A recent study conducted by Google, in partnership with Ipsos MediaCT, to measure the impact of search ads on brand awareness, revealed branding-focused ads increase awareness by an average of 6.6 percentage points. The study shows search positively affects top-of-mind awareness and unaided brand awareness, even when the consumer does not click on the ad.
Google ran 61 studies,on 800 U.S consumers, across one of the 12 verticals which included apparels & durables, B2B, tech & travel, etc. The participants were asked to search the web for keywords like “hiking boots” or “small cars.” Some of them were served a Test SERP and others a Control SERP. The test group’s SERP included the test brand in the top search ad position, while the Control group’s SERP did not feature an ad from the brand.
Search Ads Increase Brand Awareness:
Results revealed search ads positively affect brand awareness. On being asked about the first brand that came to their mind regarding a specific category, nearly 14.8% respondents in the Test group chose the brand that appeared on the top of the search results page compared to only 8.2% in the Control group. This gives a difference of 6.6 percentage in both the groups and implies 80% increase in top-of-mind awareness. For verticals like auto and B2B, the average top-of-mind awareness elevation was 9 %, 8% for CPG and 6% for retail.
Search ads also increase unaided brand awareness. When asked to name up to four more brands related to the specific category keyword, total unaided awareness among all brands named was 26.7% in the Test group and just 17.5% in the Control group, displaying an average increase of 9.2 %.
Search Ads Lead to Brand Opportunities
The increase in brand awareness shows search advertising is an opportunity for a brand message to reach a target audience and positively influence its market perception. Unlike the traditional channels like TV and print for brand marketing, search advertising is a powerful, cost-effective method to drive brand metrics and get access to an interested audience at the right moment. Marketers are increasingly using search advertising to showcase their brands to consumers because it drives awareness, consideration and conversions.
In order to reach the interested audience at the moments that matter, marketers should:
- Buy category keywords along with the brand terms.
- Use top ad slot and image search formats.
- Use search advertising beyond driving cost-efficient conversions.