If you're marketing in a highly competitive keyword space or are providing products and services that have little or no name recognition, you should consider creating branded keywords and using buzz to drive search demand for them.

Creating branded keywords is no different from creating a need for your product, except you're packing the punch of your business offering into an easy-to-remember phrase. The real benefit lies in developing a new channel of revenue based on a need that only your company can fulfill.

To take advantage of this channel, you have to convert the search marketing pull into search marketing push by devoting some of your SEM strategy to branded keywords.

And, obviously, resources should be devoted to promotion and search demand of these keywords to create buzz.

You should consider this tactic if your company...

  • Has no true competitors. If I don't know to look for you, why would I?

  • Is in an industry saturated with competitors, and SEO planning is starting. Web sites that specialize in travel, mortgages, or consumer electronics should take particular note of this tactic.

  • Reasonably estimates that it's going to be a while before your Web site cracks Google's top 10 for highly competitive terms such as "digital camera" and/or your marketing plan requires a high ROAS on a PPC campaign. A newly branded term would have no competition, but it could quickly have search demand if promoted properly.

  • Sells unique, valuable, beautiful, one-of-a-kind products... that you and five other people have heard of. Prospects will fail convert to your call to action because wither they are unaware that they have a problem that you can solve or they are not bothered enough by this problem to move the mouse.

Drive Traffic on Your Own Terms... Literally

Actually creating new keyword terms can be a daunting task. Stick to the fundamentals, and ask yourself some tough questions about your business. Let's use a mock electronics etailer as an example. We'll call it Digital Confidence.

  • Where can Digital Confidence help its customers better than any other vendor?

    • The site offers video demos of its digital video cameras in action.
    • Technical phone support is available to help customers load the related camera software onto their computers.

  • Is there a competitor that also does this, and Digital Confidenceis  the leader for this tactic, OR is Digital Confidence the only one using this tactic?

    • No other companies show online video demos of their cameras in action.
    • Other companies are willing to briefly talk with customers about their products, but no one is willing to go to the same level to ensure that customers enjoy their purchase long-term.

  • Why does the prospective customer need to know this?

    • The online demos are important because the quality of the customers' video is largely dependent on how comfortable they are operating their camera. A better choice means better videos, and better videos means a more positive feeling about the product and the vendor.
    • The 800 number for technical support is crucial because the software can be confusing to use. Since customers are usually eager to start using the camera, the additional assistance is a great way to keep them excited about their purchase.

  • If the potential customer receives this message and converts on the Digital Confidence Web site, what value will they see?

    • Customers will be able to get the right product that meets their needs because they will have seen it in action. The video camera will feel less foreign to them and they will understand the special features.
    • Customers will get the most out of their video camera because an expert is on the phone ready to help them get started quickly.

Based on the answers to these questions, one primary unique value proposition of this vendor is its ability to ensure satisfaction throughout the sales process (and then after the sale) through ongoing product education. Therefore, we will need a branded keyword that portrays the customer's getting the best digital video camera for their specific needs, as well as the education to get started taking great video.

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Jeremy Swiller manages the eCommerce Client Services group of MarketSmart Interactive, a leading interactive marketing company.