Brand awareness reflects the degree to which customers or potential customers can recognize or recall a brand and correctly associate that brand with a specific product or service.
Creating brand awareness is one of the key components in promoting a product or service.
You can have the best product on the market but if people don’t know it exists then you won’t sell any.
Getting your message out there can seem a daunting prospect that may appear impossible without a huge budget to finance it, but there are ways to build your brand without spending too much.
There are ways to stretch your budget and the more you build the brand the more customers you should attract.
So let’s look at how to create a buzz around your brand, without spending a fortune.
Do Your Research
To kick-start your campaign you should always learn about your target audience.
You need to understand the people you are trying to sell to, find out what motivates them and then use this to your advantage.
When doing research you should –
- Get involved in primary research – speak to your customers directly
- Collect data and then analyse it – finding out what campaigns are most effective and what ones don’t work as well
- Do this often – collect and analyse often, especially after launching a new campaign or testing new strategies
- Check your marketing figures to see where you are spending and where you can cut down
Tell a story
People enjoy hearing stories, it engages them and they remember them – meaning they’ll be more likely to revisit! It also incorporates an element of personalization and they connect to you and your business more. It builds a community around the story; they enjoy hearing your good news and celebrate with you as your story unfolds.
Make sure the story tells the audience something about your brand values. For example, Innocent focus on helping people get healthier, including posting content full of tips and advice.
Make your story about more than just what you sell, make it helpful, but still ensure it reflects your brand values.
Furthermore, a little anecdote is more likely to be picked up by the media, as an angle is readily available. People find it more relatable, it is a lot more compelling than bland facts and figures.
Take to social media
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp offer companies a great free-of-charge platform to promote themselves, build their brand and their audience.
Finding the time to feed your profiles and blog can be a challenge but if you’re going to do it you need to be active, which means posting and interacting several times a day.
But what to say?
Expertise in a particular area can make for a large following. Stay relevant and on-topic and you will garner a valuable and engaged audience.
Don’t forget you need to talk to others to grow your following, which means responding to comments on your social media pages in a timely manner and engaging followers in conversation. No time at all?
According to research carried out by Hootsuite in December, Starbucks is the best performing brand on social media, closely followed by Chanel, Friskies and Urban Outfitters. So be sure to check out their activity for inspiration.
Sponsorship of an event or product is another proven way to reach a target audience and increase brand awareness. Sponsoring an event can entitle your company to exclusive face-to-face time with attendees as well as overt branding opportunities.
But choose wisely – what you choose to sponsor should be relevant to your target market and ‘on message’.
Be sure to steer clear of any PR disasters – Nestlé’s sponsorship of a health conference in 2014 led to the event being cancelled after senior NHS figures urged a boycott over the food and beverage company’s promotion of infant formula in the developing world.
It’s difficult to build brand awareness when your brand is inconsistently designed or applied. Spend some time to do a complete brand audit. Go over the design standards you already have and consider building a style guide.
Work with designers to refine any existing branding and fix what’s missing or in conflict. Brand consistency is about building a dependable, reliable experience; that stability helps customers form stronger connections, which raises awareness.
Impressive Guest Content
Another great way to get your brand known on the web is to deliver ultra valuable, gorgeous looking content to share on other blogs. Guest posting (despite what some might tell you) is still a powerful way to get your name known in your industry.
However, run-of-the-mill content won’t cut it – you need to be guest publishing high-quality stuff. Create memorable, valuable content and you’ll be introduced to new audiences and make a lasting impression.
Starting your own industry podcast where you interview industry experts is a great way to build your brand while also developing relationships with others in your field.
Some industries, like marketing, already have a hefty number of podcasts that would be tough for a beginner to compete against. (Here are a few of our favorite marketing podcasts.)
However, for niche industries where there isn’t much on the airwaves, you could easily make yourself a household name.
Paid Social Advertising
Organic social marketing is becoming more difficult by the day, leading more businesses to turn to paid social advertising.
Facebook and Twitter ads are relatively cheap and help get your brand seen on social. Whether or not users convert immediately, every added piece of familiarity counts when users finally are ready to make a purchase.
Getting friends in high places is another easy way to boost your brand awareness. Find existing influencers in your industry whose business you could potentially complement, rather than compete with.
Make use of your partner’s influencer network to promote your brand (while also building up valuable partnerships you can continue to make use of long-term).
With these brand awareness tips, you’ll be a super-star brand in no time. Any bonus pieces of brand awareness advice you want to dispense?
Add your thoughts in the comments.