Pros & Cons of Competitor Campaigns

Unless you have an incredibly niche business, chances are the products or services you offer have at least some competition out there, and many of you might be in a very competitive space. If you want to stay competitive, you need to be strategic, and Competitor campaigns are a good way to do that. 

What Is a Competitor Campaign?

A Competitor campaign involves bidding on competitor keywords for their company, brands, and product names in order to get in front of searchers who might not know your company exists. For example, if I sell make-up products, I would probably want to bid on competing make-up brand names to get a new pool of eyes on my ads and hopefully get conversions I would not have gotten otherwise.

That sounds pretty good, right? And most of the time, it is. But there are instances where this type of campaign might not be the best fit. Let’s go over the pros and cons of Competitor campaigns.

Pros of Competitor Campaigns
  • More Visibility: Your brand may see an increase in visibility. Bidding on competitor terms is going to help get eyes on your ads that otherwise would not have seen them. 
  • Relevant Terms: As long as you are targeting true competitors, the terms should be highly relevant, which means the traffic coming from them will be a highly relevant audience that you can then retarget with remarketing campaigns.
  • Highlight Your Unique Value Proposition: You will have the opportunity to sell yourself. Do you offer something that makes you unique compared to competitors? Highlight those values in your ad, and you could potentially sway people who like the sound of your offering better.
Cons of Competitor Campaigns
  • Poor Ad Strength: With Competitor campaigns, the ad strength is (likely) going to be poor. Part of ad strength is dependent on how well your keywords connect to your ads. You always want to try to get your keywords into the ads in several places. For competitor ad groups, you obviously are not going to be putting competitor names into your ads due to trademark laws, so you can’t really improve the ad strength. For this reason, the ads may not show up as much as you’d want them to.
  • Irrelevant Traffic: In some cases, you may get an influx of irrelevant traffic from people thinking you are that competitor. They realize you aren’t and then bounce from the site, or you get some unqualified leads.
  • Higher Cost-Per-Click: Bidding on competitor keywords can be more expensive because of poor quality scores and lower ad relevance. It can also encourage your competitors to bid on your brand terms as well, which could potentially raise your CPC (cost-per-click).

If you are interested in Competitor campaigns, be sure to outweigh this pros and cons list and decide what aligns best with your business. The reward of getting new eyes on your ads, which can lead to more conversions, typically outweighs the cons here. Worst case scenario – you have to pause a campaign. It never hurts to experiment and see what kind of results you might get.

Before you go, read our previous post from Alex Patt, General Phrase Match Keywords Bringing In Competitor Searches, to learn more about how match types can deliver inadvertent competitors’ terms.

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