Direct Response or Branding Advertising – which works better

In the US, eMarketer reports that online advertisers are tending to invest more money and time in branding advertisements than those advertisers in the same industries in the UK. Why is it that US advertisers are investing more in branding campaigns and less in direct response marketing?What’s more, should US advertisers be investing more money in branding campaigns? What’s the difference between branding campaigns and direct response marketing? Are US marketers taking a stroll down the most effective advertising route or are they making a huge mistake? Let’s start at the beginning and explain the difference between branding and direct response campaigns first…

Branding Marketing

Branding Campaigns are all about getting your name out there in pink neon flashing lights for everyone important to your business to see. brands Branding Campaigns are not just about sales and therefore not just about attracting clients, but about attracting investors, partners, about showing off to your competitors that you do things better than they do (all unconsciously and without the slightest hint of pomposity, of course). When you market yourself from a branding point of view, everything you do is about making yourself as the brand in your industry to be trusted. You are the best at what you do and you can prove it too, by all the material that you distribute about yourself, and manage to get others to distribute for you too, all over the Internet. Promotional videos about your business are great branding campaign material; videos that do not have the selling of the product or service in mind, but instead want to share the knowledge your company has about the industry in which you work. Blogs are fantastic branding campaign material too, because the information that you share on your blog is useful, detailed, specialized and displays a sense of authority on the subject. This is why, when working within paid search advertising, those companies who want to market themselves from a branding perspective utilize the powers of the Google Ads Display Network. The Google Ads Display Network allows your company to appear on selected websites that relate to your industry and help to catch internet users with an interest in your business whilst they are researching something else related to your industry, for instance.

Direct Response Marketing

Direct Response Marketing is all about clicks and conversions. How many clicks do you get on your advertisements, how many people visit your site, how many people convert by signing up to your newsletter or by buying your product? Direct Response Marketing is all about the sale. If you invest in Direct Response Marketing, you are looking to see hard facts, solid data, which reveals that the work you have put into your marketing campaign has paid off because you have made a profit from your sales. If the marketing is costing you lots of money and not delivering the results that you seek, you are going to be unhappy with your marketing campaign and you are going to want to make changes to it.

Why are US Advertisers investing further in Branding Campaigns?

In general, online advertisers focus more on Direct Response Marketing than on Branding Campaigns because, when all is said and done, most people want to receive something from their marketing efforts and investments. However, there is a trend that has been developing in the US for some time now which reveals that more and more advertisers in the US are involving themselves in Branding Campaigns on a larger scale. The question is, why? The Internet and the online sale have been around a little over a decade now and the internet user is more astute than ever. He or she can easily tell the difference between the advertiser who bombards them with advertisements about the company only to secure a sale and the advertiser who is genuinely interested in providing the best service or delivering the best product. The internet user is the cog in the wheel which is driving the Branding Campaign approach to the front of the advertising train and US advertisers are beginning to pick up on the fact that it pays to offer more than just a sale online, but instead to offer an all round service with exceptional customer care.

What might be the risk of investing in Branding Campaigns?

The risk of investing more in Branding Campaigns and less in Direct Response is the loss of sales and the loss of profit. It might be that a business finds that the internet user loves the online content that it is providing for free as part of its branding development, but that he or she never really has much intention of converting or taking his or her interest in the company any further. This is why Direct Response Marketing is still the most popular form of online marketing worldwide and this is probably why things will remain this way for many years to come.

What might be the bright future of investing in Branding Campaigns?

However, the bright future of the Branding Campaign lies in a company’s ability to become so powerful as a brand that no matter what they charge or who their competition is, their products or their services remain untouchable and that business escalates out of control. A great example of this is … wait for it … Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg never had any intention of selling anything. He never had, and still doesn’t it seems, any intention of charging people to sign up to Facebook and use the site. The service is free. The brand is untouchable, so much so that other businesses all over the world now use his company as a way of promoting their own products and services. Branding was everything for Facebook and it is what keeps it ahead of the rest even as we speak. Perhaps the loss of sales from investing more time and money in a Branding Campaign for your company will be worth the results at the end of the day. If you believe that the product you have or the service you offer is truly exceptional and unique, go with a Branding Campaign and build what your company is and what it stands for – what it offers the internet user for free – instead of trying to make money or trying to increase traffic. Your passive aggressive approach to online marketing might just work. Author Bio: David Chapman is Director of Marketing at Webrageous, a pay per click management company in Reno, Nevada, and an expert in Branding Advertising via the Google AdWords Display Network.
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