The 6 Secrets of Growing Brand Awareness
Modern markets are unforgiving environments where every percent of market share has to be earned the hard way. Being a new or growing brand in a highly competitive industry means that you need to work twice as hard, or twice as smart when it comes to marketing.
Brand awareness is a term that defines how well the consumer market recognizes your company. Achieving high brand awareness is the ultimate long-term strategy for market domination. Putting together a brand awareness campaign isn’t easy. That being said we’ve put together 6 secrets and tips that will help you along the way!
Work On Your Online Brand Awareness
The online space has become the new frontier as far as marketing goes. Sure, the usual vectors still matter — depending on the industry you’re a part of, you’ll still want to run ads in magazines, on TV, and on the radio. However, it’s the online arena that is proving to be the most dominant these days.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it
Everybody is connected to the internet. You can step outside your office right now, and you’ll be surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of mobile devices, all of which are tethered to the great invisible depository of knowledge we call the internet. Developing strong online brand awareness is especially important if your business isn’t limited to your immediate area, your city, state, or country. For example, if you’re selling consulting services in an industry that is more or less uniform across different continents, you’ll want to attract new business from all over the world.
Building online brand awareness is done through the use of social media and by developing your own site in a way that makes it competitive. The former is a proactive approach to building brand awareness, while the latter is passive. Both are equally important.
Social media is one of the most important marketing vectors of today. While most people are browsing for things they need, everyone is using social media on a daily. Running ad campaigns on various social media networks allows you to target your intended audiences with a great deal of precision. You can narrow down your reach to a specific age group, location, sex, and a myriad of other variables.
In parallel to running ad campaigns, you should also build your brand’s presence on these networks. Have a social media manager who posts cool shots of your products, or interesting infographics regarding your services. Interact with users and grow your presence organically.
Proper SEO Is Key
Speaking of organic growth, the passive approach to building brand awareness involves creating a website for your business and then ranking it for vital keywords. Doing so requires the implementation of a good SEO strategy.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization involves a series of tasks and strategies whose main goal is to make your website appear on the first page of Google results for a given keyword. Proper SEO involves fine-tuning your site but also the implementation of an effective outreach campaign.
Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy that has the potential to completely transform your business. It’s the type of process that can elevate a small brand to the same level as its top-tier competitors.
Stay On top of Your Press Releases
Press releases are still an important form of communication between a business and the industry it’s a part of. A good press release will improve your brand’s credibility, especially if you run it in high-authority publications.
All this being said, a press release alone won’t do much good to boost your brand awareness. You need to be creative with it.
Press releases are traditionally used to let the industry and the public know about new products you’re rolling out, new services, changes in top-level leadership, or similar important events. The way you can boost brand awareness using this old PR tool is by becoming a thought leader in your industry.
What does this mean? Issue press releases on the regular, but make sure that they have value. The professionals behind Newswire point out that you need to use middleman agencies that offer a direct link to popular publications. Combine a well-thought-out PR campaign with strong publications and soon your brand’s name will be synonymous with innovation.
Surveys have always been a valuable tool in marketing. Every successful ad campaign was based on data set extrapolated from some sort of survey. By running surveys, you can put your finger on the pulse of an entire market.
This type of information is important when you’re planning new marketing campaigns. However, it can serve another purpose.
You can run surveys to find out how your target audience perceives your brand. We live in a digital world where surveying is quick, has an unlimited reach, and is often rather affordable. Companies such as Google offer survey services that will allow you to tap into whatever audience you associate with.
Will a survey tell you exactly what you need to do to boost brand awareness? Probably not. However, you’ll gain an insight into the main issues that are preventing your brand from becoming more popular. You can then use this information to come up with strategies that will point your business in a new, positive direction.
The proliferation of the internet has brought on many changes to the way business is done these days. Almost every part of the process has been affected in one way or another. One byproduct of these changes is social media influencers.
These are essentially people who create a massive social media following and then use their fame to offer marketing services to various companies. Working with an influencer is a great way of boosting brand awareness. This is even more true if your products or services meet the needs of an average consumer. All this being said, there are several things you need to be aware of before you start looking for influencers to cooperate with:
- Look for influencers close to your niche — This is a big one. Some brands and campaign managers are often dazzled by the number of followers a certain influencer has. Unless that person has built their following around an activity that is close or at least compatible with your products and services, that large following won’t mean much. Finding a smaller influencer that is all about your niche is a much better deal. That way you’re getting your brand served to a group of people who are already interested in your industry.
