No business can afford not to invest in branding and marketing activities. Your business may offer the best available products or services in the market and even better than the competitors. But, until and unless your target audience and consumers are aware of it, you cannot expect the sale of these products or services.
Any business relies on the sales, which in turn relies on the brand awareness. It needs as much visibility as much possible. Even being one of an essential part of the business, many business owners are clueless about the ways to improve brand awareness and gain visibility.
The absence of visibility causes companies on even losing the business without business owners realizing it. Branding needs to be the topmost priority for any business owner. A simple concept yet not easy to implement, most of the businesses fail at it miserably. If you are a start-up or an SME or a consultant, the rule of branding remains constant.
Educate Your Audience
Why should your customers buy your products or services? If you say they are better than rest, then even most of your competitors are saying so? The basic element of the marketing is the trust. But, it is yet the most difficult aspect as well.
The struggle between the marketing your products or services and educating the audience is real. Most of the business does not appreciate the fact that the customers are very well aware when it comes to making the purchases. This is why companies are not able to create educative material seamlessly.
The first step to gain brand visibility and awareness is to understand their real questions and pain points. As a company, you need to know what questions your customers are asking. How relevant these questions are for you. Answering these questions are absolutely an opportunity for the businesses to gain the mileage from. Educating the target audience makes your brand promise and brand position. It ensures that your brand is placed in their mind for a particular delivery of products or services. The branding activities which a business carries aims at reaching more people and establish themselves as an obvious choice in the market. Coupling the above rule of branding with the following 21 ways will surely help you gain visibility and awareness of your brand, provided if applied correctly:
- 01. Differentiated brand promise
The first step for any brand for creating brand awareness is to define their differentiated brand promise. How the brand is different from the competitors. What is the USP of the brand? How it is yet not again a ‘me-too’ brand. In today’s competitive word, either your brand is different or it is dead. Do not make the mistake of making your brand a clone of your competitor brand. If you plan to create a brand value, then your customers need a compelling reason to buy the product.
Increase your risk appetite and do not opt for what worked well for your competitors. The chances are it won’t work well for you!
- 02. Powerful and compelling words to drive your message
The marketing message of your brand is the very first communication you as a brand will have with your target audience. As they say, ‘First impression is the last impression’ and it doesn’t even take 1 second to create that impression. According to Kiss Metrics, your brand message should contain following 4 Es.
- 1. Explain
- 2. Emotion
- 3. Evoke Questions
- 4. Exclude/Include
Your message should be a balanced mix of the above four points depending on what stage your company is it. With right words you need to explain your customers who are your, what you do, know which emotions to trigger, it should evoke questions and it is targeted to the right audience. Pluto-men Technologies can help you strike right chords with your audience.
- 03. A brand story that touches the heart
Story telling is important for your branding activities. The question is not if you are using the art of storytelling. But, the question is does it touch your customers’ heart? We as human beings connect to each other through stories. Make your brand story emotional, provocative, and compelling enough for them to act now. It will not only make your brand memorable but will differentiate it from your competition. Bringing your brand to the life, your audience becomes greatly responsive as well.
- 04. Blogs
An extremely useful strategy, blogging can help you build and maintain your brand identity. By creating the content that would interest your target audience, you take the first step towards winning their trust. Branding is after all about the relationships which in turn are based on the trust.
By answering their concerns and question through blogs, your audience connects with you at the deeper level. Creating blogs and effectively distributing them regularly ensures higher visibility for your brand. It enables you to put forward a more authentic brand voice and make it an authority in your niche.
- 05. Regular newsletters
Newsletters make sure that your brand remains on the top of your customers’ minds. You make feel they may clutter the inbox. But, the truth is if you have a newsletter with the content focused on the client’s needs and the aim of educating them then it can help you create the impact. Receiving your newsletter once in a week in the inbox can work wonders for your brand identity and awareness Next time when they would be searching for similar product or service, your brand name would be on the top of their mind.
- 06. Social Media platforms
Social media is the new web. Most of the brands are on the social media. The question is: are they really leveraging it? Most of the brands struggle to make their social media plans work. Social media is a new search engine. Do not stick to a particular social media platform. Look for a right platform. See where the audience is talking about your industry, products, and services.
Social media are fantastic mediums to amplify your brand message. IN order to achieve this, it is mandatory to know where you should be present and what you should be talking about. It is not mandatory that you are present on the each platform. Being visible in the noisy world of social media groups is not easy. By creating eye-catching and relatable content can help you beat your competitors on social media.
- 07. Social Media Group
Groups on social media are the locations where like-minded people interact and discuss a common cause. Social media groups can be a great way to connect with your target audience and improve your brand awareness. From selling your products or services to establishing your expertise, From collecting feedback to providing customer service, social media groups are the one tool which you should definitely explore if you aim at improving your brand identity.
- 08. Referral programs
Referral programs are one of the best tools to improve your brand awareness and increasing the base of your loyal customers. One of the best ways to promote your business is through word-of-mouth which can be triggered through referral programs. Most of the customers trust a referral from their friends and families as compared to the advertisement done by the brands. In order to bank on this psychological behavior of your target audience, you need to give them the benefits of the referral program. This opens the gates to an unexplored and untouched set of audiences.
