In marketing, we all have that elusive white whale in our purview: brand awareness. For those of you lucky enough to work for or own large, well-recognized companies, well good for you, that’s awesome! Everyone needs brand awareness though– even the large companies rebrand and need to stay competitive.
Often times, we are quick to prioritize demand over brand since can more easily track conversions and revenue. How does one even track brand. Seems almost impossible sometimes, but trust us, it’s a necessary part of every marketing strategy. It’s how you keep your brand relevant and valuable to your target market.
So, what can we do to catch our whale, so to speak? Felicity Blance with Contently.com writes a great article with 5 of the most common brand awareness issues we all face.
- “When your content ranks low on search” Keeping your organic traffic up and optimizing your SEO is vital. You cannot rely solely on great content to carry the weight of your business. First things first, figure out which keywords are right and relevant for you. Are they realistically attainable? Ranking high for irrelevant keywords is just as much of a struggle as competing for something out of your current reach. We’ve written quite a few blogs on SEO in the past, so clearly we believe this is an important step in maintaining momentum. Ultimately, higher rankings will help boost your reach to the right audience. This is particularly important when you have other brand awareness tactics in play– like paid and organic social media or programmatic campaigns. When people are exposed to your brand programmatically or via social, they will search for you organically. You need to rank high if you hope to keep them engaged.
- “When you have trouble getting the word out” We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: great content means absolutely nothing if no one sees it. If you don’t have large brand budgets to start, social media– especially Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter– are extremely cost effective methods of getting the word out to a broader, yet relevant audience. As we’ve discussed at length, Facebook is a great tactic when it comes to B2B marketing and is not just for sharing content with Auntie Karen or buying shoes. Of course, everything is a test, right? So make sure you are A/B testing different channels, audience tactics, and content strategies. Not all at once of course, but you get the picture. An awareness goal does not need to mean a “Reach and Frequency” objective, however. Your ultimate goal should still be driving people back to your website to self nurture and learn more. Showing up is not enough! You’ve got to keep them engaged.
- “When you aren’t teaching the right audience” If you feel that your content is great, but people don’t seem to be resonating, you probably aren’t reaching the right audience here. If it’s not valuable to them, you’re wasting budget serving them content. There are a few metrics you can look to here as secondary indicators of success. Social follows or shares, for example, mean that the audience is engaging and interested in more of your content. If you see a high volume of these social actions, but a low volume of hits to the website, it might be that the content is either too high level or too granular for where they currently sit in the funnel. Clearly they have an interest, they just need a bit more nurturing before they make it to your site. Either that or they are busy at that exact moment and will search for you later. See, it always comes back to organic search and the importance of search rankings. *Wink wink*
- “When your brand isn’t perceived correctly” Okay, this one is important. Sure, people might recognize your brand, but do they actually know what you do? Understanding goes much deeper than just generalized “awareness.” A huge problem we face in our branding efforts is that people recognize your brand but don’t have a clue what that means or what you can do for them. Think about how you can use content, creative, and copy to portray a very specific message. A/B test to see how and what people are resonating with and move forward with that type of content.
- “When you have low share of voice” We all know that there is A LOT of competition out there. You could have the best product, service, message, out there, but so do a lot of others. If you’re throwing content into the wind and your share of voice is low compared to your competitors, it won’t make a different. Social listening tools are great to keep a close eye on your share of voice. Tools like NetBase, Talkwalker, or Sprinklr are have great resources to measure your impact- both on its own and in comparison to your main competition. Of course, moving the needle in a positive direction in terms of share of voice does not happen overnight. It takes time and effort and quality social media marketing strategies.
It might seem daunting at first, but it gets easier the more you attune your message to your audience. Everything comes down to data, so make sure you’re gathering actual insights and making optimizations accordingly. The better branding you have top funnel, the more quality your down funnel results will be. It truly works best in tandem as a holistic strategy.