- Cultivate Influencers — If your particular niche doesn’t have relevant influencers with strong followings, make some yourself. Find people who have tendencies to become famous on social media, who are in your niche, and who are willing to work with you. By growing their reach, you’re essentially building your own following. This approach allows you to build a network of influencers and thus become a figure of authority in an emerging niche. Additionally, this strategy works in already developed niches where top-tier influencers are either taken on out of reach.
Charities are an awesome way to give back to the community. Businesses have been involved in charities for a long time. In fact, when brands get involved in charity work is usually when those in need get the help they require.
Pushing the philanthropic part of charity work to the side reveals an abundance of business opportunities. Charity work has always been incentivized and for a good reason. Businesses are entitled to tax write-offs and similar “rewards” for their philanthropic work.
That being said, there’s another benefit to participating in charity work — boosting brand awareness!
Doing good deeds for people can propel your brand far and wide on the internet. There are numerous instances where small brands did the right thing, helped someone, and then became known to a wider audience. In some instances, the good deed went viral which has forever tied that brand with kindness and goodness.
Should you go out there and do charity work with the sole purpose of going viral online? No, not really. If there’s one thing the internet is good at, it’s figuring out disingenuous marketing campaigns.
Instead of trying your luck by strategizing charity work, simply do it for all the right reasons. Be the type of brand that helps people and the world will notice.
Similar to charity work, recognizing developing social causes and taking a stand on social matters is a good way to improve your brand awareness. That being said, you really need to sit down and decide whether you want your brand to be involved in what are essentially political matters.
Taking a stand, no matter how ethically correct it is, will alienate you from one part of your potential clients.
More importantly, it’s imperative that your brand is genuine regarding where it stands on various social causes and issues. If you make a statement regarding an ongoing social crisis, make sure to put the entire weight of your organization behind that statement. Support the cause and do your best to make a difference.
Brands who utilize social distress for the sole purpose of gaining an advantage on the market, are often penalized for such behavior. Again, the average consumer is more than capable of seeing through such attempts.
It’s much better to remain silent and ignore any sensitive issues than it is to make low-effort statements with no weight to them.
Be On The Cutting Edge of Your Niche
We’ve saved the most difficult strategy for last. The best way to build brand awareness is to constantly be at the cutting edge of your industry. No matter what niche you pick, there will always one or two brands that are always a step above everyone else. Why? Because the market and consumers have recognized these brands as the driving factor behind the entire niche.
To become the top dog in your industry, you really need to pull your weight. Doing original research, constantly investing in the development of new technologies, and investing in innovation are all necessary parts of maintaining the kind of reputation that builds brand awareness.
Will this be easy? It won’t. Your competitors will fight you tooth and nail for that spot, and you’ll have to work hard to keep them at bay. More importantly, becoming such a praised figure of authority in any industry is a continuous process that requires constant involvement and engagement with your peers as well as your target consumers.
The silver lining is brands like the ones we’re talking about here, become household names. Think NVIDIA, or Hershey’s or Hoover. When most people think of graphic cards, the first name that pops into their minds is NVIDIA. Chocolate? Hershey’s. Be the Hershey bar to your industry, and you’ll never have to worry about brand awareness again.
Small disclaimer, even if you become a popular name within your industry, you’ll still have to avoid negative PR. The more aware the market is of your brand, the easier it is for them to associate your business with a negative thought following a PR disaster. The whole “the higher they fly, the harder they crash” saying applies here.
Working on Brand Awareness
These six secrets or tips represent strategies that have been proven to work in the past. Building brand awareness is a long process that requires constant work as well as maintenance. That being said, there is no single strategy that will get you to where you need to be. In many cases where a brand became incredibly popular in a short period of time, luck was a major factor.
While there’s no way to control lucky circumstances, you can control your ability to recognize such situations and utilize them to your advantage. To do so, you’ll need to have a developed strategy in place and a team of people who understand the importance of this entire process.