By Tyler Besse
“Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.” – Siva Devaki
What is Brand Awareness?
No matter how good your product or service is if people are not aware of your brand then it is much tougher to get them to trust your company and purchase through you. Businesses survive and grow by building long-term relationships and brand loyalty. A brand isn’t just about the colors you choose or having a cool logo, it is about telling the story of who you are and building a relationship with your customers.
How can you build your brand awareness for your business?
There is no one size fits all approach for building brand awareness. Each company and industry is different. However, there are a variety of different tools and techniques you can use to help boost your brand’s visibility in the marketplace. In this article we will discuss some of the methods we use to help our customers in building their brand.
Our favorite 8 methods to boost brand awareness
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Social Media
- Community Involvement
- Partnering with other brands
- Referral Incentives
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization also known as SEO is one of the best ways to boost your website and brands visibility online. SEO is the process of optimizing your website with the goal of boosting your ranking with some of the largest search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing use an authority score to rank your website in the search results for key terms related to your business and website.
There are many ways to increase your authority score for search engines. These tools can be broken down into two main categories: On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO. On-Site SEO includes items that you can do on your website to help boost your chances of getting found on search engines, while Off-Site SEO are methods you can use on other websites and online platforms.
Some of the most important On-Site SEO factors are:
- Keyword Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Page Speed Optimization
- Meta Tags & Descriptions
- Proper use of Heading Tags (H1, H2,H3, etc.)
- Site Usability
- Site Map
- Site Structure Optimization
Some of the most important Off-Site SEO factors are:
- Directory Listing
- Guest Blogging
- Social Media
- Google My Business
An Another form of SEO is Local SEO. Local SEO is the practice of focusing on boosting your brand’s visibility to local consumers. This type of SEO is huge for any service industry or a company that relies on the local community for their business. It is important to find a Local SEO Certified company that can boost your local search ability the right way.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay-per-click advertising also known as PPC is the opposite of SEO in that you are focused on paying search engines to display your link at the top of search results instead of organically getting there. Though some users say they never click Google Ad listings, a percentage of people do still use these links when searching online.
SEO and building an authority score take time to build up for your brand and is, in our opinion, the best long term strategy for growing your business. However, there is nothing you can do on your website that will instantly get you to the top of the search results. That is where paid search advertising comes in. With PPC you can pay to get to the top of the search results instantly for the keywords you select.
We find that having a balance of both is a good way to really optimize the traffic on your website especially for a brand that is just starting out that is looking to increase their brand awareness quickly while they let their authority score build up.
Social media is a great free way to display your brand and story to potential customers. Here you get to decide the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it.
Sites like Facebook and Instagram use an algorithm to move posts to the top and provide more exposure to brands. One of the most important factors that determines the numbers of impressions (views) your post will get is how consistently you post and how engaged your followers are with your content. Engagement can come in the form of a few different ways, but some of the most important ones are likes and comments. If you post an item that a large portion of the people who see it like or comment on the post, the social media platforms will prioritize your content.
One tip in increasing the consistency of content for your social media platforms is to come up with a content strategy and calendar. At the beginning of each month or week sit down and come up with some ideas on what type of content you would like to show. The content can include projects or products from your company, tips related to your business, featured reviews from satisfied customers, motivational quotes, etc.
Getting your business involved in the local community is a great way to increase the local brand awareness of your company. If your primary customers are local then this is especially important for increasing your brand awareness.
Some of the ways to get more involved in your community are to:
- Have team members volunteer at a local charity
- Sponsor a local sporting event
- Be a sponsor at a local charity event
- Join a local chamber of commerce
One added benefit for a lot of the items listed above is if these sponsorships or memberships include the organizations providing a link to your website. These links from other websites are called backlinks and are an excellent way to boost your off-site SEO, especially locally.
Partnering with Other Brands
Partnering with other businesses and brands is a great way to increase your network and thus boost your brand awareness. Small businesses owners are constantly looking for ways to expand their visibility, and partnering with other businesses is a great way to cheaply market your business. This quid-pro-quo approach allows both businesses to have access to the other’s loyal brand followers.
Partnerships with other brands can come in the form of:
- Social media shoutouts
- Guest Post Blogging
- Event Hosting
- Email Marketing
Similarly to the community involvement a lot of these are great ways to gain backlinks to your website which will then in turn increase your brand awareness on search engines.
Though in 2021 flyers may seem like an old school approach, it is still a cost effective way to market your business. Flyers can be used to build your brand, promote a new product, announce a sale or special event. This low cost method can still support your digital marketing efforts if you incorporate a QR code on the flyer to allow potential clients an easy way to link to the information regarding your business.
It is important in flyer advertising to have a clear purpose in mind. Having focused and creative marketing will help increase the engagement of this advertising and increase the return on investment for your business.
3 tips to get the most out of your flyer advertising:
- Print in full color on nice cardstock paper. If you are going to use this to increase your brand awareness, show the customers the best version of you.
- Use at max two different fonts. Having too many fonts and colors can cause clutter and takes away from your messaging.
- Make it easy to read. Short and clear sentences are important in getting your message across quickly and effectively.
Billboard advertising is still a very popular method of advertising locally for businesses. Though these can be very expensive, it does result in a lot of people seeing them. Billboards are typically placed in high traffic areas to boost visibility of advertisements.
Billboards are not typically the most effective way of getting someone to visit your website or call your company since most of the people who see them are driving at the time. However, what they are really good for is boosting your brand awareness. When someone goes to purchase a product or service, if they have seen your brand before they are more likely to trust your company and convert into a customer.
Similarly to flyer advertising it is really important to have a clear and concise messaging in your advertisement. Make this billboard easy to read, with clear fonts and images.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Steve Jobs
All of these efforts are a great way to boost your Google rankings locally! However, wouldn’t it be great Providing a referral incentive for satisfied customers to refer your business is a great way to increase the brand loyalty of your existing customers while also creating brand awareness for potential customers.
5 effective referral incentive programs:
- Referral discount for the referrer.
- Discounts for the Referred and Referrer. For example if you refer someone for our business we will discount their service 15% and your next service 15% as well.
- Enter the referrers and referrals into a giveaway contest.
- Provide gift cards for referrals.
- Provide a free upgrade of service for a successful referral
Having a great refer-a-friend program is not enough though. It is important that you advertise that benefit to both existing and potential customers. Even if someone has not been referred if they see that as an added benefit it may be enough for them to become a customer on their own.
A refer-a-friend program can be one of the most cost effective ways to increase your customer base and grow brand awareness for your business. These programs are extremely scalable and easy to grow with your business.
There are many ways to increase your brand awareness. It is important to find the right ones for your business and to give those methods the attention they deserve in order to be successful. One of the worst things you can do is to be half-in on many of these methods. Even if your focus is one at a time, it will be more successful in the long run.