What is the one thing that every business wants? That’s right: brand awareness.
There are many ways to do this, but in today’s post we’re going to focus on building it online. If you want to take your marketing efforts from “just okay” to “awesome,” these 6 steps will help you get there!
What is brand awareness?
Before we get started, let’s define brand awareness:
Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes just how well your audience remembers or recognizes your business.
While this sounds overly simple, it isn’t.
“Branding” is more than just a marketing term. All people across your company, from customer service to executives, have a role in branding efforts for your organization.
As it turns out, brand building extends beyond the employees of your company. Your customers are a major part of how well you’re doing with branding too. What this tells us, of course, is that branding can’t be completely controlled by your company.
But don’t fret. You have the ability to take ownership of your brand and build it from the ground up–the good news is, you get to choose how it develops! The downside of this strategy is if you do nothing, another person could come in and wreak havoc on your profile with no qualms or forethought.
With that said, let’s dive into the 6 steps to building brand awareness online!
1. Define a Clear Brand Purpose
If you want to be on your customer’s minds 24/7, give them an experience they can’t live without. Provide a clear explanation of your brand’s purpose–show potential customers what your company is about. Why? Because how you do what you do matters to them a great deal.
To clarify your brand purpose, ask yourself and partners the following questions:
- When you founded your company, what societal benefit did you hope to achieve?
- How is your brand contributing to making that change?
- Who are the people who will benefit from that change?
- How can you communicate to your audience in a way that is both informative and inspiring?
Once you’ve wrapped up this high-level discussion, you can use your answers to create your brand mission and goals.
2. Give Your Brand a Voice
Understanding how to present your brand is a critical first step. Once this is established, you can plan out how you want to present your brand to the world.
To stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression, your company needs a brand personality. Brand personality is often defined as a set of traits attributed to a brand from the customer’s perspective. A brand personality is based on how a brand acts, speaks and looks. It is the basis of all public perception of a brand.
What’s more, your brand personality won’t convince prospects to convert during their first encounter with your brand. If you want them to remember you, you need to present yourself consistently.
So, how can you pull off this brand consistency? The key is to use your brand purpose for guidance. Thankfully, your business already has a mission in place, so this is the perfect time to reassess and revisit the company’s vision.
How can you use your brand to connect with your audience and convey emotions that align with values and achieve goals? Design a brand style guide.
Brand style guides comprise of 6 major elements: brand story, voice, logo, typography, color palette and imagery. By rigidly defining how your brand presents itself in these 6 categories, you can start to build consistency in how others perceive your brand.
3. Position Employees as Brand Ambassadors
It takes a team to build brand awareness. If you want your company to create a lasting impression in people’s minds, ensure that employees across your entire organization are staying on top of how they represent their brand.
Regular staff members should be put to work on specific tasks that represent the company. And if these employees wow customers in ways that are representative of your company, you can count on sparking conversations among potential buyers—sparking brand awareness and trust simultaneously.
When your staff communicate with (potential) customers online, you need to make sure they have all the tools they need to accurately represent your brand voice.
Each communication touchpoint from emails to social media should be consistent across the board. To reduce friction and inconsistency in your brand messaging, make sure your staff have everything they need to be your top brand ambassadors. This can include email signature templates, social media branding and HTML color codes for your brand.
4. Brand Storytelling
Stories connect us to each other, helping us make decisions based on what has happened in the world.
Building brand awareness is no easy task, and every company must take a different approach. Start by telling the best story you can. This means all companies need to be unique in their own way with honest customer service while also integrating marketing campaigns that are not simply advertisements but instead offer quality content your customers will appreciate.
Brand storytelling is a vital part of connecting with your audience, and it often drives them towards the conversion.
What are your stories?
How can you tell them in a way that is both informative and inspiring?
Make sure to include an emotional connection with the audience by revealing what drives your company’s motivations. What makes it different from other brands out there? Why should people choose this one over another brand on the market, like yours? Simply put, what’s in it for them?
5. Create Content People Will Share
Easier said than done. If content is king, then distribution is the entire kingdom. You can publish all you want but if people aren’t engaging and sharing, there’s no point in publishing in the first place.
Creating content that people will want to share is just one way of building awareness for your brand, but it also has the added benefits of boosting site traffic, engagement, leads and sales.
Here are some ways you can make sure your content is more likely to be shared:
- Place share buttons with high visibility
- Write content that provokes an emotional connection
- Craft enticing headlines
- Address your audience’s pain points in content in practical, actionable ways
6. Launch a Referral Program
Referral marketing is the most powerful form of marketing because it leverages one of the strongest brand differentiators: consumer trust.
Leveraging consumer trust to bring in new eyes on your brand will bring sustainable growth to your company. When customers talk, people listen.
Studies have shown that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over other sources.
Historically, it has been difficult for startups and small businesses to launch their own referral program. Creating your own referral program from scratch can be time-consuming and difficult.
Fortunately, referral software like GrowSurf has made it easy to launch your own referral program in under a day. If your customers are not already an integral part of growing your business, it’s time for a change.
About the Author
Chris Tweten is the CMO of GrowSurf, the referral software for tech companies.