When it comes to using SEO or marketing for brand or product promotion, we love to use the example for Burger King. When you see an advertisement from Burger King—who, by the way, is very much at the top of the food chain in advertising (pardon the pun)—where you see brand promotion and product promotion together. For example, when you see the Burger King logo, and they say “Burger King, Home of the Whopper,” they are promoting their brand. When you see them describe their fish fillet sandwich on special, they are doing a product promotion. Obviously, both are important.
Our company, Websnoogie, ran a commercial last year, and we have talked about this a few times, where we did a brand promotion and product promotion together, and it’s a cute commercial and funny. It was actually funny enough to make it over to Cheezburger with Lolcats and all that. If you have a chance, it’s on the YouTube channel for Websnoogie, or you can find it on the right side of this page. The commercial worked because we were very much defined by what we were doing and started out with brand promotion. The way it starts is a guy looks at a girl and says “Honey,” and she says “what?” and the guy says “Do you want to Websnoogie?” The purpose of that funny skit was to influence people with engaging our brand. Afterwards, the commercial immediately goes over to product promotion, describing our products and prices. There was a lot more to it than that, but this explains what the difference is between brand and product promotion is.
For the marketer or SEO, promoting brand keywords has less competition, but far less market penetration (much greater work if an unknown name). With product promotion, you have much larger market penetration because the keyword(s) are established for the product (usually), but much greater competition and thus much more work to achieve ranking. What we have found in most markets is that most people are more interested in product promotion, including a relationship of trust than in just simply marketing or SEO for brand promotion. For example, say that there was a bicycle shop called “Jiffy-Diffy.” If I were to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool, and look up the keywords “Jiffy-Diffy” (my apologies to Jiffy and Diffy if you exist), the bid for those keywords will be relatively cheap. If we instead looked up the bid for “Bicycle Shop,” those keywords would have much higher value because of the greater market penetration, and the fact that more people search for “Bicycle Shop” than “Jiffy-Diffy.”
We are using the term “marketing penetration” loosely because most SEO’s or marketers don’t have to worry about penetrating a market with keywords, but it helps us compare apples to apples in this case. When implementing your web design, the content creator focuses on product or service keywords instead of brand keywords for the reasons mentioned previously. So what we are trying to say is: in local markets, doing product promotion has delivered the greatest return on investment versus Websnoogie promoting its brand (not that it won’t be more relevant in the future). We are not talking about referrals from your current clients who have benefited from your work, but someone who has little or no interaction with your company in the past, and the easiest path to a conversion from the web, TV, radio, hardcopy publication, etc.
When it comes to brand or product promotion, it depends on your budget, because it takes a lot more for an SEO or marketer to promote a brand and penetrate a market; so it depends on your business plan where you want to go in the future.