Competitor brand bidding is a great marketing strategy for making your competitor’s traffic work for you.
Picking that route is especially effective for brands that have not established an online presence or have run out of business.
However, it’s a process that’ll put you through a lot of trial and error. While it’s a great marketing strategy, a considerable number of businesses are already doing it.
Keep reading to learn about competitor brand bidding, its pros and cons, and how you can do it.
Competitor PPC brand bidding is a marketing strategy that numerous businesses practice when running Google Ads. To put it simply, they add another brand’s name as a keyword they want their ads to rank for. That allows them to appear in a search related to their competitors.
Here’s an interesting example that shows what it looks like.
Even though you’ve searched for the Trello project management tool, you’ll see their competitors currently running ads that are ranking for this particular keyword.
It is an entirely legal process as long as you stick to the rules we’ll mention later on. As long as you win your competitor’s brand name keyword, your ads will be displayed whenever someone searches for them.
Ranking high with search ads for your competitor brands is a great way to take a piece of the market share. Whenever someone is searching for your competitor, you get the benefit of getting exposure to the target audience that might be interested in your product.
That way, you slowly get more people to know about your brand and start using it over time.
Additionally, brands use this approach for businesses that are closing down. So whenever someone remembers a company and looks it up in a search engine, they’ll end up with your brand at the top of search engines results.
Last but not least, brands engage in brand name bidding wars to get better exposure to a range of potential customers. Often, bidding on competitors’ brand names ends up in retaliation that keeps going for months, if not years.
Ranking for other brands’ keywords brings plenty of valuable benefits. The most notable are:
Aside from several benefits, there are some downsides to consider. These can make the whole process more challenging.
You’ll have to consider several things at the beginning of your competitor brand bidding. Let’s explore the crucial ones.
1. Run Your Own Branded Campaign First - Start running campaigns for your brand to get the perfect idea of how bidding works. It’s also a great way to compare the results with future competitor brand name bidding strategies.
2. Choose Your Competitor Wisely - Take your time with finding competitors that match your strategy requirements. You need brand names that rank well and receive a lot of traffic through ranking.
3. Go Heavy On Your Perks & Differences - Create an ad design that tells all the essentials about your brand and the key features that make your product, platform, or service special.
4. Don’t Aim For Top Of The Page - Aiming for the top will bring much higher costs. Unless you insist on ranking first, there’s a particular need for it. Remember, your CTR will be low. The goal is exposure.
5. Create A Remarketing List Search Ad(RLSA) Campaign - Keep showing your ads to customers who’ve visited your website.
6. Keep A Close Eye On Your Campaign - Monitor the performance of your campaign and adapt your bids accordingly.
7. Stay Out Of Trouble - Follow all the legalities of brand mentions in your ads. We’ll explore the rules in greater detail in the following section.
8. Bidding Strategies - Create bidding strategies that’ll let you rank for minimal expenditure. Combine different keywords to get the best results with low ad spend.
Following these steps will allow you to achieve excellent brand bidding results. As time goes on, you’ll learn more about the whole process, allowing you to win those bids and rank higher for more keywords.
Follow these three rules to stay away from any legal troubles when bidding on competitor brand names keywords:
1. Don’t Use Trademark Brand Names In Your Google Ads Text
2. Don’t Use Trademark Brand Names In Your Display URL
3. You May Use Trademarks If You’re a Reseller
Carefully use branded terms, as adding them to your promotional materials is illegal. Consult a legal advisor on what you can do and what to avoid in your strategy.
While it might seem like an unethical practice, brand bidding is a completely legal strategy that thousands of businesses practice. It remains a powerful way to grow your brand awareness.
It’s important to mention that as long as you’re matching the user’s search intent, you’re not doing anything that’s considered unethical.
However, there are instances when some businesses are taking unethical steps. These are the cases when brands use their competitors’ brand names in their ad copies. Additionally, others opt to promote a service or product that’s from a completely different industry.
Furthermore, keyword bidding can result in tremendously high prices that disable the business from promoting their brand to new customers. To prevent these unethical practices, businesses sometimes create agreements to prevent bidding wars with the goal of lowering CPC values.
Luckily, these practices are deemed illegal by most search engines and you can act quickly to protect your brand. Keep reading to see how to do it.
The only way to protect your brand is to own your brand name. That way, you can request other businesses to remove mentions of your brand from their ads. If they don’t comply, you can easily file a cease and desist that would prevent them from using your brand name in the future.
Also, you can file a trademark complaint with a search engine, forcing them to take action against illegal ads on their platform.
To retaliate with your competitors, use their brand names in your bidding strategies more often. That way, while they’re piggybacking off your brand’s name, you’re doing the same.
Competitor brand bidding is a good strategy for new and existing businesses that want to take a part of the market share. While there’s a grey line between whether using your competitor’s brand as a keyword is ethical or not, it certainly isn’t illegal as long as you play by the rules we’ve stated above. And of course, as long as you’re matching your user’s search intent, you’re not doing anything unethical.
Have doubts about competitors clicking your ads and wasting your ad budget? Don’t fret. Spider AF can help you eliminate competitor clicks so you can maximize your ad spend to real-converting users. Start now with our 14-day free trial!
Get a taste of our premium features for 14 days or get started right away with our Free Plan.