Brand awareness describes how well people – especially your potential customers – are able to recognise and remember your brand. Having a high level of brand awareness means your business will be front of mind when someone is ready to buy the type of products or services that you offer.
It may take several “touchpoints” with your brand to build brand awareness. Each touchpoint needs to feel like it’s coming from the same source and communicating a clear brand identity.
Get it right and people will be able to easily spot your logo, ads, messaging/tone of voice and products. In turn, this builds a growing sense of trust and familiarity, which are both central to making your first sale to a customer and securing their long-term brand loyalty.
So, how can you build brand awareness? Here are 15 sure-fire ways:
1. Fine tune your tone of voice
If you can create a strong, easily identifiable tone of voice for your brand, it will work wonders for brand awareness. People will remember how your brand sounds (be it funny, confident, irreverent, playful, helpful) and why it feels different to anything else out there right now.
Look at brands such as Starbucks, Old Spice, Innocent, Harley-Davidson, Hugo Boss, Ben and Jerrys, and Cards Against Humanity – one of the reasons they’re all market leaders is because each one has a voice that sounds distinct (and the identity to match).
2. Improve your organic SEO
Each time one of your web pages shows up in a Google search, it’s a chance to build brand awareness. But you don’t want to appear in just any search. You want to appear in searches made by people who need exactly what you offer, be it products or services.
And the secret to achieving this? It’s about understanding search intent and knowing your customers. Think about why people make the searches they do to find your business. What’s driving them? What feels urgent for them? What problem do they need to fix? What information do they need?
Once you understand this, you need to create a website that gives the searcher exactly what they were looking for when they made that first search.
3. Be a great guest
There are several ways that you can build brand awareness as a guest. You might write a guest blog, appear as a guest on a podcast, speak at a conference, be a guest speaker at a virtual summit or even publish away from your website or blog on syndication platforms such as LinkedIn or Medium.
What’s key here is being featured as a guest via a business or platform that is likely to appeal to and reach your target audience.
4. Create shareable infographics
Do you know that infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than a full article? Having an infographic on your website can boost your web traffic by around 12%, and articles containing infographics receive about 170% more backlinks than other articles.
All of these stats show that creating a clear and visually appealing infographic is a great way to get your content shared to new audiences and raise brand awareness.
5. Get strategic about your social media marketing
Social media marketing can be daunting and time intensive, so it’s important to be strategic about how you use it to make the most of your resources.
Which social media platform(s) are your customers most likely to use? This is where you need to focus your attention. Post consistently with a view to giving your audience value and connecting with them wherever they are in the buying journey, even if they’re at the early information gathering stage.
Think about what people do when they look for a product or service. They might look for different models, read reviews or case studies, compare prices or look for local suppliers.
Brand awareness will grow each time you’re able to provide content that provides this information.
6. Launch a podcast
Sixty-two per cent of the population age 12+ has listened to at least one podcast, and it’s estimated that, by the end of 2022, there will be 424 million regular podcast listeners in the world.
Launching a podcast can get you in front of a new audience to build your credibility – or that of your business – as an expert in your niche. Cover the topics that matter to your target audience and, when they need the products or services you offer, your business will be top of mind.
7. Give without the expectation of receiving
Anne Frank famously said, “No one has ever become poor from giving”. Indeed, for businesses wanting to grow brand awareness, running a giveaway competition on social media or creating a free lead magnet that offers something your audience will find of value is a highly effective way to create a buzz.
8. Participate in or sponsor an event
Is there an event, cause, competition, charity or even a podcast that matters to your business and to your potential customers?
If so, participating in that event or acting as a sponsor is a fantastic way to raise brand awareness.
You need to support a cause that you genuinely believe in as a company. People can see right through sponsorship for the sake of exposure – or that clashes with the brand – but if you sponsor based on your values, this should help to bring your brand to the attention of people who would make a great fit as customers.
9. Partner up
A brand partnership is a mutual agreement between two or more organisations to help one another increase their brand exposure or to add value to their products. For example, a sports clothing company might partner with a health food business or business selling energy drinks.
