There are people who are proud to own products from certain brands like Apple and Nike.
This is thanks to brand awareness. These types of brands have managed to create a “culture” around their products so consumers don’t hesitate to spend their hard earned money on them – over and over again.
This article will cover everything you need to know about how to build brand awareness, establishing a presence in your niche and the types of campaigns you can use to grow your business. Let’s take a look.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness just means how much your customers know about your brand and how easy they recognise it. Creating brand awareness is important when you’re trying to market and promote your company’s products and services – especially in the early stages!
It might sound like a vague concept and if you’re the type of person who likes to measure everything perfectly with as many stats and figures as possible, measuring brand awareness can really frustrate you! Still, in this day and age it should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.
Why is brand awareness important?
Brand awareness creates trust in your products and services.
Today, consumers have more choice than ever before. That’s why before making a purchase, consumers tend to research other options first. This is where brand trust comes into play. Consumers tend to look at things like social proof (other’s opinions), so if your brand is quite popular, people are more likely to go through with the purchase.
Brand awareness adds a “face” to your company. It’s a way to create a personality for your brand that people like and can relate to. When your brand tells a story, you’re selling more than a product or a service. You’re selling a feeling, which is a great way to build trust in the human/brand relationship.
Brand awareness creates association with your products and services.
When you’re trying to find something out, you Google it. When you’re looking for something new to watch, you check Netflix. Notice how these words are capitalised? That’s not because they are nouns or verbs – it’s because they are brands.
If they did not have brand awareness, you could simply refer to Google as a search engine and Netflix as a streaming service. But they have managed to transcend their actual meaning and create a brand.
That’s the power of brand awareness. It creates association with products and services, almost making people replace actual words with brand terms. This way, people start doing your marketing for you.
Brand awareness creates value for your company.
The value of your brand increases when consumers have positive experiences with your products and services. Consistently creating these positive experiences for your customers will generate a level of loyalty. They will start to recognise your brand without additional assistance and start to prefer it over your competition.
Think of it like a flywheel – when a consumer has a positive experience, they are likely to make a repeat purchase and share their experience with other people.
This is the power of brand awareness. By establishing trust and loyalty with your customers, you will build brand value that will see your products and services become the go-to in your niche.
How to create brand awareness
The process of creating brand awareness can take a while. You’re unlikely to achieve it just by advertising your products and services with marketing campaigns.
Building solid brand awareness comes down to several factors that go beyond simply trying to get sales.
If you think you will create a brand just by running advertisements on Facebook and Google, you’re sadly mistaken. Doing this just makes the consumer focus on your products and services, rather than your brand.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can create brand awareness and make that loyal connection with your customers:
Act like a person, not a company.
Think about when you meet new people. You build a relationship with them by trying to learn more about them. What are their hobbies? What are they passionate about? Their likes and dislikes.
This is what you must also incorporate into your brand. Find a way to define your brand and tell people that you are more than just a company trying to make sales.
People love to socialise. Doesn’t matter if it’s with 10 people or 1 person, it’s a way for us to create relationships, stay connected, learn about things and much, much more.
The same thing can be applied to your brand. If you only socialise with consumers when you’re trying to sell your products or services, that’s exactly what you will be known for – just a company.
A great way to create brand awareness by being social is to up your social media game. Interact with your target audience by posting things that are not directly related to your products and services. Add value by creating informative posts and resources or simply ask questions and share interesting content to your timeline.
Think of it in terms of using your brand’s social media account to make friends, rather than trying to directly sell your products and services. According to a global study done by Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insights, over 50% of brand reputation is a direct result of online sociability.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story.
When you create a powerful narrative around your brand, it becomes more than just a business. It creates the feeling that consumers love to have when they receive their purchases. Storytelling is a great way to make the relationship between your brand and your target audience feel more personal.
What can you tell a story about? Literally anything – as long as it’s true, of course! For example, AirBnB used storytelling to create a feeling of a community. In this video from 2015 it emphasised how people have made new friendships and been connected all over the world by using its services.
People enjoy stories about others’ experiences and it makes them want to be a part of it as well.
Create shareable content
Regardless of what niche you’re in, you need to make shareable content for your audience. It can be anything from blog posts, videos and social media posts to landing/product pages and anything in between – as long as people are able to share it!
Word of mouth (WOM) still remains the most effective marketing strategy for creating trust and brand awareness. If a customer sees a product or a service being used or recommended by a friend or family member, they will certainly notice it more!
By creating shareable content, you’re making it easy for people to spread the word about your brand. Remember what we discussed earlier. You need to go beyond just simply trying to make sales all the time. If you create interaction with your target audience, it will improve brand trust and loyalty.
Ways to increase brand awareness
If you feel that you have already created some brand awareness, now is the time to increase it! But what can you do as a brand to make that happen?
