Building brand awareness is critical for any business in order to build a strong customer base and drive leads, sales and ultimately bring business success. However in the modern commercial landscape with so many brands competing for attention, how do you stand out? Here are the sneaky techniques brands use to build awareness without consumers realizing they are doing it, which you can apply to your business, no matter how big or small!.
For a brand or product to become a proprietary eponym is pretty much the pinnacle of brand awareness (sorry, Pepsi). Although you might not achieve this in your business, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more to boost awareness of your brand. While there’s no quick fix for becoming a household name, here are 18 brand-building strategies to help launch (and continue) your efforts. You may not become as well-known as Coca-Cola, but it can’t hurt to try, right? For Digital Marketing Agency Check Vivid Digital
Here are our best pieces of brand-building advice.
1. Create a Brand Identity
If you want to build more brand awareness, it is essential to have a strong, recognizable brand. Think about your brand’s identity and what makes it unique. Be sure to promote this in order to stand out. Have a clearly defined messaging strategy and style guide for your brand. Have an approved set of logos, letterhead, font, and colors and use them with rigorous consistency – this is crucial for brand recognition.
2. Referral Programs
Users will gladly spread word of your product or service when they know they’ll get an added perk. Dropbox is a great example of how smart referral programs can growth hack a business. Dropbox gives existing users 500 MB of extra storage space for every friend they refer (up to 16 GB). Back when Dropbox was still new, this referral program helped generate tons of word-of-mouth, delivering a huge number of sign-ups and saving Dropbox countless advertising dollars.
3. Link building
Link building involves attaining links to your site from established, authoritative sites. Generating these links essentially comes down to creating quality, useful content which sites will want to share, as well as outreach to relevant sites to build links. Local link building, in particular, can greatly improve your local SEO, improving brand awareness through search engine results, as well as driving organic traffic to your site.
4. Impressive Guest Content
Another great way to get your brand known on the web is to deliver ultra valuable, gorgeous looking content to share on other blogs. Guest posting (despite what some might tell you) is still a powerful way to get your name known in your industry.However, run-of-the-mill content won’t cut it – you need to be guest publishing high-quality stuff. Create memorable, valuable content and you’ll be introduced to new audiences and make a lasting impression.
5. Hold Contests on Social Media
Running contests on social media is a great way to increase your brand’s visibility to new users. There are many ways to do this and it is best to be creative and as original as possible. Just make sure your contest format encourages users to share the link with their network (for example to get more votes for their contest entry).
Infographics are a bright and colorful way to display interesting marketing data and statistics. These content powerhouses often get shared far and wide, making them a great tool for brand building and thought leadership.Take a look at the infographic WordStream produced earlier this year – it got thousands of social shares and brought in valuable links as well!
7. Use Facebook Advertising
With over 2 billion users on Facebook worldwide, Facebook can help you reach a greater audience and build your brand awareness. Organic reach will only get you so far (especially with the Facebook’s current algorithms), but you can bolster this with paid advertising. Facebook Ads are relatively inexpensive and can be targeted to a specific audience to a staggering level of detail.
8. Freemium With Credit
Many awesome online products allow users to choose from a free version, which includes a watermark or credit line, or the option to upgrade to the paid version, which allows users to remove the mark or replace it with their own logo. While many users will opt for the free version, they’ll also be promoting your brand to others users. Some of those new users who see your product will go with the paid version! Providing a freemium product means getting yourself in front of more eyeballs, building your brand and bringing in paying customers.
9. Get Users to Promote You on Social Media
You can even put your followers to work and have them promote you on social media. Run a campaign which encourages users to post a picture or similar to a particular hashtag, and you will instantly increase your brand’s organic reach. A great example of this is ASOS’ #AsSeenOnMe campaign, in which the brand has users post and tag photos of themselves wearing their favorite ASOS outfits.
10. Local Partnerships
Another great brand building strategy is to get involved with local partnerships (this is tremendously important for local-oriented businesses, but can be applied for other businesses as well). Partner with other local businesses to hold join intro seminars or festivals. Sponsor local sports teams and donate to charity events. Getting your brand plastered around festivals and events will do big things for your brand. SEO Companies in London visit here
11. Let Your Personality Shine Through
Social media can be a great platform to connect with your audience on a more personal level and show a different, more playful side of your brand. Some brands have even built a reputation for having distinctly entertaining social media channels – such as US brand Wendy’s, which is famous for the quips on its Twitter account.
12. Car Wraps
A classic tried-and-true strategy for building your brand is getting a car wrap! Car wraps are customized designs that can cover your entire car (don’t worry, you can still see through the windows)! They can attract a hefty amount of attention, and it’s a great way to ensure that wherever you go, people are becoming more familiar with your brand. Wrap your company car or even your own personal vehicle!
13. Work With Influencers
In the past couple of years, we have seen the rise of the social media influencer. Influencers are powerful because they play off one of the basic tenants of marketing: consumers are most likely to use your business if referred by a friend. Because influencers form quasi-personal relationships with their followers, if they recommend a product it is almost as if a friend is recommending it. Identify influencers appropriate to your niche, and reach out to them to suggest partnerships.
14. Social Media Contests
Run a social media contest in which contestants submit a photo or video, with other users voting for their favorites. Contestants will share the link with friends and family to get more votes, building your brand awareness as a result.
15. Sponsor Local Organisations
To build brand awareness on a local level, you can sponsor local charities, events or sporting clubs. Not only is this a chance to support your local community, but in return they will display your brand, giving you an opportunity to not only promote your business but to do so in a way which shows your altruistic nature.
