Late last week I read this article about rebranding your company and things you should take into account while doing so. The article was solid and toward the end they had a short blurb about using AdWords to give a little boost during your rebrand. I want to expand on the idea of using PPC during a rebrand and give some specific strategies on how to make that work. Below are just a handful of ideas of ways to use PPC to pick up the slack of your SEO efforts during a rebrand.
Bid on Your New Brand Terms
Yes, this one is a bit of a no brainer. Get in early with your new brand terms if for no other reason than to keep your competitors out. Use a landing page here that mostly highlights the new name, but also mentions the old in case there’s still recognition there. Be sure you call out what carry overs from the old brand are still going to be present with the new one.
Retain Your Old Brand Keywords
Just because you’re aware you’ve changed your brand doesn’t mean all of your potential customers are. Don’t stop bidding on your old brand name. Hold your ground here and use these impressions to help get the word out that you’re making some changes. A simple ad copy claiming “Brand X is now Brand Y. See What We’re Changing!” can be a very smooth and powerful way to get customers to know who you’re transitioning into.
With these types of ads, I like sending people to a page that introduces the new brand before getting right to the sales lingo. Give some introductory info about why your brand is changing, what’s new and what’s staying the same, then dive into more details about the product/service itself. Without that ease into the new brand, consumers can be stuck not understanding if you’re the same company or if your products are even the same. Buyers don’t assume something is going to be better because it’s new.
They’ve been tricked by that before. Give them a reason to love your new name and/or look.
Personally, I like to treat non-brand search as if your new brand has been there the whole time. Like ripping off a band aid. Make the shift from old brand to new one as soon as the new one is fully formed on site (meaning your whole site including landing pages have been switched over). Since these users aren’t searching for a specific brand, they most likely won’t realize your old name has been replaced with the new one. Best to simply put your new foot forward and start getting folks acquainted with your new brand as soon as possible.
During a rebrand, you’re never going to catch all of your customers during the search phase. Some may have already been to your site once before, or they may even already be a customer. For these folks, remarketing can be a great way to introduce them to your new brand. Whether image or text ads, you can easily craft your messaging to introduce folks to the new brand and get them comfortable with it before they seek you out.
But don’t stop with just the regular retargeting pixels in AdWords or Bing Ads. Using custom audiences in Facebook and Twitter are great ways to find your customers or potential customers in your lead funnel before they find (or should I say can’t find) you. The good news here, these folks already know and love you enough to have given you their email address. Most likely you don’t need a major CTA here if your ad copy is written well. If you can craft your messaging to make the clear point that your brand name has changed, you might not even need them to click, making your point without costing you a cent. But that might just be wishful thinking. It’s still a good idea to send them to a page explaining your transition, similar to the pages described above.
Don’t see your favorite strategy here? Share with us in the comments!