Building your brand is crucial to growing your business and shaping customers’ perception of your product.
Steve Forbes said it: your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business. Brand awareness is about taking your product and turning it into feeling or emotion to achieve recognition. How consumers feel about and connect with your brand, the experiences and lifestyle values they share with its personality, among other things, will influence their willingness to choose it over time and over other brands (even if there are cheaper or similar options).
A brand awareness campaign is a great way to continue to shape the perception of your brand. But increasing brand awareness doesn’t necessarily have to do with increasing exposure on billboards and advertising. Here is how you can use a brand awareness campaign to effectively help elevate your presence in the marketplace:
1. Build a strong brand voice.
Marty Neumeier says that branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity. The first thing is to think about a brand as the voice you give your product. Not only must it be able to speak for itself, but it has to stand out in a crowd of brands yelling to get consumers’ attention. It’s not about being the loudest or occupying the most space, it’s about knowing your brand voice so well that it is recognizable even if you dress it up for a specific campaign.
2. Know your target audience.
Untargeted campaigns can quickly become a waste of money and time. You’ve got to know who you’re speaking to before you know what you’re going to say. With audiences receiving more messages than ever, the best way to generate brand awareness is to target as many relevant users as possible. Age, gender, industry, location, salary, disposable income: these are some of the things you HAVE to consider in order to develop the buyer persona you will be targeting. It also helps to understand the context in which you are launching a brand awareness campaign. You don’t want to tell a college student living in the city to buy a tractor. They won’t.
3. Tell a story.
Your brand is the first thing consumers will come across before trying your product. It’s also the thing they will remember. To a solid brand voice you have to add excellent storytelling. It’s like writing a book: you can’t just have character standing around, you have to make him or her do and say interesting things. Regardless of the platform you use for your campaign, people want a story and a voice they can relate to.
4. Consider co-branding.
Every event is an opportunity to be seen, no matter how small. Festivals, sports games, concerts…sponsoring an event is also an opportunity to be associated with a brand that matches your brand’s personality and target audience.
At the same time, you don’t need an event to partner with a brand that has a similar personality, values, and interests. Take, for example, Starbucks and Spotify partnering to run the Music Ecosystem co-branding campaign. Find your brand soulmate!
5. Up your freemium game.
A freemium is a business model that offers basic services free of charge and more advanced features for a price. MailChimp is a perfect example. It allows users to have an account with basic features, with the possibility of adding more features (which you will likely need as an email marketer) for a price. This gives customers the chance to try the product, get accustomed to a brand, and also consider what the benefits of staying with that brand are. Some brands even use watermarks that can be removed if you have a premium subscription.
6. Content, content, content.
Free content is an excellent way to reach more people. Whether it’s on your company website, social media platforms and email marketing campaigns, or through guest posting and sponsored pieces, developing engaging and original content is a must in brand awareness campaigns. Especially, because an increasing percentage of consumers lives online. Videos, blog posts, articles, Spotify playlists, GIFS, these are ways to use your company voice and create an authentic connection with consumers.
7. Track your results.
The most important thing about an awareness campaign (aside from generating awareness) is getting to know what works and what doesn’t. If you don´t track your results you can´t have a clear idea of which posts did better than others on social media in order to identify the reason. Maybe you need stronger content, maybe it’s about changing your posting times. Compiling information and analyzing the results is an investment in the success of future brand awareness campaigns.