Promoting a new brand? Seven subtle ways you can raise awareness
Looking for ways to spread the word about what you do, and attract loyal customers? Discover seven subtle ways you can raise awareness for a new brand.
There are lots of issues that small businesses need to contend with. Some struggle with pricing and distribution. Others with social media and admin. But if there’s one challenge virtually every startup finds tough, it’s getting their branding right.
Brand awareness is all about getting your brand into the minds (and hearts) of your audience. Making them familiar and comfortable with you, eliciting the right feelings and responses, and creating instant recognition.
And while branding can, at first glance, seem simple (“it’s just a logo, right?”), it actually takes a lot of work and time to grow a successful brand.
Seven subtle ways you can raise awareness for a new brand
To help you get yours right, and save you making expensive and time-consuming mistakes, here are seven subtle ways you can build awareness for your brand.
1) Educate your audience
A company called Ties.com was looking for a way to build awareness for their brand. Their ecommerce site specialises in all kinds of ties, from skinny ties and bow ties to novelty ties, specialty ties and everything in between. They were trying to find an original and cost-effective way to boost their site and brand popularity.
So, what would be the best way to accomplish this? Well, the simplest way would be to answer their customer base’s questions about ties in a fun and interactive way.
They soon realised that thousands of people were searching “how to tie ties” on Google, and that the keyword phrase was getting over 500,000 searches every month. So, what would be a better way to target this audience than with an easy to follow tutorial on how to tie a tie?
And that’s exactly what they did. They created a comprehensive tie knotting guide, complete with how to videos they could post on social media and YouTube and graphic explanations for each step. Needless to say, their campaign was a huge success and allowed them to corner a large portion of the market almost overnight.
2) Publish content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn just added a new feature that allows people to publish content directly. This can be a great way to build awareness for your brand while educating your audience. And, if by chance your content begins to get traction, you run the chance of having it featured on LinkedIn’s home stream.
In addition, having trending and consistent content connected to your profile will increase your chances of becoming a thought leader, which will improve your brand awareness and establish you as an expert in your niche.
3) Produce promotional items
Printed or promotional items bearing your brand are one of the most powerful tools you can use to build brand awareness.
There are many ways that you can distribute branded items. It could be as simple as offering branded reusable bags to your customers.
You shouldn’t limit yourself to your logo only either, you can also add your website info, social media and a call to action to download your app for additional savings too, for instance. Everyone using the bag will now act as mobile billboards and spread awareness about your brand without you having to lift a finger.
Make sure you use printed materials that match your brand. For example, if you run an accounting firm, you could invest in branded tax return folders. This option is ideal for luxury brands who are wanting to not only raise awareness of their brand, but market it to high-end customers.
An example of how this is done is Company Folders. They sell a range of tax document folders that you can present to your clients. Their folders can be personalised to reflect your brand identity through their quality production and professional design.
If you run a health centre, offer branded reusable water bottles, bags or apparel. The point is to give people something they need and will want to use. Repeated usage can have a trickle effect and can do more for brand visibility than you might imagine.
4) Start a podcast
Podcasts are still an under-used tool, but can have a huge impact on your business’s visibility or personal brand. By starting a regular podcast where you have discussions with industry leaders tackling current subjects that are relevant to your niche, you could easily go viral and quickly establish your name. (Podcasts are easy to consume and share, making them a potent viral tool.)
While some niches may be more difficult to get into, such as marketing where there are already thousands of competing podcasts, smaller niches might be largely unexploited giving you a great opportunity to make a name for yourself.
5) Use the power of social media
There are few more cost-effective ways to build brand awareness than through social media. Social media allows you to reach your potential client base where they are and answer their questions directly. There are many free social media tools you can use to check what your audience is doing and what is driving people to their sites.
Social media can be used to launch new products or to launch contests. Creating your own competition is a particularly great way to build awareness. For example, you could ask people to submit a funny or cute picture, and vote on their favourite. Contestants will then share the link to their pictures to their friends, family and acquaintances in order to win votes, which will automatically promote your brand.
When using social media, you also have to understand your market, and choose the social media platform(s) that work best for it. For instance, B2B businesses tend to do very well on LinkedIn, while creatives or restaurants tend to do better on Instagram.
That doesn’t mean that a creative business shouldn’t use other platforms. However, it is important to understand where your core audience is, and concentrate the bulk of your efforts there. If you don’t know where you should start, check your analytics and look at your referral traffic, and that should give you a clearer idea.
6) PPC marketing
PPC marketing is one of the fastest and most effective ways to build awareness for your brand. PPC allows you to bid on certain keywords and have your ad featured on Google every time a search for this particular word is run.
The beauty of PPC marketing is that you only pay when someone clicks your ad, making it one of the most trackable and direct methods of advertising. And even if they don’t click, your ad still gets visibility. Having your ad on top of search results already gives your business an air of credibility that will boost your brand’s image.
7) Influencer marketing
One of the most powerful methods for building brand awareness is to build relationships with influencers in your niche. The power of influencer marketing resides in the trust the influencer’s audience has in them – they are much more likely to believe the word of an influencer than from a self-interested marketing campaign.
Try to find influencers close to your niche who would be interested in your product or service, but not a competitor, then offer them free products and ask for their feedback. If they like the product, see if they’ll agree to a deal to promote your products to their audience. (You can also work with influencer marketing firms that can connect you with influencers in your field.)
Alternatively you could build a brand partnership with a company talking to a similar audience, and find mutually beneficial ways of reaching each other’s customers.
How can you grow YOUR brand awareness?
As you can see, there are so many ways you can grow your brand awareness. But whether you choose to try influencer marketing, social media or promotional products, always make sure you focus on bringing quality first and visibility second. Brands can be destroyed just as quickly if you fail to meet your users’ expectations.