Build a Winning Brand Awareness Strategy with These 20 Tips
8 out of 10 new businesses fail.
Because they couldn't stand out among their competitors and scale growth, and they eventually ran out of capital.
Beating your competitors means having prospects choose you every time. This doesn't mean spending exorbitant amounts of money on ads or ranking on Google. It means building a brand that customers recognize, resonate with, and want to do business with.
90% of customers will pay more when purchasing from a brand they trust. Developing a memorable and consistent brand is an investment, but when done well, it will result in more traffic, leads, customers, and referrals.
The key to building a brand is executing a thoughtful brand awareness strategy. This article will give you everything you need to build a winning brand awareness strategy.
What is Brand Awareness
Brand awareness refers to how well your target audience can recognize your brand. To achieve brand awareness, you'll need to stand out from the competition in ways notable enough to catch your audience's eye—and stick in their memory. Lead acquisition means nothing if they don't come back, and the best way to get them to come back is to build a brand they connect with and can recognize.
6. Offer Referral Rewards
While Airbnb doesn't have an upgraded or premium version, they reward potential guests and existing hosts with credits up to $200 if they can get a new user on the platform. Dropbox offers existing users an additional 500MB of space for each referral, up to 16 GB. This helped Dropbox increase its signups by 60%.
By offering additional incentives in exchange for a promotion, you're improving their experience while increasing brand awareness. Two birds, one stone.
7. Don't Just Exist on Social Media - Be Present
Many companies only use social media because customers expect it. But to drive brand awareness with social, you have to try. Since a lot of brands only maintain the status quo on social, it could also be an excellent opportunity to stand out against your competitors.
Use your buyer persona research to find the platform your targeted audience may pay the most attention to. Start focusing on that platform just a little more than the others. Gauge your success continuously with social media publishing and reporting tools such as HubSpot.
Being present on social media is key to being engaging. How do you interact with your customers or other brands? What does your content look like? Are you commenting, sharing, or participating in conversations?
When you settle to simply exist on social media, you fade into the background. When you take the time to be present and engaging, you breathe life into your brand, and customers will have no choice but to take notice.
8. Work With Social Platform Reps
Some platforms, such as Facebook, also offer brand lift experiments. These evaluate your ad recall and overall brand awareness. Twitter offers something similar with brand surveys, though they're unavailable to everyone.
By working closely with reps from social channels, you can share and collaborate on your brand awareness goals. These representatives are really there to help you, and your success is their success.
9. Find Where Your Customers Complain
Your customers are asking questions and looking for feedback about their challenges somewhere. Identify where these conversations are happening. Be an active, helpful participant in those places, focusing on helping people rather than selling your product or service.
Though a lot of this research should be covered during the creation of buyer personas, invest some additional time in finding additional blogs, subreddits, chat rooms and forums. Try brainstorming all of the potential jargon and phrases that your customers could be using, and use that information to help find your audience.
10. Invest Time In Niche Groups
Once you find a few watering holes where your customers gather, invest time in more niche groups. Use the same mindset regarding segmenting highly specific audiences to your brand awareness strategies. Think of all of the potential hobbies or interests your customers could have.
To find these niche topics, Facebook Groups are a great place to start. You can access the particular topics and pain points in your industry and provide value there. Answer questions that relate to your industry in these groups. Even starting a group, when done correctly, can help build a community and draw in potential customers.
For example, if you sell to B2B marketers, you may choose to spend time in the Exit Five community.
11. Invest In Other People
No one is an island, right? Neither are brands.
As a company selling products and services in a particular industry, it's not only beneficial to connect with customers and influencers in that space, it's better business.
Brands that provide personal, collective, and marketplace benefits have a 46% higher "share of wallet", or higher spend on a product. Customers care about the value of your product but also care about what you will do for other customers and society in general.
Basically, show an interest beyond generating revenue.
12. Provide Authentic, Valuable Experiences
People respond to authenticity. With brands trying to outdo each other in "awesomeness", a lot of them forget that the most impactful way to spread brand awareness is just to provide highly valuable experiences and products to their customers.
By focusing on the user or the influencer, instead of only on your brand, you'll establish more significant relationships with leads, prospects, and customers. As Kathy Sierra of Serious Pony stated, "Make the user awesome instead of competing to be perceived as awesome."
13. Invite Diversity Through Valuable Guest Content
Don't just churn it out, though. Invest time in creating valuable, gorgeous-looking content with a guest blogger or poster. Locate the influencers in your industry, and go beyond just connecting with them.
