No matter what business you have, building brand awareness should be a part of your core business goals. You’d want people to remember your brand, choose your product, and keep coming back.
This is where brand awareness campaigns steal the spotlight. Fortunately for you, you don’t need to start from scratch. We asked 15 experts to share their tested and proven tips, so you can design campaigns that align with your brand values and resonate with your target market. But before that, let’s answer a basic yet very important question: What exactly is brand awareness?
Brand awareness refers to how well consumers remember a brand and what emotions and perceptions they associate with it. It goes beyond mere brand recognition. It involves knowing what makes a brand stand out, ensuring that it leaves a lasting impression on consumers’ minds.
According to recent statistics, 89% of marketers consider brand awareness to be their top goal. And if you’re ready to follow suit, be sure to learn from these tips that came straight from branding and marketing experts.
Question: Based on the strategies you’ve tested in the past, what would you say is the best way to execute effective brand awareness campaigns?
The first step to developing a successful campaign is to fully understand your customers and their psychographic profiles, which goes far beyond demographics to the way they think and what motivates them to take action. Based on this knowledge, we can design messaging, visuals, and experiences that will touch, move, and inspire them on an emotional level to connect and engage with you and your brand.
Storytelling is one of the finest ways we can do this, whether it’s through words or visuals. If you can hook someone and get them pulled into a compelling story, they’ll be longing to do business with you.
– Sarah Weise | CEO of market research studio Bixa and bestselling author of InstaBrain
For Metricool, the first step to create an effective awareness campaign is to be clear about where our brand stands: what it conveys and to whom, the tone and what differentiates it from other brands. Also, it is important to have a good understanding of the market: What does our client know about the product or service we offer? What do they know about our brand? Are they aware of similar services offered by other brands but they don’t know ours yet?
After analyzing these factors, it is time to capture attention, and there is no better way than constant communication through all possible channels: organic traffic, advertising, ambassadors, and influencers. The purpose is to generate interest and maintain it over time.
– Juan Pablo Tejela | Co-founder & CEO at Metricool
The very best way to create effective awareness is to position yourself as an approachable individual or organization that genuinely cares about others. People are not interested in how you do something, but why you do it will nearly always resonate with others, particularly if you demonstrate a real purpose behind your efforts as well as present them with the problem you solve in a clear and understandable way.
– Peter G. Goral | CEO at ArtEnvy Inc.
Effective brand awareness campaigns include always-on digital storytelling programs that celebrate the thought leadership and expertise of the employees, customers, and partners of the brand. These programs are also tied into the larger purpose of the brand to help the world. They provide meaning, context, and impact.
– Michael Brenner | CEO at Content Marketing firm Marketing Insider Group
Effective awareness campaigns are rooted in understanding: understand the customer’s desires around your product/message; understand what makes your product unique and attention-worthy; understand who is currently commanding their attention and why; and understand where the customer is spending their time when they’re open to messages in your category.
– Jeff Ponders | Business Strategist, Author, and Speaker
The best way to activate a brand awareness campaign is to understand the core objectives for the brand and then to work backwards from them. For example, some brands are focused on sales while some larger brands may be focused on brand recall. Having a thorough understanding of the brand will enable marketers to know how to allocate budget, what KPIs to keep an eye out for, and what success looks like.
– Michael Lisovetsky, Co-founder of JUICE
Create ideas that will add value to people’s lives. Understand people’s needs, likes, worries, vulnerabilities, and aspirations. Focusing on content that people will enjoy and find helpful is a better long-term strategy.
– Jim Jimenez | Account Director at Gigil, The Ideas Company
The most successful brand awareness campaigns are entertaining, educational, and authoritative—since, by definition, you’re starting with cold traffic.
If you’re running Facebook ads with the brand awareness objective (I don’t recommend it— use conversion, leads, or engagement instead), recognize that the algorithm is seeking the lowest cost for your objective. So if you choose reach or brand awareness, the system will go after the lowest cost per reach, which usually is not the people who are buying.
