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How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Marketing

How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Marketing

Brand awareness refers to how easily a potential customer can recognise or recall your brand. It reflects how aware consumers are of your business and offerings in the marketplace.

High brand awareness is invaluable for driving sales growth. When customers know about your products, they are much more likely to choose them over lesser-known competitors. As such, building awareness should be a core priority for brands looking to expand their customer base.

Why Brand Awareness Matters

There are several vital reasons why brand awareness should be an essential component of your marketing efforts:

  • It makes customers more likely to buy from you rather than competitors. Familiar brands inspire trust and give customers confidence in purchasing decisions.
  • It helps customers recall your brand when making a purchase. If your brand is top-of-mind, customers will be more likely to select your offerings.
  • It allows you to charge premium pricing. Well-known brands often command higher prices because customers perceive their products as higher quality or more desirable.
  • It provides a gateway to gaining new customers. Broad brand awareness exposes your products to new segments of potential customers.
  • It sets the foundations for loyalty. Once customers have a positive experience with your brand, retaining them long-term becomes much more manageable.

Simply put, focus on brand awareness fuels future business growth. The more potential customers know and think of your company, the more sales opportunities will open up.

Conduct Market Research on Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning Framework Example

Before diving into brand awareness campaigns, it is crucial to understand your current brand positioning in the market. This means assessing:

  • Your current level of brand awareness and recall
  • Customer perceptions, associations and attitudes towards your brand image
  • Where does your brand fit competitively among rivals in the industry
  • Gaps between where your brand is currently positioned and where you want it to be in future

Thorough market research around these areas will reveal strengths you can leverage in awareness campaigns and weak points or misconceptions to address.

Useful Research Tactics

Some effective tactics for researching your brand position include:

  • Surveys – Ask customers about brand recall, associations, favorability and preferences.
  • Focus groups – Facilitated discussions with existing or potential customers to probe attitudes towards your brand.
  • Interviews – One-on-one conversations to gain deeper qualitative insights into brand perceptions.
  • Market analysis – Review industry data on brand positioning relative to competitors.
  • Mind mapping – Visual diagrams tracing all brand associations, positive and negative.
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Combining quantitative data around recall and favorability with rich qualitative insights will provide a robust view of your starting point for improving brand awareness.

Set Specific Goals for Increasing Recognition

With your current brand position established, the next step is defining goals for where you want awareness and perception metrics to be in future.

Setting precise, measurable goals is vital for focusing efforts and tracking progress. Rather than a vague aim like “increase awareness”, define targets such as:

  • Improve brand recall by 15% among 18-35 year old females
  • Gain 20% greater aided awareness in the Midwest market
  • Achieve top 3 brand recall in our industry by mid-2025

Always tie goals to clear target demographics and geographies to tailor awareness-building initiatives appropriately across customer segments.

Craft a Brand Positioning Strategy

Your brand awareness goals should align with a broader brand positioning strategy – a plan for the image, identity and perceptions you want to cultivate among customers.

This involves defining:

Ensuring awareness campaigns reinforce your desired brand positioning is crucial for continuity across all touchpoints between your business and prospective buyers.

Useful Brand Positioning Tips

  • Focus on authenticity in branding – build awareness around what makes you genuinely unique rather than an artificial persona. Customers see through disingenuous hype.
  • Spotlight your points of differentiation from competitors by showcasing what you do better rather than bashing rival brands. Comparative claims must be factual.
  • Align brand identity internally, too – make employees brand champions by ensuring they reflect desired characteristics.
  • Consistency is vital – customer awareness messages should align across all communication channels to avoid confusion.

Craft Engaging Content to Share

Google Helpful Content Update

Content marketing represents one of the most effective brand awareness strategies available. Creating informative, helpful content allows you to reach and engage new prospective customers organically.

Valuable content also improves brand perceptions by positioning your company as an authoritative industry thought leader.

Helpful content types to produce include:

  • Blog articles
  • Ebooks, whitepapers and guides
  • Video tutorials
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Research reports, expert presentations and case studies

The key is crafting content tailored to customer interests that addresses their problems and needs. Avoid overly promotional content focused on product features – the most compelling awareness content solves customer issues.

Optimise Content for Search Visibility

It must appear prominently on search engine results pages to maximise reach for your branded content. This allows you to tap into surging volumes of buyers using Google and other search engines to research purchases.

There are two critical elements for search optimisation:

On-Page SEO

This covers best practices in formatting, tagging and structuring individual content pages/assets for search crawler friendliness:

  • Descriptive titles and metadata descriptions
  • Keyword-optimised content and URL paths
  • Fast load speeds and mobile optimisation
  • Effective formatting and internal site linking
  • ALT tags for visuals and media

Off-Page SEO

To build external signals that your content deserves a top ranking, focus on the following:

  • High-quality backlinks from trusted sites
  • Social shares and embeds
  • Positive online reviews and citations
  • Link-building partnerships and guest posting
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Combining compelling content with exhaustive SEO optimisations can amplify awareness among new organic search audiences.

Strategically Leverage Paid Advertising

While organic reach is hugely valuable, paid advertising allows you to accelerate brand awareness goals through targeted promotions.

With advertising platforms like Google and Facebook offering incredible targeting parameters around demographics, interests, behaviours, location and more, you can laser-focus awareness campaigns on key buyer personas detected in your research.

