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Video Transcript: How to Stop Competitors Bidding on Your Brand
I’m sure we’ve all been there before where you’ve gone to Google, typed in your brand name just out of interest, and you see competitors bidding on your brand’s name in Google Ads. Now, what can you do about it? Well, in this video I’m going to teach you exactly what you can do when competitors decide to bid on your brand name. Now, there are two types of brand bidding that you’re going to learn about on this video. In addition to that, you’re going to learn about the specific steps you can take in order to stop competitors bidding on your brand. It can be quite difficult to overcome this and you might not get the results you want by the end, but in this video, I’m going to show you the best way to do it. Coming up.
Darren: Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here and my job is to make you a better marketer. If now that sounds like your streak, you should consider subscribing to my channel and don’t forget to hit the notifications as well. Now in this video, we are looking at what you can do when competitors have the audacity to bid on your brand name and what you can do to stop them from doing it in future. Well, it first makes sense to go into the first type of brand bidding that you encounter in Google Ads. The first type of brand bidding that I want to cover is where competitors are using your brand’s name in their ads directly.
When you go to Google, you type in your brand name, you see your competitors bidding on your brand. If they’re using your business name in that ad, that is the first type of brand bidding that I want to talk about first. Now, the reason I’m covering this type of brand bidding first is because it’s by far the easiest type of brand bidding to resolve because ultimately your competitor is using your brand name in their ads. Now, like any advert outlet in the world, Google Ads adhere to the same guidelines and rules of advertising. If a competitor is using your name in their ads, you should make sure first of all that your brand name is trademarked.
Now, a lot of people across the entire world watch my videos so I’m not going to go through the trademark process for every single country of people watching my videos, but what you need to do is check how to trademark your business name in your territory. When you do that, Google usually allows you to complain against the person bidding on your brand’s name and using your brand in their adverts and there’s a specific process for this as well. I’ve linked that up in the description below and using this process you could actually complain to Google, and Google will disapprove your competitors’ ads if they’re using your trademark’s brand name.
I can already hear you asking me, “Darren, what happens when a competitor is still using my brand’s name in their adverts and just keep reusing it and reusing it and reusing it?” Well, unfortunately, or some people might think fortunately, you’re going to have to get legal. You’re going to have to get solicitors involved because they are using your brand’s name without permission and that is against the rules of advertising. You need to pursue those lines of thoughts. Again, people from all over the world watch my videos, I’m not going to go into the specific processes for each country to do this, but by the time you consult the solicitor that they’ll be able to give you the advice you need in order to stop.
Now, of course, there are fees involved in doing this so if you don’t see the value in doing this at this stage because the competitor is not spending huge amounts of money, it’s not impacting your business significantly enough for you to care, then at this point you might think to yourself, “Okay, well, I’ve tried my best. I’m going to go through Google so they can disapprove their adverts.” If that’s the case, then you need to start to get legal. Now you’re well aware of the first type of competitive bidding. It’s a lot easier to solve because Google is on your side and the law is on your side.
Now, the second type, of course, as you know is coming up here is that what happens when the competitor is bidding on your brand, but they’re not using your brand name in their ads? Well, this type of brand bidding is a lot more tricky. Google have been absolutely clear on this. They don’t care if competitors bid on your brand’s name because a keyword is a keyword, is a keyword. They don’t care, their revenues go up. Competitive bidding on your brand is fine because it’s probably successful for them. In their eyes, they’ve washed their hands off it. It doesn’t matter. Anyone can bid on your brand.
What on earth are you meant to do as an advertiser to protect your brand in this scenario? Well, first of all, you should be bidding on your brand name anyway. I’ve made videos about this. If a competitor is bidding aggressively on your brand, then you need to be protecting your brand’s name anyway. I’ve linked that video up in the description below as well. You can check that out and make sure you know and when to bid on your brand name with this being a prime example. With that in mind, what do you do? Well, I think it’s time to make things awkward.
What I mean by that is, you know your competitors inside-out so what you need to do is go a bit deeper. By that, I mean find out who that contact in marketing is. Maybe the competitor is too small to have a marketing department, then find out who owns the business. Get in touch with them directly. This is going to sound really hard to do and it might sound like you’re getting to the point of sending the boys around with clubs to come and beat them to stop them from bidding on your brand’s name. We’re not doing that. All we’re doing is finding out the contact in marketing who’s looking after advertising and then hopefully go in there with the understanding of having an agreement in place.
