5 Ways to Build Brand Awareness with Multichannel Marketing
We recently overheard a conversation where a coworker talked and talked about how they just couldn’t use a Samsung phone over an iPhone. Another colleague had similar things to say but was, in fact, the opposite: they couldn’t stand iPhones over Samsung. Both were entrenched in their opinions—both were loyal to their brand. If only you could inspire such loyalty, right?
Many small-to-medium sized business owners (SMBs) wonder how they can gain even a fraction of the brand loyalty these larger corporations do, and it’s easy to think it’s completely out of reach. Can we let you in on a little secret? It all starts with brand awareness. It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: For people to become loyal to your brand they have to know who you are.
Building brand awareness is the key to all the wonderful things that follow after it, namely a loyal customer base, consistent traffic, and sales. One case study found that conversions can increase by as much as 3.18% with a single piece of content focused on increasing brand awareness. It might seem like these gains are easier said than done, but never fear because we’ve put together our top 5 time-tested recommendations that are sure to change your SMB brand from a ‘?’ to a ‘!’. Let’s dive right in.
#1: Build Brand Awareness through Strong Messaging
Brand messaging is absolutely critical when you’re building brand awareness. You have to create brand messaging that captures your audience’s attention and lets them know exactly what your SMB stands for and the value it can provide. You want customers to feel confident you can deliver on what you promise while also keeping your brand messaging clear so they can easily and quickly understand exactly what you offer them. The more concise and clear your brand messaging is the more it will stick in your customer’s minds—and when your SMB is at the top of their mind it will be where they turn when they’re in need!
What does this look like in practice? It means you need to be dialed-in to who your customer is, what they want, and how your product or service solves their problem. And you need to do it in a way that shows personality without sacrificing clarity for cleverness. As an example of what not to do: a local billboard recently sported the headline “99% of families were glad they pre-planned.” Can you tell what they’re advertising? An impromptu poll around the office got answers ranging from a fertility clinic to vacations to estate planning. The answer: they’re a funeral home (but who would connect those dots as they’re driving down the highway at 60mph?!). Rather than going vague, strong brand messaging ensures your audience walks away knowing exactly how you can help them. Like this example from Hims…
A large part of effective brand messaging is helping your audience understand your competitive niche, and one of the best ways to do that is through SEO, which leads us to our next recommendation.
#2: Build Brand Awareness through SEO
SEO (or search engine optimization) is the practice of employing the keywords your customers are using when they type anything into their search engine of choice. There are various companies that can help you determine an SEO strategy, but you can get started with a simple approach: Think about what words potential customers would put into the search bar to find you and use those! You can also use Google Analytics or other SEM tools to determine which keywords will perform best for your business and website.
By using the same keywords your customers are using—on your website, in your blog posts, on your social media channels—you can lead customers to the solutions (your solutions) that naturally fit their needs. It’s important for your messaging to include these keywords because when you do it becomes clear to customers and search engines alike that your SMB is what they are looking for.
Once you find the keywords your customers are using and make them a natural part of your brand messaging, your SMB will naturally climb higher in the search results and gain traction. SEO will attract and pull customers in, keeping them engaged with your SMB, and, even if they don’t click on your link, every time that link shows up it plants a small seed in your customers’ minds that you can help them with whatever they’re looking for.
The trick is using your brand messaging and SEO to create content that makes clicking that link a no-brainer for your audience. This is when you can continue building brand awareness through your content.
#3: Build Brand Awareness through Content Marketing
Perhaps one of the best places for brand messaging (and therefore a great place to build brand awareness) is through content marketing on your website. There, you can provide all of the information necessary for a customer to gain confidence in your brand and become fiercely loyal.
Content marketing is the process of building your website and content to bring in potential customers and drive them to your website. For example, you could write an article on building brand awareness and then refer them to more useful articles and resources that will help them improve their own brand awareness all while building your expertise in their eyes…ahem… Anyways, the key is to create valuable content and drive prospects to your website to learn more about you and your area of expertise.
And there’s no better way to tell everyone about all of the valuable content on your SMB’s website than on social media!
#4: Build Brand Awareness through Social Media Platforms
Social media has become a pillar of influence in our society. After all, the people who gather the most followers and likes are actually called influencers. In recent studies, 90% of consumers said they relied on an influencer to guide their decision to purchase a product or service. That’s a large slice of the pie!
All of this makes it plain to see that no more can SMBs ignore the impact of social media when building brand awareness. One need only look to some of the more successful Twitter profiles out there (check out Wendy’s) to see the power of simple interaction in the social media space to generate mass amounts of brand awareness.
However, even with the power of social media, it can be easy for your brand to get lost in the sea of voices. This leads us to our next and final recommendation—a way to cut through the other distractions and reach your potential and existing customers personally—direct mail.
#5: Build Brand Awareness through Direct Mail
Even though social media has proven to be effective at both influencing and informing consumers, studies show that direct mail is even MORE engaging than online connections. To begin with, direct mail has the potential for total saturation in your local market. Even the largest social media platform maxes out at about 70% reach to U.S. adults, but the USPS delivers to every single address in the country. Direct mail also gives a tactile reference to consumers, which helps them remember you more than a blip in their email or an ad on their scroll. And not only that, but direct mail also offers less distraction compared to its digital counterparts, making it easy for readers to focus on what matters—your brand. One report stated that direct mail is 21% easier for your audience to understand and remember.
So even though it may seem old school, don’t skip this time-tested, “in real life” marketing strategy for brand awareness. Direct mail is a highly effective and affordable way to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Straight to the Point
Brand awareness is key to building a large and profitable customer base. These strategies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building your brand because once you’ve established your brand you also need to have a clear marketing strategy that capitalizes on the brand awareness you’ve built.