2016-10-10 | 2362 Print PDF
When you need a toothpaste, do you ask for a toothpaste, or for a Maclean or a closeup? When you’re ordering a drink at a fast-food restaurant, do you ask for a cola, or a Coke? What about when you have an headache, you don't ask for paracetamol, you ask for Panadol! see... same goes for other online brands as well.
Am sure you must have heard the phrase "Google it" or Let's "Whatsapp" or call a "Uber" and so on and so forth. Now what all this brands have in common is that they have reached a larger audience which they have been able to sell their brand (product/service) to, which have easily assimilate it's values and relate it to the brand visions...Hence, building a strong loyalty trend among these populous targeted audience.
Reaching such level of brand awareness and brand recognition takes a lot of dedication and months of market planning, which also is both time and money consuming. If done right you will start to notice changes via your sales and returning customers index charts, which will sky rocket. For a start-up a year is no where good to judge if it has reached brand awareness potential.
So do you own an online product or service and want to build a brand around it? as a start-up getting brand awareness is actually part of your customer recognition thesis, in terms of your target audience being able to differentiate you from the rest ie to find you unique or can easily adopt/relate with your brand.
Recommended Read: Branding Strategy for Small Businesses
There is something I need to bring to your attention, to actually build or increase brand awareness online or offline, it takes a lot of discipline, marketing strategies and cash (lots of it).
Now you as a start-up brand will definitely like to maximize every penny spent on building brand awareness and also will love to leverage it.
There are several ways to build brand awareness that has been shared online, but what I will be sharing with you are brand awareness strategies you can use on your own in building a brand. For starters I will like to assume you already have done your home work and researched on your target audiences.
Recommenced read: Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses.
You should have worked out a sound marketing plan by now that is effectively built around your brand awareness goals.
Here are my best How Tos on building a brand (mind you, they all have some little bit of financial implications).
1.) PAID ADVERT BRAND AWARENESS STRATEGIES
Paid adverts are one way to go, but my best recommendation for start-ups that are interested in building brand awareness via paid adverts will be to work with cost per impressions. There are several marketing approaches and mediums you can use to get to a wider audience, and we shall discuss them one by one.
I won't be making too much emphasis on paid brand awareness strategy because like most I rather build my awareness from the grounds up...this always pays at the end of the day. WHY? because when you have no more funds you will start seeing depleting changes with your site which you may have little to no control over, couple of weeks down the line your site may not see any changes because of residual traffic effects but give it 3 months and you will noticed that the amount of traffic and awareness you have done was not sustainable.
Search Engine Marketing: If you want to increase brand awareness it is best you kick off with search engine PPC campaign rather than go with search engine optimization. Why? is it not obvious?! you get instant viewership more easier way to segment your ads to reach your target audiences and also more control on how your ads are being served on the Google search ad network and display ad network. Basically I will advocate (devil's advocate) that you should not focus entirely on just PPC as we all know when your purse runs dry so are your reach to engage new clients. Executing SEO (search engine optimization) might actually come in handy for your brand since CPM (cost per impression) is normally cheap compared to other formats like CPA (cost per action or acquisition) and CPC (cost per click). Performing SEO alongside Google Adwords will only help to boost your query searches more confidence in clicking through to your sites.
Display adnetwork to me might actually be your best target if you are going to be using search engines as they expose you to more options when it comes to ad formats and reach as well.
Recommended Read: Search Engine Marketing: SEO VS PPC - Which is better
Video Marketing: This is another pro active brand awareness strategy means of building awareness online, infact you can actually increase your brands recognition online via video sites Like Youtube, vimeo, metacafe, vines, snapchat and even Facebook videos, etc. There are so many mediums to facilitate this and all it needs is for you to be able to set them up correctly. Starting from the video content down to the display network sponsored affiliate videos and keywords used to target this videos. We all know Youtube is the world's 2nd largest search engine only beaten by Google search, and if a lot of searches are going on there that means a lot of video are being watched which equals to a lot of viewership.
Recommended Read: How to Advertise on YouTube (Tutorial)
So if you have extra funds for this please go ahead and see how effective Youtube advertising can help you increase brand awareness.
Social Media Marketing: This entire post will not be complete if social media marketing was not introduced. You know most of your targeted audiences are so busy online (usually on one social media platform or the other). So wouldn't it be best to build online brand awareness there as well? The fastest way will be to target your audience with sponsor ads from your Fan page if using Facebook and bid on a cost per impression to focus on getting more people to see your ads.
You can set up a social brand campaign like an hashtag campaign that targets open window opportunities and catch on to the wildfire of events eg You can build a brand around a very hot trend on social media sites like Twitter. And boost your campaign with retweets and visits to your website, an effective way to increase reach will be with paid ads from your business page twitter handle.
