Building brand awareness can be a tricky business. However, if done right, you’ll see your company explode with popularity and profits as loyal consumers flock to your product or service on a regular basis. The best way to spread the word about your business online is through brand awareness campaigns designed to raise your company’s profile on social media and search engines while establishing your business as an authority in your industry. If you’re looking to launch or improve an existing brand awareness campaign, here are some ideas to do so effectively.
Figure Out Your Brand Identity
When you’re working on a brand awareness campaign, a great place to start is by figuring out your brand identity. You may have a good idea of what you want your brand identity to be, but it can never hurt to go back and review what exactly that means for your business. Getting more clarity around your branding will help you develop ideas and strategies that are authentic, true to who you are as a company, and effective in communicating with customers.
Some questions that can help guide your thinking are:
- What do we stand for?
- Who is our target customer?
- How do we position ourselves against competitors?
- Who are our competitors?
- What makes us different from them?
- Do we think like our customers or competitors regarding how we solve problems and provide value?
Use Omnichannel Notifications
One of your brand’s most important assets is its customer database. Over time, you should be looking to grow it and create a network of loyal customers that understand what makes your brand unique and speak with one voice. When you do, you’ll have an invaluable resource for communications in times of crisis or during special promotions. Rather than relying on phone calls or printed coupons alone, try using an omnichannel notification system that includes everything from email, text messages, and automated voice calls to QR codes and more. These channels can be powerful tools for building your community! Just make sure they reinforce your brand’s message and maintain some consistency across all channels. A random mix will confuse customers instead of building loyalty and may even damage your reputation as a result.
Know Your Audience
Understanding what your audience wants and how they want it is critical to enhancing your brand awareness campaign. Be sure you can answer many different questions about them, such as what they care about and possible pet peeves. This will allow you to create a strategy that helps them get exactly what they need and keep coming back for more. If you’re not sure where to start, Google is one of your best friends here! Take some time to search for your business and key phrases associated with it (or with your target audience) and see what you find. Remember: it’s not just about creating content. There’s an art form in curating information from elsewhere into something that feels like it’s truly yours.
Personalize Messages to Customers
The easiest way to personalize messages is by using a company’s customer data and creating individualized advertisements based on the information gathered. This way, consumers feel they’re being addressed as individuals instead of just another person in a sea of customers. For example, Groupon can send great deals for restaurants in a customer’s neighborhood, knowing the customer lives around there and eats out often.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can make it easy to maintain customer data across all platforms, including digital storefronts like mobile apps and websites. With the right system, you can create personalized recommendations based on past purchases and online browsing behavior.
While still not fully personalized like one-to-one marketing, direct mailers are another relatively easy way to enhance your brand awareness campaign. Typically, these are targeted toward a specific area or neighborhood. The goal is simply to get your message out while continuing to grow your customer base.
Utilize Social Media
As much as you might try to ignore it, social media is integral to most marketing strategies. In fact, it’s likely that some portion of your target audience spends considerable time on Facebook and Twitter every day. If you aren’t using these channels as part of your overall brand awareness campaign, it’s time to start. Posting relevant updates, using hashtags effectively, and utilizing retweets are all powerful ways to get your name out there on social media. Social media is a great way to gauge your customers’ feelings about your brand and what they want out of it. Posting polls, asking questions, running photo contests and more can get your social network talking about you—and raise awareness for your brand.
Encourage Customer Engagement
If you want your customers to participate in your social media campaigns, it is best if you can give them an incentive for doing so. Offer discounts or prizes for people who engage with your brand on social media. Try offering a Facebook contest where participants post about your brand and others like it on their own pages. Alternatively, find a new take on an old favorite by launching a sweepstake that allows entrants to promote themselves rather than promoting you. Incentives are far more likely to encourage customer engagement than simply asking customers for support through vague pleas or generic goodwill messages.
Stand for Something
If you want your brand to be memorable, it needs a strong, clear message. When crafting your brand message, remember that brands that focus on one thing tend to do better than those all over the place. The same is true for brands and people: If you really want people to remember who you are and what you stand for, make sure it’s crystal clear from day one. Before you know it, people will be quoting your social media posts verbatim—and they’ll also know exactly how they feel about you and your company. There’s no room for misinterpretation when communicating a single message clearly and concisely. Be bold and stand out by having a consistent brand persona!
You don’t need to sink a lot of money into your brand awareness campaign, but you need a plan. Take your time, look at what has worked for other companies in your industry, and come up with something fresh. You want people talking about you and remembering you. There are many ways to get started and ensure your brand is always top-of-mind for potential customers.
So, how can you get creative? One way is by getting your employees involved. Another is sending out emails that let everyone know who you are and what you stand for as a company. Don’t forget social media, either! You can use it to announce new products or services, tell your followers about upcoming events, or host contests. Whatever approach you take, keep things interesting so that people continue paying attention to what you have to say.
It’s difficult for a consumer to remember all their brand options, and even if they can, it isn’t enough. Over time, many companies incorporate repeat advertising to remain fresh in consumers’ minds. Whether or not you have a huge marketing budget, staying relevant with your customers is important for long-term success.
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She often covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance and law, but also enjoys writing about travel, interiors and events.