You know how awesome your brand is...but does everyone else?
The internet has fundamentally changed how we do business, including how we find customers, how we advertise, and how we communicate with them. Online marketing is now a key part of any modern strategy for building brand awareness.
What is brand awareness?
Put simply, brand awareness is how people come to know your brand and how to find you. It's how people remember that you exist (which is kinda important) and how they decide to choose YOU for products or services (and not your competition).
Awareness is your first step to turning new audiences into paying customers. Remember, people don't just walk into your store; they go there because they remember how much they enjoyed it last time or how much their friends recommended the experience. The same applies to your brand online. Great experiences online help drive repeat visits to your socials or online store, so if you want to increase sales, you need to boost branding first.
But how can you be sure that your marketing efforts to increase brand awareness are successful? And how do you know if it’s working?
We've got those answers (plus plenty more), so here are 13 powerful ways to get your brand noticed online.
#1 - Keep your branding consistent
Solid branding is the first step to getting noticed. People expect consistency between how small businesses and brands look online (logo, site design, etc) and how they act (brand voice), so it's important that you have a solid design strategy in place before anything else. This will help customers recognise you when they see you elsewhere.
Your visibility online and offline plays a part in how people come across your brand. This is how brands such as Coca-Cola became a household name and a consumer staple. Everyone can recognise the Coca-Cola brand in a heartbeat. Same for Apple. Or Nike. And with branded consistency, you'll join this list too.
#2 - Turn your website into a branded destination
When someone recognises your small business by brand name, the first place they’ll look for you is on Google. Your website acts as an information hub for new customers; it's how people get to know about your team, how you work, how you can help them, and how to contact you. It should be the primary way that people find out more about what your company does over any other social channels or advertising strategy.
Make sure a website visitor can see what you stand for and what your brand looks like in a visual sense.
#3 - Create valuable content
You can make it easier for people to understand how you help them by offering valuable content. These are features of your website that add something extra. You don’t directly ask the user to make a purchase but you hope that they get interested after you offer something for free. This gives you the chance to educate potential customers on how you can help. They will then be in a better position to associate how much you care about their needs and how well you can serve them.
For example, you can build an interactive cost calculator for a service-based offering. Another great example would be templates or checklists that professionals within your industry can use. When you create value, you'll attract people who appreciate your hard work and use your content - while telling their friends how awesome you are.
#4 - Run social media contests
A social media contest is a way to drive engagement with your target audience. People are more likely to do something if they have a chance of getting something in return, which is the basic principle behind any contest or giveaway. You can also give things away for free to attract attention. While this may seem like a costly strategy, it's an amazing way to increase sales in the long run.
You can also incentivise sign-ups or purchases by offering something in return for giving their contact details or making a purchase. For example, you can start a social media campaign wherein followers can exclusive coupons for future online purchases.
#5 - Run a paid advertising campaign
Paid advertising can be a great tool to get your business name noticed quickly and easily. Platforms like Google Adwords or Facebook Business can help drive people directly to your product page, YouTube videos, or home page. Paid advertising is a great way for you to target very specific groups of people with tailored messaging that is likely to resonate with them better than, say, a more general approach on social media where everyone sees the same thing.
#6 - Embrace community building
If you want to build a community around your small business online, then you should shape how people view it and how they interact with you by using your unique brand voice. Being a thought leader with a solid presence on Reddit or Quora gives you an opportunity to talk directly to customers about how they use your products and how they can improve their experience.
Meanwhile, guest posting campaigns on other websites within your niche can be helpful to create a long-term relationship with industry partners towards your marketing goals.
#7 - Create product or service guides
Comprehensive how-to guides, knowledge base portals, and FAQs are great tools for small businesses to share relevant content. They demonstrate how easy it is for them to use a product or service, which will usually encourage repeat purchases. Make sure that these guides contain useful content, while also containing links back to your main site where they can make purchases or start subscriptions.
