No matter what kind of business you have, efforts to increase brand awareness are probably among your top priorities. The more people who know about your brand, the easier it is to gain momentum in the marketplace.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness concerns how often your target audience remembers and recognizes your company or product name in the marketplace. Excellent brand awareness means that you stay in a top-of-mind position with current and potential customers.
Due to the increasing crowdedness of the consumer landscape, marketers must make conscious efforts to encourage consumers to think of their brands before other options.
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These 12 tips can help you make impressive strides in boosting brand awareness and growing your customer base:
1. Release Surveys to Gauge Consumer Perceptions
Perhaps your company used metrics to conclude something, but some representatives need more convincing that the statistic is a genuine representation of what people think. Consider publishing surveys that get to the heart of the words individuals typically use to describe your brand and show what opinions they have about it.
A recent poll from DISQO found that 85% of consumers share their opinions with brands via surveys. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of survey-takers want rewards for doing it. When your company begins exploring the potential of this kind of research, cast a wide net to obtain some broad branding themes. Get more specific after that by creating screening questionnaires that narrow the group targeted.
Questions like, “How much do you associate our brand with saving money?” lets people answer using a numerical scale. However, asking something such as, “When did you first hear of our brand?” may necessitate them choosing from several possible answers such as “More than five years ago” or “This month.” Survey data shows where weaknesses or misconceptions exist, letting you correct any identified issues.
2. Take a Stand for a Social Cause
People often choose brands that align with their identities and values. For example, a person who cares deeply about the environment probably won’t support a brand identified as the top offender on a list of planet polluters. When people see that brands back the causes they deem worthy, they’re more likely to put their dollars into those companies and become loyal to them.
Results of a survey published in 2019 found that 70% of consumers want to know how the brands they shop from help social and environmental causes. About 46% said they evaluate a brand’s social responsibility efforts when considering whether to buy a product.
Spend time researching which causes matter most to your audience by exploring social media feeds and other readily available data sources. It’s also worth assessing which causes make the most sense for your business to focus on in the months and years ahead.
Putting energy into a social cause can pay off for brand recognition reasons. You must do it without coming across as tone-deaf or appearing to jump on the bandwagon of the latest movement, however.
3. Use Video to Help People Understand Why Your Brand Stands Out
A video can help people get to know your brand faster than words alone. You can use a soundtrack, camera angles and scenic settings to tell the story of what makes your brand special compared to what competitors offer. Plus, if it fits your brand’s tone and the target audience, a video could give you the perfect opportunity to add a bit of humor to a campaign.
According to a 2020 report from Wyzowl, 95% of marketers said videos helped viewers increase their understanding of a product or service. If a sizeable percentage of customers seem to miss the point of what you offer or say they purchased something and the experience didn’t match what they thought your company provided, publishing some informative videos could clear things up. Creating instructional videos also presents your brand as available to help and educate.
4. Offer Exclusive Research to Benefit Your Audience
Many people only want to do business with companies that are well-positioned to address current and future needs. The best way to convince the audience that you’re capable may be to offer industry guides filled with your company’s research.
When consumers see your business providing expert-level knowledge, they know that it has access to data and can interpret it to make the content accessible to the audience. If your enterprise has not done much or conducted any publication-ready internal research before, you can still utilize this tip. Tap into your existing network of thought leaders and have them agree to answer one relevant question.
If you run a cybersecurity business, you might ask, “What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology to improve internet security within the next five years?” Publish all the respondents’ feedback within a downloadable guide of insider perspectives. This approach shows you care about giving customers relevant content to assist them with decision-making.
5. Deploy a Variety of YouTube Ads to Build Your Brand
The earlier discussion about using video to increase understanding of your brand is not the only worthwhile way to rely on video. YouTube ads can dramatically increase your reach, plus raise the likelihood of people remembering your brand later — such as when in the supermarket or another situation where they are ready to buy.
WE — the mobile service offered by Telecom Egypt — ran a YouTube campaign for a month to grow their customer base and the brand recognition associated with WE as a phone option in the company. When the enterprise showed ads in several formats — including bumper and masthead — the outcomes showed substantial gains.
The company achieved an 80% reach among the target audience. The campaign also caused 19,000 people to sign up for plan subscriptions and showed a 494% jump in customers signing up to use an online portal associated with the mobile service. This case study shows why it could work well to run an assortment of YouTube ads. Determine which types work best for your goals, too.
6. Repurpose Your Content to Save Money While Growing Your Audience
Repurposing your content provides numerous benefits such as reduced costs, message consistency and opportunities to reach more people. A content management system can help by giving you complete visibility and control of all the media your brand produces. You can also set up automated workflows and notifications, so any piece of repurposed content goes through several checks before publication.
The B2C Content Marketing 2020 Report found that 84% of marketers successfully used content marketing to raise brand awareness in the last 12 months. About 31% reported using blog posts and short articles to make progress with that goal.
