Unfortunately for us marketers, brands don’t ‘go viral’ as easily as the content we produce. The noise and market saturation businesses must contend with today, especially online, make it tough to gain new ground with consumers, and even tougher to hold onto it.
So, what’s a marketer to do?
Instead of wasting time chasing trends and holding out hope for virality, businesses interested in entering a new market or courting a new audience segment should go back to the basics of building brand awareness. Here are 5 basic tactics for building brand awareness that you can integrate into your marketing strategy today.
#1: Topical Targeting
Topical targeting is great for building brand awareness because it lets you get your message to people further in the sales funnel. Your ad is served only to those who recently engaged with content relevant to your brand—so, even if the recipients of your ads aren’t aware of your brand specifically, they’ve already demonstrated interest in the genre of products you’re offering, making them more likely to click.
#2: Monthly Email Campaigns
We’ve already made the case for why you should use email in your next marketing initiative, but it definitely bears repeating here. Email is a superb tool for building brand awareness because of its advanced targeting capabilities. Similar to topical targeting, email software allows you to segment your audience based on specific demographic information, so your message only goes to those with whom you think it’ll most resonate. We recommend establishing a monthly send: it’s a quick, easy way to consistently stay in contact with your audience, giving you space to provide relevant updates, promotions, and company news to consumers and build brand trust over time.
#3: Hosting a Webinar
Positioning your brand as a subject-matter expert through a webinar is an excellent way to both build awareness and generate leads. By hosting this type of virtual event, you invite consumers to view your brand as a resource for industry knowledge or as a thought leader on a specific topic within your field, which keeps your brand top of mind and further develops brand trust.
#4: Increase Activity on Social Media
Speaking of trust, the first place your audience will look to “do their homework” on your brand is social media. Being active on social media shows your audience that you’re open to casual, authentic conversations with them. People buy and engage with brands they feel connected to, and even if they aren’t officially following your brand – they see you. Posting 2-3 times per week on two social channels is a great place to start to avoid overwhelm. First focus on dialing in your strategy with two before you add any more. Quality over quantity!
#5: Trending Hashtags
Hashtags are the keywords of social media, and there’s no better way to jump into an active online conversation than to use hashtags in your messaging. Adding to a trending conversation is sometimes avoided by brands because it can be polarizing. However, not including your voice on a topic that matters to your audience will make your brand seem tone-deaf and that’s much worse. Hashtags are also a great way to categorize your brand’s content in the algorithm. Pick 3-5 hashtags and rotate through them every time you post on social. Soon enough, you’ll be gaining new followers who are interested in those key topics.
Building brand awareness takes commitment and consistency, as well as the flexibility and creativity to meet your consumers where they are right now— whether that’s social media, email, television, radio, online, etc. Raising your brand’s profile amongst consumers also requires an acceptance that the effort (and dollars) invested into the initiative may not immediately bear the fruit that matters most to your sales team: leads. Leads are, of course, always the ideal, but there is still significant value in investing in campaigns that prioritize building brand awareness over conversions, especially if your ultimate goal is to position yourself as a thought leader in your field or industry. By implementing these 5 basic tactics for building brand awareness, your brand can start developing the reputation and following that’ll catch, and keep, consumers’ attention. Need more help strategizing for a new product launch or finding new audiences to target? We’ve got you covered. Check out the range of services Babcox offers to see how we can support your next marketing initiative.
The Babcox Team
Contributors: Kelsey Mayer, Maddy Leddy and Melissa Kollar