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To create a successful and strategic brand awareness campaign, set goals for what you want to learn, and why. You wouldn't invest your time, effort, and money into something if you weren't sure what you were going to get out of it. It's important to know your customers well and where they hang out so you can create targeted campaigns. For example, if your audience listens to podcasts, it doesn't make sense to invest money in magazine ads. Do you see where we're going here?
In this guide, you'll learn how to create a brand awareness campaign and the best ways to measure its success.
What's in This Guide:
What is brand awareness and why it’s important
What is a brand awareness campaign?
Before you start a brand awareness campaign
Know your audience
Define success and goals
Set your budget
Set your metrics
Commit to learnings
How to create a successful brand awareness campaign
Provide free value
Create your own hashtag
Write guest posts or sponsored content
Show your personality
Do it with a story
Easy call to actions
Was it a success? Measure your brand awareness campaign
We’ve written quite a bit about brand awareness, like how to measure brand awareness and how brand awareness is linked to growing sales. So, we won’t go into deep into brand awareness as a concept but let’s go over the most important bits. Brand awareness is people not only recognizing your brand based on your consistent messaging or brand style. It’s when your audience remembers your brand and feels a connection or knows what your brand is about. Like if during Christmas you see a red truck and have warm and fuzzy feelings remembering the Coca-Cola ads where Santa drives a beverage truck.
Brand awareness = brand recognition + emotion
There are many reasons to care about brand awareness, no matter the size of your company. Perhaps you’ll never reach a Coca-Cola level of awareness (so few do) but that doesn’t mean that you can’t become infamous in your own niche, with the audience that matters most to you. Here’s a list of some key aspects of business that brand awareness has an impact on:
Brand awareness can help increase sales, establish credibility, and position your brand as the top resource for your industry. There isn't a one size fits all method to increasing awareness for your brand. Every business has its own unique personality, and you'll find different value in the metrics. Once you've figured out what you want to measure, you can create a campaign to see how familiar your target audience is with your brand.
There are some fundamentals that you need to have in check before starting a campaign. Without setting the foundation properly, your campaign will give you inconsistent, unactionable results and be a waste of resources.
Who is this campaign for? While your tone of voice needs to be consistent and your brand style remains the same throughout your content, a lot depends on who specifically you are talking to. Be as specific as you can when segmenting your target audience. People expect to see campaigns that do more than tell them to buy Product X. People want to be entertained and educated as well. With a message that’s too generic, you won’t achieve this.
Based on who you are talking to and what you want to say, choose your channels. In the list of brand awareness tactics below, you will find a variety of platforms and ways to execute a campaign. But you shouldn’t do everything at once. Think about where your audience spends their time (LinkedIn? Twitter? Reading lifestyle blogs? Listening to business podcasts?) and decide your plan of action based on that.
Key to both recognition and awareness is consistency. Your brand awareness possibilities will be at risk unless your brand communications are consistent. Imagine if Coca-Cola used different colors and fonts every time they did a campaign, how confusing! We’d think that it must be a weird joke or someone hacked their accounts. A sure way to lose an audience or confuse customers is being inconsistent with your brand. People hate feeling bamboozled by brands because it gives them cognitive dissonance.
Unfortunately for everyone, as your company grows, the likelihood of inconsistencies grows. Makes sense, your brand is managed by people, after all, and the more diverse the crowd, the more likely it is that your messaging, tone of voice, visual style, or other components of your carefully curated brand essentials are misunderstood, outdated, or simply ignored.
You won’t get far with a brand awareness campaign if your target audience is confused about your intentions or doesn’t recognize your brand. If you’d like to find out more about how you can automate brand consistency and access your digital content faster, check out our guide to brand management solutions.
Next up, know where you are, where you would like to be, and what is possible. What does success look like for this campaign? It depends on your current status, your budget, your message, whether your audience is B2B or B2C, the size of your audience, etc. It will be valuable for you to get a realistic understanding of how well you are performing now and do some market and competitor analysis before getting going.
The actions and content of your campaign also depends on what you would like to get as a result. Are you after leads and new prospects? Are you trying to reach new demographics? Would you like website visitors? And why do you want what you want? What business objective does it serve?
It’s easy to get blinded with speed when you are in the middle of a campaign. You see that you could reach 5000 new people if you pushed up your spend just by a couple of euros… It’s hard to resist. While it’s good to be a bit flexible when it comes to your budget, especially in digital marketing where prices change every moment depending on demand, you also need to define and stick to limits.
Brand awareness metrics for success depend on what success looks like. Make sure that you have set the metrics up right, that you are measuring the right things, and have someone who knows how to analyze and translate them for you.
Finally, your results mean nothing unless you have a plan and resources to do something with the findings. Ask your team: What did we gain from the campaign? What would have made it more successful? Who did your messaging resonate with? What can we do better next time? A well-organized brand awareness campaign doesn’t just give you more followers or leads one time, it will be a source of even deeper understanding of your target audience.
