How recognizable is your company logo to your audience? What does your website traffic look like? How many people are actually aware you exist?
Most markets and industries are pretty saturated with competition, so it's imperative that you're able to measure and boost the amount of influence you have on your target audience.
All of this is contingent on your brand awareness.
Brand Awareness Definition
Brand awareness measures the extent to which consumers recognize the attributes of your brand and what you stand for.
In inbound marketing, it often begins the first time a visitor arrives on your website to read a helpful, informative piece of content.
A brand awareness strategy can have many interlocking pieces, though, and content is only one part of the puzzle. It's driven by different marketing activities that take place throughout each person’s buyer journey.
Why Brand Awareness Is Essential to Grow Your Business
Before a customer relationship develops, prospects need to have some level of brand awareness. They need an understanding of what makes you unique and distinctive.
Brand awareness includes all that your brand embodies and communicates, though your brand values resonate the most with real people.
Optimizing this idea is essential not only for prospects, but for existing customers too. After a sale, awareness must be maintained so your business will be the first option they consider if the same problem arises again.
By implementing a brand awareness strategy, you can start increasing your brand association with particular needs, build equity, and foster trust.
How to Measure Brand Awareness: 6 Metrics You Need to Analyze
There are quite a few tactics that can help you collect data. Analyzing your reach and any patterns in your metrics will help make sure that you're receiving positive ROI on your brand awareness efforts.
1. Website Traffic
Leveraging tools like Google Analytics gives you the opportunity to monitor direct, organic, and referred traffic to your website. That data lets you know if your campaigns and tactics are actually driving visitors to your site.
2. Social Media Followers
Watch how your follower count grows over time. Run that trend against what social activity and campaigns you have going on to determine how your efforts are performing.
3. Social Shares
Monitoring your social shares will clue you in to what content your audience finds the most valuable and which platforms they prefer to engage on.
4. Social Mentions
Any time your company or brand is mentioned in media, you definitely want to be in the know. Not only will you learn what people are saying about you, but you'll be able to track your brand's reach and the buzz it stimulates.
Shares, likes, and comments all factor into engagement metrics on social media. You'll be able to better tailor your content for your different social media channels and increase that ROI.
Referral traffic provides insight into customer approval of your brand's business and how they feel recommending it to others through word of mouth.
Brand Awareness Techniques
Boosting brand awareness requires careful thought and strategic planning, especially when you're looking for a large return. It's always important to know where you stand in the market first and a brand audit can help you determine that.
Once you've established your positioning and how you want to get your brand awareness strategy up and running, you can use these techniques:
1. Start With Your Buyer Personas.
Any brand awareness strategy should begin by verifying your existing hunches about your personas.
Knowing your personas well is particularly important in the world of brand awareness since your initiatives must connect with people where they are to be successful.
That means clarifying buyers’ pain points, what they value, and how your brand meets their needs.
2. Use Search Engine Retargeting.
Retargeting is the next wave in brand awareness. It started to catch on in retail, where shopping cart abandonment is a huge issue.
However, it’s just as vital in B2B, where decision makers may have dozens of potential vendors to choose from.
Search engine targeting shows highly specific ads to individuals who’ve interacted with your site in the past. The ads should be focused around the specific content a person reviewed or actions they took.
This entices them back to your site based on their interests.
3. Develop Loyalty on Social Media.
Social media can be used in your brand awareness strategy to target decision makers and those who are connected to them, especially professionally.
Emphasize social media in your content strategy so your audience has more opportunities to flow from your content to your website.
When using social media for brand awareness, two elements are key:
- Remain aware of social media responses and engage users in direct conversation.
- Ensure that your social media bio pages are filled out, CTA-driven, and optimized.
4. Use Targeted Content Placements.
Where does your audience go for advice? Whose voices do they already trust?
In the early stages of a brand awareness strategy, it’s best to reflect existing prestige onto your brand.
Determine where your audience already gets its industry news in terms of platforms, publications, and influencers. Then, get your content out in those spaces.
Sometimes, that may take the form of “advertorial” content that requires a fee. Be aware that Google looks down on this when the content includes links.
You should always strive to build up a genuine partnership in which your content appears alongside trusted content – no ifs, ands, or buts.
