No matter the type of business or organization you run, brand awareness is one of the key factors around which you will build your marketing strategy.
Familiarizing your prospects and the audiences you want to attract with your brand, vision, and mission can turn you into a household name. But this is something all brands strive to do, especially in the online world.
As the above indicates, a prospect will first come in contact with your brand online through your digital marketing efforts and then access your brick-and-mortar store or your online store. But without brand awareness, you can’t reach the number of people that would eventually make you a household name.
It’s not so much about popularity as it is about value. A recognizable brand with a well-known tone and colors is trustworthy, classic even. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when we’re talking about the concept of brand awareness, which can be broken down into a billion marketing tactics.
So, from nobody to Levi’s Jeans status, how can you make your name shine with some clever marketing moves?
Why Do You Need Brand Awareness?
It’s nice to think that your product is what will lure all users in, but that is not the case. In 2022’s digital world, consumers research products and brands heavily and rely both on the quality and the use of the product to form an opinion.
Brand awareness boosts trust, which, in turn, increases loyalty and can bring in more sales through repeaters and word-of-mouth marketing. Essentially, brand awareness is all about a story that can elicit an emotional response and create a bond with the customer.
You need brand awareness to educate customers and have them associate your product and brand’s name with the solution to their problem. Kind of how the phrase “Google it” became synonymous with “Find the answer” or “Do your research”.
Brand awareness builds another key component of your marketing strategy, which is brand equity. Brand equity is created by what your customers experience when they interact with your brand and how this correlates to your audience’s perception of your brand.
Positive brand equity can drive better performances, a higher AOV from your customers, and, eventually, a brand becoming a household name.
Brand Awareness 101: The 12 Steps
There are some first steps to any marketing tactic and any concept, and brand awareness is one of them. Have you built buzz around your name? Are you looking to rebrand your product, or do you need to start from scratch?
Take a good look at your metrics first, see the type of engagement you have on social media, the traffic you have on your website, and the rate at which your email list grows, and make sure to make educated guesses.
But let’s be more specific.
1. Create Personal Email and Social Media Campaigns
Users know you are a brand; that much is true. But it’s impossible to establish an emotional connection with a faceless brand. Build your brand’s tone like you would build your personality and approach your audience as an actual person would.
In other words, talk to your customers like you would talk to one of your friends: One-on-one, using their name, with a tone relevant to what they’re saying at the time.
This tone should be evident in all of your marketing efforts. Here’s why:
A steady, easily recognizable brand tone will work wonders for your brand awareness efforts. But this doesn’t mean that your brand’s tone shouldn’t be adjustable according to the platform you’re using and the person viewing your content.
Consider creating social media and email marketing campaigns that will make sense to each one of your followers and recipients. Use flexible email templates that are easy to personalize, like the templates email marketing tools like Moosend offer, and be consistent in your contact with your audience.
2. Create Stellar Content
A brand that connects with its audience is a brand that can remain on top of mind at worst. Of course, you should be mindful of your tactics and the personality you show to the world.
A brand that contacts its customers when there’s a sale or when it’s desperately trying to generate more leads and reach its sales KPIs but wouldn’t know how to approach them outside of these circumstances is not a brand that customers will remember down the line.
So, craft your narrative and create it throughout your efforts. Tell your brand’s story and ensure it’s all over your social media accounts, blog, and marketing materials composing your email marketing strategy.
Creating content that has a story to tell will elicit an emotional response. For example, Starbucks’ calming setting, easy omnichannel set up, and friendly tone made them the perfect place for people to grab their laptops and get to work.
People love a narrative with which they can connect.
3. Collaborate With Bloggers in Your Niche
Let’s assume that you have content ready and that you have connected with others in your niche. Perhaps it’s time to start a blog that will boost your authority and allow you to collaborate with other authority figures in your niche.
Take advantage of the traffic of like-minded brands by guest blogging and collaborating online with them. That way, you will reach a more significant chunk of your target market. You will also manage to present your product to an audience interested in what you have to offer by default.
4. Create Memorable Visuals
Whether it’s on your website, email marketing campaigns, or social media efforts, memorable visuals will always take the cake. Ensure you can pinpoint the colors that work best for your brand’s tone and follow the graphic design trends that make sense for your brand.
After that, it’s time to create a logo – a mascot or a plain symbol; this is up to you and how you want your brand to be presented.
Take a look at the logos below:
Disney’s mascot is a mouse’s head – but this is not any mouse. It’s Mickey Mouse. This turned Disney into a memorable and “human” brand. But the symbol itself is incorporated into anything Disney, from its theme parks to plain packaging. Perhaps you should consider doing the same.
