Want to build a brand that punches through the noise?
Creating a brand that gets instant recognition and stands out from competitors means raising your brand awareness IQ.
And to do that, it’s important to understand what brand awareness actually is, how you can measure it and ways you can build brand awareness among consumers and across the web.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness refers to the level of familiarity and impression your brand name holds among your target audience. It’s not just how well your brand is recognized among consumers, stakeholders and the competition, but the emotions and action it compels each time it’s seen, mentioned or pops up in people’s minds, particularly when held up against others in your industry.
Building brand awareness is about more than simply introducing your company to your customers. It’s about creating an indelible link between your brand and the services you provide—one that continually triggers a positive memory in people’s minds and nudges them a little closer to your brand at some point in the buyer’s journey.
Increasing brand awareness is a lot like building your reputation. If your efforts are successful, you’re developing the foundation of trust and recognition needed to harness customer loyalty, build brand value and grow your business.
But if you’re not, your brand is likely to simply fade into the woodwork, unable to emerge from the chatter or attract the business you need to thrive.
How do measure brand awareness?
Brand awareness is somewhat intangible, making it difficult to put hard numbers to and “score” how well your brand is resonating across the public sphere. However, there are several key metrics and observations you can use to get a better sense of how much buzz you’re generating among online consumers and any areas you may need to step up your game.
- Site traffic. Low numbers of direct traffic and overall site traffic generally indicate poor brand awareness online, showing relatively few people know or are engaging with your brand. Low site volume may indicate the need for reevaluation of any brand awareness marketing campaigns currently underway.
- Social interaction. Social platforms are where many consumers discuss, share and review brands online. Low levels of engagement—likes, followers, comments—combined with a modest number of mentions, hashtags, etc., could be a sign your awareness needs a little push.
- Google search. A simple Google search of your brand show just how far your reach and brand awareness extend across the web. Brand-based search results offer a glimpse into the size and quality of the online conversation—and a poor showing on Google’s first page may mean your digital outreach strategy is falling a little short.
Setting up a Google Alert for your business can also help keep an eye on how you’re rating and if your brand awareness is trending in the wrong direction.
Take this short survey to learn if your brand awareness could use some work.
How Does Your Brand Awareness Measure Up?
a) Disappointing; far short of expectations
b) Ok, but not translating into sales or growth for our business
c) Good when compared to the competition
d) Great! We are outpacing others in our industry
a) Rarely, if ever. Very few follow or engage our brand on social
b) Sometimes. We get likes and followers occasionally, but not enough to justify our SM budget
c) Regularly. Our social presence is fairly active
d) Often! Our brand is killing it!
a) Isn’t. It’s hard to locate our business on Google
b) Is withering. We rarely pop up in first-page results
c) Is good, but could definitely use a boost
d) Puts us front and center! We’re at the top of Google!
7 Ways to build brand awareness online
Here are 7 small but powerful strategies we’ve found can really get the word out and build your brand awareness to the next level:
- Create more shareable content
- Spread the word by guest posting
- Rethink your approach to social
- Come out on top with PPC
- Be consistent across each platform
- Build a review presence
- Tweak your brand
1. Create more shareable content (like Infographics!)
In-house videos and blog-boosting infographics are great ways to provide your audience valuable brand-centered information. They’re also highly shareable brand awareness vessels with the potential to carry your message and increase brand recognition across the four corners of the web, growing your reach and impact in the process.
Combing through mountains of text on your blog or website can be taxing on your customers. Whenever possible, break up that info with something that really grabs their eye and makes industry-related stats and data interesting. Colorful, creative infographics can help put topics into a unique perspective, deliver useful information to your audience and bring your ideas to life in a way that compels shares, likes and conversation around your brand name.
Check out this graphic on how a good image strategy can strengthen your brand awareness campaign:
2. Spread the word by guest posting
Creating valuable content to feature on industry platforms and third-party blogs isn’t just an effective method for bolstering your authority and position as thought leader. It’s also a powerful way to spread the word and expand brand awareness online.
Guest posting memorable, useful content helps grow your brand footprint beyond the limits of your own website, adding yet another positive asset for Google to crawl and display in search results. It creates a beacon for your brand outside of traditional online marketing channels with the potential to reach an entirely new audience.
It also gives users the chance to share expert advice or info they may have been hesitant to do otherwise—an element far enough away from your site to make consumers feel as though they’re sharing useful information without actively marketing your business.
If you do post on third-party sites, it’s important to create informative, high-quality content, rather than run-of-the-mill stuff designed only to drop your brand name somewhere else. Because you’ll potentially be in front of a new or larger audience, it’s crucial to offer valuable, interesting information that leaves a lasting impression and doesn’t waste the opportunity.
3. Rethink Your Approach to Social
Social can be a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. But trying to maximize your visibility across all social platforms at once is often counterproductive, creating chaos that puts your brand and your marketing budget in a serious bind.
Keeping up with the ever-growing number of social networks and maximizing your presence on each one is a lot like taking a swim on dry land (and a lot more expensive). So, instead of wading in the dust and hoping for rain, plunge your social media marketing dollar into the platform(s) best suited to your particular business—those which provide the best opportunity to connect your unique message with the most receptive audience possible.