Let’s look at some effective ways you can increase your brand awareness:
Free versions, samples and trials
Offering a free version of your service is called a freemium business model. It’s a great way to give customers a taste for what your brand has to offer before they make a purchase.
The concept of “try before you buy” is as old as marketing itself, but it’s a damn good one. Every type of company does it, from test drives at car dealerships to software companies using freemium pricing strategies and food brands offering free samples.
So, depending on your industry and niche, offering free versions/samples or trials can be a great way to increase brand awareness.
Create more shareable content
Content is a great way to increase your brand awareness. It’s an easy and cost-effective solution for showcasing your brand personality and adding value for your customers.
It can be anything from blog posts to videos, social media posts and more. Creating blog posts, eBooks and downloadable guides are probably the easiest ways to create shareable content, but there are a lot of alternatives. So you just have to get creative. You can even collaborate with other brands in your niche by doing guest posting and increase your brand awareness that way.
If you’re not creating content, you’re missing out on massive opportunities and “easy wins”.
Not sure how or where to start? Take a look at our content creation services here at Ambition Digital.
Become a sponsor
All major companies are doing this. When there are festivals, expo’s, concerts and other types of events, they are usually sponsored by brands. It’s an easy way to get exposure from people who are likely to be your target audience.
Becoming a sponsor allows you to align your brand with events that match what you stand for. People who attend will notice your brand and begin to associate it with the character of that event.
A good example of this is Red Bull. Keep in mind that it’s a simple energy drink, but they have managed to elevate their brand awareness to the point where it’s associated with adventure and daringness. How? They sponsor all of the major extreme sporting events like X Games, as well as individual athletes.
The “feeling” has overtaken the product itself.
Emphasize your brand personality
One of the rules for creating a distinctive brand personality is to treat your brand as a person. When you attach a personality to your products and services it can help to attract your desired target audience and increase brand awareness.
A great example of this is Nike. They mainly just sell shoes, but Nike has become so much more than that because they have successfully created a distinct brand personality. By partnering with some of the best athletes in the world they have been able to portray their brand personality as “cool” and trendy. Everybody likes a winner. Nike’s famous marketing slogan “Just Do It” resonates with people and gives them a certain sense of confidence.
All of their marketing is about achieving greatness, rising to challenges and stepping up a level. That’s what has created brand loyalty over their competitors for them and continues to drive sales.
Start a podcast
Podcasting has become the new major thing with millions of regular listeners every month. This has also provided new and exciting marketing opportunities, including a chance to increase your brand awareness.
It’s now easier than ever to create and share your own podcast with the world. Podcasting is an authentic way to connect with your target audience. You can engage with the listeners by entertaining, educating and informing them about all the things in your niche and build trust (putting a “face” to the brand) in the process.
If you’re not interested in starting your own podcast, you can always find existing ones in your niche and look to appear on them as a guest.
Another way to increase your brand awareness through podcasts is by sponsoring some. Just like sponsoring events, podcasts also need sponsors and this can provide some amazing and cost-effective marketing solutions for your brand.
How do you measure brand awareness?
If you don’t measure your results, how do you know your efforts are working?
It’s a bit more challenging to measure brand awareness compared to some of the other marketing metrics – but it’s not impossible. The best way to measure the effectiveness of your brand awareness efforts is to look at metrics relating to your engagement.
Here are some ways you can measure brand awareness:
- Website traffic. This is an important metric as it allows you to directly measure how many people are coming to your website. You can look at it in 2 ways. First, your direct traffic. So how many people are coming to your site directly by entering the URL? If someone has typed in your exact URL it must mean they are aware of your brand. Second is your overall website traffic. Looking at your site analytics like session time, pages per session and overall visitor number among other metrics can paint a picture for where/how people are finding you and interacting with your brand’s website.
- Social media engagement. Much like your website analytics, your social media engagement can tell you a lot about how people are interacting with your brand. How many followers, like, shares and comments are you getting? If the numbers are low, you should revise your social media and content strategy.
- Google searches. Google processes over 40,000 search queries EVERY SECOND. Are people searching for your brand or brand terms? This is very important and largely comes down to search engine optimisation. Need help with your SEO? Take a look at our SEO packages.
- Conduct a customer survey. By doing surveys you can get direct feedback from your existing customers and target audience, which can be an extremely helpful way to understand how people view your brand. You can use free tools to create surveys, like SurveyMonkey and share them on your social media/email newsletter.
You can use these metrics to measure brand awareness and to better understand how consumers view your brand. Using most of these metrics is actually free, so it can prove to be a very cost-effective way to improve your products and services or to tweak your brand personality.
Brand awareness is an important part of any marketing strategy and it can have a massive impact on how well your business does in terms of growth and revenue.
Use this information to create or tweak your own brand awareness campaigns/strategy and you will notice how your brand loyalty and trust increase along with your sales and revenue.
Are there any unique or interesting brand awareness tips and techniques that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments.