1. Be Accessible The first and most important thing in building a brand awareness strategy is perhaps the most obvious: make sure that people can actually find you. The customers who provide the most immediate value to your business may not be aware of your brand yet, but they will certainly be looking for the product or service you offer. This in mind, it’s crucial that you be present with a clear explanation of the superior value you deliver.
The most efficient, effective, and scalable way to be found is to have excellent search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). I’ve asked our Head of Marketing, Michael Coden, to explain the basics of getting search efforts spot on.
First, ensure that when you’re building your website you’ve got the basics down. A clean URL structure is a must. That means whenever possible, use a single domain and subdomain — and try to include relevant keywords within your URL structure.
Next, when writing your website, make sure your H1 headers (these are usually the titles at the top of each web page) include the relevant keywords you want to be found for. Include the most important keyword as your H1 header and your next important keywords within your H2 headers (these are your subheads). And always remember to draft your website copy like a human; do not stuff keywords into your copy just for the sake of it.
Finally, you want Google to see that your website has authority. That means relevant third parties are referencing your site, linking their website to yours. Backlinks are a great way to climb the search rankings as Google wants to provide searches with the most relevant websites--which are those most often being used and referenced by others. Public relations efforts and guest blog partnerships are just two great ways of building up backlinks.
2. Be Relevant When defining your target, it’s tempting to turn to old-fashioned concepts like “need-states segmentation,” “attitudinal classification,” and other deliberately labyrinthine methodologies. However, these methods tend to lead you to nail down your target as something like “Sophie is 25, lives in a house in Dover with two roommates; they’re all healthcare workers, who exercise twice a week, feel optimistic but cautious, and buy the Economist.” And Sophie and her two friends aren’t going to get you the 30 million sales target your CFO has set.
You need to find a balance between hyper-targeting and broad, scalable reach. The best way to define a target that doesn’t take you to an impossibly narrow population is to simply understand who will gain the most value from your product. This task is easier for some products than others – for example, a baby food brand who delivers superior nutritional benefits to new-borns knows to target parents who recently had a baby. The challenge may be more difficult for, say, a brand that sells flatware – they need to nail down the differentiators of their brand by materials and/or style, since a wide range of people prefer to eat with forks and spoons.
The more balanced your target between targeted and broad audiences, the higher the chance you have at resonating with them – you’ll be able to produce content that your target finds relevant and successfully promote it to them in relevant channels. If, for example, you’re selling a clothing brand that targets teenage boys, your most relevant channel for awareness is probably TikTok given that 49% of teenagers have downloaded the app. Even better: 2 million more women than men regularly use TikTok. The primary buyer of clothing for teenage boys? Mum.
3. Be Memorable Being memorable is absolutely critical to building awareness that lasts. You’re up against 30 billion adverts a day on Google alone, so standing out from the noise is crucial.
Car insurance advertising became memorable in the UK when opera singer Gio Compario from Go Compare came along, and his arch-rivals the meerkats from Compare the Market haven’t done so badly either. Some brands go to the ends of the earth and beyond to build memorable brand awareness, like Felix Baumgartner did for Red Bull by jumping to Earth from the stratosphere. Others are more targeted and subtle, think of the discount email you got on your birthday from your local pizza restaurant, or the one-off rebate from your insurance company for not claiming for a while. Small, personalized engagements can be just as effective at building memorable long-term brand awareness as getting a guy to jump out of a sub orbital space craft.
4. Be Familiar Familiarity is a much more effective measure of awareness that will last. Someone being aware of your brand’s existence is a good start – at ProQuo AI we meet many founder-CEOs who understandably want a daily reading of their brand’s prompted and unprompted awareness, but the real sign of sustainable success is when people don’t just know you exist – it’s when they have a deeper familiarity with you. They know your brand, the names of your products, the benefits you give them – and they use them regularly.
Once your brand is accessible, relevant, memorable, and familiar you’re up and away – and it won’t be long before Sophie, her flatmates, and millions more are with you as you launch into outer space.
Interested in getting a handle on your own brand awareness? Check out our live demo and learn how our ProQuo AI Brand Management platform can help your business.