The ultimate guide to brand awareness

Marta
December 2, 2020 ・ 16 min read

Brand awareness. What is it? Is it important for growing your business? That’s only a few questions you need to answer before you dive deep into building your brand awareness. Hopefully, this essential guide to brand awareness will answer most of your questions.

What is the role of brand awareness in building your business? Is brand awareness necessary to succeed?

Creating brand awareness is crucial not only for start-ups but also for companies with an established position on the market. Brand image can be a deciding factor for your target audience.

The competition is fierce, and grabbing the attention of your potential customers is vital for your business to thrive.

A bulletproof brand awareness program has many benefits:

  • it encourages consumers’ decisions making process when they have to choose between various companies;
  • it drives repeat purchases;
  • it contributes to an increase in market share and conversions.

Putting your brand on the business map is hard work. Brand awareness marketing should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Brand identity is what differentiates successful brands from not so successful ones.

With a little help from this post, you will be able to build brand awareness and ultimately boost your sales!

  • What is brand awareness?
  • What are the benefits brand awareness?
  • How to build brand awareness?
  • How to measure brand awareness?
  • Brand awareness metrics
  • What is the purpose of brand awareness?
  • What is brand awareness?

    Brand awareness is the level of recognition a brand has among its target audience. The levels of brand awareness answer the question – how familiar is your target market with your brand?

    To make the concept a bit more practical think about brands such as Kleenex or Coca-Cola. Coke is often used as a synonym for a soft drink, no matter the producer.

    That’s because the levels of brand awareness among its consumers are high when it comes to Coca-Cola.

    Brand awareness is one of the major assets your brand can build. High levels of brand awareness can increase the value of your product or service. Building brand awareness builds competitive advantage.

    What are the benefits of brand awareness?

    Brand awareness can have tangible effects on your business performance.

    The benefits of building a robust brand awareness will have an impact on different layers of your organization, starting with marketing to end with design and customer service.

    Take a look at the benefits of brand awareness!

    Brand awareness increases trust

    Trust is the currency of the 21st century. Consumers rely on family and friends recommendations. They research the opinions about a brand, product, or service and base their decisions on the research.

    Brand awareness campaigns help you build consumers’ trust.

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    A high levels of brand awareness will assure your customers will come back to you. In other words, brand awareness bonds customers to your brand. Customer loyalty has a direct impact on your revenue.

    Brand awareness grows brand equity

    Brand equity measures brand’s value. Brand equity is directly correlated with brand awareness.

    Brand equity is not only determined by the number of tangible assets the company has. You also have to take into account brand reputation. Positive associations can raise your brand equity. That’s why it’s important to build positive brand awareness.

    Brand awareness makes marketing easy

    Or easier, at least.

    Brand awareness enforces associations. A lot of people don’t use handkerchiefs but kleenex, orders coke and not soda, and so on. Consumers use brand name from the top of mind, and they do not always differentiate between brands.

    Brand awareness connects actions or events with certain products. We replace generic terms with branded words. And that’s how part of our marketing is done for us.

    How to build brand awareness?

    Before you start building and improving your brand awareness, you need to set a benchmark. You should measure two metrics – your current brand awareness levels and brand awareness levels of your closest competitors.

    Set it up by measuring your current brand awareness levels. 

    The easiest way to measure brand the levels of brand recognition is to use a media monitoring tool, for example, Brand24.

    A media monitoring tool collects all publicly available mentions about your brand, products, and services and analyses the results.

    Within the Analysis tab, you will find the information about:

    • the total number of mentions
    • social and non-social mentions
    • estimated social media reach
    • non-social reach
    • the number of social media interactions
    • sentiment analysis

    All of these metrics are vital for assessing your brand awareness and working on your brand management.

    To truly assess if your brand awareness efforts are bringing the desired results, you have to establish the levels of brand awareness of your closes competitors. To check other brands, simply create another media monitoring project that will track marketing campaigns and word-of-mouth marketing.

    To compare two projects in Brand24, simply go to the Comparison tab and choose the projects you want to compare.

    Measure brand awareness! Start your free trial (no credit card required)

    Building brand awareness can be easy when you have a bulletproof plan in place.

    There are plenty of tactics you can implement to boost your brand awareness; starting with a strong social media presence through referral programs, dedicated awareness campaigns, social media contest, or by improving user experience.

    What’s in there for you? Let’s see!