For example, if your brand is B2B, Twitter may be your best bet for more effective SM outreach. If professional services are what you do, targeted marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn might deserve more of your focus. And if you’re a small business centered on creative (such as niche marketing), then Instagram could be the brand awareness pick-me-up you need to get your name out there.
While you don’t want to abandon your efforts on other sites completely, it’s advisable to center your build brand awareness effort within the spaces you know will work.
Here’s a good video on selecting the right social platform:
4. Come out on top (of search)
There’s no denying what a good SEO strategy can do in terms of enhancing visibility and building long-term brand awareness. But if you’re looking to shortcut the process and give your search presence a real shot-in-the-arm, you might want to consider some PPC.
A well-researched Pay-Per-Click ad campaign can earn your brand prime search real estate for relevant industry queries, thrusting your business to the top of results pages and amplifying your visibility in an instant. And even if users aren’t always clicking on your ads, they’re still seeing your brand each time they search your services, creating an impression that gets reinforced over time.
While we still recommend search optimization for building a more robust brand footprint, PPC ads can be a smart, fast and effective way to let customers know you’re there—as well as to tie your brand to important, competitive search terms (i.e. bicycle repair) that pull consumers closer to your business.
5. Be consistent across each platform
Want to build a brand name that sticks?
Whether you’re brewing beer or selling insurance, consistency is key to shaping your image and cultivating a reputation that people will remember down the road.
It’s also an elemental part of SEO, providing Google the consistent, accurate listings it needs to properly index your info and deliver users the best results possible.
Maintaining the same brand name, logo and contact info across each business mention and profile helps solidify your brand identity among consumers. It also eliminates the confusion that so often creates a major disconnect between brands and consumers, leaving a negative impression that only gets worse over time.
By eliminating brand inconsistencies on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List and other listing sites, you’re not only sharpening your online presence; you’re taking a consequential step toward improving brand awareness and visibility.
Updating existing profiles is a good start. But adding and claiming your listings on other business directories, search engines, social platforms, maps and review sites can provide an even greater opportunity to build brand awareness and boost online visibility, strengthening your messaging and giving customers more avenues to locate your business when they need it most.
Some of the more notable (and free) opportunities to create and claim your list your business include:
6. Build a review presence
How can online reviews help you build brand awareness?
The stats speak for themselves.
Consider this: More than 85% of consumers seek out local business reviews when searching your services. 95% of people between 18 and 34 read reviews when shopping brands online. And consumers sort through an average of 10 online reviews BEFORE choosing to trust your business.
In other words, having a strong review presence is not only key to getting noticed and considered by potential customers, but reinforcing the awareness (and credibility) needed to earn their business.
What’s more: there’s a direct correlation between the number of reviews you have online and your ranking in search, with those in the top three slots on Google having nine more reviews, on average (47), than those in the bottom four (38).
Building a more robust review presence doesn’t just help put your brand on the map; it can provide an invaluable lift on SERPs (search engine results pages), putting you in much a greater position to reach your audience, vie with competitors and imprint your brand in the hearts and minds of online consumers.
Of course, your review management strategy should be aimed at maximizing positive commentary and minimizing the unsavory. But overall, carving out a bigger review footprint can do wonders for building healthier brand awareness across the web.
3 ways to pull in more reviews and heighten brand awareness:
- Ask for reviews at the point-of-purchase. Soliciting feedback at the end of the customer experience is an effective way to garner more reviews and boost your review presence.
- Request feedback in follow-up emails. Linking to a third-party review site in follow-up communications gives you more control over where and how ratings get posted online.
- Automate the review process. A professional review management service can make it easy to collect, manage, encourage and promote reviews, generally from one user-friendly online dashboard.
7. Tweak your brand
Sometimes, it’s not how you market your message that hurts the customer-to-brand connection, but the message itself. And when that’s the case, it may be time for a little brand reinvention.
An outdated logo, unclear mission statement or consistently negative reviews could be sending the wrong signal to your audience, preventing your marketing team from making meaningful, lasting impressions on your stakeholders and your audience.
And when changes to your marketing strategy fail to make a difference, it’s often a well-executed rebrand that can right the ship—an image that nurtures positive sentiment, maximizes brand impact and positions you as an industry authority.
Whether it’s modernizing your logo design or reframing your entire service line, a well-researched and aptly implemented rebranding strategy can be an effective way to improve brand relevance and awareness, pumping new energy into your online presence while building brand confidence among consumers.
Lacking Brand Awareness? We Can Help
Struggling to make your mark and stand out from the herd? Want to build a brand that not only reaches customers, but dominates search results and positions your business for growth and success?
At Marca Global®, our focus is on delivering customized, data-driven digital marketing solutions that deliver results. Through state-of-the-art digital technology and unmatched marketing expertise, we design and execute comprehensive online plans that put you in the driver’s seat, ensuring you have the actionable information, analysis and support to grow market share and realize your potential.
Schedule your initial consultation by visiting us online or calling (720) 378-5024.