Embracing Brand Marketing as an SEO tactic

Brand Marketing as an SEO tactic by Lauren Archer - Cameo Digital

As a long-standing brand marketing professional with more years in the field than I care to acknowledge, who has also had the fortune to work with some incredibly talented digital marketers throughout my career, the link between brand and SEO strategy is and has always felt obvious to me. 

As Google continues to expand its ranking criteria seemingly on an hourly basis, there are more and more brand marketing factors that form part of what can help a business perform better through Search, but not everyone is aware of the potential impact and how these channels work together. 

The idea for this post came to me as part of some planning I’m doing with Cameo Digital client, CustomerSure, at the moment.  The team behind the customer insights SaaS platform recently entrusted me with their brand strategy and day-to-day implementation, working alongside Charlotte and Caroline on all things SEO.  We’re lucky that the brilliant folk at CustomerSure can see the value of incorporating Brand into their overall digital approach, but not every business owner does…

This is surprising when you think about it because let’s face it, a strong brand is a key driver in decision-making when someone – B2B or otherwise – is looking to make a purchase, subscribe to something or enlist another party to fulfil a service.

What’s good for the business is ultimately good for the overall digital strategy. And a strong brand is definitely good for business.  Brand drives awareness. Awareness impacts Search. Search grows website traffic. Traffic directly results in revenue. Do you see how this all fits together cosily? 

In this post, I want to outline a few of the ways a robust Brand Marketing Strategy can influence and contribute to an organisation’s overall Digital Strategy, provide hints and tips where possible and illustrate the power of integrating your activity to strive toward common objectives.

Because that’s how we like to do things here at Cameo, after all. 

How Brand impacts Search

Just a few key ways that investing time and resources into Brand Marketing activity can pay dividends in terms of Search performance: 

  • Increased brand authority = improved domain authority 
  • Expertise that earns you coverage and links in desirable publications 
  • More digital engagement helps Google to understand who you are and what you do
  • Google algorithms see the chatter around your brand from things such as reviews and coverage and rank accordingly
  • It can actually help Google do a better job! Ultimately, they want to serve people with the most relevant search results and content and to do that, they’re always going to favour the sites with the most cohesive and well-rounded authority

It’s going to take time

One of the things many business owners are put off by is that branding, like SEO, in fact, isn’t a silver bullet solution. It’s not going to bring in the sales overnight and it requires effort, resources and consistency to make it work. I get that for time-poor businesses seeking a steady stream of sales, especially when they’re chasing targets, this isn’t the most enticing prospect. 

However, the brand is there to serve you in the long run and you simply cannot build a brand backwards.

Any decent brand marketing strategist will map out how brand-boosting activities fit together and will always strive to include quick wins in that, helping you see relatively swift impact wherever possible, but the overall brand effort never sleeps. There’s no end date. You keep building on it, with clear purpose and consistency, and sometimes have to keep the faith that it’s going to work for you long-term. 

Brand is everything 

It’s not just about your product or service.  

The brand work you’d ideally look to undertake will cover wider business success indicators such as your company culture, overall business growth, your leadership team, any relevant accreditations or awards, client/customer wins, your overall social media presence and authority, your CSR efforts… and the list goes on. 

After just a couple of months, we’re already seeing the fruits of this labour pay off for CustomerSure, with increased followers and engagement on social, increased impressions for important head and shoulder terms, and even brand mentions on some lovely relevant publications focusing on customer feedback software, a key search term for the brand.

Image shows performance of client after beginning Brand Marketing work as part of overall strategy - Cameo Digital

Organic impressions for target head and shoulder terms showing the impact of our ongoing brand campaign (Google Search Console).

And we’re really only just getting started. 

Consistency is key 

As briefly mentioned above, this sort of exercise is going to take time, and it’s also going to need a very focused and consistent approach. 

For me, this is the most satisfying part of working in brand marketing, because I love to see a plan devised and rolled out exactly. That goes for social media output, content marketing, outbound marketing, PR, on-site content, ongoing optimisation and paid, if applicable. 

Maintaining high standards is key and it takes these high standards to really build expertise and authority in your niche. Your brand voice needs to be established and without the expertise in house, this can be tricky, but not impossible. 

Now there’s a whole load of strategic work I could suggest to any organisation looking to do this properly, and it’s something we’ve rolled out in the past for many a client, but there are a few aspects you can look to get in place to help you build this voice and consistency: 

  • Social media schedule and guidelines 
  • Content marketing plan which – and here’s the crucial part – you actually stick to 
  • Investing even a small amount of time/money into PR
  • Identifying user personas and your customer journey 
  • Or failing all this, get in touch with us for help on all of the above!

The bottom line is that your brand and your digital presence aren’t separate entities. You’ll do a better job of both if you focus on both.

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