    Here are our eight marketing strategies you can use to build brand awareness among your potential and existing customers:

  • 1. Use media listening for brand awareness
  • 2. Build brand awareness on social media
  • 3. Use customers’ testimonials
  • 4. Cooperate with social media influencers
  • 5. Do your SEO research
  • 6. Make your product exclusive
  • 7. Implement marketing campaigns
  • 8. Partner with local business
  • 9. Invest in referral program
  • Without further ado, let’s see how to increase brand awareness and brand recognition!

    1. Use media listening to increase brand awareness

    The critical element of increasing brand awareness is to be aware of what your potential customers expect from your brand. Building long-lasting relationships will help your brand thrive in an extremely competitive world.

    How to listen to your clients when there are so many platforms you should keep an eye on?

    Well, that’s a task for your media monitoring tool.

    When it comes to media monitoring for brand awareness, you should set up at least two projects. 

    One for monitoring the mentions regarding your brand or products and services. The second project will monitor topics concerning your industry niche. 

    How does it increase brand awareness?

    The simple answer is that it helps you find conversations you can jump into. That way, you can sway undecided customers towards your brand or even get your competitors’ clients to buy your product.

    Just take a look at this tweet:

    If I were an owner of a Mexican restaurant down in San Antonio, I would certainly invite Kimiya to visit my establishment.

    You can set up a project with a key phrase “who can recommend?” and narrow down the results with our geo-filter.

    Another aspect of media monitoring for brand awareness I’d like to mention is the fact that people appreciate brands that keep their eyes on the ball and respond to all mentions, even those without a branded hashtag or an @mention.

    Take a look at this tweet:

    Chobani is doing a great job when it comes to building brand awareness via social media listening. This conversation is as far away from nutrition and food as it can be, and yet Chobani came up as an example.

    Monitor your brand awareness! Create your project!

    2. Build brand awareness on social media

    Well optimised social media channels can do wonders to your brand awareness!

    Claiming that almost everyone is now on social media is not an exaggeration. Only Instagram has more than one billion active users, and that number is still growing. That’s a market you can’t miss.

    On the one hand, the popularity of social media is a blessing because you can get your message to new audiences relatively easy and at little costs. Social channels make it easy to share content, which means one person can show your content to their friends and family. You are reaching new audience almost effortlessly.

    But on the other hand, it means that the competition is fierce. Your message needs to stand out from the crowd to get recognition from your potential customers and existing audience.

    What’s the right approach to increasing brand awareness on social media?

    Choose the right social media platform

    The great thing about social media is that they give you a well-functioning platform to broadcast your message. All you have to do is send the right message to the right people at the right time.

    Let’s start with identifying the right social media platform for your brand awareness campaign.

    The right platform for your business is the platform where your customers are present. You don’t have to set up a Facebook account if you know your demographic isn’t active on Facebook. Similarly, you don’t have to spend time figuring out Instagram Stories, if no one is watching them.

    Track your brand mentions!

    Think about the content you can offer. A B2B company is usually most active on Twitter. Brands that can produce engaging visual content, for example, jewellery producers or cosmetics brands, have a loyal following on Instagram and Pinterest. And for some building an active group on Facebook is the best option.

    Social media tactics to build brand awareness

    Once you establish a platform you want to be active on, it’s time to get right to business.

    Start with promoting your branded hashtag. A branded hashtag is a hashtag that is only used to relate to your products or company, for example, #adidas or #justdoit.

    There’re two benefits to using the branded hashtag.

    Firstly, you can see how your content spreads on social media.

    Social media monitoring tools will help you:

    • spot the social media platforms where your audience is present,
    • the sentiment around your company or product,
    • estimated social media reach of your hashtag,
    • and much more!

    This helps to tailor your future messages to your target audience. That will certainly boost your brand awareness as social media users will engage with your content. You should promote your products and services on the platforms your consumers are present.

    Secondly, a branded hashtag helps to find and repost user-generated content. And UGC is a great way to build brand awareness!

    User-generated content serves as social proof, a way to reassure other social media users about the quality of your products. Nothing can compare to recommendations from other social media users.

    Creating a lot of high-quality content can be quite an overwhelming task. UGC can help you with that! Just remember to ask the author for permission to repost their work.

    3. Use customers’ testimonials

    As I mentioned before, customer testimonials are a great way to build brand awareness.

    What are the perks of customers’ testimonials on your website?

