It is very important to build brand awareness for your company and help customers discover it. But which strategies can you employ, and how can promoting your brand be more effective?
When starting up a business, getting customers aware of your brand is a hard task to accomplish. It takes years of branding and marketing, as well as nurturing existing customers to establish a good branding image.
But, for an up-and-coming company, there are simple tactics that can help raise brand awareness quickly and efficiently.
Here are some of the most affordable and easy to accomplish, while at the same time making it possible for you to measure your brand awareness.
Optimize for top search results on search engines
Search engine optimization is an invaluable tool that can help you reach a larger audience. Getting that number one ranking on Google will be a hard feat, but with smart local SEO and using the right keywords onsite and offsite, you stand a good chance of your website showing up within the first search results.
The way SEO works is that you use a keyword research tool (or perhaps hire a freelancer), that will come up with the most relevant keywords within your industry, set audience and location. You can use these keywords to optimize your website, by “planting” them in headings, titles and meta descriptions of your pages.
Blog posts containing keywords will also have a better chance of ranking higher, as people often search for helpful content and might stumble across your brand while reading about something connected to your expertise.
So, how does SEO help brand awareness? Well, try googling any particular question or phrase. Let’s take “washing machine won’t drain” for example.
Most of the suggested results are not sponsored, but answer the question directly and are easy for the readers to understand. You see big washing machine brands such as Beko, as well as small businesses dealing with appliance maintenance and fixing.
Those readers will then learn about the brand whose blog this is and will be more likely to go back to the blog, or if it fits them simply hire, let’s say, Mr. Appliance from the blog to fix the machine instead.
Reach potential customers through social media platforms
Social media brand awareness campaigns are possibly the most powerful strategy today, especially for some companies that don’t have a brick-and-mortar shop (such as SaaS or e-commerce companies) or brands reaching out to a particular demographic.
It is possible to select brand awareness as the main goal of your social media campaign on media like Facebook and Instagram, in which case the algorithm will show your ads to new audiences who haven’t been in contact with your brand.
You need to make sure that what they see explains right away what your products or services are, how they can reach your website or social media profiles, and why your values are similar to theirs.
Brand awareness campaigns on social media are especially important if you have only recently launched your brand. In case you don’t have a huge budget to spare for Facebook, Instagram and perhaps TikTok and Twitter, you can still have a consistent presence and try to reach customers organically. It takes skill and knowledge of how social media works to do this, but brands often design creative and informal content that becomes viral.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that infusing your brand’s color and visual system in social media posts will help with brand recognition. When audiences see the same elements, colors and symbols repetitively, they will start connecting your brand with them and remember it better. And in the future, there is a better chance they will pick out a company they know of out of a handful of competitors.
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Create a good referral program
There is no better source for brand awareness than good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Or the new alternative to it: a good referral program.
According to Hubspot research, up to 49% of customers in the US say their top source of brand awareness for companies is their friends and family.
When someone you know or trust suggests you use a service, you are more likely to try it out because you believe their judgment. When you add an extra benefit for both of you on top of that, the chances of new customers are even higher.
A very famous example of a good referral program is Dropbox, which grew 3900% in only three months’ time through offering extra storage space to both the existing and new users of a referral program.
But a good referral program doesn’t only apply to SaaS businesses. Even if you are a small business owner, you can find a simple way to attract more customers this way. Discounts for clothing shops, e-commerce, beauty salons, gardening…
Pretty much anything is applicable in bulk. So, make sure to find a way to make your current customers pull in their close ones towards your business.
Build amazing branding for your product or service
We say not to judge a book by its cover, but how many times have you remembered a product because of its packaging or a brand because of its impeccable design?
As human beings, we are more likely to notice and remember something that looks good and affects our perception and emotions in a particular way. Ads and branding often tap into some of the most elementary feelings a human can have: fear, love, sexuality, hunger, etc.
And this goes beyond just company branding. Packaging, ads, collateral, merchandise and many other branded items can help you raise brand awareness. Even a simple sticker on an electricity pole or another person’s laptop can be a brand awareness medium.
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Write guest posts for other businesses’ websites
As we already mentioned, writing blogs to rank better on search engines is very important. But, there is a limit to the success and audience you can reach through your own website. That is where guest blogging comes to play: a completely different industry and audience that can discover your brand through a similar principle.
You can find suggested websites that you could use backlinks from, and reach out to them with a suggestion of writing a well-researched and written article, in exchange for placing one link that leads towards your website. Make sure that the article you are pitching is relevant to their audience.
Many websites that allow guest blogging have their own style guide. You can google “blog guidelines”, and come across websites that make it possible for you to publish a guest article.
You can also reach out to blogs that mention your business and kindly ask them to add a link to your website if they haven’t done so already. This will help gain relevant backlinks, which also improves your SEO ranking.
When you apply specific colors, shapes and features into your branding that can sway a viewer into having a particular impression or feelings towards that design, they will most certainly remember your brand, hence helping your brand awareness.
Use influencer marketing to reach new audiences
Social media influencers have their own big following, and if they are relevant in your industry, you can work with them and have your brand discovered by their followers.
The simplest way to define influencer marketing is that it is a form of social media marketing, which uses an endorsement by popular people on social media or celebrities, who create content for their targeted audience and promote a certain brand or product.
It is an extremely effective social media trend because influencers have their own large number of followers that learn about the brand being endorsed through the sponsored content. So, influencer marketing not only helps with brand awareness but also with brand recognition, social proof and in result, with sales as well.
Depending on your audience and industry, you can opt for a micro or niche influencer. In case you are already an established brand with a bigger budget, you might be able to work with a macro or mega influencer.
And if you are a small business with a loyal clientele, you might even make your customers influencers. Read our guide to influencer marketing to learn more about it.
Keep running creative marketing campaigns
You might think that after a certain level of market success, companies stop running brand awareness campaigns. But building brand awareness never stops.
Take it from Coca-Cola. There are probably very few people left on this planet that don’t know what a Coke is, yet they still have TV ads promoting the brand.
Find inspiration in their “Share a Coke with” ads or the unforgettable Santa, and you will see why it is the most popular soda drink for decades now.