Once you have your foundation set, get going with these brand awareness tactics! Here are some ideas for creating a successful campaign.
Let's talk about Gary V. When you think about his content, he's not in your face trying to sell you something. He creates content that's educational, entertaining, and it provides value. People follow him and listen to his podcasts because they know they're going to walk away with actionable advice.
There's a lot of noise out there. Get noticed by providing free content that helps your ideal customers solve their problems. Whether you write a blog post or create an Instagram story for your business, use your personality to connect with your audience. Create engaging videos, share your brand story, and invite your customers to connect with you to create more awareness for your brand. Nobody wants to be sold all the time!
Hashtags are a great way to increase brand awareness because you can keep track of how often people mention your business. Create a branded hashtag and encourage your followers to share your products. Use that consumer-generated content to create social proof for your brand.
Guest posting on other blogs can help get your brand out there and bring a new audience to your business. Before you start creating content about your company for someone else, do your research. Make sure that the brand aligns with your values. Ask how many people read their blog and contribute to blogs in your niche.
When it comes to sponsored posts, this is also another great way to increase brand awareness. But as opposed to guest blogging, this option will cost you. Do the same research that you would on a guest blog post, so you know you're spending your money wisely. If you decide to work with an influencer, make sure both audiences align and have similar interests. Otherwise, that partnership could be a waste of time.
If your campaign is centered around a launch of a new product or a release of a market-changing feature, let everyone know! Prepare a press release and approach media sites that write about your market. PR can help your brand gain followers that might have never heard about you but are interested in your offering. You will also get links to help your organic growth and cement your position as a thought leader in your niche. And press attention is usually free!
What better way to network with likeminded individuals that attend or organize events. In the event of a global pandemic (hello 2020s!) online events, social media lives and webinars count just as well. To maximize your brand awareness success, don't just show up. Plan content, talking points, quizzes, and guests that will be interesting for your audience and bring your message across.
People love a competition! Quizzes and raffles are particularly effective for B2C campaigns but can also be a success for B2B folk. If your target is to get as many eyes on your brand as possible, this tactic might be for you. You can give away free trials, some cool merch, or something unrelated to your business like an Amazon voucher.
Translate complex information and statistics into branded visuals, graphs and infographics that will get featured and saved by other websites and people on social media. Creating visuals is a great way to diversify content and show your expertise.
A more technical approach, yes, but very effective. In order to keep top of mind, make sure you are remarketing to all your scrumptious leads (and their relevant colleagues or managers) you've gained earlier. In its simplicity, this could mean that you target accounts specifically with LinkedIn ads, for example, to make sure they won't forget about you now that you've peaked their interest.
A brand awareness campaign should be about more than just a product. It's your back-and-forth relationship with people from your target audience. Infuse your branded content with a personality, a human touch, to be more memorable. It's much easier for us humans to remember a person than to remember a company. The more humane you make your brand, the more approachable it is.
Remember, everyone hates when being sold to but we love buying nonetheless. Make your message informational and interesting instead of trying to push what you're selling. No one cares about your product, we only care about how your brand is a solution to our problem.
It's easier for your audience to interact with you if you give instructions on what you want them to do, i.e., call to actions. Stimulate shares, follows, subscribes, and taking part in a conversation by asking questions that are thought-provoking and interesting to people. Tell your audience what you would like them to do and what's in it for them. Now that you've grabbed their attention, harness that brand awareness by nurturing your relationship and sharing some more value-adding material with them (if they so choose).
To measure your brand awareness campaign, let’s go back to your goals. Did you want more web traffic? More subscribers? To generate more sales? Here are a few ways to measure the success of your brand awareness campaigns.
Dive into the analytics. Let's look at your direct traffic. Did more people come to your website as a result of your campaign? Get to know where they came from and how long they stayed there so you can create the same type of content and increase brand awareness. If you get more direct traffic, then you know what you’re doing is working.
Social insights. These days there is less attention on likes, and most of the focus is on engagement, shares, and comments. Did you notice an increase? Was there a direct result in more engagement after you launched your brand awareness campaign? Measure your impact.
Mentions. Are people talking about your brand? Are they tagging you in their posts? Writing about your business in their blogs? Set up Google Alerts to track mentions. Keep track of how many times a customer tagged you on their Insta. Mentions are a great way to measure brand awareness because you’ll get a notification whenever someone is talking about your business.
Ask for feedback. You know that trusty email list you have, the one with an engaged audience who chose to follow you and get your content delivered to their inbox. Reach out and ask for feedback about your brand. Don't be afraid to show off your brand personality in your emails to connect with your audience. Let them know that you're always available to listen to what they have to say. Look for areas where you can improve the experience for your customers. Surveys are a great way to get honest feedback about your brand.
People buy from brands they know and trust. The more familiar people are with your brand, the less likely they'll purchase somewhere else. Get to know your audience and the content they love. Create goals for your campaigns, so you know what to track to increase brand awareness.
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