Brand awareness is the first phase of any successful digital marketing conversion funnel, but its values are often overlooked by businesses. Here is everything you need to know about brand awareness and why it is so essential to your business.
What is brand awareness?
A business’ brand awareness is, in essence, how well that brand is known or recognized by its target audiences or customers. This sounds like a given, right? Of course you want your audiences and customers to know who you are. Brand awareness can seem like a vague concept, and because of that, many SMB owners want to try to skip this step in digital marketing, but here are a few valuable examples of it in action:
- You have a considerable audience on one or more relevant social media platforms
- You are generating consistent/increasing engagement on social media
- Your prospects and potential consumers recognize your logo or other brand elements from ads they’ve seen before
- Your potential or existing customers are visiting your website directly to browse and shop
- Satisfied customers are recommending your brand to friends and colleagues who are looking for products or services you offer
- You are well known in your industry, and may even be considered an industry expert
Because brand awareness doesn’t always produce immediate conversions or sales, some business owners or in-house marketers try to ignore it or develop their strategies without it. But it is a vital part of any digital marketing initiative and it greatly affects the longevity and sustainability of any business.
Why does brand awareness matter?
Strong brand awareness offers several benefits to any business, but one of the most important benefits is that it builds trust and credibility.
Let’s say you are searching for a specific product and you find exactly what you are looking for, but you don’t recognize the brand or business that is selling it. Maybe a Google search leads you to a website of a business you’ve never heard of, or you come across an Amazon, eBay, or Etsy shop you’ve never purchased from. Or, perhaps you find the type of product you were looking for, but manufactured by a brand you don’t recognize.
A. Make the purchase right away and hope for the best
B. Spend some time researching the brand/business by reading reviews and making comparisons before making a decision
C. Abandon the new brand altogether and opt to purchase from a brand you already know and trust
If you’re most likely to choose option C, you aren’t alone.
81% of consumers have stated that they need to be able to trust a brand to buy from them.
65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.
59% of consumers will buy new products from trusted brands.
Even if a customer finds exactly what they are looking for, if they aren’t already aware of your brand and if they don’t see evidence of trust and credibility from satisfied customers (i.e. reviews, engagement, etc), they are more than likely to search elsewhere for the product and purchase from a trusted competitor.
When you invest in your brand awareness, you can meet your target audience members where they are and start building that valuable familiarity, trust, and credibility with them ahead of time. That way, when they find themselves shopping around for your product or service, they already know who you are and are more likely to make that purchase. And, once they’ve made a satisfied purchase, they can leave a positive review, which contributes to your brand awareness and helps build credibility with new prospects and potential customers.
How can I establish brand awareness?
Brand awareness doesn’t happen immediately, and there is no magic formula to make it happen quickly. Effective brand awareness is the result of consistent digital marketing efforts to promote your brand as a whole and not just your top products or services. Here are four initiatives you can include in your digital marketing plan to help establish and improve your brand awareness:
- Improve your website’s SEO
When you use proven SEO techniques, practices, and strategies, you can get your website on the front page of relevant SERPs (search engine results pages) which puts your brand in front of more searchers.
- Use relevant social media platforms
If your target audiences frequently use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, create a profile for your brand and share valuable content that they can find, engage with, and share.
- Nail your brand messaging
Make sure you have strong brand messaging that you can use anywhere online to easily and consistently introduce your brand and tell your story.
- Build an email marketing list
When a new prospect visits your site for the first time, they may not make a purchase right away but they may be willing to subscribe to your email updates, which gives you a great opportunity to build that awareness with them directly and encourage a future sale.
- Promote your brand with videos
Unique visual content is a great way to get the attention of your audience, and videos are being used more and more frequently by businesses to promote their brand and engage their prospects.
When it comes to brand awareness initiatives, consistency is key. You want to consistently promote your brand to increase your brand awareness with your audience, and you want to ensure that all of your brand assets, content, and initiatives are consistent so that consumers can recognize your brand anywhere.
Can brand awareness be measured?
One of the biggest reasons businesses ignore or forget the value of brand awareness is because they think it can’t be measured. Brand awareness can’t be measured in the same traditional sense that you would measure sales or conversions (which is typically by a single metric), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be measured at all. There are several metrics you can review and compare to determine the success of your brand awareness efforts, including:
- Direct website traffic
If customers are visiting your site directly (instead of through SERPs, PPC ads, or social posts) that is a great indicator of how many users are aware of your brand.
- Website data
If you are tracking and reviewing the analytic data for your website, your traffic, bounce rates, and session times are a great way to see how many new visitors have landed on your site and how familiar they may have become with your brand by exploring and reading your content.
- Social media engagement
Analyzing how many followers, likes, comments, and shares you are gaining and maintaining on relevant social media platforms is a great way to quantify your brand awareness.
A great way to quantify your efforts is by surveying your visitors and customers, asking them questions about how they heard about you, what motivated them to make a purchase, etc.
And ultimately, as your brand awareness, trust, and credibility increase, your conversions and sales will increase with them!
We can help you increase your brand awareness.
If you’re ready to reach your target audiences, establish your brand awareness, and increase your credibility, contact us today. Our digital marketing experts have the data-driven strategies to most effectively build your brand awareness and turn that brand awareness into leads, conversions, and sales.