Now a bit more on that. When you successfully find out who manages marketing in your competitors’ business when they’re bidding on your brand name, you need to send them an e-mail, whether that’s on LinkedIn, directly, whether that’s on e-mail because you’ve discovered what their e-mail address is. Maybe it’s usual channels on their website. It might be very easy to find them, but ultimately, you need to get in touch with the marketing person or the business owner depending on the size of the business. What you need to do is send an e-mail to that person directly so they understand your concerns.
Now, this might sound like it’s a bit intimidating for as an individual to write an e-mail to this effect, but I’ve linked up a template of an e-mail I’ve used successfully in the past or similar wording to what I’ve used in the past below. You can go ahead and see those templates there for you to use as well. Now, all you’re saying in this e-mail is you’ve worked in marketing in the past. You’ve come up to agreements with other businesses in different niches around people bidding on brands names and it can be quite good for you, for both sides as a business where you both happily bid on your brand names individually and you can just continue to get the maximization of your traffic via your brand without crossing over and increasing each other’s bids on your own brands name and maximizing your own brand leverage.
That might sound really utopian and sometimes it is. Ultimately, it’s down to the business as an individual, not nine times out of 10, but in some instances, I’ve seen this work where just a word in the ear of the business owner or the marketing person, they don’t want to cause any issues in the industry. I’m guessing the niche you work within is a small world. Everyone knows everyone, so you don’t want to be seen as the bad guy. Quite often what happens when you send an e-mail to this effect, then they stop bidding on your brand all of a sudden almost like magic.
In that instance, it’s done its job and the e-mail has been successful. If it still hasn’t done its job and you’re really determined to try and stop a competitor from bidding on your brand because you really don’t want them to. You’ve got to the point now where you’ve sent them an e-mail, you’ve complained to Google if they’ve used their brand name in your advertising and you’re still at a lose, there’s only one more option for you. Again, like the previous method I mentioned, it’s not guaranteed to work, but it’s worth a shot anyway. What you need to do is pick up the phone.
Yes, for the introverts out there, I’m very, very sorry, you’re going to have to pick the phone up and speak to the person in marketing or the business owner with a very polite conversation around why you think they shouldn’t bid on your brand’s name. Now, this phone call can often spook people to the point where they don’t want to bid on your brand. You’re intimidating them, of course, before you do this and make this phone call, you’ve got to be comfortable knowing what you’re going to say, you’ve got to have the right tone. If you’ve got the right phone demeanor, then you could probably do this quite easily.
If you find it very difficult to speak to people on the phone or you don’t come across well on the phone, then you might struggle doing this and it might be worth not doing it. Be confident in your skills on the phone if you’re going to have this conversation because ultimately if you get it wrong, it can come across as intimidating or crossing the lines so to speak, as opposed to just a friendly chat with a fellow business owner who works in the same niche as you. Quite often I’ve seen this work where the conversation is had and all of a sudden they stopped bidding on your brand’s name, so it’s worked a treat.
In terms of what to say in the call, I’ve also linked up to the template of the phone call of what to say on the phone below as well. You can go ahead and look at that template too. Now again, these methods aren’t guaranteed to work. I guess it’s the last step you can actually take if you want to make sure that you’ve exhausted all channels before deciding it’s time to give up and just accept your fate. When a competitor is bidding on your brand, you’ve given them a phone call and you’ve given them an e-mail, they don’t use your brand name in their advertising, then, unfortunately, you’ve hit the end of the road.
If they still bid on your brand’s name unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do, but you as a marketer, you now know you’ve exhausted all channels and all areas of what you can do to stop the competitor from bidding. Now in addition to that, there are tactics you can use to make it less profitable for the competitors that bid on your brand by increasing your own bids and making sure that you’re definitely at the very top of the page when people search for your brand, minimizing the impact of them bidding on your brand making sure they get a lot less of the share of traffic by bidding on your brand name aggressively, it’s going to help with that.
Ultimately they’re still going to be on the search results page. You might think this was a bit of an anticlimax for the video, but unfortunately, I don’t make the rules, Google does. Of course, they will take on any keyword. Why wouldn’t they? Because ultimately I’ve bid on peoples’ brand name before. It’s a great success. Why would I change doing that? Why would your competitor necessarily do that themselves as well? It’s a balancing act really. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, and that’s just all part of marketing. That’s all the advice for today around competitors bidding on your brand. If you can take all of these steps, it can definitely help you, but ultimately, it’s all down to their discretion.
Thank you guys for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you have a pesky competitor who continues to be on your brand’s name, I’d love to have a little chat with you about that down there in the comments below. More important than that, check out the other content across my channel, tons of marketing content on there for you. Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you guys on my next video.