4 Creative Ways to Successfully Manage Multiple Brands in Ad Auctions
Written by Lara Lowery, Account Manager
It’s hard to compete against yourself. When your account has multiple brands in the same auction with similar goals, budgets, targets, and audiences, you want them all to succeed and earn the top spot, but how do you do that? How can you manipulate the auction to help each of your brands WITHOUT being your own worst enemy?
Here’s a few creative ways that I’ve discovered while working in an account that manages multiple competing brands.
Priority Geo Markets
I worked in an account that had 6 of their brands all targeted in Michigan. A few of the brands were statewide, where others were just targeting a selection of counties within Michigan. There was a lot of overlap. At the start of our runtime, we only had 1-3 brands running in Michigan, but as peak season hit, we continued to grow our brands within the state of Michigan, leaving us with 6 by the end.
We had to figure out something to get leads in for all brands, rather than just the few that had higher budgets. For the brands that had overlapping counties or were targeting statewide, we asked the client to send us a list of priority markets. This was a list of all the counties within Michigan, each school that was targeting each county, and priority number. So, for each brand, the client told us which Michigan county that brand would have priority (i.e. in Alpena, Brand 3 had highest priority, Brand 1 had second priority, and Brand 2 had third priority).
From here, we created a formula that told us how much to increase our bids by in each county. This would mean that all our ads for each brand would show up in the county, but depending on the cost per click, the position would go to the brand with the highest priority, the second highest priority, etc.
In Alpena county (where the arrow is pointing in the screenshot), for Brand 3 we raised our bids the highest of 20%, Brand 1 by 10%, and Brand 2 by nothing.
Geo Bids Based on Performance
In addition to modifying bids based on the priority markets within a state, we asked the client to look at which counties/geos had the most leads/conversions come through. From there, we took those top counties and raised our bids up in those counties, knowing that they convert well.
Ad Copy Differentiators
An easy way to make your brands stand out from one another is to write your ad copy specific to each brand. In the particular account I keep referencing, there weren’t too many differentiators between brand, other than geos. We pointed out different things about each brand to make them stand apart, whether it was the age of the person the brand was targeting, an aspect of the brand we thought a certain type of person would be interested in, or the costs of the brands.
A more time-consuming optimization we applied, though worth the extra work, was ad scheduling. We created a heat map (see below) showing the times of high traffic. From there, we created an ad schedule raising bids at high traffic times and lowering bids at low traffic times. This optimized what traffic we were getting for all the brands.
It’s Not Easy, But Definitely Doable
It is not easy to manage multiple brands within an account. It is important to consider all types of optimizations and use ones that will benefit your account the most. Keep in mind that layering on multiple layers of pulled levers can really make an impact on your account. With the multiple levers we pulled in this account, we saw traffic increase MoM, leads increase MoM, and we pushed spend to meet our spend goals. It is a delicate balance, but using a combination of multiple optimizations can help you manage multiple brands within the paid search auction and ultimately, get the return you’re looking for.