Protecting your brand is important especially in the world of affiliate marketing.
Ensuring that people aren’t using your trademark against your wishes or without your knowledge allows you to have control. Many people wonder how they can experience growth through their affiliate program and beyond getting more affiliates doing the same things and investing in optimisation, a lot of affiliate managers are stumped.
This is where Trademark Bidding Rights comes in and in this guide we are going to look at TM+, what it is, why it is beneficial for advertising and what good practice measures should be followed.
What is TM+?
We should all know what a trademark is. It protects people or organisations using your brand name without permission. A trademark itself only covers the actual brand. So, when you see a ‘BrandName’ then it will generally be trademarked.
Tm+ is a bit different. Tm+ not only covers the BrandName but it also covers a word after the brand name as well. So, for example, trademark plus coupon or trademark plus sale.
For affiliates who are working on behalf of the BrandName, a TM+ agreement means that they can bid on paid ads that not only include the trademark but the word after it as well.
Benefits of TM+
Why should you bother to allow an affiliate to use trademarkplus? There are actually many tm+ benefits for your affiliate program.
Enhanced Brand Reputation
Allowing affiliates to bid on a tm+ basis means that you will improve your brand reputation and representation on search engine results. If you search for ‘BrandName + coupon’ for example then you will find some results from your competitors or results that don’t are irrelevant to your business.
By allowing your trusted and closest affiliates to bid on Tm+ then you will help to dominate SERPs for those keywords. You will most likely rank first for that actual keywords anyway however with your affiliates bidding for paid ads of your brand name plus another search term then you will have more of an opportunity to occupy the first few results on the main page.
By allowing affiliates to bid on Tm+ then you are expanding your reach of keywords.
The keywords that you are targeting either with your own marketing team or through an SEO agency are probably quite limited because there is only so much you can do. They will be focused on the most profitable keywords and phrases whereas your affiliates can grow this keyword coverage for you. They can target keywords that aren’t as profitable but can still bring you in conversions. They are footing the bill for this and you don’t have to pay anything until you make a sale. It really is a win-win situation for you.
When it all comes down to it, the conversion rate of your offers is what’s important. This is how you make money and this is how your affiliates make money too. There are various schools of thought about what is a good conversion rate however bidding on Tm+ keywords for ads often increases the conversion rate for an affiliate program.
Not every consumer is ready to buy however a significant number will if they think they have the best deal online. Tm+ search terms such as trademark plus coupon has the effect of consumers believing that they have found the best deal on the internet and will be more likely to make a purchase as a result.
Fewer violations by affiliates
With the reduction of ads shown by Google then there are less spots to display advertisements.
This means that if you put your trust in a few affiliates to implement a tm+ campaign then you don’t need to worry as much by affiliates violating the agreement or Google’s ad policies. It makes sure that the ads that do go out are accurate and don’t misrepresent what you are offering.
Best Practices of TM+
Now we know what TM+ is and why it can benefit you and your affiliates, what are some best practices to use?
You should submit a Google Authorization form in order to ‘whitelist’ the affiliates that are bidding for your branded terms. Furthermore, keep the number of affiliates doing this to 3 and only use your most trusted as opposed to allowing anyone who asks for Tm+ branding rights to do so.
There are many other good practices that should be followed when working with trademark plus. It is often something that many affiliate programs and managers ignore however it can have wide-ranging beneficial results for your business.
Tm+ can be a tricky subject but if you allow it to be used properly by a few trusted affiliates then you should not only see your brand grow but also experience a better conversion rate as well.