First things first: What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. Brand awareness establishes trust between your brand and your audience. It can put a “face” to your company name that new customers can trust easier, and make your current audience feel at home. Brand awareness efforts give your brand a personality and helps you tell your unique story.
Brand goes beyond your logo; it should be the basis of everything you do, from your services or products to your marketing strategies and content creation. Your brand should advise how you show up, both in the real world and online. And more than anything, it should be consistent, cohesive, and strategic.
Why is brand awareness important?
Today’s consumers and clients aren’t just looking for the cheapest option. They’re looking for an exceptionally high quality product or service provided by a brand they respect and resonate with. They’re also looking for a story with which to connect. That’s why, if you want to grow as a business, you need to be just as aware of your brand as your audience.
A strong brand presence can help you reach a new audience and increase visibility in a very loud, cluttered online space. It can differentiate you from the competition and build customer loyalty. Most of all, it creates an experience for your customers or clients, so they always know what to expect when they engage with your business.
The great thing about your brand is that you can leverage it in virtually any way your business shows up. Online, in person, over the phone (do people still do that?) — your brand should be everywhere your business is. Of course, there are a few more “impactful” ways to increase brand awareness.
How do I build brand awareness?
It is entirely possible to build brand awareness without investing in a $25,000 rebrand. In fact, brand awareness has less to do with how your brand looks and how it makes your audience feel. That’s where your brand story comes in. Creating a brand story humanizes your company and gives depth to your work. Plus, carrying this narrative into your digital marketing initiatives promotes your brand alongside your products or services — weaving your story into everything you sell.
Of course, this begs the question: how do you share your brand story to boost awareness?
One of the first places we tell clients to share their brand story is on social media. Social media is one of the most powerful (and least resource-intensive) ways of improving brand awareness. Why? Because people spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social. They are consuming so many stories, whether it’s in written posts, videos, “stories,” etc. Simply sharing who you are, what you do, which problem you solve, and who you solve it for can make it easier for your audience to find you. You’ll also be present on platforms where the majority of your audience lives (nearly 3 billion people are social media users), making it easier to share your story and increasing the odds that it will be heard.
For more reach with social media: You’ll also need to boost content or use paid ads (specifically Facebook and LinkedIn) as part of your social media branding strategy to reach new audiences. Focus on expanding your social media presence with general yet relevant hashtags, and by interacting with influencers who align fully with your brand and audience.
SEO, or search engine optimization for those not “in the know,” allows potential and current customers, clients, or audience members to connect with your brand’s content. For example, you may have found V9 by searching for “digital marketing agency,” but more likely it was by searching for something more specific, such as “digital marketing agency for natural foods.” SEO is often assumed to be just a way for Google to scan your content and index it, but SEO is how your potential audience searches for the products and/or services you offer. So you need to know how your audience searches, and you need to leverage that information.
Content marketing is another fantastic way to raise awareness for your brand. Why? Because it is an easy way to show personality and share opinions that will help personify your brand. A lot of companies start with blogging to pump up their brand, as it has the double effect of speaking to specific audiences and boosting Google search rank. Because you know what your audience is curious about and you have the keywords to back it up (right?!), you can write blogs, articles, or even web pages that speak to those specific topics in a search engine- and audience-friendly way.
But let’s be very clear: “content” doesn’t just mean written content. Content refers to all branded videos, infographics, podcasts, downloads, partnerships, and authority you create on your website and elsewhere on the internet. To show all the facets of your brand, you should diversify the type of content you create. Remember: not everyone likes to read, and not everyone likes to watch video or listen to audio. Make sure you’re creating content in multiple forms so that you can reach your audience in the ways they prefer. This increases the odds they will engage with your brand now and in the future.
Once a consumer or client becomes aware of your brand, how are you re-engaging them? How are you staying top of mind? It’s not always possible to show up in their Instagram feeds or in search, but it’s always possible to show up in their email inbox. To build brand awareness for the long-term, you need to provide valuable content direct to their inbox. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies, reportedly 40x moreso than social media. Make sure you have a targeted, high-quality email marketing campaign that provides value, extends the brand experience, and keeps people engaging with your products or services.
Of course, all of these marketing tactics are just options to help you boost your brand awareness. The real testament to success is by measuring your efforts, and by tracking your progress.
How do I measure brand awareness?
A few typical measurements for brand awareness campaigns include reach, impressions, and engagements when executed on social media. When blogging or doing SEO campaigns, you can monitor rankings, website clicks, time on site, and even conversion attribution to make sure you are brand building and also potentially pushing prospective customers down the marketing funnel.
You may need to research your competition to determine if you have a strong brand awareness compared to other brands that are fighting for the attention of your target audience.