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How to Create Brand Awareness

You’ve put in a large amount of time and effort in developing a brand that represents your business and your culture, now it is time to tell people about it. When you think of a brand you automatically think of Nike or Coke. Try to think of a local brand. You probably have more of an emotional connection to that brand than a large brand like Coke. Coke is a known brand and acts as an acquaintance in your life. Your local coffee shop or neighborly business has more of a relationship like a friendship. Both brands provide a need or want, but it is how they do it that determines the relationship you have with them. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have your brand as widely spread as Coke and to have the same level of connectivity as your local coffee shop? These strategic branding steps will help you to develop this quality level of brand awareness.

Know your Audience

Before reaching out you have to consider where your audience is. You don’t want to try to sell meat to vegetarians! Think of your brand as the connection of a relationship. Where can you meet your customers where they are most comfortable and expect to meet you? Online is an extremely common ground for businesses and customers. Where can you meet your customers where they are comfortable but not expecting you (while still appreciating your presence)? This would be a promotional opportunity. If your customers love coffee, sponsor a free coffee day at your local coffee shop and meet even more potential customers. Since your business can’t be uprooted and placed in every coffee shop, how can you show up? With content.

Content is the messenger

Consider how you feel when you get a letter from a friend. Okay let’s be honest, it is the 21st century, a nice text or email. Creating content is a fundamental aspect of your business’s growth. In this list of strategies, everything is created as a messenger for your brand.

1.      Social Media

Social media has become a major aspect of friendships. It keeps you connected with past friends and helps you to get to know new friends. Remember your clients are your business’s friends.

  • Activity: If you are not online you are not an active as a friend. When you interact with your customers it reminds them of your existence. Connect with relevant businesses, share and post material that is helpful for your customers. Provide a service in every aspect of your social media. Take a look at Wendy’s twitter. Their service is comic relief. People follow and retweet a fast food restaurant because their posts make them happy.
  • Hashtags: This is important to broaden your reach. If you don’t use hashtags it is like forgetting to put a stamp on an envelope. New customers will never receive your message, while old customers will just find out from you in person.
  • Mentions: This is a great tool in associating yourself with other brands or talking directly to customers. Nothing makes a customer feel recognized like a direct public message. They’ll show their friends your reply and the fact that they communicated with a larger business.
  • Contests: This strategy is designed to get your loyal customers to reach out to their friends. They will share your page with people they believe would appreciate your product. In the end, you are just giving away a piece of branded material they will wear proudly and reach even more people with.

Learn more about social media marketing management and how it can benefit your business’s brand awareness.

2.      SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. If someone asks Google a question or is researching something relevant to your business you need to show up in the search options. By showing up it establishes that you have the most relevant and accurate information a potential client is looking for. About 80 percent of online searches are for information, not products. Why would I want someone to come to my site who isn’t wanting to buy something? Because they are interested in your products focus. While they may not want to buy your product right now, they are at the awareness stage of the buying funnel. If you are at the top of the buying funnel you can grab them with your brand and slowly draw them in. How is this done?

  • Blog Content: Content is the mail to potential customers. By creating informational content you provide relevant search options for customers to find on Google. Google will also see your relevant information and the quality of the content and use that to determine where it is placed in Google search.
  • Infographics: By creating infographics you can be linked to from other sites. This raises that page’s reputation and your website’s reputation. Infographics are also extremely shareable. Post it on social media and provide an educational piece of material for your clients.

Search engine optimization is an extremely vital part of brand awareness. People may see your brand at a coffee shop or on a billboard, but if they can’t find you online it will be like having a broken buying funnel.

3.      PPC Advertising

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. This is like SEO’s faster younger brother. Essentially your business can pay for Google search ads that show up above search results. This is a great tool to use to target certain areas and to let people see your brand first. It does cost money but it saves time since SEO takes time to grow and improve. Utilizing both together results in an effective search campaign.

4.      Get out there

While being online is a fundamental aspect of branding, it is important to leave your computer and meet your clients face to face (this is a friendship after all!). Face to face interaction will keep you from becoming a business that hides behind the curtain and has a manikin stand in front to shake hands with potential customers. That greeting would honestly be little cold and uncomfortable. The conversation would probably go nowhere. Meeting your client base not only helps them to get to know you, but it helps you to learn what they want from you. Criticism is difficult, but if you take it as a warning and improve you will find even more brand success by representing positive practices.

Another tidbit of information that may be helpful. Brand loyalty is difficult to come by, but according to a study, 94% of customers would switch brands because the one supports a cause. Supporting a cause could be the weight that tips the scales in your favor.

You are the friend

Before sending, posting, or creating anything consider this; could you send this to your best friend (or grandmother) and would they feel appreciated? This question will save your brand from being damaged. While you are a client’s friend, you have to remember other businesses are trying to be your client’s friend. If you provide service in a way that is friendly and positive not only will you keep your customers, but they will help spread your brand. Make your brand positive so it spreads quickly.