Case Study: TV Advertising Drives Branded Search


Large PI Firm in a Competitive Market


Measuring return on ad spend for TV campaigns can be extremely difficult. Television ads are expensive, cast a wide net, and—unlike search campaigns—can’t target viewers based on intent. Although TV can be a useful tool for raising awareness of specific mass tort campaigns, it’s at its most effective when a firm uses it to create and reiterate their story to a large audience over an extended period of time.

In order to assess the efficacy of TV advertising for clients that have been running commercials for years, we lean heavily on branded search volume. If people are searching specifically for that brand, it’s a safe assumption they heard about the firm already and have favorable opinions. This could mean any of the following:

  1. They were referred by someone
  2. They’re already working with the firm
  3. They saw (and remembered) an ad

Referrals and contacts from existing clients typically scale with the size of a firm, but for firms with an aggressive TV presence we tend to see high search volume for branded terms.

This particular firm is a great example of building brand awareness over time.

Branded Search Driven by TV Advertising

As you can see, the top 6 queries in Search Console are for brand related terms. These are driving a significant number of the firm’s total visits and a high number of impressions. In fact, the TV campaigns have been effective enough that the firm has managed to entirely forego expensive PPC campaigns for generic PI related searches.

It’s impossible to say whether this is the most efficient use of an advertising budget without weighing the cost of the campaigns over time against the other competing channels in which that budget could have been spent. However, it is clear that TV advertising drives visits and inquiries.

What does this mean for non-TV advertisers?

Even if you don’t have the type of budget necessary to advertise on traditional television, it’s possible to generate the same type of campaign through digital video advertising. Google Video (YouTube) ads as well as OTTs allow firms to target narrower groups of potential clients and tell the firm’s story in a way designed to lift branded searches over time.

Additionally, with cord-cutting continuing to rise, firms that have relied predominantly on TV advertising to drive inquiries are going to have to adapt to a changing landscape.

It takes time, strong and consistent messaging, and a moderate budget, but unlike traditional search campaigns it’s harder for competitors to replicate and the benefits tend to last beyond the campaign end date. After all, there’s no substitute for branding your firm in a way where people already know they want to work with you before they even start their search.