6 Ways Your Customers Can Improve Your Brand Awareness
These 6 simple tactics can be a great addition to your marketing strategy, to boost your brand awareness with the help of your clients.
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Existing customers can be the best brand ambassadors so here are a few simple tactics to include in your marketing strategy that will help you build brand awareness.
Going through all the different levels of brand awareness, from non-recognition to brand loyalty is a long and complicated process. Having loyal customers isn’t just great for a brand in terms of sales, as they are likely to purchase again. If you’ve worked hard to build loyalty and trust with customers, it makes sense to give them an opportunity to help you promote your brand.
We’re sharing a few surefire tactics for your brand awareness strategy that involve your clients.
Why is brand awareness important?
Before we dive into the tips and tricks for your next brand awareness campaign, it’s important to understand why exactly it is important to build brand awareness.
First of all, it’s much cheaper to nurture existing customers than acquire new ones.
Next, measuring your brand awareness will allow you to build brand equity, which is the value of your brand as a whole: so not just your actual products or services, but the name and associations linked to them (e.g. would people still be as interested in buying Apple products, no matter how high-quality or well-designed they are, if this major brand wasn’t behind them?).
How to use your customers to improve brand awareness
There are many inbound techniques you can employ to increase brand awareness, such as launching an awareness campaign, organizing events or cross-promoting your brand on platforms that are relevant to your audience.
However, your existing customers (whether you have 5 or 5000 of them) are a very valuable asset in providing your brand with more visibility. Here are some simple tips and tricks you can use that will help you build brand recognition and even increase loyalty with existing customers.
Create referral programs
Referrals programs are one of the oldest, yet most effective tactics for helping small businesses acquire new customers.
The key to a successful referral program is to make sure you strike the right balance between the favor and the incentive. For example, if the referral process is very complicated and the prize difficult to attain, people might be easily put off.
So, it’s always good to provide at least some small incentive for your customers to refer your service to their friends and family.
One of the most successful campaigns of this kind to date is Dropbox. For a single referral, it offered its customers more cloud storage space. Of course, since Dropbox operates on a freemium model, this incentive led to a surge of signups: they saw 3900% growth in signups in just 15 months.
The reason why this tactic was so effective was also due to the simplicity of the referral process. Aside from manually typing in a contact to refer, customers could also share the link via social media or simply to all of their Gmail contacts in one click.
Partner with influencers
Ok, we’re bending the rules with this one. After all, not every brand will organically attract a major influencer that will happen to promote them for free. However, there is a very good chance that you might have, or be able to make, at least one influencer, aware of your brand organically.
The reason for this is simply the ever-growing number of people who are considered social media influencers as well as influencer agencies.
Rather than reaching out to someone with millions of followers and having to pay thousands of dollars for a single ad, you should check if a micro-influencer might already be on board. It’s much better to partner with someone who is genuinely interested in your brand, even if their reach is smaller. Moreover, it’s suggested that micro-influencers have up to 20% higher conversion rates than others, as their small following is more loyal and sees them as more trustworthy.
Focus on an organic reach on social media
Social media platforms are such a valuable asset for digital marketers, that many today equate digital marketing with social media marketing.
The reason for this is that these platforms (most notably Facebook and Instagram) allow marketers to target detailed audiences and achieve maximum engagement for their ads.
That said, the power of organic marketing campaigns should not be overlooked. Sometimes the best campaigns don’t have to cost a dime, as long as you find a creative way to address the issues that your customers want to talk about.
A recent example is Starbucks’ campaign #WhatsYourName through which the company wanted to support the transgender community and raise money for Mermaids, an organization that supports transgender and gender-diverse youth.
The money was raised through the sales of a special mermaid cookie, and Starbucks also invited its customers to share a picture of the cookie with the campaign hashtag on their social media and show support for this cause, as well as demonstrating how important it is for trans people to be able to use their chosen names. The campaign raised an impressive $100,000 and thousands of posts that showed off the brand in a very positive light.
Who doesn’t like a giveaway, right? It’s a simple and effective tactic that often doesn’t require much or any paid ads. Whether you want to increase your social media following, acquire more leads or promote a new product, giveaways are a great way to do it.
Ask your customers to relay the message to a couple more contacts for a chance to win something. As with referral programs, the key is to find the right balance between what you’re asking and what you’re offering in return.
Let’s be frank, most times people don’t really count on being the winner in a giveaway contest, but if participation is simple, most of us would still try our luck.
And of course, the best giveaway campaigns are those that go beyond the appeal of getting something for free. An awesome recent example is Coors Light’s campaign that offered a free six pack of beer to customers who bought one pack and tweeted why they needed a beer. This campaign ran last spring, when the covid 19 pandemic was really starting to hit the US, so the timing of the uplifting, funny campaign was very smart.
Create guest post opportunities
The most important distinction between traditional and digital marketing is that the latter allows for direct engagement with your customers. This is a powerful way to build relationships, for example on social media as we’ve already mentioned.
However, another way to engage potential customers is to create guest blog post opportunities where they might share reviews or their experience of your company (or provide their take on a topic that’s relevant).
This is a great tactic for several reasons. First of all, it’s an opportunity to improve your search engine ranking (guest blogs usually involve backlinks and this greatly helps with ranking).
Secondly, it’s an opportunity to present potential customers with social proof. Whether you decide to create testimonials by interviewing your clients, or giving them an opportunity to write about a topic they’re an expert in.
This customer engagement model is definitely not suitable for every type of business. Moreover, this type of advertising gained a lot of notoriety, due to a large number of scams either overpromising or not delivering compensation at all.
However, if you have a local business, a car wrap might be just the thing. Moreover, people are more likely to accept your offer if they themselves are your customer and know about the brand or product they’re meant to promote driving around.
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Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.