When it comes to promoting your business, getting your brand in front of the right people at the right time is extremely important, but you’re not always going to be there at the exact time that person is looking to buy / make contact about your service.

It is therefore also important to make your target audience aware of your brand so that they think of it when the time is right, when they do need your services / product in the future.

Paid advertising, such as paid display advertising, is great for this very purpose. A recent blog post published on the AdWords Blog highlights the results of a new study Google carried out to show how search ads also have a positive effect on brand awareness.

Google partnered with Ipsos MediaCT back in 2013 and ran 61 studies across 12 verticals, from auto to retail, with 800 qualified consumers and it showed that search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average 6.6 percentage points.

They made the consumers run searches for chosen keywords, such as ‘hiking boots’, and showed one group a controlled set of results and the other group a test SERP.

When asked which brand stuck out most in their minds, for each of the keywords, the results showed that 14.8% of the test group said the test brand and just 8.2% from the control group said the same brand.

The display network can also help raise brand awareness as advertisers can display banner or text ads on the content network whilst their potential customers are browsing other sites.

Google Display Network
(Source: Google Ads)

If you run a local business, these ads can be geo-targeted to your chosen area based on IP address. Or if you think that your customers are likely to view particular sites / read particular blogs etc. you can also target people when they are viewing those sites (given the sites are on the display network).

Similarly if you think that your customers would read web pages that mention given phrases then you can target based on keyword. All these methods can be used to try and make your campaign as targeted as possible to try and reduce the number of wasted impressions and clicks.

The main metric to look out for when running a brand awareness campaign, which differs to a search campaign, is impressions. This shows how many times the ad has appeared, obviously you can’t be certain that every time the ad appears that it is noticed by the user, but it gives an idea of the potential reach.

In order to make it more likely that your ads are seen by people you can choose to show your ads only ‘above the fold’. This means that they won’t have to do any scrolling on the page in order to see the ad.

When designing banners for the display network the creative in the ad should be very brand focused. It should contain the company logo and make it clear what service / product you offer. You must remember that the purpose of the ad is not to get the user to click there and then necessarily, but just to make your brand resonate with them.

The beauty of using the display network for brand awareness, when bidding on a CPC basis, is that you only pay when the user actually clicks on your ad and goes through to your site so the initial brand awareness, where they just see the ad, is essentially free.