If people don’t know who you are, they won’t buy your product or use your service.
Expanding your business is exciting. New markets offer new opportunities and development potential. The risk is high, and it can be thrilling to research, plan and execute an expansion.
However, without brand awareness in the new market, your efforts are unlikely to be rewarded with the growth predictions that you expect. One of the most important parts of your expansion is your brand awareness campaign. Whether you are moving to a new state or a new continent, you need to ensure that your new target audience is aware of who you are, what you have to offer, and why your product is unique in the marketplace.
There are simple rules when it comes to increasing your brand awareness. If you follow the guidelines and apply them to your campaign, your growth into a new market is likely to be seen by your target audience, and your growth supported.
- Be Specific
Target a specific audience; this is one of the essential rules of marketing.
Any brand awareness campaign should focus on getting the attention of specific groups of people.
For example, you might identify those that you most want to target are visitors to your website who action a CTA button on your site.
These people have already let you know that they are interested in your product, so you need to connect with them to ensure you guide them through the sales funnel.
You will already have a customer persona, so see where these people identify with that persona and target them with an email campaign that offers a free trial, for example.
Your goal is to find those that you are connecting with, but who need to know more about you before committing to a sale.
- Social Media
You have no choice – you must have a social media presence or fade out of existence. While it seems that some businesses are still resisting the online revolution, they are the same businesses that are losing business and shutting their doors.
Social media is a great way to let people know more about who you are, what values you have, and how you want to answer the pain points of your customers.
Using social media platforms, you are able to tailor your message for different levels of your audience. Some people will prefer to use LinkedIn and find your most professional approach appealing, while others will choose Twitter and feel that a more casual tone is appealing to them.
You need to really understand your brand and promote all the subtleties of your brand on different platforms, just as a real person would. If you think of your brand as having its own personality, this will help you to find the right voice.
Social media is also great for instant communication. Chatbots and auto-replies can connect with customers at times when you might be offline, or answer simple questions, while instant messaging, polls, quizzes and memes are a good way to keep an audience engaged.
Referrals are one of the most powerful tools you have in business. People trust other people, which is why reviews are essential. A survey by Ogilvy, Google and TNS said that 74% of respondents viewed word-of-mouth an important influencer in their purchasing decisions.
Using the Internet to your advantage is key to getting good word-of-mouth marketing. Influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TicTock and other social media can transform your brand from a known to a must-have for audiences almost instantly.
Organic brand awareness is difficult. If you force it, people will be able to tell. If you try to fake it, audiences will not trust you. If you try and sell it, people will not buy it. You must understand your USP and make that the centre of any brand awareness campaign for your growth to be organic and successful.
- Optimise Your Website
Your website is your face, and its optimisation level is your billboard. If you imagine your optimisation level as a flashing sign over Times Square, on every bus around the world and splashed on T-shirts people buy, you’d be Nike, or Gucci, or even Samsung. That kind of brand awareness takes time.
To get you started, people need to be seeing your company when they enter queries into their search engine. SEO algorithms change. The way that people use devices to search has evolved too. In 2020, people are conducting more voice searches, so the best way to rate highly is, along with high-quality content, is long-tail keyword search optimisation.
It is predicted that visual searches will also begin to feature more highly as people change their interactions with devices.
In terms of your brand awareness campaign, it needs to evolve with the way people are accessing information, as well as how people come to your industry. For example, people wanting to buy clothing might search for ‘best winter jackets for men in 2021’, while business operators might search for ‘bearings for photocopier manufacturers’. As an expert in your industry, it is important to understand how your target audience thinks, taking us back to the importance of really understanding your customer persona.
- Your Brand Identity
Creating your brand requires you to research, apply and be creative. While creating awareness of your brand is about reaching your target audience, creating your brand is about sending a very clear message.
You need to really understand your goals, your company mission, what you value, and what your USP and who your competition is before you even begin to think about logos, colours, fonts and other design elements. The more research you do, the more you can refine your core message and make it easy to create a clean and appealing brand for your audience.
Logos change, colours are updated, fonts and taglines evolve, but what must stay the same is your value proposition to your customer.
One of the best ways to get people talking is to host an event. For an online business, this can be as simple as live video events on social media that showcase how to use your product, or an instructional video of how to apply your service.
These events also allow you to chat with people live. It is a great way to humanise your company, connect with people without a filter in place and get people talking.
As the world faces continued shutdowns, it is unlikely that trade shows will be a viable option. Looking to how you can adapt to online events is not only good for your business now, but in the future, as people shift their thinking on unnecessary international travel and the associated costs that can be mitigated by more people opting to communicate online.
- High-Quality Content
Your content is your most valuable asset. Audiences find you through search engines because your content is meaningful. Audiences tune in to learn from you because you share valuable information. Industry experts turn to your company as a leader because you share knowledge, publish reports and invite people to be part of your success. Industry secrets are gone. Now is the time to use your white papers, statistics, research findings and analysis to create a buzz around your brand.
- Offer Real Value
Free offers and discounts are one of the best ways to get attention, especially if your product is of high quality and much coveted. Online products, such as apps, often offer users lower-grade versions of a service in exchange for customer data. Discount vouchers that pop-up on eCommerce sites help to secure sales for those who are researching prices. These are all old tried and tested methods for improving brand recognition.
However, you don’t have to give away your product or service. You could offer to provide insights, connect people with more information or provide a service for a short trial period to boost your brand awareness. Brands often offer to donate to a charity or cause one-for-one when a customer signs on, and this can really reinforce your brand values for a customer, helping to communicate your company goals and values and raise brand awareness.
Brand Awareness Pitfalls
Before you dive into your next brand awareness campaign, take the time to assess your current position. Don’t just assume that you know your audience and why you might not be connecting – do the analysis. Know your ideal customer and find out where they are. Remember, most companies rebrand every seven years, and during that time people change economic change and technology changes. The tactics you used in 2015 will not connect with people in 2020, especially if you are targeting a youth market.
Brand awareness campaigns should focus on values, reaching a new market and expanding your business opportunities. Don’t shy away from the data and you’ll find your customers.
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