Without even realising it, each day you interact with scores of brands across hundreds of different channels, each worming into your subconscious, including social media, radio ads, newsletters in your inbox, to pole ads along the road to work (well, when we used to commute…) and vendors in sandwich boards at traffic lights. You’re constantly interacting (some would say being bombarded) with branded content, whether you know/like it or not!
There is something about a Brand Awareness campaign that is like a tightrope walk: you are either going to get your audience to gasp at your dexterity, agility and skill — or gasp at your fall. Either way, it is a tough exercise increasing brand awareness.
While it may appear to be a sea of advertising in a hubbub of activity with each brand calling out to you ‘hawking’ their wares, each one of those companies believes that they have a different and distinct brand that helps them stand out from their competitors — from their unusual company colours, their edgy logo or their sexy mascot — urging you to interact and ‘come on over’.
Consistency is Brand Awareness 101. Let that sink in.
The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text
According to Forbes, consistent branding across all channels increases revenue by 23%. Companies must maintain a consistent message, tone, look and service if they want to be (positively) remembered, given that there will be between five and seven brand interactions before a consumer remembers a brand. But when they do, chances are, they’ll mention you.
Social media plays a major role in brand awareness as audiences share likes and comments. Shares are critical for reaching new audiences. This is where your content is distributed to people outside of your follower base so, ask yourself, how worthy is your content to share, is there something that triggers a response? Do your followers want to forward it or better still tag a friend? Is your message consistent as well as your delivery, or do you pop out random emails? Can your followers rely on consistent communication from you?
While shares build organic reach that is not reliant on fickle algorithm changes, this is the realm where infographics rule as they are visually appealing, easy to digest and add a bit of fun in what could be a bland article. Make sure they are in keeping with your brand’s tone.
While branding can be expensive, there are simpler ways to create awareness, one is guest blogging for another site. Although it’s important for brands to have your own blog and build your own audiences, guest blogging can drive significant mileage from these assets. As Neil Patel suggests, you can also Google ‘guest post guidelines’ and ‘guest post by’ in your area of expertise to find sites that welcome guest submissions.
If you don’t have a line in the water, don’t expect to catch anything…
You can use platforms like MyBlogGuest and see where you can add value, while receiving value. Be sure to maintain your key messaging and not be ‘swallowed’ by the host before diving in though. Check each site’s blog content and assess how they engage because you’ll want to make sure that you can offer content that fits into their offerings by contributing a fresh viewpoint, while retaining your identity. Research plays a part and ultimately, it’s all about being noticed and associated with other trusted and recognised brands. ‘By your friends you will be known’ comes to mind.
Another way to build awareness is through events. Find fun reasons to get together socially (when restrictions allow!), and then pin on some light information about your cause, your product etc. When customers already recognise your brand, they will be more likely to buy from you than from a brand that they are not as familiar with.
Attitude is a great way to attract people to your brand. If you are sponsoring or supporting an issue, show your gratitude for others who are doing good work within that issue. Include images in a newsletter, or on your FaceBook site; become the platform that people consistently go to for the latest news, info and updates on that subject. This also brings people together who have a common interest and it facilitates their networking while growing your awareness and developing a leadership role.
So too, making the most out of influencer marketing is a sure and tested way of increasing brand awareness, more so if your market is a younger age range. In 2020 a study by Econsultancy on influencer marketing reported that “61% of consumers, aged 18 to 34, have at some point been swayed in their decision-making by digital influencers.” Just ensure that content is authentic, aligns with your principles and message and ‘relatable’ to your audience, else you’ll just as quickly lose your followers if they see you as inconsistent.
94% of blog posts with visuals get more engagement.
Get noticed and draw in clients through a referral program. Coveted word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising is one of the finest ways to get attention for your brand. This is where you offer a discount, a voucher or something similar to a customer who refers a friend. This method not only expands your brand’s reach and the number of people who know about you, but it also brings that awareness from a source that people trust, namely, friends and family.
Research in the US reveals that 49% of US consumers say friends and family are their go-to sources of brand awareness, but it’s pretty prevalent worldwide because it’s a win-win situation.
Consistent branding, messaging, tone and service will ensure that you attract and don’t scare those elusive customers away.
Remember that while you cannot be everything to everyone, you can mean everything to your customers.