AdWords and Brand StrategyGoogle AdWords is not only a lead generation tool; it can also help you to expand brand awareness and encourage interaction with your brand as a part of your overall brand strategy.

Businesses often use Google AdWords’ Brand Awareness campaigns to build brand awareness and positive associations with a business, its products and services.  When people are encouraged to interact with a brand in a constructive way, they tend to associate more positively with that brand in the future.  These interactions can include playing games associated with the brand, watching entertaining videos on YouTube or Facebook, spending time on an interesting website, or engaging in discussions with customers of the brand.

In this blog post we will look at the following:

How to use Google AdWords to encourage brand engagement

Using Placement Targeting

Different Ad Formats for Brand Engagement

The Ideal Bid Strategy for Brand Awareness Campaigns

Using YouTube for Brand Awareness

How can Google AdWords encourage brand engagement?

The ideal platform in Google AdWords for brand building is the Google Display Network.  The Display Network allows you to run graphical and often interactive ads (as opposed to the text ads used in the Search Network) that are shown on thousands of other websites and Google Display Network partners.  These ads increase interactions with your brand, builds more positive brand associations, increase brand loyalty by engaging with your target audience, and motivate potential customers to engage with your brand and products or services.

A good example of positive brand engagement is Burger King’s “Defend the King” mobile game.  Running Google Display Ads inviting people to download the game leads to more people engaging in a positive way with the brand, seeing the brand more often, which in the long run leads to more potential customers.

Using Placement Targeting

Placement Targeting allows you to choose which specific sites, or types of websites, your ads will display on, as long as it fits Google and the partner site’s criteria.

With Google Display Ads, using placement targeting, you can specify that your ads should display on a specific website that your target market visits.  Of course, the target site has to be a Google Display Partner in order for them to display these ads.  The owner of the website can also choose not to display your ads if they are in competition with their own products or services.

You can also set placement targeting to have your ads display on sites that are similar to specific sites, or that deal with specific topics and content based on keywords.  This allows you to easily reach your target market.

Different Ad Formats

Display Ads can be as simple as a static banner image that encourages people to go to your website or take some specific action.  However, since the goal of a brand awareness campaign is for people to engage with your brand, often something more interactive is desirable.  For this reason, Google encourages advertisers to use rich-media ad formats such as HTML animations or videos.  HTML animations, for example, can allow people to do something interactive within the ad itself without going to your website, provided it’s within Google’s guidelines.

Ideal Bid Strategy for Brand Awareness Campaigns

For lead generation, the default bid strategy is usually the CPC or cost-per-click model.  This means that you pay a specific price for every click that your ad gets, taking people through to your website, landing page or app.  For brand awareness there is a more effective model, called CPM, or cost-per-thousand-impressions.  This bid strategy means that you pay a specific price for every thousand displays of your ads.  With CPM you reach more people, have the opportunity to engage them with your brand, and at least raise awareness of your brand through properly designed ads, while still allowing them to go to your website if they wish to.

Using YouTube for Brand Awareness

Creating an interesting or entertaining video and uploading it to YouTube could be a very effective marketing and brand building strategy.  Some entertaining videos go viral and are shared organically by thousands of people, raising awareness of the brand without costing the advertiser additional money.  A good example of this is Buffelsfontein Baard Olie.  They have produced entertaining videos with a catchy slogan ensuring that their brand is well-known all over South Africa, even with people who don’t have beards, all without paying a cent to Google for running their ads.

But if your videos are off to a slow start and don’t go viral as you hoped they would, you can always use the Google Display Network to run your videos as ads in YouTube.  There are various kinds of YouTube ads, each with different strategies and costs, but they all encourage people to see your video, raising awareness of your brand and potentially leading to positive engagement.


Any business desiring to become a well-known and respected brand should develop a strong brand strategy.  Google AdWords, and especially the Display Network, could play a very big part in building your brand.  If you require assistance or advice using Google’s advertising platform, see Hosting101’s AdWords Management Service.


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