In marketing, there are two main kinds of strategies. Firstly, there are the ones that seek to generate the desired action in the user. These are called performance strategies and are aimed at promoting consumer behavior and conversion.
Then there are the ones related to branding. These seek to promote positive associations towards the brand, aiming to build awareness, brand associations, loyalty, and perceived value through by building a community around your brand. In this post, we’ll focus mainly on branding, and more specifically, on how to boost brand awareness and growth.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the ability to position the brand in your potential consumers’ minds and for your target audience to recognize you. To raise brand awareness and turn it into brand growth, you’ll have to work hard for customers to associate the brand –and the product or service you offer– with positive attributes and values.
While all brand awareness strategies aim to make customers know the brand, there are four levels to measure it:
1️⃣ Brand recognition or aided awareness. When the consumer is familiar with your brand but only based on the recollection of information or exposure to it.
2️⃣ Brand recall or intuitive awareness. When the brand arises in your consumer’s mind if someone mentions the brand’s industry or the need its product or service satisfies.
3️⃣ Top of mind. The brand emerges first in the customer’s mind.
4️⃣ Brand name dominance. When the only brand your actual or potential customer remembers or recalls is yours.
Strategies to Grow Your Brand and Increase Awareness
Brand awareness is the ability to be in your potential consumer’s mind. So how can marketing strategies boost brand growth? 👇
#1: Use Digital Display Advertising
This strategy is one of the most basic ones marketing managers use when trying to achieve brand awareness and growth. In short, digital display consists of advertising on websites, apps, or social media through banners or other advertising formats. The main purpose is to make brands visible to Internet users.
#2: Contact Potential Customers
A good way of building brand growth is to contact your potential customers directly. You can do so via email or LinkedIn. However, it’s essential to think about how you can approach them in a way that focuses on adding value.
A good strategy to reach potential consumers and build trusting relationships is the warm-up strategy. It consists of a series of actions that as founders, entrepreneurs, or marketing managers, you can carry out in order to break the barrier with people you don’t know and make them be interested in your brand.
👇 These are the five steps that can’t be missing in this strategy:
1️⃣ Learn about the content they’re interested in and create content that’s valuable for them.
2️⃣ Interact with their posts.
3️⃣ Engage in the public conversations your prospect has participated in.
4️⃣ Make recommendations to them and send them information that could be of interest to them.
5️⃣ Send them a personalized message or video with your product or service offer.
#3: Use Influencer Marketing
Look for influencers and people with reach on social media who might be interested to be your brand ambassadors. However, you’ll have to make sure they’re people that your target customers consume. And that they share your brand’s values!
#4: Build a Narrative
One of the most important things to have as a brand –apart from a logo, a name, and a slogan– is a good narrative. This consists of building a strategy around storytelling with the goal of generating an emotional bond with your brand’s audience. Storytelling is a fundamental task when connecting with the audience.
In addition, a good way of applying this technique is through video. Content produced in this format can communicate a lot of information in a short time. It also enhances the emotional connection with the audience.
#5: Build Partnerships
Building partnerships with other brands, or co-branding, can be effective, especially for small businesses. This particular strategy can help them grow visibility and have an impact on their local communities. You can build a co-branding strategy by hosting joint events, sponsoring other brands’ events, or supporting local sports teams and artists.
#6: Create an Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs help potential consumers be more aware of your brand (i.e. Starbucks is a great example of a successful brand community). By creating raving fans and incentivizing them with some type of benefit for recommending your brand to their friends, family, and peers, you can attract new customers. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising, so use it!
#7: Host Events
Hosting events is a common practice among marketing managers since it allows them to create rituals and a sense of tradition around the brand. Even if it’s once a year, you may consider hosting regular events with members of your brand community. This way, you build shared meaning and give customers something to look forward to.
👉Keep reading How to Plan Hybrid Events [+Ideas and Tools]
#8: Build Social Awareness
While there are plenty and varied platforms for one to be present in the digital world, it’s important to focus on those where your brand will stand out and reach the right target. If used correctly, social media will enhance the reach of your content. And connect your brand with its potential customers.
Something fundamental when creating content for social media is developing your distinct voice. Social media is a sea of opinions and voices. That’s why your brand must have something unique to say.
You can achieve this by focusing on one or two topics and talking about them straightforwardly and simply. This will build trust since your audience will perceive that they speak the brand’s same language.
#9: Build a Community
Community-based marketing is all about building a two-way conversation between your brand and its audience. When building a community around your brand, you’re looking to engage your audience in a non-intrusive and transparent way.
Nowadays, customers can access almost unlimited information to make their buying decisions, as well as leave reviews and feedback on products and services. Moreover, they can also explore the social media profiles of the brands they’re considering before making a decision.
For all of these factors, traditional marketing is losing its initial force, and brands are being forced to shift their strategies to a community-based model. This model allows customers to give feedback and have a say in brands’ products and services.
While traditional advertising focuses solely on getting new paying customers, community marketing is different. Instead, community-based marketing is all about building meaningful long-term relationships and connecting with people to develop and grow the brand together.
#10: Prioritize Content
When building brand awareness and growth, it’s important to create valuable content. The more credible and valuable information a brand provides, the better it can demonstrate its expertise. In addition, it’s important to bring complex concepts down to earth. For this, you can use visual elements such as graphics and infographics.
Also, don’t hesitate to support your social media efforts with advertising. You’re already investing your most valuable resource –your time– so why hesitate to invest money? Start small by advertising some of your key content to see how many more users your message reaches.
Real-World Examples of Successful Brand Awareness Strategies
While all of these brands had different objectives when implementing their awareness strategies, they all have one thing in common. They were successful and achieved brand growth.
While Red Bull is an energy drink, the brand’s marketing team decided to partner with extreme sporting teams and events, linking the beverage with the characteristics and values of these adventurous activities. The brand also sponsors athletes from all over the world.
The Old Spice experience is a perfect example of a successful case of brand awareness, specifically anchored in rebranding. Old Spice is a brand that has been in the market since 1938. However, for a long time, it was recognized for having products for older men, that is, products that “our grandparents use”.
It was thanks to this insight that the brand decided to make a rebranding campaign in 2010 to target young men. They used a new slogan and a young model, creating an advertisement that reached 10 million views on YouTube. By May of that same year, Old Spice sales had increased by 60%.
Nike is the perfect example of a brand that could install itself in the collective imaginary with a short and catchy slogan: “Just do it.“
If you’re currently working as a marketing manager or part of a brand’s marketing team, a great option to find more ideas to build brand awareness and growth is to join communities and online groups. When joining these spaces, you’ll meet like-minded professionals, promote your work, and exchange feedback.
A great option is Moz’s community. Moz is an SEO tool suite, and it has a free group where marketers can network with others and learn from SEO experts worldwide. Another good option is Content + UX, the ideal place for people who want to learn more about the intersection between content and user experience.