Before internet advertising, there were newspaper, magazine, and radio ads. (btw, the printing press came about in the 1440s). Advertisements at the start of print were character and product-focused.
Fast forward 550+ years and now we have the incredible internet with all of its capabilities and features that give us near-infinite ways of targeting and getting in front of shoppers.
Google has given marketers the ability to target keywords and choose specific placements. Marketers have the option to remove or omit users who do not react or respond in certain ways, and it has gotten to a new level of control of ad placement.
Let’s take a quick step back and cover the first video ads, and keywords and then dive into why your brand is the most powerful tool and keyword you can ever have.
The first video ad
On July 1st, 1941, the first tv commercial aired. Over the next decade, advertisements became a firm part of society. Post-Cold War, viewers and listeners became more optimistic as prosperity rose. A connection between viewers and brands arose. The below ad is of Bulova, it was the first tv commercial.
Products were the centerpiece of advertising back in the 40s-60s. Over time product still matters tremendously but we have shifted to telling a brand’s story, sharing the value proposition, and telling a brands mission to consumers.
Over the last two decades, as ad placements have evolved from television and radio to nearly every digital device, brands have had to refocus and realign their strategy.
The advertisements are damned!
Ad blockers are on the rise. Users find ads annoying or interruptive, they want more privacy, and they simply want to protect themselves from risks like malware.
With the rise of ad blockers, and clamp down of targeting users with very specific ads with tracking pixels I foresee a shift. We are going back in time in ways. Brand awareness and quality advertising will matter more than ever.
People don’t want to be tracked with ads, or shown advertisements. They want privacy. This is leading to some shifts in how brands reach customers. Let’s talk more on keywords…
Are keywords still valuable in advertising?
While Google has offered some great experiences through their text ad format on desktop and mobile, users are finding new ways to connect with brands. There are countless new ways to discover new products.
Sure, you can target a keyword, run the ad, and send people to a landing page. But most consumers start as window shoppers, go through a research phase and then pick the product or service that best services them. But what is the best keyword?
$100 to who knows the best keyword of all time 😱
The best keyword of all time is your brand name. And you don’t have to pay for placement.
Sure, paid ad placements will hold a part in all marketing, but there is a major shift happening in the marketing space that many business owners are ignoring.
Listen closely. Don’t get left behind
While keywords and standard old-school text ads will keep a place in advertising, there are some affordable and sometimes free tools brands are sleeping on. All businesses should be taking advantage of these tools.
Are you lagging behind in the biggest strategy shift in marketing because you have not seen others do it? I am talking about organic social algorithms.
The rise of the organic algorithm
Consumers and centralized authorities have raised hell about pixel targeting, and the creepy following that brands do online. There were accusations of Facebook allowing racial targeting, and Facebook later removed the detailed targeting and options which gave advertisers this ability.
This leads to a new idea. Brands like Instagram and Tik Tok have done a wonderful job flipping this on its head.
They now allow for content creators and brands to get discovered by people who are not even following them. The majority of people who see your posts on Tik Tok are not following you. This creates a major opportunity for brands to connect with users without paying. But your content must be entertaining and enjoyable. One thing many small businesses fail at.
Why is this interesting?
Well before we could create creepy targeted content that was precisely made for a small segment of users. Now with organic algorithm capabilities platforms can serve up relevant content that is in the spectrum of interest to a user.
This is where brands and creatives must be very in tune with the interests and needs of their target market. Brands that connect in an authentic way and create memorable and engaging content are the winners who get shared and circulated.
Storytelling matters more than ever before
As a 10+ year digital marketer for small businesses, I can say it used to be stupidly easy to just build a great site, have good customer service, get some great reviews, place some ads, and write consistent content, create social posts and your funnel is complete. (CAVEAT: it’s not that simple, but with the right team, it honestly really is.)
Now, there are so many brands and so much content, that brands MUST find a unique way to stand out. Everyone on earth seems to be an entrepreneur, or are starting a small business. And everyone knows how to get great reviews, how to make a great site quickly, how to write content, and how to place ads.
IT’S ALL COMMODITIZED! ALL OF IT!
Your business MUST find unique ways to create original content and relatable content that resonates with users. It often doesn’t even have to sell your product. You need to sell yourself.
People are yearning for emotional connections, creating memories, laughing, and sharing experiences with their friends and closest network.
This is where truly committing to telling your brand’s story and showing personality wins.
Every day we get better at reading through the BS and knowing who is legit and who is not.
Consistency in Creating Content
This is a learning process for everyone. Copying brands, mirroring what’s hot, and not being original may work in the short term, but truly being original, being yourself, and separating yourself from others is what makes a brand stand out from the rest of the crap noise in this world.
We are taking this exact approach at Imprint. As a digital marketing agency, we are masters of Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Content Creation, Display Placements, building sales funnels, and optimizing for conversions, but the greatest effort we can put forward is telling our brand’s story, expressing the value we bring in a relatable and human way.
Your brand and the story it tells is far more compelling than a low price, free shipping, or great customer service. Your brand gives people a feeling, it reminds them of something, it is a chance to tap into the core of their needs as a human.
THIS IS WHERE BRANDS WIN
The brands that create original, quality, relatable and fun content will be the winners. People want connection, and brands that make relatable and enjoyable content will be the long-term winners.
After all, these organic feeds have ZERO cost to get placement, the only challenge is quality.
So yeah, while keywords are great, your brand is forever, and if your brand does a great job at connecting with people in a genuine way, you will find tremendous success and your brand will stay top of mind as the choice.
If you are struggling to connect with consumers and tell your story, that is where we help. Our team of world-class marketers will build your brand’s story, create content, and get placement for your brand that will separate and differentiate you from the world.
Contact us below to learn more!