Figure out how you can complement what they're doing. Focus on finding shared interests or goals to increase their interest in collaborating with you. Create something unique and helpful. Invest time in the design and aesthetics, and brand the content using your logo.
When they share it with their audiences, you'll have a whole new crowd exposed to your brand.
This also can expand the diversity of your brand content. Different people have different thoughts and ideas, and by expanding the diversity of your content, you create more opportunities for your customers to connect with you.
14. Showcase Your Success with Social Proof
When it comes to recommendations to friends and family, trust is on the upswing. Almost nine out of ten customers will rely on reviews to help make a purchasing decision. Feature more customer reviews and customer testimonials throughout your site, and in content.
Make sure it's an actual person and put a face to the name. As customers look to their trusted circles and other customers for feedback on products or services before purchasing, use previous (positive) customer experiences to really highlight your service.
15. Engage Missed Opportunities Through Remarketing
Your first effort in attracting customers is to get them to visit your site… but what about the visitors who come to your site once and never end up pulling the trigger?
Remarketing efforts allow you to target potential customers who have engaged with your brand in the past in some capacity. You can place specific retargeting ads on your site to speak to visitors who have clicked through to your site in the past or run email campaigns specifically targeted toward people who converted on a free offer but never made a purchase.
Remarketing is an incredible way to remind people who were once interested in your brand why they were interested and hopefully recapture them.
16. Create Shareable Infographics
If you're looking to create awareness, don't underestimate the power of images and visual appeals.
How many times have you been looking for a quick-and-dirty way to do something and ended up scrolling through Google Image Search results until you found a simple, one-page graphic that could walk you through the basics?
Infographics are popular because they're easily digestible, visually interesting, and easy to share. Brainstorm processes or practices for which your brand could create shareable infographics.
17. Show Your Personality
Your brand has something no other brand has—its unique personality. Is your brand fun-loving and relatable? Maybe you're going for more stable-and-trustworthy energy. Or perhaps you have a unique, no-nonsense way of providing resources your customers know will be worth their time and energy.
Regardless of your brand's personality, sharing that energy with your audience is an incredible way to make your brand more memorable.
18. Explore Podcasting
Do you want to be a thought leader in your industry? Podcasting might be the way to get there. Podcasts are perfect for building brand awareness in targeted markets because the listenership can be as niche as your brand needs.
You can start a podcast for your brand where you interview other professionals in your industry, offer product reviews for relevant tools, provide tips and tricks to listeners, and more. Additionally, if you don't have the resources to start a podcast of your own, you could request to appear as a guest on existing podcasts in your industry.
By the way, did you know we have a podcast? Check out Growth Team Radio for actionable strategies, tactics, and tools for growing your B2B SaaS company.
19. SaaS Brands: Consider Freemium Access
Depending on your product or industry, this tip may not make sense for your brand. However, SaaS brands can benefit from exploring offering freemium access to their tools.
Freemium access is a play on "free" and "premium." When using this model, you offer free access to your tool but lock certain "premium" features behind your paywall. This model allows potential customers to see what's possible with your tool and allows them to test it out in a no-cost environment.
After using your free version for a week, they may just discover they can't live without your premium features a moment longer. Then, you've got a sale on your hands.
20. Leverage PR
The last way you might choose to build brand awareness is by leveraging your public relations efforts. You can tackle this strategy in one of two ways.
Firstly, you can build relationships with industry journalists. Send press releases to publications that release articles based on industry news and make yourself available for interviews on important developments in your space.
In addition to the podcast appearances we mentioned above, you can also reach out to video shows or blogs in your space and see if they are interested in guests or contributors. Anything that helps get your brand's name in front of interested consumers can help your brand awareness efforts.
Leveraging Brand Awareness Strategy to Win More Customers
Brand awareness should not be the beginning of your brand narrative.
Building brand awareness isn't about creating a new story; it's about positioning your brand as a part of your customer's story.
You see, in a great brand story, the customer is the hero of the story. Think of your brand as the sidekick. The solution to our protagonist's problems and the trusted resource to help them along their journey.
If you're building awareness on a new story about your brand, your customers won't care. But, if your story connects with theirs and helps them move toward their conclusion, they will latch on and identify with your brand message.
Brand awareness is the very first of the Six Levers Of Growth. However, it needs to be guided by all the other six levers.
What about your products or service will cause your customers to recommend you to their circle of influence?
Building brand awareness is part of a greater growth strategy. Our Growth Playbook can help direct your efforts in building brand awareness and an entire growth plan designed for success.
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