Why Brand Beats Search - Every Time

· Digital Marketing

The other day I was browsing LinkedIn and came across an interesting post in my feed. I've added a screenshot below of the content:

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I largely agree with this assessment.

There's another consideration (beyond the "how your customers buy") aspect - and that is risk.
Search, both paid and organic, carries an element of risk that is often overlooked.

For example, you might have a successful Google Ads campaign targeting "generic" solution seeking keywords, and then Google decides to ban you from advertising for some perceived issue.

I saw this happen to a business recently, where Google blocked them from advertising after an issue with their payment method, right at the most crucial time of the year for their business. This had a big impact.

This is before considering other issues such as typically inflating-over-time click costs that can be problematic if you are dependent on search advertising.

Organic search is an even bigger risk, because Google can chop and change its algorithm at any time with no notice, and with no "loyalty" to you. Just ask all those digital publishers reeling from recent Google algorithm updates that have decimated search visibility, rankings and traffic (it even happened to me with a side hustle business I had operated for a while).

Your website is completely replaceable in organic search (unless you're running Reddit or Quora it seems).

But if you can work towards a scenario where an increasing number of prospective customers search for you "by name" (e.g. basic example of Googling 'Xero' as opposed to 'accounting software for small businesses') this massively de-risks search from the perspective of what happens to your business if you suddenly can't advertise on Google Search, or if the numbers stop stacking up, or if an algorithm update wipes you off the first page of Google.

So not only is there an inherent element of the brand building approach being better - at least in the longer term - you'll also reduce risk.

I would encourage any B2B organisation to focus on developing brand awareness, engagement and "mind share" in the market over a tactical focus on doing well with non-branded paid search and/or organic. Doesn't mean you can't do both, but there are huge advatanges to the former both in terms of performance potential and risk mitigation.