January 23, 2019 | Sean Foo
Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it!
Bidding on competitor brands terms and even their product names can form a great strategy to reach qualified clients who are willing to pay.
While it is long known that advertising on brand term keywords generates a higher click-through-rate…
Most marketers restrict themselves to only bidding on their own brand terms. This poses two problems:
Firstly, this will cannibalize some of the organic traffic your website would have received for the search terms anyway.
Secondly, if you are relatively new, probably no one has heard about your brand. This makes it a waste of time and money in the beginning.
However, when you are bidding on competitor brands, you not only avoid wasting organic traffic but also get to piggyback on a well-known competitor and let their fame grow your brand.
Isn’t that nice!
But that’s not all.
It’s Cheaper & Less Competitive
When bidding on your competitors’ brand terms, the cost is usually lower versus search terms.
This makes this strategy particularly awesome if you are starting out or aren’t willing to outspend your competition and invest in the higher cost per acquisition (CPA).
Get Qualified & Existing Customers Who Are Willing To Pay
There might not be a better way to ensure you are speaking to a bunch of people who are buying customers.
After all, if they actively looking for your competition’s services, chances are they are very open to yours as well.
New prospects who heard of your competitor will check you out as well as they are still shopping around while existing customers will be curious and click on your ads to see if there is a better deal around.
While this strategy absolutely works, you have to make sure you are choosing the right competitors to bid on and that it fits your business.
Hint: This works much better for services than physical products.
How To Use The Right Ad Copy To Get Those Clicks
When you are writing copy especially for Ads on both Facebook and Adwords, the difficulty suddenly rises.
You have a limited space and word limit.
In fact for Google Adwords, you are just playing with:
25 characters for the Ad titles
Two description lines limited to 35 characters each
While it might be tempting for you to jump into cramming as many benefits and features into your ad copy, don’t!
But first, let’s get you into the proper copywriting mindset first.
You need the know why people are searching for your competitor’s brand.
The 2 Types People Searching For Your Competitor’s Brand You Must Know
Let’s say your competitor is SuperCleaningServices.
The first type of people are the ones who search for [Competitor’s Brand Name].
These people typing into Google: ‘SuperCleaningServices’ have either:
A. Heard of your competitor’s brand name somewhere and it’s probably good reviews that have led them there.
B. Or are current users of your competitor’s services and use that search term to login into the system.
The second type of prospect are the ones who search for [Competitor’s Brand Name’s Competitors].
They are the ones that type into Google: ‘SuperCleaningServices Competitors’.
These customers are the ones that are either unsatisfied with your competitors and looking to make a switch or…
Customers who are curious about whether they are about to select the best option.
What does that mean for you?
You need to interrupt their chain of thought with an Ad copy that gives them a clear reason why to click on your link instead.
The Best Ad Copy Strategy:
Tell Them Outright You Are The Better Option
Yes, I’m not joking.
We all know that is the intention behind the Ad and it is much better to be upfront about it than to hide behind a standard advertisement.
Let’s take a look at some awesome examples of how companies are aggressively using this strategy to great effect.
Let’s start things off with the battle between the project management apps, we have Taskworld the newcomer on one end and Trello the established brand on the other corner.
Doing a quick search on the brand term ‘Trello’ you get to see immediately the strategy Taskworld uses to grab Trello’s traffic and hopefully customers.
Taskworld immediately speaks to the current customers of Trello by immediately telling them ‘Taskworld is Better”.
Now the first thing the reader will think is ‘Why?’.
They key is to answer this question properly, and Taskworld does this beautifully.
Piggy Back On Your Competitor’s Winning Feature & Enhance it With Your Own Awesome Features
One big question that lingers in your target customer’s mind is:
‘Will I lose the benefits of my current provider if I switch?’
Taskworld answers this in perfect fashion with it’s following description line.
‘Keep the simplicity of Trello, improve its functionalities and you get Taskworld’.
While it is important to list down other benefits like customer support, it is this sentence that jumps out at Trello’s current customers and gets their clicks.
Yesware and Woodpecker are email marketing services that automate email outreaches.
Now, this is a great example to showcase why to be outright about letting the reader know you are better than Yesware.
It should be pretty obvious which is the likelier competitor of Yesware you will visit.
Woodpecker immediately tells prospects that they are better than the option they were originally shopping for.
They follow it up with a kick-ass benefit, getting reply rates up to 34% (which is quite insanely high, that alone will get people to click to check if it is even possible).
