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21 October 2019 / Opinion

How important is it to be a recognised brand when it comes to online success?

Felicity Griffiths / Head of Marketing

We’re delving into the question: how important it is for digital marketing success to be a recognised brand?

Over recent years, we’ve spoken a lot about the influence of brand on search results, and the value Google places on brand as a ranking factor. Ultimately, this always comes back to wanting to provide the best user experience.


Google is trying to show the user what they want and expect to see - so they need to be able to determine which brands are known for that search to be able to show them.

Check out our article and video here for more on what Google could potentially be looking at to measure the value of a brand.

Our experts have been taking a closer look at the importance of being a recognised brand and the tactics you can start to implement now to build your brand.

“Reviews can help you build trust.”

- Lorna Fraser, Senior UX and CRO Analyst

If you want to become a recognised brand, it’s essential to build a brand that users can trust. One of the key ways you can do this is through third-party review platforms as these create social proof which is a huge deciding factor for users when shopping.

Sites such as Trustpilot, Reevoo and Google reviews are perfect for this. However, for it to be as effective as possible, it’s important to make sure customers are incentivised to leave positive reviews. This might involve sending emails to those who have made a purchase, entering them into a competition or offering discounts on their next purchases.

Once you have these reviews, always ensure that they’re utilised on your website by displaying the review site’s logos and scores on your homepage. Also ensure there are readable reviews on key website pages, such as popular landing pages and areas where users may start to question whether or not they have enough trust signals on the website to make their purchase, such as the basket page.

We tested this on the basket page for our client Furniture Choice and found that placing Trustpilot reviews on the basket page generated a 22% increase in conversion rate.

Always read and analyse the feedback provided by customers to constantly improve user experience. Negative reviews can be extremely valuable for highlighting areas for improvement, and positive reviews can be a good way to highlight elements that are working well for users and could be talked about more or be included more on the website.

In addition, ensure all reviews are responded to as this proves to customers that you’re making time for them. Negative reviews should be rectified and can even be used to be turned into positives (for example, offering goodwill gestures when things haven’t worked out the way they were supposed to).

Never ignore positive reviews either, simply saying thank you is a nice touch and a great way to build your brand.

“Let customers get to know you better through video.”

- Dave Ellis, Creative Director

Consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day, and with such a vast amount of choice, they want to buy from brands they trust. Trust has become a critical element in every consumer purchasing decision and should now play a critical part in any marketing strategy.

Video has become one of the most popular ways to create meaningful interactions with prospects at every stage of the buying funnel and to build trust along the way. Customers want to get to know a brand before purchasing because it helps them to feel connected to them.

For consumers who are short on time and bombarded with information throughout the day, wherever they go, video provides an easy to digest, quick and easy way to process information.

However, before you create videos for your brand, it’s important to think about your target audience and their pain points to make your videos as effective and engaging as possible. And, most importantly, helping to build trust with your customers.

Here are just a few of the video formats that are most effective for building brand trust:

Explainer videos

Explainer videos are exactly how they sound. They explain your brand, product or service in a simple and engaging manner. These videos can be used across the marketing funnel and serve a number of purposes.

Using these videos shows that you have taken the time to research, understand and explain how you can solve your customer’s pain points, helping to maintain trust and boost conversions.

Testimonial videos

When it comes to building brand trust, testimonial videos are one of the most effective tools to have in your arsenal.

Showing how your existing customers have benefitted from your product helps to encourage customers to take action and make a purchase. Consumers will always trust their peers’ opinions over any marketing communications you send out.

Company story videos

With so many competing brands out there, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself from the competition. This is where a company story video can help you to create a personable approach, showcase your brand values and build trust.

Every brand has a story behind it and, when looking into a brand to buy from, it’s something that customers want to know and learn more about. No other video format is as effective as this for letting customers know what your brand stands for.

Creating the right types of video content is great for building brand trust and making sure you’re recognised for what you do and who you are.

“Brands are the results expected from Google’s audience.”

- Meghan Burton, Director of SEO

Brands are important within organic search. Google wants to serve results that searchers want to see and, often, people want to see brands. This means it’s very unusual for brands not to perform well in search. Brands tend to be searched for more, clicked on more and are the results expected from Google’s audience.