5. Be Catchy
If I say “I’m loving it”, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. The same goes for “Just do it”, and “Because you’re worth it”.
And while it’s a long way to being as recognizable as McDonald’s, you can definitely find a catchphrase that will serve as your mission statement. Creating your motto will lead you down the road to brand awareness and make your job way more manageable. Just make sure to create something that directly correlates with how your product or service can make customers feel.
6. Use SEO
Okay, you have created your blog, and you’re going about your content. Now what? You can use SEO and PPC to make your content more recognizable and spread it around.
You might create your PPC campaigns without knowing how SEO works. And that’s fine until you see how much more affordable optimizing your content for the keywords your audience is looking for is.
People interested in your product or service will look for it in various ways. For example, let’s assume that you’re in the eCommerce business. You can use the keyword “eCommerce store”, or you could also use keywords like “eCommerce stores that deliver to XYZ country”. Create content that will cover their needs and answer their questions. In time, you’ll see how your content simply pops up and answers every customer query.
7. Work With Referrals
This may sound like something that wouldn’t be your first priority. And you would be correct, but referral marketing is a fantastic way to reach interested prospects without doing much.
Reach out to the customers you already have and turn them into brand ambassadors – with a little incentive, of course. You can also create a dedicated landing page for this effort alone and include a testimonial video to showcase how others have used your product to every new subscriber or customer.
The incentive you’re going to offer doesn’t need to break the bank, so don’t think that this brand awareness tactic is something only big brands can accomplish. You can always waive the shipping fees or offer a discount coupon for a certain amount instead of an X% discount.
8. Do Things Offline as Well
Being digital-only has its perks, but you can’t deny that offline marketing is still going strong.
Be sure to create offline materials like flyers or posters. For those of you that are a little more on the “guerilla” side of things, you could create a treasure hunt with QR codes that combine both digital materials and offline marketing promotions on posters or billboards.
It’s refreshing, it’s a gamified marketing tactic, and the engagement will have people talking about you.
9. Show Your Personality
To be memorable, your brand needs to carry a lot of personalities, and, as mentioned above, this personality will shape the narrative and vice-versa.
Creating a person who represents your brand’s tone and is the narrator of all of your marketing tactics is one of the catchiest things about brand awareness. Consider Frank Body, for example:
Frank is cheeky, flirty, and fun, and he’s not afraid to promote the products by their actual value, not their perceived one. This brand markets its personality rather than the product itself, and the tactic has worked wonders for its CRO efforts.
10. Create a Podcast
This could seem odd for some brands, but in my experience, no brand can’t see a podcast’s actual benefit.
The core principle here is that the more value your prospects find in your content, the better it is for your brand awareness, and the more easily they’ll remember you. But there’s a little catch here.
Consumers are pretty weary of brands talking about themselves all the time. And more often than not, they won’t give their time of day to promotional content.
As you can see, a podcast’s audience prefers the above topics. So, consider incorporating them into your content strategy. Societal matters, for example, can work in tandem with your product. Take a look at Nike’s “For Once, Don’t Do It” anti-racist campaign that, according to Forbes, was an attempt to create a better society.
So, find what topic serves your niche and create content that can cover both your product and an issue your audience cares about.
11. Team Up With Other Brands and Influencers
The objective here is to reach more of who would be your ideal audience by teaming up with brands and influencers in your niche and creating content with them.
Instead of writing cold emails and trying to do blind outreach, you could co-host an Instagram live with your favorite influencer or co-create pieces of content with a brand whose product is complementary to yours. Implementing a collaborative marketing action allows your brand to become more recognizable. It will reach more users by default – even those who would seem like they don’t fit in your ideal customer persona at first.
12. Consider Online Advertising
The last one for today is the last one for a reason. Advertising is the first thing in more than most marketers’ minds, but it shouldn’t be.
Let’s assume you’ve created stellar content, you’re scoring organic visits to your website, and your social media pages have as much engagement and shares as would make sense at this stage.
Now, it’s time to create your first advertising campaign.
There is a reason why PPC and online advertising should be last. They won’t help you with your brand tone but with promoting your content. And even if you create an ad that will seem like a typical social media post, it would be good to disclose that it’s an ad.
Ads are fantastic, especially when done cleverly, but you should put your efforts into creating stellar content and have people reach out to you organically first. Otherwise, online advertising can be a really costly tactic.
It may seem like an uphill battle, but building brand awareness is not that hard if you know what to do and the order in which every brand must perform the above steps.
Brand awareness is what will show your audience how valuable you are through visuals like logos and infographics, right to your email marketing campaigns, blog and website.
But never forget that creating brand awareness is an ongoing effort that takes a lot of testing and implementing new strategies to reach even bigger audiences.