    • they help establish your credibility as a brand
    • they drive sales. There’s nothing more convincing than reading success stories from other satisfied clients
    • they are highly effective and free ads

    So, where do you start with implementing customer testimonials to your website?

    Use all the positive mentions your media monitoring project has gathered!

    You want to display only positive mentions about your products or services on your website. Don’t worry; we got you covered.

    Brand24 offers sentiment analysis option. In the Mentions tab, on the right side of the screen, you’ll find a slider that will filter the mentions according to their sentiment.

    Measure brand awareness

    You can analyse only positive mentions with your predefined keyword and group them.

    Once you’re done with choosing the right testimonials for building brand awareness, click on Create a new widget.

    You will be redirected to widget creation wizard, where you can adjust the widget visually. Then the tool will generate a piece of code you can quickly implement on your website.

    It might sound like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s a piece of cake, even for not so technically savvy users.

    An implemented widget on a website looks like this:

    a print screen of a website with customers testimonials you can use to build brand awareness

    And it is a great way to convince undecided customers to opt for your product!

    I know it seems like quite a lot for a widget tool, but it’s much more! I’ll show you the benefits of an Internet listening tool in the next paragraphs.

    4. Cooperate with social media influencers

    Influencers can help you reach consumers you’d otherwise miss. They can not only spread your content and build brand awareness, but also legitimize your message with their authority.

    The key to successful social media influencers marketing for your company is choosing the right influencers. They have to align with your brand core values and have the same target audience as you do.

    So, if you already know that influencers are useful for building brand awareness, how do you choose the right ones? We have an answer!

    Take a look at your project in Brand24, more specifically at the Analysis tab.

    Brand24 analyses all the mentions and identifies two key metrics for identifying influencers:

    • Influence of social media authors;
    • Most active social media authors.

    print screen showing the most active social media platforms that will help you raise brand awareness

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    Brand24 also identifies the platform the influencers are active, calculates their share of voice, number of mentions, and reach.

    That way, you can be sure that you choose the right influencer to work with.

    5. Do your SEO research

    SEO stands for search engine optimisation. A well-optimised website will rank high on Google, so the users are more likely to click on it.

    According to Search Engine Watch, the top listing on Google’s organic search receives 33% of the traffic, the second position gets 18%, and it only degrades from there.

    If you want to build brand awareness via SEO, you need to know what people are looking for. Tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs will help you find the right keywords you should rank your website for.

    SEO is not only about implementing keyword research on your website or blog. You should also think about the technical aspects of your website, such as loading speed. The faster the page loads, the better. It all has an impact on your position in Google or any other search engine.

    6. Make your product exclusive

    When Google first introduced Gmail, you could only log in if you had an invitation from somebody who already had an account.

    Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing there is, and Google is aware of it. Gmail users were sharing links to the email agent, and the tool quickly went viral.

    Creating a sense of exclusivity will, on the contrary, build brand awareness. People like to share their interesting finds.

    From the UX design point of view, make it easy to share. A clear call to action, for example, invite your friends, and an easy to fill the form is a must-have.

    If you don’t have a strict software product to offer, think about all the exclusive deals you could offer to your customers to boost brand awareness. You could provide a discount for referring your product to a friend or offer exclusive content to your customers.

    7. Implement remarketing campaigns

    Remarketing campaigns are paid marketing campaigns where your target audience has already visited your website but left before converting.

    This is a pro approach to build brand awareness. The premise behind this technique is that it’s easier to boost your brand awareness to people who have already heard about your brand.

    The main aim of a remarketing campaign for brand awareness is not to broadcast your message to new audiences but to strengthen your message among your existing potential client base.

    It takes several touchpoints to convert a client, and a remarketing ad is a perfect one.

    8. Partner with local businesses

    Building a global business can be your dream, but you might get more conversion if you focus on the local market, at least in the beginning.

    Partnering with local businesses to build brand awareness works similarly to cooperating with influencers. You can expose your products to new audiences, which will tremendously help with building brand awareness.

    A coffee house can team up with a local bakery, a fashion brand with shoemakers, and wedding venue with a florist. There’re many options to choose from.

    9. Invest in referral program

    Referral programs are a great way to spread the word about your brand, product, or service around. A well-executed referral program can bring substantial value to your company and boost your brand recognition.

    Referral program will boost your marketing efforts and give you endorsements you need to build a strong brand.

    In programs like that, your existing customers and influential people from your industry niche, encourage others to make a purchase. Once people buy your product or service from their recommendation, they receive a commission, and you get some new customers.