Useful Paid Advertising Tips

  • Prioritise video and visual ads – these achieve much higher engagement over text-based messages.
  • Always split-test multiple ad variations to determine what resonates most
  • Sequence ads across customer journeys – raise early problem/solution awareness before later sales-focused ads
  • Use coupons, contests and gated assets to incentivise conversions from new audiences
  • Track online and offline conversion actions to gauge true ROI beyond ‘vanity metrics’ like impressions

With rigorous testing and optimisation, paid ads can rapidly amplify brand familiarity metrics across mass consumer pools.

Harness the Power of Influencers

Adidas Originals Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity due to its unique effectiveness in raising brand awareness and favorability.

You can leverage their follower networks and credibility to expand your brand exposure by collaborating with influencers like bloggers, analysts, celebrities, and key industry accounts.

The key is identifying influencers aligned with your brand identity and target demographics. Big numbers are less crucial than finding influencers with attentive niches actively interested in your products.

Useful Influencer Marketing Tactics

  • Send free product samples to prompt organic influencer reviews/unboxings
  • Recruit micro or nano influencers in your niche for cheaper, more tailored promos
  • Promote influencer-co-created content and product endorsements through your owned channels
  • Compensate influencers through free products, affiliate commissions or set sponsorship packages
  • Encourage User Generated Content from customers explaining why they love your brand

Influencer content earns consumer trust far more effectively than traditional advertisements, thanks to perceptions of authenticity and relatability.

Go Viral with Bold Publicity Stunts

Viral publicity campaigns can be risky but provide immense short-term explosions in brand visibility when executed well.

Consider examples like Peloton’s widely talked about Christmas ad or brands temporarily changing logo colours to rainbows during Pride month.

The critical ingredients for viral success include:

  • High entertainment or shock value – evoke humour, surprise, awe or controversy
  • Relatable connections to cultural trends, events or groups
  • Adapting tactics of past viral hits from other brands
  • Promoting buzz through owned media and influencer seeding
  • Monitoring real-time social conversations to join in and optimise messaging

While viral stunts alone are insufficient as an ongoing awareness channel, their ability to captivate mass attention through earned media makes them a high-upside tactical option.

Foster Word of Mouth With Remarkable Experiences

Word Of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth has always been amongst the most credible and persuasive awareness drivers, influencing people through recommendations from those they know and trust.

While you can’t force organic advocacy, you can spur it by cultivating remarkable customer experiences that people genuinely want to share.

Useful examples include:

  • Surprising and delighting with above-and-beyond service Quality exceeding expectations and marketplace norms
  • Added value surprises like gifts, rewards or recognition for loyal customers
  • Encouraging UGC-like reviews through engagement and incentives
  • Building distinctive communities united by shared brand passions
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Loyal brand advocates directly influence conversions among their networks while driving ongoing discovery from new audiences.

Utilise Offline Channels Too

Despite the digital revolution, offline channels play a significant role in brand awareness building.

Constantly seeing your brand across traditional mediums CONDITIONS people for recognition and familiarity.

Useful Offline Tactics

  • Television advertising around high-reach programming like sports events
  • Radio ads during peak commute hours
  • Billboards, merchandise displays and vehicle signage in high-traffic areas
  • Sponsoring local events, venues, charities and community initiatives
  • Distributing printed leaflets, promo samples and coupons in-store

Tracking response rates by location allows you to optimise offline efforts by doubling down on best-performing regions and channels.

Measure Brand Tracking Over Time

After kicking off your awareness initiatives, monitoring performance through consistent brand-tracking surveys is essential.

This allows you to gauge campaign effectiveness and iterate efforts towards weaknesses preventing goals' progress.

Useful brand metrics to track include:

  • Total awareness: % of people recognising your brand when shown logos from your category
  • Top-of-mind awareness: How frequently people mention your brand first when recalling category options
  • Net Promoter Score: Likelihood of customers to recommend your brand to others
  • Category fit: Believability of your brand competing in your industry or niche
  • Brand favorability: Whether people perceive your brand positively, negatively or neutrally

Comparing current performance to your pre-campaign baselines highlights the business impact of your efforts.

Want to Increase Brand Awareness?

This comprehensive guide provided extensive value on potential strategies for increasing customer awareness of your brand in any industry.

The key is approaching campaigns in an integrated, metrics-driven way while ensuring brand positioning coherency.

Here are five final takeaways to help increase brand awareness:

  1. Start with in-depth market research to identify your proper brand position
  2. Set specific, measurable goals tied to target buyer groups
  3. Develop creative, high-value content people genuinely want to engage with
  4. Extend reach through diverse marketing channels, balancing paid, earned and owned
  5. Continuously track awareness over time to optimise towards goals

Please contact me if you need assistance planning or executing productively on these brand awareness best practices. I wish you great success connecting with more of your ideal customers!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of a budget do I need for brand awareness campaigns?

Requirements vary hugely between industries and campaign scale – but expect to allocate at least a 5-figure USD annual investment for a modest but diversified effort spanning key tactics like content, ads and influencers.

How do I set realistic awareness goals?

Avoid arbitrarily big numbers – research competitor performance and industry benchmarks to set challenging but grounded targets. A 10-15% gain against critical baselines is a good start over 6-12 months.

Should brand awareness happen before or after product development?

The two shouldn’t be entirely sequential – brand positioning helps inform product design, too. However, most awareness should be spent on market launches or expansion waves to maximise sales conversion.

How can I better motivate my team on branding?

Connect the dots to business impact – show how their focus on awareness among target demographics will drive sales—foster cross-team collaboration towards unified goals.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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