For a business to build a reputation and earn its customers’ trust, it must first make its target audience aware of its existence and its unique traits. By improving brand recognition, you end up building brand equity, which, in essence, is a measure of how well-known your brand becomes. While every business in this fast-paced world that desires to grow needs to increase brand awareness, it’s easier said than done. This is because the market is now awash with competition, and leading the pack requires employing different brand awareness strategies.
What is Brand Awareness?
There is no fixed definition of brand awareness. However, just about every brand awareness definition you look at, you’ll see that it refers to how familiar or aware consumers are about a brand, its image, and its offerings. In other words, it’s a measure of how recognizable your brand is to your target audience. Brands that rate highly on this front are typically the ones that consumers find popular, trendy, or buzz-worthy.
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A number of people feel that brand awareness is a vague concept, and they’re not far from the mark. However, while it’s not easy to perfectly define this metric, it brings great value to the marketing table.
Any business that hopes to build brand awareness needs to start by determining where it stands at the moment. For instance, a new business will obviously have to start from scratch. On the other hand, if you’ve been in business for some time, your business will already have achieved some level of brand awareness. Some of the elements that may give you an indication of your brand’s recognition include your social media accounts, your mailing list, your website traffic, and data from organic searches.
Importance of Brand Awareness
For anyone asking, “Why increase brand awareness?” the answer is that it is a valuable tool that helps market and promote a brand and its products/services, all the more so during its nascent stages and in the online world. When done right, digital branding gets your target audience to develop inherent preferences toward what your brand has to offer. By making your brand easy to recognize and memorable, you may look forward to building trust with your customers. An increase in revenue becomes a natural byproduct.
The many benefits of increasing brand awareness include, but do not limit to:
- Increase your brand’s recall value
- Improve brand perception
- Build customer loyalty
- Generate excitement for new launches
- Reach out to larger target audiences
- Business growth
Brand recognition is important because it makes your target audience aware of how it may benefit by using your products/services. Once you succeed in building brand awareness, your brand remains on the top of your target audience’s minds when it’s time to make purchases. What follows is guiding consumers down the sales funnel and leading them to perform desired actions. If your target audience recognizes your brand, there is an increased possibility that it will buy from your business.
Branding-related statistics collated by Findstack offer some valuable insight into what brand awareness can do for a business.
- Consumers who connect with brands emotionally have a 306% higher lifetime value
- 86% of consumers feel that authenticity is important when determining which brands to support
- 69% of consumers feel the need to trust brands because of the impact they create on society
- 58% of millennials support ads that come from personalities they like
How to Build Brand Awareness
If you’re wondering how to create brand awareness, know that you need to follow a multi-pronged approach. While building a brand comes with its share of challenges, using the services of a reliable branding agency brings with it the opportunity to surmount any possible obstacle. It’s not surprising that a number of businesses are increasing their marketing budgets to focus on this aspect so they may outperform their competitors.
For anyone who’s wondering how to increase brand awareness, these pointers should help.
1. Develop a Voice
Developing a voice for your brand and making sure that it remains consistent across all your marketing efforts and operations helps your brand stand out in the minds of your target audience. Depending on the business you run and the market you wish to capture, your brand’s voice could be emotional, sentimental, funny, or to the point. It essentially needs to reflect on your brand’s personality and resonate with your customers.
2. Address Your Customers’ Pain Points
In today’s tech-driven world, personalization goes a long way in captivating the minds of your target audience. The process begins by creating user personas that give you a clear indication of your customers’ wants and needs. Once you know what your target audience values and desires, you can align your efforts to increase brand awareness by addressing its pain points. The result of relying on a customer-centric approach is that your customers start looking at your brand as one that solves its problems.
3. Make the Most of Content Marketing
Content marketing is no longer just about keyword research and creating backlinks. Now, businesses use it to tell their stories. If you manage to tell a great story that your target audience can relate to, an increase in brand awareness follows. Telling your brand’s story gives you the ability to connect with people on a personal level. This, in turn, increases the possibility of them remembering your brand over the long term.
Content marketing gives you the means to highlight what your brand stands for as well as its unique attributes. It lets you tell stories of how you started, how you’ve grown, and the values you hold. It also enables you to give your target audience relevant and useful information through different mediums. While this helps build brand awareness, it also helps establish your position as an expert in your field.
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When it comes to creating effective shareable content, infographics work rather well. This is because they’re typically easier to go through and more visually engaging than word-heavy articles. According to a report on infographic statistics, close to 50% of content creators feel that visual content plays a key role in their content marketing strategies. Further, using visuals such as images, charts, and graphics has the potential to increase readership by 80%.