    Referral programs can help you reach new customers that would otherwise be unaware of your product. Moreover, the burden of creating new content is on your partner.

    How to measure brand awareness?

    Measuring the results of brand awareness campaign can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, you need to know what the results of your awareness campaigns are. Once you measure the campaign, you will know the levels of brand recognition and will know how to improve them.

    You can divide brand awareness metrics into two subgroups: quantitative and qualitative brand awareness metrics.

    Let’s start with quantitative brand awareness metrics. Quantitative brand awareness metrics will give you a general understanding of your brand perception online.

    • Direct traffic. Direct traffic shows you the number of people who typed in the URL of your website directly into the search bar. It’s a valuable metric since it tells you how many people know about your brand and are looking specifically for you.
    • Social media engagement. Most importantly, the number of comments, shares, and likes under your social media posts. Social media engagement is easy to track, especially with help from media monitoring tools, for example, Brand24.

    These brand awareness metrics provide hard numbers. You can easily see the changes in direct traffic or social media engagement.

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    Qualitative brand awareness metrics a little bit more tricky. In this step you have to find out how many people are aware of your brand. To measure qualitatively try:

    • Monitoring the volume of mentions of your brand. The volume of mentions is a strong indicator of how many people are talking about your brand online. Moreover, if you combine the volume of mentions with sentiment analysis, you’ll know the feelings around your brand.
    • Surveys. Sometimes all you have to do is ask whether someone has heard about your brand or not. You will get direct feedback from your customers and will know what your potential customers think about you.

    Brand awareness metrics

    Whether you focus on qualitative or quantitative brand awareness metrics, there are some hard numbers you can tract to measure your brand recognition. By measuring your brand awareness regularly, you can track the results of your brand awareness campaign.

    I present the results based on Brand24, a top media monitoring tool.

    Which metrics should you take into account?

    The volume of mentions

    The volume of mentions will tell you how often your brand name has been mentioned online. The total volume of mentions should be your first metric when it comes to assessing the results of your campaigns.

    print screen showing the volume of metrics and reach, metrics important for brand awareness

    If the number of times your company has been mentioned online increases, it means your campaign is bringing the desired results. More consumers are aware your company and your brand recall grows.

    Of course, to get the full overview of your brand awareness efforts, you need some more context.

    Sentiment analysis

    Sentiment analysis will put your volume of metrics in the right context. You will know whether the talk around your brand is positive, negative, or neutral.

    Negative mentions about your company will definitely help your brand recognition and brand recall. But is it how you want to be seen on the market by your consumers?

    People will talk about your products or services online. Even if they post negative content online, that doesn’t mean a bad thing for your company.

    You can still turn the tables around.

    Sometimes, it’s just as easy as replying to unhappy customer. They will probably tell about their brand experience to their friends and family, increasing your offline brand awareness.

    Social and non-social media reach

    Reach is one of the most important metrics when it comes to brand awareness and brand recall.

    print screen showing metrics important for brand awareness

    Reach will tell you how many people have seen your content across the whole Internet. The higher your reach, the bigger brand awareness, and therefore, brand recall.

    The share of voice

    The share of voice will tell you what part of the whole online discussion was initiated by a certain public profile. The higher the share of voice, the more influence the person has.

    The share of voice is important for two reasons when it comes to brand awareness.

    First, it will help you assess your brand reputation. The more consumers trust your brand, the more will they talk about your company. And, they will come back to you more often, thus increasing your brand recall.

    print screen showing popular social media accounts with brand awareness metrics, such as the share of voice and influence

    Secondly, examining the share of voice of some social media accounts will help you find the most promising online influencer to work with.

    An influencer marketing campaign is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand among brand new audiences.

    Influencer marketing campaign

    One of the sure ways to boost your brand recognition is to cooperate with an influencer in your field.

    Influencers can present your product or service to their audience and vouch for them with their authority. Mentioning your brand name will help with your brand recognition, which is especially important for younger, lesser known brands.

    Mentioning your brand name will put your company on the radar of many new consumers.

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    What is the purpose of brand awareness?

    Does your company need to work on brand recognition? Is your brand name well-known among your target customers?

    If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should put some resources into growing brand awareness.

    Brand awareness gives you an opportunity to show your products and services to brand new audience. Once you increase brand awareness, you will see an increase in your brand’s core business metrics.

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