As already seen with recipe terms, leader and innovator brands effectively drive users to sites from search by capitalizing on other nonbranded search niches, like tourism or gifting. Narrowing in on specific and relevant category-wide opportunities allows brands to find atypical audiences and differentiate themselves.
Half of the top 100 paid keywords driving to the sites of Gifted and Genius brands are nonbranded terms according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. Leader brands in highly competitive product categories, like vodka, lead investment in nonbranded keywords at an average of 67%, with just 6% of incoming traffic to Grey Goose’s site coming from paid branded keywords. Instead, the brand’s paid search strategy focuses on investment in vodka flavor terms like “vanilla vodka” and education terms like “best vodka.” Evan Williams takes a localized approach to drive traffic back to its site. 36% of its top paid keywords are related to Louisville, Kentucky, where its distillery is located. These Google text ads drive to the brand’s “Visit Us” page, which now benefits from the fifth-highest share of incoming site traffic.
Leader Johnnie Walker invests to show up against gifting keywords, with 10% of its top paid keywords related to holidays and other gifting occasions. This strategy proves successful, as the high-volume search term “gifts for dad” alone drove 12% of incoming site traffic around Father’s Day in June 2019. Closing the loop across channels, the brand matches search strategies in gifting with accompanying site investments. The brand has built out a gifting section on its site that is linked in primary navigation and organized by occasion, helping to swiftly guide customers to their sought-after content.
Gifting represents a key opportunity for spirits brands to integrate their products into annual events and help maintain inbound traffic during off-peak times, which is significant given the cyclical nature of spirits consumption. Brands should consider investment in gifting keywords or other relevant nonbranded niches to buck seasonal trends and capitalize on opportunities in the off-season to maintain brand awareness year-round.