Press Releases: This is a unique way to get the word around about a latest thing in town, associated with other authoritative media outlets, press releases can definitely help you reach a level of brand awareness. But you need to know when to execute a press release, it is not cost effective to always throw around press release for every little thing your company does.
A successful press release as to be news worthy, like some sort of break through news, or a new tech development that will make life easier for others...probably a first of it's kind of news will also suffix. Mixing press release with other online reach can be productive as this will help balance doubts from prospective audiences and also point out where your organization stands in terms of carving out a niche for itself.
2.) UNPAID ADVERT BRAND AWARENESS STRATEGIES
Just has the name sounds like...the advert strategy shared in this context are basically used to also improve viewers and reach. If you will like to pick up some means of reaching out to people with a very low budget how does that sounds? All you need to know is brand awareness is all about viewership and much more rooted in how many sees your brand and can remember it to what your brand represents.
Social Media Marketing: We discussed about it above but at this point am going to share with you how you can actually increase your online brand with little to zero cost financial implication to you. All you need is to set up the page, then you will need to seek out groups that are pertinent to your website general discussion. You get to share your post to other similar groups and Fan pages. With social media you can actually generate a lot of buzzes via contest app, picture apps, etc
Targeting the word "viral" in this case will be the right strategy to adopt, so how do you build a viral content on social media sites?
Recommended Read: Best Viral Marketing Campaigns
You can actually do this by playing with incentives to offer your participants in your contest game or sweepstake...the best idea to pull off such weight for a start-up is to work with co-branding ie you can try to set up a negotiation with another brand that has something to do with your product/service.
To do this you will need to focus on getting your co branding company onboard and pointing out the benefits the social media brand awareness will do to improve brand awareness for them. All you need is just to get it started with a handful of users who will always keep sharing the content of the contest offer (which you can always edit to offer other things, why you probably need a list of co branding offers).
This will make your brand interesting, you can look for deals visit discount sites or work some out yourself, am telling you being creative with these kind of incentives will definitely get the word out...but to tailor each to your product, you need to make sure the incentives or offers are always correlated with your business services/product what they stand for.
Let's take a que from this social media contest, so for instance we want to build a brand for our start-up and using this marketing strategy with co-branding tactics we can double our reach and leverage on our initial marketing budget.
Let's say you are trying to build awareness around your Mobile App and targeting your audience via social media is one of your marketing strategy, for fictional illustration your company is into software and you are creating an app for maternal women, your company can write to several organizations that are into maternity services or products and work a co-branding marketing strategy with them.
Make your offer well convincing and also provide something they all will say no to; DATA ! yes data in variance with the age, location, name, email, etc all the kind of information they will normally require to get in contact to signup new leads.
Integrating video in your contest page is also another way to provide a more precise way to drive in the information to your social media audience, so you get a co-branding strategy with a company or organization that works in hand with your product or service, next you start your campaign providing means of engagement and monitoring every action executed on your contest page...With this kind of marketing strategy approach you can build more likes to your page and also grow your safe list for email marketing.
You can do a lot of stuff with social media; you can get email details and contacts of participants....know metrics your traffic is coming from. Social media brand awareness can take up a year before it starts kicking in so the only way you will probably know yours is a success is if you view the number of engagement your content is still getting, obviously you might new to re-ignite your post once in a while by writing fresh post and linking them to your viral post.
Search Marketing: Another free medium is via search engine optimization, it is also noted to be time consuming when you need a keyword like tomorrow , but in SEO you need to wait 2 months to start to see anything tangible. Executing SEO for brand awareness need to be broad when executing the message.
I like to say SEO is Free if you can do it or hire an in-house team, but is really something if you can hire the right seo team to work your keywords, thus avoiding to pay for PPC which to me is quite better if you are trying to build a brand awareness for your business online.
Recommended Read: 8 Signs of Bad SEO Company For Small Business
Recommended Read: 10 (SEO) Search Engine Optimization Strategies For Marketing
So in the back end why not engage in some serious blog marketing or content marketing, indulge some top notch bloggers in your industries by offering commission basis fees for traffic they sent to your site that converts into sales or deals. This is where we look at influencers marketing, have written a post on that and I will not like to repeat myself on the topic but will encourage you to read my piece on it below.
Recommended Read: Social Media Influencers Marketing Personalities
Recommended Read: Content Marketing vs Native Advertising
Recommended Read: Content Marketing Strategy
Recommended Read: B2B Content Marketing Services
You can get some useful ideas if you go through all the recommended post above..they are really eye openers! which you can also use to build brand recognition and brand awareness around.