We were at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park discussing this very topic. And the engineers explained how the auction works in this way.
Seems counterintuitive, but use your top-of-funnel content (brand awareness—interesting, fun, lightweight) with the conversion objective against a lookalike audience or other audience that is likely to buy.
You aren’t choosing video views as the objective unless the audience you have selected is high quality—like a custom audience of buyers (email or web). Otherwise, you’ll get a bunch of cheap views that don’t convert. Then you blame Facebook!
In 2021, success at the top of the funnel is from UGC, such as vertical mobile phone video that you chop up into stories and other formats. Content that looks like an ad is ineffective at the top of the funnel.
If your objective or that of your client/boss is purely for impressions or followers, then go for large audiences using top-of-funnel objectives. But be clear that eventual conversion is not your goal.
We’ve spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads over the last 14 years and have learned that generating revenue from initial campaigns is what allows you to reinvest in higher ad budgets.
– Dennis Yu, CEO at BlitzMetrics
Brand awareness is the chaotic art of getting as much relevant attention as possible in the most appropriate way for a given brand. What an aggressive social media influencer does for attention, compared to an ultra classy and conservative beauty product brand, could be light-years different.
Executing effective brand awareness campaigns comes down 100% of the time to knowing the brand extremely well. What type of attention will get them the right customers? You might test ten different ideas. Then, when you start to find what works best, you scale. That’s when you introduce amplification efforts that can result in an infinite audience, like ads.
– Brian D. Evans | Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, Founder of Influencive
Bring to light a new insight that links with your product or service. Address a topic people care about and reveal something new through research.
– George Stenitzer | Founder of Crystal Clear Communications
The key is finding a way to be radically different than your competition while also staying incredibly relevant to your ideal customer. Don’t copy what others are doing, but find a way to totally and completely stand out.
– Craig Johnson | CEO at Matchstic
Include video content, regardless of the distribution methods involved in your strategy. For building brand awareness especially, video helps cut through the visual noise that consumers are faced with online. Your audience is more likely to notice your content in video form, and having a successful first touchpoint makes it more likely that your other efforts will succeed further down the funnel.
– Alexa Nizam | Content Strategist at Lemonlight
Ask this question: What do you do differently and better than your competitors? Then shout the answer out to the world. After that, marketing is easy. But it’s way harder than it sounds. It’s like the game of go; it takes a second to ask this question and a lifetime to answer it.
– David Gaz | Founder of the Bureau of Small Projects – Big Brand and Fortune 500 marketing experience put to work for Small Business, Startups and Nonprofits
In order to execute effective brand awareness for your company, I suggest you also look to develop the personal brands of your company leaders and key employees. This helps you create a more human connection with your customers and can help set the tone for your company culture.
In order for leaders to build personal brand awareness, they first have to be able to clearly identify what they want to be known for. In its purest form, that means knowing how to identify and articulate the core problem they are solving, their solution, and their target market. These elements then become the cornerstone for your content development.
As you start to create content, be a guest on more podcasts, and speak at conferences/webinars, you need go-to stories that highlight your experiences and that let people see where your expertise comes from. It is also best to allow people to get to know your past through a long-form authentic bio that can be easily found online. A bio that is more than a “Highlight Reel” but serves as a “Highlight R-E-A-L.” Such a bio outlines the good, bad, and ugly moments of your life, and allows people to get to know you. When they get to know you, they might like you. And if they like you, it sets the foundation for trust.
At the end of the day, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. So if you are looking to build brand awareness, then start to build personal brands within your company, and this will help you build a stronger corporate brand that is more relatable.
– Ryan Foland | Keynote Speaker & Author
Write a book. That is, get your CEO to write a book. Everyone is running ads. Everyone is doing SEO. Everyone is fighting for that 1% incremental difference that will put them, briefly, ahead of the competition. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Create content that is so unique, and such a large investment of time and effort, that nobody else will do it. They’ll keep going after the low-hanging fruit while you’ll be the one planting your own tree, one that gives fruit for years to come.
– Josh Steimle, Founder of Published Author