An effective way to repurpose your content is to look at which topics or pieces performed best over time. Then, use snippets of material or capitalize on its central themes while making new stuff to publish. This method grows your brand and increases the likelihood of success. Keep track of metrics that confirm how the post or article performs. Don’t be afraid to make tweaks if the initial efforts don’t result in the expected gains.
7. Create Tailored Ads for Targeted Audience Segments
Maybe your main approach to advertising so far involved crafting generic ads for large segments of the audience. Research from Kantar Media involved polling people to learn how they felt about ads. The results showed that 61% of respondents prefer to see ones related to their interests. Another finding was that 45% of consumers believe targeted ads are more interesting than those created for broader appeal.
Kantar Media also discovered that a third of participants enjoyed TV ads, and another 33% appreciated out-of-home ads, such as those on billboards or bus stops. However, 54% of those polled did not like it when advertisers looked at their online activity to customize the ads shown.
If your company does not want to upset customers by displaying ads based on their internet activity, another option is to create ads to appeal to people who love a popular TV show or genre. For example, it makes sense to show a dog food commercial to the people who watch a televised canine agility competition. Proceeding thoughtfully with your advertising attempts can make brand recognition rise without frustrating people.
8. Offer Branded Freebies to Your Target Audience
Free stuff can also have a positive effect on increasing brand awareness — provided that it encourages people to try your products or promote your company. Costco is legendary for its samples, with some people going to stores solely to try them. Some product freebies come from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, but all of them could get people to spend more during each visit.
Consider the value of products like drink can coolers or tote bags, too. If people use those items when they’re out and about, they naturally spread the word about your brand to the people they encounter. The complimentary items should ideally make sense for your target audience.
In one example, an eco-friendly soap company gave miniature bars to the people at a sustainable campsite during a music festival. That tactic worked well because individuals camping out for the weekend probably don’t want to carry full-sized pieces of soap with them to the showers. The smaller size was a welcome gift that tied in with attendees’ Earth-conscious mindsets.
9. Let the Appropriate Images Define Your Brand
What is brand awareness without a user experience aspect? Many people argue that you can’t successfully draw attention to your brand without highlighting experience-related facets that set expectations. For example, going to a site that sells camping supplies and not seeing any images of outdoor scenes seems weird. Such content helps people feel inspired, leading them to believe that a brand could help them enjoy similar scenarios.
A report from Bynder about branding showed that marketers saw user experience as the strongest differentiator between brands in 2020. Plus, 54% of people polled planned to increase investments in branded visual content. Another takeaway was that slightly over 34% of respondents hoped to improve or optimize the user experience for customers this year.
User experience encompasses more than pictures, but these can undoubtedly set the desired tone. Think about a situation where you sell meal kits and want to gain prominence in the market. Publishing photos of each dish — and even letting people zoom in to see the different ingredients — could make people start associating your brand with those mouthwatering pictures. The images allow them to notice things like texture, color and portion sizes, as well.
10. Connect With Your Audience
Today’s consumers want brands to do more than provide products or services. They crave connection. A study from Sprout Social found that 72% of people feel connected with brands when employees post on social media. The top two reasons were that respondents like learning more about the workers who make up the brand, and they want to feel that the brand has real people behind it.
One way you could help employees get in touch with people is to encourage them to film short video prompts responding to a question. For example, you might say, “What’s the first word you’d use to describe our brand?” Such content reveals how workers view your company.
When members of the public hear the answers, they may realize they share some of the same characteristics. The employee input may cause people to see your brand in new, favorable ways, too.
11. Start a Referral Program
Launching a referral program could also expand your brand’s marketplace presence in meaningful ways. People love telling others about the companies and products they love, and many are even more eager to do it if they get perks.
A 2018 study found 83% of people are more likely to buy things after friends or family recommend them. That’s not surprising since the individuals closest to a person will know them far better than you ever will, even after years of market research. The study also found that 55% of people make word-of-mouth recommendations to those they know at least once per month.
Think about creating a code that lets both the referring person and the referred individual get a discount. Monitor the responses on your end, such as by tracking overall usage and investigating whether the people that customers bring to your site are most likely to buy from particular categories or spend within certain dollar amount ranges.
12. Introduce People to the Brand With Promotional Offers
Giving a new brand a try can seem risky, especially if doing so requires substantial time- and money-related investments. Many people won’t fully recognize what makes your offerings worth buying without trying them.
Catering to that reality could help you attract new customers and recognize that they want low-risk ways to buy from you. For example, if you sell software on a subscription basis, give new customers a month free, then a 50% discount on the next 30 days of service. Or, if you offer classes, plan a short series for beginners or people who feel unsure. Set a reasonable price for that option so people see they have little to lose by going ahead.
Once you get a new customer, ask them to what extent the promotional perk influenced their decision. If the person ultimately decides not to stick around, ask them if you could have done anything differently to keep their business.
A Continual Effort
Making more people aware of your brand is not always easy, and it can take time to see the full results. However, these tips will get you off to a strong start and enable you to pinpoint which techniques work best and offer the most measurable benefits.