If a member of your team asked you how to measure brand awareness, what would you say?
If you’re struggling to articulate an answer, that’s OK -- it’s a tough question.
A lot of B2B companies have difficulty with this question, too. They also have trouble gauging the effectiveness of their brand awareness strategy. Because of this, it can be difficult to acquire executive buy-in to support brand-building tactics and strategies.
However, measuring brand awareness is easier than you might think. In fact, some of the strategies below can be executed as soon as you finish reading.
How to Measure B2B Brand Awareness
Before you do anything, identify the goals of your intended brand awareness strategy. Examples include:
- Do you want to build customer awareness?
- Do you want to promote your website or social media accounts?
- Do you want to add value to the services you already offer?
Brand awareness means something different to everyone. In your work to build brand awareness, it’s also important to determine exactly what brand awareness means to your company.
An easy way to figure out what brand awareness means for your company is to actually define it. Workshopping your company’s definition with decision makers and key stakeholders can be useful.
It is important to make sure everyone on the team has the same general definition of what brand awareness is, as well as ensuring everyone sees the value of executing a brand awareness strategy.
Growing brand awareness and identity does not happen overnight. Having buy-in from key decision makers up front prevents questioning down the line about why certain tactics are being prioritized.
Assigning Metrics to Brand Awareness Goals
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding brand awareness is that it's impossible to measure. While it can be more difficult to measure than something such as email open rate, measuring it is as simple as assigning metrics to your goals and efforts.
There are plenty of metrics to use in measuring brand awareness. Four key metrics to consider are:
- Brand mentions. A brand mention is anytime someone mentions your brand name on the web, including links, @mentions, and text (when someone doesn’t to tag you).
- Social media shares. A social media share is when a viewer of your content puts something you’ve posted on their own social media channels. Remember to ask yourself if you would share your own content. If your answer is “yes,” then social shares is a good metric for you.
- External links. Similar to social media shares, external links are when someone posts a link to your content on their own website or blog post. External links improve your brand’s visibility to potential customers and recognize your website as an authority figure in your industry.
- Website traffic. Measuring your website traffic is a foolproof way to measure brand awareness. You can track and evaluate which methods of your marketing strategy are driving the most and least amount of traffic to your website.
The metrics you choose to measure your goals by need to tie directly to those goals. If you choose a metric that doesn’t make sense, you'll never see accurate results and may get discouraged with your efforts.
For example, if your goal is to get people talking about your brand online, measuring an increase in website traffic isn’t a good metric. Measuring brand mentions is.
Make sure you have different facets of your content strategies to align with the different metrics and goals. Each content strategy should tie into your larger marketing strategy.
Data from your brand awareness metrics can later be used to set SMART goals or as a benchmark for future improvement.
Increasing Brand Awareness: An Imperfect Art
After you identify your brand awareness goals and implement your tactics, you’ll need to watch the metrics that accurately reflect your progress. Based on those metrics, optimize your marketing strategy to set and meet new goals.
Ensure that each member of the team -- from the executives to your implementation team -- understand how you came to arrive at each metric and what each means for the overall strategy. This level of transparency fosters success and growth with your tactics.
Don’t get discouraged if you’re not seeing results right away. Creating brand awareness takes time, testing, and failures.
A note from the editor: This blog post was originally published on February 16th, 2017. It was updated in March of 2020 to reflect modern tactics.