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Measuring brand awareness

Branding campaigns have a unique goal: to raise awareness and visibility of your product, service, or cause. To help reach these objectives, you can use your AdWords campaigns to increase traffic to your website or encourage customers to interact with your brand.

Once you've established your branding campaign's goals, you can choose the best places to show your ads, and then measure success by monitoring impressions, conversions, and other statistics. Generally, you'll want to try to place your ads in front of as many people as possible within your target audience.

Most advertisers with branding goals are primarily concerned with creating brand awareness. They may want to track conversions like page views instead of purchases. For example, an advertiser that's introducing a new energy drink wants to create awareness and interest among as many sports enthusiasts as possible, and isn't necessarily concerned with selling actual bottles of the drink online.

Tip

Not sure where to start? Get strategies for creating campaigns that increase brand awareness

Networks for your branding campaign

Google has two networks where your ads can run: the Search Network and the Display Network. While the Search Network primarily runs text ads, the Display Network runs text ads, colorful image ads, and multimedia ads (like video or animation) that can be particularly good for showing branding messages. Display ads can create an emotional connection by using graphical, audio, and video elements to tell a story that's unique to your company.

On the Display Network, you can target your ads very effectively. By choosing exactly which websites and pages will show your ad and creating an ad with lots of visual impact, it's easy to catch the eye of people who're interested in what you sell.

Example

Say you work for a high-end Italian car manufacturer. You could create a video ad to showcase the new features of your latest model, the SuDuperRossa, and choose to run that ad only on websites for owners of high-performance cars, since they're part of your target demographic.

What to measure for brand awareness

Here are some important metrics that show whether your branding campaign is successful:

  • Impressions: Impressions are important to track in any campaign, no matter what your goals are. But they can be especially important in branding campaigns, because they represent how many customers actually laid eyes on your ad. You might not care whether they ended up buying anything from your site, but you do want them to remember that catchy new slogan you paid big bucks to develop and share with the world.

    One way to really prioritize impressions is to create a cost-per-thousand impressions campaign (rather than a cost-per-click campaign). That way you'll pay based on the number of impressions your ads have received, rather than by the number of clicks they've gotten.

  • Customer engagement: If you're focused on branding, you can use clickthrough rate (CTR) to measure customer engagement for Search Network ads. On the Display Network, though, user behavior is different, and CTR isn't as helpful. That's because customers on sites are browsing through information, not searching with keywords. Also, on a busy Display Network page, an ad has to compete more to get the attention of a reader than it would on a search page. It's more important to try to achieve a good CTR on the Search Network (1% or higher) than on the Display Network, where clickthrough rates are frequently lower. You may want to consider other measurements like conversions for Display Network ads.

    Conversions can help you see whether your ads are driving branding-related visitor behavior you think is valuable, such as sign-ups or page views. After all, aren't you curious how many people join your mailing list after watching that expensive video ad your company just created?

  • Reach and frequency: Reach is the number of visitors exposed to an ad. Increased reach means that an ad is exposed to more potential customers, which may lead to increased awareness. Frequency is the average number of times a visitor was exposed to an ad over a period of time.

Did you know...

Speaking of reach, here's another reason why the Display Network can be a valuable branding partner: it reaches 83% of unique Internet users around the world. (Source: DoubleClick Ad Planner).

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