5. Establish Influencer Partnerships.
In B2B, you have many opportunities to boost brand awareness by working with luminaries in your field. It's believed that many influencers don’t have interests that compete with yours.
On the contrary, they want to forge strong ties with brands so their platform offers unique insight. They may value their access to your brand as much as you value them.
Lots of SEO tools help you figure out who your niche’s top influencers are. From there, all you have to do is offer unique, authoritative content they can share as part of their curation. This will drive visitors and, hopefully, email subscribers to your site.
Plus, it will strengthen brand awareness by connecting you to a specific area of expertise.
6. Use Visual Advertising.
A lot has been said about the belief that users have “banner blindness” for visual advertising.
Still, the case might be overstated.
When you have a conversion-fueled goal in mind, you definitely want to use a hyper-targeted, text-driven ad service. When you’re hungry to build awareness, things change: Impressions are the currency of the land here, not clicks.
If you’ve chosen wisely in terms of platforms to focus on, then your target audience will be seeing your brand again and again and again as they venture through those sites.
Just be sure your advertisement has a clear value proposition that will “sink in” with users over time.
7. Get People on Your Mailing List.
It’s easy to think of brand awareness strategy as something that mostly does its job before users have an established relationship with you.
The sad fact is, it could actually take months for your brand attributes to “sink in,” even for people who’ve spent significant time on your site.
The ultimate tool in your brand awareness strategy is your mailing list.
With list subscribers, you can drip high-value content on a regular basis. This will get people visiting your site again.
While many of them will only stay long enough to check out the content they came for, your brand attributes will absorb into their psyche over time.
8. Launch a Referral Program.
Even customers who love what you have to offer usually won’t go out of their way to sing your praises unless they have a good reason.
A referral program will help them keep their eyes peeled when they run into a friend, family member, or colleague who can benefit from your services.
Plus, they’re likely to have some warm feelings left over for your brand when they start enjoying free perks.
9. Create an Infographic.
Some of the most popular content on the web comes in the form of infographics. People love using clever infographics to get an interesting new take on data that could otherwise be hard to puzzle out.
When an infographic is intriguing, understandable, and visually engaging, it gets shared far and wide.
Just be sure your website URL is prominently displayed so people who see it can follow it home.
10. Announce a Contest.
Everybody loves contests!
Although these fun little events are mostly associated with B2C, they can be a great way to inject authenticity and fun into your brand where appropriate.
Give people the chance to submit original content like photos or captions and they will take the ball and run with it. Be careful to follow all applicable rules and laws, of course.
11. Start Remarketing.
Remarketing is one of the most powerful ways to develop brand awareness. It taps into the veritable ocean of web visitors who come to your site once and then disappear.
Normally, you’d have no chance of reconnecting with these folks. With remarketing, however, they’ll start seeing targeted ads for your products and services based on their specific interactions with your site.
Brand Awareness Examples
There are thousands of campaigns that have been launched to increase brand awareness and advertise value for different businesses. That means a lot of inspiration to draw from.
We picked just a few examples of companies that have found a unique way to get their names out there and top of mind in their targeted audience.
Everyone knows about The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. Everyone also knows that he smells like Old Spice. The hygiene company has mastered the art of promoting personality in their campaigns.
Whether you're a customer or not, you can't help but give props to their marketing team for creating such an impressive buzz around their brand.
Hyatt has their own branded hashtag, #worldofhyatt, where they encourage customers to post photos and share their experiences on Instagram.
As a great display of user-generated content, branded hashtags are also a great way to boost brand awareness. The more popular your hashtag is, especially if it hits trending status, the more people are aware of your brand.
For small business owners, eBay's podcast, Open For Business, is an incredible resource for educational content on building a business "from the ground up."
Everyone is probably aware of eBay in the back of their minds, but Amazon has created a pretty long shadow over the auctioning platform. Finding another way to boost awareness and reintroduce their value through a podcast was a genius idea.
Brand awareness is a key part of your long-term strategy. Every time you work to boost awareness, you’re developing visibility across your entire industry.
In time, you can become shorthand for quality – like Q-Tips, Band-Aids, or Coke.
Of course, B2B brand awareness has many components and can be more complex than B2C. These techniques give you quick ways to leverage your digital marketing and solidify your brand in customers’ minds.
In the long run, that’s the key to lucrative repeat and referral business.