The power of partnering up with another business is that you get to tap into their established audience (and they get to tap into yours), instantly growing your reach.
10. Run a referral programme
For 85% of small businesses, word-of-mouth referrals is the number one to secure new business. Running a referral programme is about harnessing the power of personal recommendations – your existing loyal customers tell their networks about your business and receive a small reward as a thank you.
There are all sorts of models for a referral programme:
- Refer a friend and get money off
- Accumulate rewards or points for referrals
- Receive stocks/shares in exchange for referrals
These are just a few examples.
Again, this is effective as a brand awareness strategy because people are more likely to pay attention to brands that are recommended by people they already trust.
11. Connect with an influencer
In marketing terms, an influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
Although your mind might go straight to celebrity influencers such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner or Selena Gomez, influencer marketing often involves people who have created a significant following on social media within their niche but may not be familiar to a wider audience.
If you run a travel company, connecting with a travel influencer would be ideal. If you manufacture food or drinks, the aim would be to reach out to a food influencer.
Having someone who is trusted within your industry and has an established following give a shout out to your products or services could skyrocket brand awareness.
12. Video marketing
In 2021, it was reported that online videos now reach approximately 92% of the world’s internet users. To put this in perspective, the world’s internet users amount to five billion people or 63% of the planet’s entire population!
People consume online video at a staggering rate, watching approximately 84 minutes a day (or 10-20 hours a week).
If you can produce videos, e.g., Facebook Lives, TikTok videos, Instagram Reels or content for YouTube, it will help you to reach the audience that is searching for its next video. When that person is looking for more content on a related topic, your brand should be high on their list to check out.
13. Create a custom hashtag
Creating a hashtag that’s unique to your business, products, services or an individual campaign is a great way to create a buzz on social media. Potential customers may find you via that buzz.
Way back in 2014, Expedia jumped on the popular #throwbackthursday and #tbt hashtags with its own #throwmeback campaign. The travel company asked people to post their old holiday photos to social media (the more nostalgic the better). Each Thursday that summer, one winner was given the chance to return to the holiday destination in the picture to recreate it or pick a new holiday destination.
While this is an early example of a hashtag campaign, it’s relevant because the campaign was so successful. Expedia saw a 96% growth in its Instagram audience in just 10 weeks.
Toilet paper brand Charmin’ was dubbed “the sassiest brand” on Twitter when it launched a #tweetfromtheseat hashtag, asking people to tweet their lavatorial musings. It transformed perceptions of the brand, creating goodwill and a loyal customer base with humour.
14. User-generated content
One way to use a unique hashtag is to create a challenge-style campaign where you ask people to upload user-generated content (e.g., a picture, video or reel) to social media accompanied by the campaign hashtag.
There are some iconic brand awareness campaigns that have used this approach and are still talked about today.
In 2011, for example, Coca-Cola put some of the most common male and female names on its Coke bottle labels. People would go into shops looking for a bottle with a label that featured their name then upload a picture of them with the bottle using the #shareacoke hashtag.
In 2014, Starbucks ran the #WhiteCupContest campaign where it asked people to decorate white Starbucks cups and upload their designs to social media using the hashtag. The campaign created a huge amount of activity on Twitter and Instagram.
One popular approach for attracting user-generated content is getting people to film themselves “unboxing” and reacting to their latest order and then posting it to social media. People who haven’t heard of your brand may see positive reactions and want to buy from you too.
15. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
As important as it is to grow an organic social media following or boost your organic rankings on Google, PPC advertising can help to get your brand seen by the right people too.
You can use PPC ads to reach people on search engines results pages (SERPs), social media sites, in-app ads, on individual websites (via banners, for example), and more.
The best approach here is usually to treat PPC ads as a way to introduce your brand. You want people to know your name, what you offer, your location (if relevant) or website (if not easily searchable).
Brand awareness is about making your brand as recognisable and memorable as possible. Someone might not need what you sell today but, by building good brand awareness, you may be the first brand they think of when they do need products or services like yours.< Back to Blog