A presence in the top results in organic search can help to build a brand, too, through exposure to a broader audience. This is through not only “10 blue links” but by owning more of the SERP space through local information, knowledge graph panels, People Also Ask boxes, video and featured snippets alongside the natural brand building that comes with a successful earned media and digital PR strategy.

The more often a brand appears in front of users in the places they like to visit and for the queries that solve their problems, the more it can grow.

If you’ve got a strategy in place to increase awareness of your brand amongst your target audience, one of the ways you can start to measure the success of this is through people searching for your brand. Even better is an increase in people searching for your brand + the product you want to rank for, as this makes a clear association between your brand and key terms.

There’s no easy or short-term fix to increase the presence of your brand, but if you have a strategy to help your brand be memorable and stand out, as well as offer the best user experience you can, you’re heading in the right direction.

“Try a few tactics within your PPC campaigns to provoke brand recall.”

- Sean Healy, PPC Strategy Manager

In a crowded SERP landscape, brand recognition within the paid search landscape will help give you the competitive advantage needed to help win clicks over your competitors within the ad auction. After all, brands which are already known to the searcher are far more likely to drive a stronger CTR%, even if advert positions may be lower.

Without the visual stimuli of image/video-based marketing to help trigger brand recall, PPC advertising is not always the easiest channel to build brand recall. However, this does not mean that this cannot be achieved. We recommend experimenting with a few example tactics to try and provoke this:

Be consistent with key marketing messages across advertising campaigns

Ensure your ad copy is consistent with key messaging within other channels and advertising to provoke a higher ad recall. Our research has demonstrated that when key straplines and USP’s are consistent with other marketing channels and above-the-line advertising; this provokes stronger CTR’s and overall brand recognition.

Make use of visual search campaign types

The Google SERP has traditionally been very text heavy, making it more of a challenging place for brand creativity. However, recent product launches such as Gallery Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads have provided brands with the opportunity to incorporate image-based branding into their PPC ads. Use these visual ad formats to tactically provide brand recall.

Aside from provoking brand recall, use PPC to expand your reach. Test more generic keyword to help drive new customers and ensure you are gathering users driven through these campaigns into RLSA audience lists. These audiences can then be tactically used for remarketing purposes across display networks to help drive further brand awareness.

Ensure you’re using appropriate KPI’s and attribution models to measure brand recognition and growth

We advise moving away from dated last-click wins models which do not place any value on awareness driving upper-funnel ad clicks which help drive brand growth. Instead, use a data-driven approach to attribution, which fairly attributes credit across the journey.

For branding campaigns, rather than placing all value on revenue and ROAS, it’s important to also look for softer engagement metrics such as CTR%, Bounce-Rate and Time on Site for clearer indication of how your campaigns have performed.

“Reach your audience with creative that suits their needs, not yours.”

- Emma Ashby, Head of Programmatic & Paid Social

It is so important to not just be a recognised brand, but trusted too. Audiences are far more likely to engage with media from brands they are familiar with whether this is a click, a site visit, a like, a share, or even just through conversions.

Brands are often far too quick to communicate with their audience with ‘buy now’ or sale-based messages. But the truth is, people respond far better to media that is targeted to their own needs, so it’s crucial to reach your audience with engaging, personalised creative that suits their needs, not yours.

Key tactics to help build your brand online include:

A full funnel approach

Not everyone is ready to buy! Brands need to speak to their customers based on where they are in the journey not based on what they want. Brands should be looking to build long-term relationships with all their customers, not just a quick sale.

Be visible and brand safe

A brand’s creative message is more important than ever. In order to stand out and, most importantly, resonate with your audience, you have to be creative with your message, your format and your placement. This means visible placements using personalised creative in premium brand safe environments.

Campaign integration

Brands should be looking to build long-term relationships with their audience and not always looking for a quick sale. This means integrating your campaigns to build frequency across channels, devices and creatives to ensure you become recognised and, more importantly, trusted.

For any more advice or support strengthening your brand and building awareness, get in touch with our team.