16. Social Focus
With the number of social networks constantly increasing, trying to do active social media marketing on all of them is a fool’s errand. If your business is best suited to a particular network, then don’t be afraid to put the majority of your energy into a few sites. For example, photo-heavy sites might focus on Instagram and Pinterest. B2B companies often do best on Twitter, whereas small businesses in creative industries (like craft marketing) can do well on Instagram. Know where your audiences hang and focus on those networks. You won’t want to totally abandon the other social sites, but save your biggest efforts for what you know works. Not sure about your core network? Start digging into analytics to see where your referral traffic is coming from.
17. Create Branded Packaging
This is a technique used by some of the world’s biggest brands: when the customer’s shipment arrives, it is wrapped in specially designed branded packaging. This builds the emotional connection the customer has to the brand, as it makes the product feel like a gift from the company itself. Any small or medium business which ships products to its customers can apply this strategy by having custom branded packing made up for shipping.
18. LinkedIn Publishing
We already talked a bit about the value of guest posting, but there are also other methods to get published and spread your name across the web. Recently, LinkedIn began letting all users publish posts right to LinkedIn via the publishing tool. If your posts get enough attention, it could wind up in the LinkedIn home stream for many users. As an added bonus, having posts attached to your LinkedIn account also helps establish you as a thought leader! Of course you can also always set up your own company blog and post there – just make sure you share and promote your posts after publishing.
19. Set Up Referral Programs
Reaching new audiences through word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to build your brand. Other than providing excellent products and services, you can encourage this by creating referral programs. As part of a referral program, encourage your existing customers to refer you to their friends and contacts by offering them a free product, service or subscription in return.
20. Unique Personality
One surefire way to increase band awareness is by giving your brand a fun, unique brand identity. If you work in an industry were a little dose of comedy or personality is appropriate, being outrageous can make your brand extremely memorable.A few major examples of businesses who inject humor and comedy into brand promotion include Old Spice, Poopouri, and Dollar Shave Club.Not only did these hilarious ads leave an impression with audiences – they also became viral sensations, shared across the web and driving sales.
21. Brand Your Vehicles
If your business has vehicles – cars, delivery vans etc – make sure these are branded with logos and signage. Doing so creates free advertising as the vehicles drive around. Even if you do not have official vehicles, do this with your own car and ask your staff to do the same.
Starting your own industry podcast where you interview industry experts is a great way to build your brand while also developing relationships with others in your field. Some industries, like marketing, already have a hefty number of podcasts that would be tough for a beginner to compete against. (Here are a few of our favorite marketing podcasts.)However, for niche industries where there isn’t much on the airwaves, you could easily make yourself a household name. You could also try podcast advertising!
23. Distribute Bumper Stickers
Bumper stickers are a similar concept but on a simpler level. Have colorful, visually appealing bumper stickers made out and distribute them to your customers, visitors, other businesses, and anyone else you can think of! You can apply a similar concept for other types of stickers which people may put on their laptops, water bottles or elsewhere.
24. Create Branded Merchandise
Another way to get the wider population to advertise your business for you is through merchandise which displays your brand’s logo. The possibilities here are practically endless: t-shirts, caps, re-usable water bottles, key-rings, pens: the list goes on. Depending on your business, you may sell this merchandise at a reasonable cost or give them out to customers (or the general public) as a free promotion. This not only makes your brand visible to the person who receives the freebie, but also to anyone else they come into contact with.
25. PPC Advertising
With SEO becoming more competitive every day, while organic Google real-estate shrinks, PPC is a smart solution for getting your brand seen on Google. With targeted keyword research, you could be showing up at the top of Google for relevant searches. Even if users don’t end up clicking on your PPC ad, seeing your name at the top of the search results makes an impression and is incredible for building brand awareness. Check out PPC University if you’re not sure where to start.
26. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Controversial
Although it may not be suitable for every brand, creating controversy can be one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. Look at Nike’s recent ad campaign featuring controversial athlete Colin Kaepernick. On the one hand, this sparked a raft of negative reactions and even boycotts from one section of the US community, while on the other, the brand has stated the campaign has driven record engagement and leads for the company.
27. Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing is a pro strategy for boosting that good ol’ brand awareness. Why? Remarketing involves showing ads to users who visited your site, but left before converting. Remarketing ads are placed all across the web on sites your customers visit. Soon they’ll be seeing your business everywhere – on their favorite blogs, while shopping online, etc. This gives the impression that your branduch larger (and has a much bigger ad budget) than it really is. And it’s a great way to increase your conversion rate.
28. Paid Social Advertising
Organic social marketing is becoming more difficult by the day, leading more businesses to turn to paid social advertising. Facebook and Twitter ads are relatively cheap and help get your brand seen on social. Whether or not users convert immediately, every added piece of familiarity counts when users finally are ready to make a purchase.
While this strategy isn’t for everyone, one way to get your brand noticed is by being controversial. Take an unlikely stance on a hot industry topic, and you may find yourself attracting quite a bit of attention. Whether it’s good or bad attention depends on the subject matter and your approach. Then again, there’s no such thing as bad press (so they say anyway).
30. Influencer Marketing
Getting friends in high places is another easy way to boost your brand awareness. Find existing influencers in your industry whose business you could potentially complement, rather than compete with. Make use of your partner’s influencer network to promote your brand (while also building up valuable partnerships you can continue to make use of long-term).
With these brand awareness tips, you’ll be a super-star brand in no time. Any bonus pieces of brand awareness advice you want to dispense? Add your thoughts in the comments.