Once you create great content, you need to promote it in the right way to increase brand awareness. According to blog statistics collated by Letter.ly, bloggers the world over publish around 7.5 million posts every day. As a result, simply writing a great blog post won’t have the desired effect until it reaches out to your target audience.
4. Increase Your Organic Presence on Social Media
An important aspect of any good brand awareness strategy is getting on the organic social media bandwagon. When leading branding agencies create content for social media, they ensure that their target audience feels it’s worthy of sharing with friends. By offering high-quality content that adds value to its consumer’s life, you get to trigger emotional responses that lead to your content being shared.
Social media contests give brands an easy way to get their audience to tag people from their own networks. If you’re a business that’s just starting out, many of their friends/followers might not have heard of you yet. An important element of creating social media contests is to ask your target audience to share/repost or tag the people they feel might be interested. While this gives them the opportunity to win prizes, you benefit from increased brand awareness.
5. Use SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) brings with it the potential to increase brand awareness in different ways. For instance, a good SEO strategy can help websites achieve high search engine rankings, which results in increased organic traffic.
Using relevant long-tail keywords, for instance, works well as a long-term strategy. Over time, as your target audience searches for products/services from your industry, it comes across your well-positioned brand or website. The visibility your brand gets through rich and featured snippets can be great, be it through Google, Yahoo Search, Bing, or even Amazon.
Head/primary keywords are less specific in nature and can be rather competitive. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are less competitive and more specific.
Other than helping build brand awareness through search engines, SEO can also help shape or improve customer sentiment. For instance, businesses can benefit by establishing processes that help them get more reviews through different review-based platforms. They can provide any type of product/service-related guidance that their customers might seek through their website. They can also think about adding dedicated testimonial/review pages to their websites.
6. Get Great Packaging
Customers feel better when they receive their orders in branded packaging as opposed to regular packaging. This is because the product experience does not begin when a customer first starts using a product, but right at the un-boxing stage. When businesses present their brands in a great manner and succeed in telling their stories through interesting designs and graphics, the emotional connection that they create with customers might last long after they stop using the product. Some big businesses that have used this technique to great effect include Red Bull, L’Oreal, and HP.
7. Offer Freebies
Asking your potential customers to spend their hard-earned money on your products/services when they haven’t heard of your brand yet might not be the best way to create or increase brand awareness. Instead, if you offer a freebie so they get to know what you have to offer, it can produce the desired effect. If you have a physical line of products, you may consider offering a limited number for free. If you provide an online service, you may consider offering a free trial. By giving your potential customers even limited access to your products/services, you can make them more aware of your brand.
8. Use Referrals
Referral marketing gives brand managers and marketers the ability to build brand awareness and increase customer base simultaneously. If you can motivate your customers to spread the word about your brand with their friends/followers, they, in turn, advocate your brand as reliable and worthy of consideration. To take referrals further, brands can even convert their loyal customers into brand ambassadors. They, then, help increase awareness about your brand.
9. Think Influencer Marketing
If your target audience includes young consumers, influencer marketing can work as a great tool to create awareness of a brand. The Influencer Marketing 2020 Report suggests that digital influencers have, at some point, affected the decision-making of over 60% of consumers aged 18 to 34 years. However, partnering with influencers who have very large followings might not be the most value-driven alternative. Instead, micro-influencers, with the authenticity they bring to the table, might work better for smaller businesses.
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10. Follow Up
The typical customer journey follows multiple steps. It starts when a consumer needs a particular product/service. The next step involves searching for alternatives and evaluating them. Then, there’s some hesitation. The comparison that follows usually focuses on a few aspects, or a consumer might veer to an option for some other reason. More often than not, a consumer chooses the brand he/she favors the most.
Unfortunately, a number of businesses fail to realize that consumers hesitate at some stage of the sales funnel. What marketers need to understand is that a visitor leaving a website does not mean the sale is dead. In fact, if you can successfully follow up with people who demonstrate interest, you may look forward to increasing conversion rates. Google Ads gives you a great way to target specific audiences and build brand awareness based on various parameters such as geographical locations and customer attributes.
Creating and increasing brand awareness should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts no matter whether you’re launching a new brand or hoping to grow an existing business. Fortunately, the online world gives you various ways to reach out to your target audience. When you work with a good web agency that specializes in branding, you may benefit from the marketing strategies it employs to spread your brand’s message, increase its audience base, and make it more recognizable.