How to design an effective Brand awareness campaignJun 09, 2021
By Nick Bottai - Co-Founder/Director @ The Marketing Leaders Ltd.
- What is brand awareness
- Why brand awareness is important for your business
- Start a brand awareness campaign
- Link Building
- Paid Social
- How to measure brand awareness
In this article, I’ll focus on SMEs and startups. Big corporates have more resources and data that generate different approaches in brand awareness techniques and analysis.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness answers the question: “how many people know our brand?” It’s a life-long process that influences all the stages of the marketing funnel. If you are thinking: “My brand is already known”, well think again. A few years ago, Google realised it hadn’t a branding awareness campaign in place and started doing it. We are speaking about a brand with 1.5 billion Gmail users and owns more than 90% of the worldwide search traffic. And yet, the CEO decided it needed a brand awareness campaign strategy. Do you still think your company doesn’t need it?
Why brand awareness is important for your business?
Brand awareness builds trust, associations and creates relationships with customers. “I’ll Zoom you later today”. “Why don’t you Google it?”
The human brain works for analogies and prefers to use information that is already stored. It is lazy and prefers to pick the most accessible information. When it has to make a choice, it goes to the easiest and most energy-effective path; if it hears, sees a name/brand 10 times per day, that will be the favourite choice compared to a brand/name that it hears/sees 2 times per day.
Especially in the first stages of a business, every marketer and business owner should focus on building consistent brand awareness. The results will arrive in the long term, but if you never start, you never get them.
Last but not least, good brand awareness builds equity. The higher perceived value generates higher prices, higher stock value, social impact, higher impulse choices.
Start a brand awareness campaign.
How many resources do you have? Can you start your campaign in your selected target groups only? Or maybe you have enough resources to run it in the adjacent segments too?
I assume if you are ready to start your brand awareness, you have already segmented your customers and done all the homework on brand positioning and equities: you know the mission and vision, your branding manual, the brief, and set the tone of voice for the different segments.
First of all, you want your content to be relevant.
BE SURE THE CONTENT IS RELEVANT TO YOUR AUDIENCE.
Then be a person, not a cold company that focuses on selling only. Engage, listen, connect at an emotional level.
Storytelling instead of selling. Your potential customers decide to follow you because they like what you say and the way you say it. Your audience knows you sell products/services, and you don’t need to remind them every time. If what you say is not relevant, they stop listening/connecting.
The first step it’s to produce content for your website: articles, whitepapers, infographics, images, videos, webinar and everything else that matters for your customers. Be sure you answer your customers’ questions and needs. They tell you the best topic they want to hear about or what issue they want to solve. Then, every piece of content must be aligned to the brand identity and promoted: SEO, link building strategies, forums, groups, panels.
Socialize. 50% of brand awareness comes from social media!
Almost every person has a social media account, depending on age, demographic, needs. You might want to tell your audience you released a new article but it is more useful if you tailor a social media strategy with calendar topics, tone of voice and assets for every social media. This is the best way to establish a dialogue directly with your customers; and where does a dialogue start from?
LISTENING! LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS/AUDIENCE AND GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.
A little cat playing with your branded key-holder will probably generate engagement. Share emotions, create bonds between them and your brand. Once they remember your brand, the emotion bonded to that memory will drive their decision.
Being on social will serve another purpose: make it easy to share. The picture I just used as an example could easily reach thousands of people with just a couple of shares.
Freemium is a common strategy to create awareness and also reputation. Especially for SaaS, the opportunity to have people using your products allows you to show them what issue you solve, how you solve it, ask for feedback, monitor their experience and ultimately, improve your service and product.
Why should your website visitors give you their emails? Freemium is a good reason, as well as free content.
If you have more resources, paid advertising boosts hundreds of times your reach. Google Ads, social media advertising, influencer campaigns, partnerships, sponsorships, events and everything else that could be relevant for your brand identity.
Think about Red Bull. It’s an energy drink, and they sponsored and created events for sports all around the world.
Picture from bestmediainfo.com
How to measure brand awareness
Measuring brand awareness changes depending on your business, and it’s not always easy. If you are an eCommerce Brand you have tons of data to rely on. If you sell industrial machines, the website data might be not so relevant.
However, when we have data, we must measure them to find a path to show us the best route regardless of your market and industry.
- Website traffic: the overall website traffic. It tells you how many people know and engage your brand.
- Direct traffic: it tells you how many people write your URL to reach you. It’s an important metric that indicates your brand is known and they want to reach you.
- Social media engagements: it refers to followers, likes, shares, comments. Tools like Hootsuite, Zoho, can give you insights into your social media presence.
These data imply the leads not only know you but are interested in what you say/sell and want to stay in contact with you and know more about your brand.
- Newsletters: it’s an indicator your content is interesting for your leads. Further metrics related to reach, open rate and clicks can give you more insights into the content and the buyer journey.
- Web searches: Google Alert is a good tool that allows you to know if and how people speak about your brand on the web.
- Social media mentions: it’s similar to the web searches but on social media.
- Backlinks: This is a huge topic to speak about. For brand awareness, we want to track backlinks that come from our audience and leads throughout the marketing funnel stages.
- Downloads: you might have free content, whitepapers, downloadable stuff on your website. Asking an email to access them is a good way to build your database and know people are interested in what you offer.
Brand Awareness is a never-ending duty, and it’s a must for every brand, regardless of how big it is. I mentioned Google, but Facebook started actively doing brand awareness campaigns, Coca Cola never stopped, and so on.
Branding has a huge impact on people perceptions, and it plays a fundamental role in the decision stage. There is a reason if in a supermarket you pick a label instead of another, especially regarding a new product you never used before.
This is branding, and it acts on the subconscious more actively than you an image. Wasting its potential means losing opportunities every day