Want to build brand awareness and reach more people online? Use a mix of these nine strategies to build your brand image from scratch and strengthen it.
When you start a new business, the first thing you should do is to build brand awareness. Build your brand from the ground up and reach as many people as you can with your marketing and branding campaigns.
You can have the best product in the world but it won’t matter unless the right people get to know about it. That is why it is important for new and upcoming brands to build brand awareness first and then focus on meeting other marketing goals.
Luckily for you, consumers today love to find new brands and products. According to a Nielsen report, almost 42% of global customers like trying new things. And, 56% of those who prefer to buy from a brand they know, can be persuaded to try new ones.
So, building brand awareness and getting new customers is not as tough as it once used to be. However, the competition is also more than ever.
Now the question is: How can you build brand awareness in such a dynamic and competitive environment?
Well, that’s what this post is all about. In this post, we will discuss some of the best strategies that you can use to build brand awareness.
Before we discuss some quick and effective ways to build brand awareness, let’s first take a look at what it means and why it is important.
What is Brand Awareness and Why is It Important?
Brand awareness simply means the extent to which your target audience and existing customers are familiar with your brand. It is a measure of the ease with which people can recall or recognize your brand.
For instance, when you get a minor bruise on your knee, you ask for a BAND-AID and not a plastic bandage. It is likely that you would choose BAND-AID over other brands of adhesive bandages. This is exactly what building brand awareness can help you achieve.
Developing a great product won’t help you earn any profit unless your potential customers know about it. In today’s market, your business is likely to face fierce competition, regardless of the niche in which you operate.
Good branding helps you cut through the noise and compels potential customers to choose your products or services over others.
Building brand awareness, in a way, is more about instilling trust in consumers that your products are of high quality. People don’t think twice before buying from a brand they know and trust.
Therefore, building brand awareness is crucial for the survival of your business.
Now that you know how brand awareness can contribute immensely to the success of your business, let us discuss a few ways to increase brand awareness.
Curious to learn how to boost brand awareness?
Read the next section.
9 Effective Strategies That Can Help You Build Brand Awareness
In this section, you will learn some of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and reach more people. So, let’s get started.
1. Run Social Media Contests and Giveaways
If you want to build brand awareness, social media channels are a good place to start. And, there’s nothing like running a contest to attract social media users and increase brand awareness.
Contests and giveaways are some of the most effective tools that can help you increase your brand awareness. In addition to building brand awareness, they also boost audience engagement and help drive conversions.
In fact, Instagram accounts that run contests grow 70% faster than those that don’t.
Typically, when you announce a giveaway, you reward your followers with freebies in exchange for one or both of the following things:
- They have to like and/or share the post.
- They have to tag a few friends in the comments section.
Your task is to pick a winner from all of the entries you receive. Make sure you specify all of the rules clearly while announcing the giveaway. You should also maintain transparency and announce the winner’s name publicly. It is recommended to run the giveaway on multiple social media channels in order to get the maximum benefit.
Contests are similar to giveaways, except that they require your audience to compete for the freebies by performing certain tasks.
The task could be participating in a poll or uploading a certain type of content with your branded hashtag. Keep your hashtag short and easy to read. It will simplify the entry process and help you keep track of the entries across various social media platforms.
The biggest advantage of contests and giveaways is that they allow you to reach a wide audience and engage with them. When your followers tag others in your post, they are indirectly connecting you with their network of friends. Using a branded hashtag further reinforces recognition and recall value and helps build brand awareness.
For an even bigger impact, the prize that you give to the winner should be related to your brand. It could be in the form of free product samples, loyalty points, free membership, etc.
If the winner has a positive experience with your brand, they are likely to recommend it to others. This, in turn, generates leads, drives conversions and ultimately, helps you earn more profits.
To further amplify the performance of your contests and giveaways, you can collaborate with influencers. Here’s an example of a brand that collaborated with an influencer to run a giveaway on Instagram.
Quick Hack: If you are losing followers on Instagram, run a giveaway to re-engage your target audience and recover immediately.
2. Ask Your Followers to Tag a Friend
When you happen to like a social media post, you often want to share it with your friends. An easy way to do this is by tagging them in the comments section of the post.
Brands can use this to their advantage and increase brand awareness in an effortless manner. All you have to do is upload a post encouraging your followers to tag their friends.
This is a great way to reach a new audience without resorting to overly promotional content. Such posts can also be a savior when you don’t have the time to publish a well-articulated post. It keeps your social media feed fresh while boosting brand awareness and audience engagement.
Need an example?
Check out this Mother’s Day post by Dove where they ask their followers to tag a mom to show that they care. This post works on two levels: it engages your audience by evoking an emotion and increases your content’s reach as people tag the moms they know.
3. Leverage Referral Programs
Getting referrals from your existing customers is another effective way to expand your reach and build brand awareness. If your existing customers have a positive experience with your brand, they wouldn’t mind recommending you to others.
However, they won’t be tempted to do so unless you offer them an incentive in return. Therefore, developing a reward-based referral program is important for building brand awareness.
Referrals also have the power to generate new leads for your business. When your existing customers recommend your product or service, they strengthen brand credibility.
Your potential customers are more likely to give your product or service a chance if it is recommended by someone they know. This, in turn, increases your likelihood of reaching an even wider audience.
Dropbox has successfully harnessed the power of referrals to build brand awareness. The American file hosting service lets users earn 500 MB of bonus storage for each referral signup.
This greatly helped the company to get a large number of new signups without spending a fortune on advertising during its initial days.
