One of the top concerns among our clients is a lack of brand awareness. They have so many great things to offer, but no one seems to know they exist. Sound familiar?
When building brand awareness, your greatest weapon is repetitive exposure. You want your business name to show up where your target audience hangs out online so it becomes familiar.
As with all inbound marketing strategies, your brand awareness strategies should not annoy or interrupt your target audience. It should place you in their field of view so they can approach you willingly, when they become interested.
Here are 25 ways to increase brand awareness with inbound marketing.
25 Ways to Increase Brand Awareness
Content Marketing & Distribution
1. Regular Content Production - Create new content regularly to improve your SEO and increase your chances of being found online. The more optimized content you produce, the more likely your best buyers will find it during the buying process. Blogging is the easiest way to create consistent content.
2. Infographics & Visual Content - People like & share infographics 3x more than other content. Similarly, colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. (HubSpot) Use Canva to create stunning visual content.
3. Multimedia - Multimedia content includes videos, presentations, webinars, and more. Short YouTube videos are a fantastic way to create a buzz around your brand.
4. Demos, Free Trials, Samples - Nothing catches attention like free stuff. Use the power of "free" to get your hooks in potential customers.
5. Interactive Content - Interactive content is highly shareable and drives high conversion rates. Quizzes, graders, checklists, and calculators can all add value for your visitors.
6. Remarketing - Keep your business in front of visitors who have already seen your site. Remarketing targets prior visitors to keep your name at the forefront of their research.
7. Email Tagline - Make sure to link to your website or blog in your email signature. This is a low-investment, low-effort way to promote your business.
8. Industry Publications - Contact magazines, news sources, industry blogs, or other publications (online or offline) and see if they'll publish your content or company news.
9. Guest Blogging - Do you have friends (or even competitors) in your industry who would be willing to do a guest blog trade? Guest blogging is a great way to get your name out to a new audience. All of their followers will see your name on their blog, and vice versa. If they post on social media and send out email blasts, your content will reach their entire follower base.
10. Referral Programs - Ebates is on top of referral marketing. If you refer two friends to the website and they make purchases, you get $50 free. You get more money the more people you refer! You probably can't give money away, but there are other incentives you can use to reach your customers' social & professional circles.
11. Local/Industry Partnerships - Mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses can have a major impact on your bottom line. If they run into someone who needs your services, you'll get the first referral. We've done it for other businesses in our area, and we've had others refer customers to us.
12. Community Involvement - Bring your marketing close to home by getting involved in your community. Sponsor local events, get involved with local schools, and host your own events to make yourself a household name.
13. Join Your Chamber of Commerce - Chambers of Commerce aim to promote local businesses and stimulate the economy. You'll be added to their website, get notifications about events, network with other local businesses, and take part in additional opportunities to build brand awareness.
14. PR - If you've got news, make sure to share it in your local paper (or do an official press release if the news is big enough). It might catch on and spread to other news sources.
15. Daily Social Posting - You don't have to write a novel every day, but visitors should be able to look at your social media profiles and know you're in business. Plus, the more valuable content you post, the higher the chance of a follower sharing your content.
16. Paid Social Ads - For B2B companies, LinkedIn has a huge professional population and highly targeted advertising capabilities to get your name out. We've had great success using LinkedIn Ads. You can also try Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if they apply to your business.
17. Social Publishing - LinkedIn also offers Pulse, a social blogging platform that lets users write and publish on their own. The most successful content is informative, relatable, and emotionally driven. Aside from spreading the word about your business, you can also use it to network with other writers in your industry.
18. Contests & Giveaways - More free stuff! You can exchange free items, small prizes, or big rewards in exchange for social reach. To be eligible, users must like your post, like your page, and share the contest post.
19. Polls & Surveys - People like answering questions. You can ask questions in a Facebook post or tweet, or you can create a survey directly on Twitter.
20. Hashtags - You can reach a bunch of strangers with hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. By placing a hashtag in your post (#likethis), users can click/search for those tags to find similar posts. #tbt (throwback Thursday) is a very popular tag that you can use on Thursdays to increase brand awareness.
21. @Mentions - Directly mentioning someone (@theirusername) brings their attention directly to your post. If they retweet or respond, you can also reach their follower base. Use mentions to call out influencers or other brands (just make sure you're adding value).
22. Limited Time/Limited Quantity - Create useful anxiety to spread the word about timely sales and limited offers. People love being part of limited time/quantity offers, and slapping a timer on the offer instills an urgent need to take action.
23. Closed Beta Launch - Only offer first access to a few lucky people. If you want to create a buzz, plan it like a social contest - only those who opt in in a certain way are eligible to be chosen.
24. Freebies for Special Customers - Those who are most involved with your business get the biggest prizes. Many businesses give away freebies when customers hit certain checkpoints (X years of loyalty, spend X amount of money per month).
25. Membership Benefits - Many websites are moving into freemium territory- you get free access to some services, but you have to become a member to unlock ad-free viewing/free shipping/other perks. For brand awareness, you can emphasize the benefits of your free services, and whoever wants to pay for membership will do so.
Build Your Brand & Strategy
Before you can really increase brand awareness, you need to define your brand. Your brand isn't just your company name and logo. Your brand is the soul of your business. It's the emotions and images that people associate with your business.
What comes to mind when we say Old Spice? If you think things like "in your face," "funny," "bold," "Terry Crews screaming and flexing" then their branding strategy is working.
Tell a Powerful Story with a Consistent Message
Use unique content to create the story and voice of your business. Make your messaging consistent and clear so visitors know exactly who you are within seconds.
Give Your Business a Personality
Part of building brand awareness is creating a memorable presence. When your business is mentioned, you want people to say, "oh, THAT business! I know them!" Manufacturing Company #52 won't get that reaction.
Make Your Ethics & Values Clear
You want to pull your guns out and stick to them right from the beginning. Are you passionate about reshoring? Do you donate a percentage of sales to charity? Are you focused on environmentally friendly operations?
Visitors whose values align with yours are more likely to buy from you. Just don't go back on your word - that's the quickest way to lose customers.
Your logos, slogans, jingles, etc. should be simple and memorable. These will be a big part of your repetitive exposure efforts. Basically, you'll make them remember you by showing up all over the place.
Once you've clearly defined your brand, you need to identify the most important strategies for your business. To build awareness among those who are most likely to buy from you, you should be using these basic inbound marketing tactics:
As for strategies to build brand awareness: you should be using all of these eventually, but start with the top five that will resonate with your business & best buyers. We'll divide them into four categories to make it easy:
- Content Marketing & Distribution
- Regular content production
- Infographics & visual content
- Demos, free trials, samples
- Interactive content
- Email tagline
- Industry publications
- Guest blogging
- Referral programs
- Local/industry partnerships
- Community involvement
- Join your Chamber of Commerce
- Social Media
- Daily social posting
- Paid social ads
- Social publishing
- Contests & giveaways
- Polls & surveys
- Exclusive Offers
- Limited time/limited quantity
- Closed beta launch
- Freebies for special customers
- Membership benefits
If you find something else that works better for your business, don't be afraid to try it. Increasing brand awareness takes time, effort, trial and error, and a lot of experimentation. You won't see results immediately - very few pieces of content go viral, and shaping your online presence takes time.
Whatever you do, do it the inbound marketing way: by adding value, educating, and most importantly, not being annoying.