- 09. Guest blogs
Bloggers and industry experts are always in need of good content and quality information. You can promote your brand and establish yourself as an expert if you can tap into this opportunity. Find the website or blogs which your target audience follows. Start contributing to these websites and blogs. By sharing quality insights, you expose your brand to the audience and build credibility as well.
- 10. Influencer marketing
Taking the word of mouth one step ahead, influencer marketing can play a crucial role in establishing your brand identity. Influencers are those who have a credibility in your industry. When they talk about a particular products or services or refer them to their audience, the impact is more. Influencers are valued for their ability to affect and influence the behavior and choices of their followers. The trust their audience have then can be leveraged to build your brand awareness. By matching to their work style and integrating your business needs with it, you can create a win-win situation for both of you.
- 11. Compelling content
In the digital space, content plays an important role. Different from the traditional space, it is not always direct revenue driven. A compelling content strategy can help you establish your brand. If you are not interesting enough you would be easily overlooked and thrown out of the competition. Moreover, with updated Google Algorithm, search engines also reward the companies with fresh content. The motto is to generate compelling content which your audience find interesting having valuable insights. Making compelling content as a part of brand strategy can be more rewarding than you may even think.
- 12. Freemium products
Numerous online products give a freemium version of their products or services. These would have a certain functionality which is enough to gauge if your audience would like the products or services or not. They may have a watermark or credit line. In order to use full functionality or to use them without watermark or credit line, the customer needs to upgrade it to the higher version. This helps in building the trust beforehand. It also brings your brand in front of the target audience and brings you closer to the paying customers.
- 13. Social Media contests
Contests are a great way to keep your audience engaged with to your brand. Not only it helps in improving brand engagement but also gives you remarketing opportunities. Social media contests are a great way to gather the necessary brand assets which can be even marketed on the different platforms. By increasing the reach of your brand, you are in fact improving your brand identity. Make sure your marketing efforts serve the purpose. Make it as interesting as possible so that it is able to serve the long-term goal of brand awareness. Moreover, make sure that it is in sync with your brand identity.
- 14. LinkedIn pulse & SlideShare
LinkedIn a B2B social networking platform offers a unique platform called ‘Pulse’. Allowing you to share your content directly to your audience, it serves as a great content distribution. In order to raise the awareness about your brand, you would need to be connected or associated with the right audience through a LinkedIn profile.
Along with this, Slideshare is an important tool which most of the marketers conveniently ignore. It has a highly targeted audience and still has a low competition. Traffic, better search rankings, growing follower and subscriber base is quite easy with Slide Share which in turn helps you create a brand identity for your business.
- 15. Social media advertisement
There are no two ways on the importance of social media and advertisement in today’s digital world. Internet advertisement has already taken over the traditional advertisement methods. Each social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slideshare and Snapchat offers ways to get connected with the larger audience.
According to the research done by eMarketer, in April 2016 most of the marketers (i.e. 95%) said Facebook offers the best ROI in terms of social media advertisements.
But, it still depends on the kind of products or service you have. For example: if you have a typical B2B products or service, then LinkedIn and SlideShare are the two platforms for you. In fact, you may gain greater mileage through other methods described in this blog.
- 16. Videos
Marketing is always about demonstrating what your products or service can do or how they make the lives of your target audience easy. Videos help you educate, engage, and explain the right information to the right people in the less time. We have discussed why creating a promotional video is absolutely mandatory for the businesses in 2017 in our last blog here.
- 17. Podcasts
Podcasts are not new but people are becoming interested in the podcasts like never before. More and more people are listening to the podcasts and more brands are now leveraging it. So should you for your business!
The on-the-go audience can be easily reached through podcasts. With less attention span, lot many people may not want to read blogs and articles. If your audience is one such kind, then designing podcasts in order to educate them and build brand awareness should be your priority. Not even it would be easier for your audience but also easy for you to create.
- 18. Google Adwords
Google Adwords let you reach your target audience all over the internet. It helps you put your advertisement in the places where they would see it. The display network advertisements would let you put your advertisements across a large number of websites across the internet. The search network would help you in raising brand awareness for a particular search query on Google. Google Adwords is an effective tool for raising brand awareness and the assessing system available in Adwords make it easy to track as well.
- 19. Remarketing
Remarketing implies marketing your products or services again to the audience who have visited your website once. The real essence of remarketing is to recapture the target audience and make them move through the purchasing cycle. By effectively engaging them even when they have left your website, the relevant advertisements and offers can bring them back to finish the purchase they left halfway. Customization is also easy as you can advertise to your target audience based on where they left the sales funnel. This drastically improves your brand awareness and resulting into conversions.
- 20. Be consistent in branding
One aspect at which majority of the brands fail is: ‘consistency’. It is imperative for consumers to interact with the brand which they know. The consistency in your branding activities is important to build the relationship and trust. Consistency makes your brand more dependable in the eye of your target audience. The look, feel, voice, and tone of the brand needs to be in synch with each other on every platform available. Your audience should be able to identify you.
- 21. Exceed the expectations
Customers have certain expectations from your brand which you must fulfill. But, when you exceed these expectations, you create a wow factor. Living in a mediocre world, it is easy for us to stand-out. The only difficult part is the will to stand-out. Exceeding the expectations help you create a positive relationship with your audience resulting in brand loyalty and word of mouth publicity.
We at Pluto-men Technologies can help you create the ‘wow’ experience for your customers.. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start working on your brand building strategy.