It is also worth noting how Dropbox makes it easy for its users to send invites using their Gmail and Facebook accounts. The ease of use further encourages them to refer the service. So, your referral program should be simple and easy for it to have the desired impact.
4. Share Memes
Although not the most obvious choice for increasing brand awareness, humorous memes have the potential to become viral and widen your social media reach.
Internet users often share popular memes with their friends and relatives on social media platforms as well as messaging apps. It is an effective way to give your followers a break from in-your-face promotional content.
However, you need to consider whether a viral meme would align with your brand image and appeal to your target audience.
If this is not the case, don’t try to force-fit memes into your brand awareness efforts. This can have an adverse effect on your brand reputation.
One note of caution:
You should also avoid designing memes on controversial and sensitive subjects. The last thing you want is to offend your potential customers with a seemingly harmless social media post.
A good example of a brand successfully using memes to build brand awareness and social media presence is BarkBox. It relies almost exclusively on humorous content and has amassed a significant number of followers on Instagram.
5. Give Exclusive Access to Loyal Customers
When you launch a new product or update, offering exclusive access to some customers can start an immediate conversation. It creates a sense of curiosity and urgency among your potential customers.
The people who don’t have access to your product at this stage can’t wait to find out what is so special about it.
The ones who are rewarded with exclusive access perceive your brand as one that truly values its customers. Such people are more likely to recommend your new product to others, provided they like it.
This helps you build brand awareness even before your product is completely ready to hit the market.
Google used this strategy to promote the launch of Gmail. In its initial days, the email service was accessible only through invites from existing users.
By restricting access, Google immediately created a sense of mystery about the platform. This, in turn, led to an increase in the number of new signups, helping Gmail grow and build brand awareness.
6. Offer Freemium Products with Credit
Several photo and video editing apps offer a free version, where they put their watermark in the final image or video. When users share pictures or videos edited using the free version, they inadvertently promote the tool or platform as well.
This helps build brand awareness and can even generate new leads for your business.
But, is this strategy only suitable for generating awareness about photo and video apps?
Not really, this brand awareness strategy is not just limited to video editing apps, but is also used by many SaaS companies. So, find a way to make sure that you get credit even if you offer a free plan to your customers.
This is a lesser-known strategy to build brand awareness that should be a part of your SaaS sales strategy.
7. Collaborate with Influencers
Collaborating with influencers is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. Since influencers are perceived as industry experts, an endorsement from them adds credibility to your brand image.
And you get access to their loyal and engaged follower community. With creative and user-centric content, such a partnership can help you strike the right chord with your target audience.
There are several forms of influencer marketing campaigns. You can get them to share a review of your products or services on their social media profiles.
Or you can even collaborate with influencers to host a giveaway or contest. In this case, the influencer hosts the giveaway on their own social media profiles and offers your products or services as the prize.
Guest posting is another efficient way of using influencers to build brand awareness and should be a part of your influencer marketing strategy.
Daniel Wellington harnessed the power of influencer marketing to become one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. The company gifted DW watches to social media influencers during its initial years and asked them to share pictures.
It still continues to collaborate with influencers and asks them to share a picture of their watches on their Instagram accounts with the branded hashtag, “#DanielWellington.”
This strategy has helped Daniel Wellington build brand awareness by attracting 4.9 million followers on Instagram. It helps generate new leads for the company. It also gave them access to a rich pool of high-quality user-generated content.
Contrary to popular belief, influencer marketing is not just good for B2C brands, but also for B2B ones. So, invest in B2B influencer marketing, if you’re not already doing that.
8. Use Social Media Hashtags
You can increase the visibility of your social media posts by using the right hashtags in the image description or caption. It helps you reach a wide audience that is not part of your social media following.
With Instagram now allowing users to follow popular hashtags, it is almost imperative that you tap into the potential of hashtags.
The key to using hashtags for building brand awareness is to choose your hashtags carefully. Identify the most popular and relevant hashtags for your brand. Rule out the ones that are either too generic or too specific.
Make sure you don’t flood your image description with a list of irrelevant hashtags. This can act as a huge put-off for your audience.
In addition to using trending hashtags, you should also create one that is unique to your brand. Then promote it using social media contests and by encouraging your customers to use it in their own posts.
You can even encourage your customers to share a review of your product or service and add your branded hashtag to their review posts. This helps popularize it even if it’s a new hashtag.
For instance, Adobe gives Instagram users a chance to get featured on the brand’s own Instagram page. You just have to post your creation using the hashtag, “#Adobe_Dreambig.”
Such posts from Adobe loyalists often act as effortless endorsements for the brand. This helps build brand awareness without the brand directly reaching out to its target audience.
Using hashtags is one of the best social media marketing tactics for increasing brand awareness. So, make sure that you include it in your branding strategy.
9. Leverage Video Marketing
Videos help communicate crucial information about your brand in an interesting manner. Much like memes, videos garner widespread attention and have a tendency to go viral.
They are also more engaging compared to text-based posts.
From product unboxing videos to interviews with industry experts, you can use videos to showcase different aspects of your brand. Another effective strategy is to craft an interesting story and integrate your brand into the narrative in a seamless manner
Such videos often tug at the heartstrings of viewers and help build brand awareness. You can also increase the visibility of your videos by collaborating with influencers.
Don’t restrict your video marketing efforts to just one social media platform. If you upload a long video on your YouTube channel, share a trailer or snippet on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Include a link to the main video in the description.
This helps build brand awareness by driving traffic from your social media profiles to your YouTube channel.
Originally published at Attrock.com.
About The Author
Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years.