#8 - Utilise email marketing
Many people love to use email marketing as it allows you to build your lists and how you can stay in touch with potential customers without being too intrusive. If someone opts in to an email list, they are more likely to get involved with future sales promotions. The high conversion rates of direct mail or email-based offers typically mean that you can increase engagement and generate a lot of sales and sign-ups, which helps you get noticed by more eyeballs online.
As an added incentive, the average email marketing ROI sits at $42 earned for every $1 spent, so you'll be tapping into a valuable marketing strategy.
#9 - Source customer testimonials
Collecting customer testimonials is one of the best strategies used by companies to convince other consumers to make purchase decisions. Letting potential clients know that you have already had success with other people helps create and build trust. Using testimonials in YouTube videos, blog posts, and other similar business pages on your website shows new prospects why they should choose you over your competitors.
#10 - Generate viral content
Ok, we know that creating viral content is like catching lightning in a bottle, but you can embrace solid best practices to tip the scales in your favour.
Viral content is an amazing way to get your brand noticed. Again, there’s no guaranteed formula for creating content (whether video or image) that would go viral, but the more creative you can be with how you present your business, the better. Think Old Spice man or the Ice Bucket Challenge (those terms alone conjure up easy-to-remember viral videos and crazes). If you’re able to combine such an approach with a solid product or service, you can rake in positive returns for your brand, whether you're a small business co-founder or a Fortune 500 business.
#11 - Kickstart an influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing is a great way to reach out to well-known blogs, vloggers, and industry experts who can help promote your business through their own audiences. If these influencers see how your products or services can benefit them, then they may feature them on their platforms. Most marketing campaigns these days involve this sort of exposure, particularly if the influencer you're working with has a large audience on social media that fit your target demographic.
Keen to work with leading influencers? Browse Australia's best influencers here
#12 - Get conversational on social media posts
Get noticed online by using conversational social media interactions on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These give you a chance to interact with customers in a natural, fun way while also letting potential followers know how active you are on social media sites. Responding to comments in a timely manner can help brands demonstrate how much they care about their customers.
Note that while social media can be a powerful platform, it also needs proper management in order for it not to become overwhelming. Without consistent management, your social media will likely lose its edge and lead shoppers away.
#13 - Collect 5-star Google reviews
Positive reviews on Google are another great way to get more content that would help you get noticed. They help build trust between your brand and customers and can encourage more people to buy from you. Make sure that you respond to any negative reviews quickly and politely, in order to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and show your customers that you value their feedback.
Ensure that you're responding to reviews in a public space such as Google so that everyone can know that you're putting additional effort into treating your customers right.
Get ready to build brand awareness
Put simply, building brand awareness online starts by getting to know your target market better than you’ve ever done before. This means staying in tune with how they live, how they work, how they enjoy their free time, and how to get their attention when you want to.
These days it’s not enough to deliver a product or service that ticks all the boxes; how you present yourself and reach out to your audience is equally important.
The deceptively simple secret to getting your brand noticed online
In today’s crowded market, how does a business owner get his brand noticed? And not just fleetingly noticed either, but actually seen by busy consumers who then convert to your products or services?
The answer is deceptively simple: get to know your audience like never before, and never forget you’re talking to a human!
Now we say “deceptively” simple because this is so much easier said than done.
Finding an authentic voice for your brand, one that engages consumers who are incredibly savvy at spotting an “ad”, is one of the finest creative arts in the advertising industry right now.
BONUS: Don't forget to measure brand awareness
Once you've started these initiatives towards creating brand recognition among your audience, then it's time to measure how effective your campaigns are.
Don't forget this part of the process.
- How many people visit and stay on your website?
- How many of them read comments and reviews left by other visitors to the site?
- How many times do they visit again?
- How many people made a purchase after reading your blog or social media post?
These are just some of the KPIs you can measure.
These metrics can tell you how well your campaigns are succeeding and help you adjust how you reach out to consumers so that even more of them start to pay attention to your company.
Test out the 13 x brand awareness tactics above to find out what works for you, then measure the results so you're not making assumptions about the outcome. Do that, and you'll be the talk of the town and unmissable online.