your competitor’s ads as well. They might take that ad down or shoot back with a similar tactic. Stay on your toes and get ready for a PPC battle.
Negative keywords are important to any campaign. But remember what I said about not wanting to look like your competitors? Make sure your negative keywords include things like “login”, “help documentation”, or “customer portal.” However, feel free to jump on variations of “sign up.”
Ready to join the fellowship and begin your competitor advertising campaign? You have my sword. Let us know if you need it.
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