Brand Bidding & PPC Optimization: Partner Relationships (Part 4 of 8)
In this installment of her multi-part series on brand bidding, columnist Lori Weiman discusses how to use strategic partnerships to increase paid search performance.
Welcome to Part 4 of my series on PPC brand bidding. This article covers working with partners and affiliates to corner the search engine results page (SERP) and control CPC costs.
I created this series using data from The Search Monitor (Disclosure: my employer) to help answer the biggest question facing PPC advertisers in 2016: How do I get meaningful growth numbers out of a crowded and competitive PPC market?
Let’s get you all caught up. In Part 1, we reviewed how gains in PPC evolved over the years and why top-line revenue is so hard to come by today. Part 2 used data and case studies to explain just how valuable brand bidding has become to marketers. Part 3 discussed best practices for brand bidding implementation.
If you have stuck with me this far, you now know why brand bidding is such a huge asset to your PPC arsenal and how to implement it into your PPC life.
Today, we are going to dig a bit deeper into a tactic that will help you better control the search engine results and your CPC prices by coordinating your brand bidding with partners and affiliates.
Who are your partners?
- Affiliates. Affiliates are partners who send visitors to the brand holder’s website through a referral link. Online retailers commonly work with partners in this way through affiliate networks such as Linkshare Rakuten or Commission Junction. Examples include coupon code websites, bloggers or review sites.
- Resellers. Resellers is just a fancy name for affiliates who refer leads instead of direct purchases. The leads captured by the reseller are sent to the brand holder for conversion. We often see resellers operating in finance, insurance and telecom. An interesting nuance to this type of relationship is that the reseller will usually have authorization to use the brand in its URL, for example: “www.verizonfiosbundles.com” or “www.buyverizon.com.”
- Partners. Travel services (such as hotels) work through online travel agencies like Priceline or Expedia.
- Franchisees or Dealers. A franchisee (or dealer) relationship is a brick-and-mortar concept commonly found in automotive or education, where there is a physical, in-market store. In these arrangements, the dealer has certain marketing rights restricted to a geographic boundary.
- Online Retailers. We don’t usually think of retailers as “partners” or “affiliates,” but in fact they are if the brand holder is a manufacturer. Manufacturers sell through retailers and can benefit from the page ownership strategies discussed here.