This brings us to…
Showcase Your Best Benefit Or Result That Your Prospects Can Enjoy If They Switch To You.
To be realistic, sometimes you might not have a solution that has the same benefits as your competitor.
Your best bet is to showcase a quantifiable result that will make your customer raise an eyebrow.
They will click on your Ad and then you can begin to close them on the subsequent page.
SendInblue uses a unique approach to fight against their bigger competitor 10 years their senior (no easy feat, half the world has heard of MailChimp but probably not SendInBlue).
Because MailChimp is a highly established and popular brand, they have amassed a huge amount of users that leads to higher perceived credibility.
In order to combat this and still be seen as a viable competitive option, SendInBlue uses the power of Social Proof.
Use Impressive Social Proof To Build Up Credibility To Match Your Competitor
Firstly it is important to acknowledge your competitor probably has better credibility than your brand (at least currently).
That is why you are bidding on their brand terms!
Now that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
SendInBlue cleverly matches MailChimp’s millions of users by adding a social proof directly in the Ad Copy: A 4.5 Star Ratings.
This brings attention to the quality of the solution and very well can attract curious prospects to click and discover more.
While there are various types of social proof out there in the marketing world only a few make sense in the Ad Copy to really capture attention.
If you are battling against a bigger brand (which you probably are), using the number of customers or users will be counter-productive.
Don’t waste precious space that way!
The best way to use social proof is to fight by the quality of your customer experience, like how SendInBlue does it…
Or to focus on a well-known customer you have that your competitor doesn’t and zoom into that.
Perhaps you have got a big brand name like Apple using your service or a celebrity like Brad Pitt using your product and your competitor doesn’t.
Use that as social proof!
Now while the Ad Copy is important to get clicks, what happens after that?
How do you craft a high converting landing page to convert that captured traffic?
Well, you are in for a treat!
Of all the landing pages I have explored of companies using this strategy, perhaps only Tresorit has done it outstandingly well.
What Your Landing Page Must Have To Capture Your Competitor’s Existing Customers
Capturing clicks is one thing, but the real challenge lies in converting them.
If done well, you might only get a hot lead, but a direct paying customer.
This is where strategic copywriting comes into play.
It is not enough to just casually list down benefits and features as though it is just another landing page or worse still, use your existing homepage.
If you plan to maximize your conversions and make your campaign a success, your landing page needs to showcase the following 3 things.
One: State Your Competitor’s Big Problem That You Solve
Now there is a temptation to just dive straight into your strongest feature or benefit, but that might not be the best way to proceed.
Your prospect clicked on your ad for a reason, he is wondering if his current provider has any flaws or shortcomings.
Why not present it front and center for him?
The first thing you see when you click on Tresorit’s landing page is a re-emphasis of the reason why you clicked in the first place.
The copy is also very compelling ‘Dropbox has taken control from you’.
It does not just capture attention, it sends an alarm to the reader to read more and find out what is going on!
Now that your audience is captivated and eager to learn more about what makes your solution better…
This is where you dive straight into a comparison, point by point, why your product is better.
Two: Showcase A Comparison Of Your Product’s Features Vs Your Competitors
An important part to really convince your prospects to consider or switch to your service is to go through point by point what you can do better than your competitor.
A chart is fantastic (especially if you are selling a software service), to clearly showcase your capabilities and to also highlight your competitor’s flaws.
Tresorit does it well by putting front and center what they have that Dropbox doesn’t.
This is where to let those new exclusive features of yours shine!
If you have any additional features that require extra attention and longer copy to really highlight the difference, don’t be afraid to create another section to bring your prospect’s attention to it.
Three: Include In Testimonials Of Customers Switching To Your Brand!
Testimonials are perhaps the strongest form of social proof to show prospects that you have a strong product that delivers results.
But not all testimonials are cut from the same cloth. Not all testimonials help serve the same purpose.
Getting great testimonials is one thing, choosing the right type of testimonials is another.
While your standard testimonials talk about the problems before your solutions and the results after…
The kind of testimonial you need has to highlight two things.
1. The customer switching from your competitor brand to yours
2. A reason why they did a switch
Tresorit does this spectacularly with a dedicated testimonial section titled ‘Join Those Who Already Dropped Dropbox’.
A five star ending to an awesomely well-crafted landing page.
While bidding on your customer’s search terms is traditionally a safe and sound strategy, you shouldn’t ignore the power and potential of bidding on competitor brands.
The key is to ensure an attractive and compelling Ad copy coupled with a landing page that convinces your reader to jump ship to the better option: Yours.
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