Branding is a multifaceted endeavor that goes far beyond making a logo and crafting a punchy slogan. The real challenge lies in drawing attention to your brand and making it resonate with your target audience. In this article, we will delve into the essential elements of building brand awareness, exploring effective strategies that will elevate your brand's visibility and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. From leveraging digital marketing tactics to exploring traditional advertising avenues, we will equip you with the tools and insights needed to craft a successful brand awareness strategy that sets your business apart in today's competitive landscape
Not sure how to get started? This guide on how to increase brand awareness can help.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness refers to how familiar people are with your brand. It’s a critical marketing metric that gauges your brand's visibility and recognition among its target audience and potential customers. The more familiar and recognizable your brand is, the higher its brand awareness.
Brand awareness is at the top of the marketing funnel and is the first step of the customer journey. The customer journey begins with people learning that your brand exists and ends with them becoming repeat customers who spread the word about your brand.
How to increase brand awareness
Here are 11 strategies for increasing brand awareness that you can start implementing today:
01. Engage social media followers
Even if you’ve managed to attract some followers, that doesn’t mean they won’t forget you among the hundreds of other accounts they follow. Posting engaging content frequently will help more of your followers see your content and strengthen their awareness.
The best way to engage your social media followers is to monitor your social media analytics to see which content your audience interacts with the most. Then, analyze patterns in this content and create new content that’s similar to these successful posts.
Suppose you run a doggy daycare and notice that your top-performing posts are TikToks of your dog clients playing together. By posting these kinds of videos multiple times a week and sharing them as reels on Instagram, you can expand your reach and boost awareness across platforms.
02. Post digital media ads
Beyond engaging your current audience, you can also leverage paid social media ads to boost awareness among new audiences. We suggest starting with Facebook and Instagram ads because it’s easy to manage both using Wix’s social media advertising manager. You can leverage Wix’s machine learning to automatically:
Create a lookalike audience of people who have similar characteristics to your current fans and followers, which makes them more likely to pay attention to your ads than a general audience.
Retarget people who have visited your website by showing them your ads on Instagram and Facebook.
Run A/B tests to determine the best places and times to display your ads.
Measure the success of your ad campaigns in your Wix Analytics dashboard.
Alternatively, you could give Google Ads by Wix a try. This integration streamlines and optimizes the ad-buying process in similar ways.
03. Partner with influencers
Partnering with an influencer on sponsored content can help your brand reach new audiences. For the most effective partnership, work with influencers whose audiences have interests similar to yours. For example, if you run a cookware brand, partner with an influencer who posts baking TikToks rather than one who shares their restaurant reviews.
Start by creating a list of influencers who share content that’s relevant to your brand. Then, ask them for their media kits via direct message or email. This document will contain audience demographics, post engagement information and rates that’ll help you determine whether they’re a good fit for your business.
Once you’ve identified the right partners for your campaign, negotiate terms such as payment, deliverables, rounds of revisions, performance tracking and key performance indicators (KPIs). If the influencers meet your KPIs, consider working with them again.
04. Create a referral program
Another strategy for increasing brand awareness is to create a referral program that incentivizes customers to tell their friends about your business. You can think of a referral program as word-of-mouth marketing for the digital age. By providing each customer with a unique tracking link that their friends can use to make purchases from your business, you can keep track of the performance of your program and reward customers for their referrals.
Referral programs typically offer rewards to both new customers and referrers. For instance, new customers may receive a first-purchase discount, while referrers may receive a store credit when someone uses their unique link to make a purchase. These rewards serve as incentives to encourage sharing and assist in identifying potential customers who are more likely to be interested in your brand's offerings. With qualified leads, the customer journey can progress swiftly from the awareness phase to the promoter phase, resulting in even more customer referrals.
05. Offer a freemium product or service
Giving customers a free taste of your products and services can help generate buzz and awareness. “Freemium” is a portmanteau that combines the words “free” and “premium.” It refers to a scaled down version of your product that you offer for free. A complimentary 15-minute consultation with a home organizing company is an example of a freemium service, and a mobile game that has ad breaks after every level is an example of a freemium product.
Use freemium offerings to hook customers in, then tempt them to upgrade to a paid product or service.
06. Boost SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of developing a website in a way that helps it appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you’re running a taco restaurant in Miami, you probably want to show up at the top of SERPs for keywords like “Mexican food Miami” or “best tacos in Miami.”
SEO is an effective strategy for spreading word about your business without spending money on advertising. The gist of SEO is conducting keyword research, then developing webpage and blog content to align with the intentions of those keyword searches.
Want to know more about SEO? Learn more at Wix’s SEO hub.
07. Contribute to a complementary business’s blog
By offering to write blog posts for a complementary business’s blog, you can extend your brand's reach to new and engaged demographics. Guest blogging not only increases brand awareness, but it also helps you get backlinks, which boosts SEO and allows your content to rank higher on SERPs. For example, if you’re a florist, you could write about how to choose wedding table centerpieces for a bridal blog.
08. Host or participate in events
So far, you’ve mostly learned digital strategies for building brand awareness. If you want to know how to increase brand awareness in person, this tip is for you: participate in or host events that are relevant to your business.
Consider setting up a booth at relevant conferences, creating pop-up events or collaborating with other brands. Even if your business doesn't have a physical store, participating in events can provide real-life exposure and help spread the word about your brand.
For example, if you run an online juice cleanse delivery company, you could partner with a gym during their open house. Give out free samples and set up referral links to track the effectiveness of your efforts.
09. Pitch to media publications
Getting press coverage is one of the most effective ways to boost brand awareness without incurring costs and reaching a wide audience. Invest time in public relations (PR) by strategically pitching stories about your brand to local news stations, online publications and other media outlets. Your pitches will be most effective when you can tell a newsworthy story about your brand. According to the University of Nebraska, stories are newsworthy when they have an impact, are timely and local, contain conflict or human interest or have a wow factor.
Let’s say your sneaker store is opening a new location. While the fact that you’re opening a new store is already newsworthy, you could increase your chances of getting press coverage by trying to break a record for the longest relay race ever run during your opening week. This story is even more newsworthy because it is timely, local and has a wow factor.
10. Invest in traditional advertising
A timeless strategy for increasing brand awareness involves investing in traditional advertising channels such as billboards, podcasts and magazines. Once you have a list of potential outlets, reach out to their advertising departments and request crucial information such as audience demographics, reach, advertising requirements and rates.
With this valuable data at hand, carefully evaluate your options and identify outlets that align with your target audience and offer the greatest bang for your buck. A brand awareness-focused ad campaign can serve as an introductory platform, introducing the public to your brand's name, logo, tagline and a few key products. Simple and straightforward ads tend to be most effective for this purpose, effectively acquainting the public with your brand in a memorable and impactful manner.
11. Expand your brand with new products
If you already have a strong foundation for brand awareness, develop your brand further by offering your products and services in new ways.
For example, let’s say you run a small chain of successful ice cream shops in Southern California. People come from near and far to try your innovative flavors. You could reach more customers if you opened stores across the country or started offering national shipping.
How to measure brand awareness
Once you’ve chosen a brand awareness strategy or two to try, you need to measure their effectiveness to understand where your time and money are best spent. Use these tactics to track changes in awareness, then reinvest resources into the strategies with the best ROI.
An uptick in web traffic is a telltale sign that more people know about your brand, which is why it’s useful to measure changes in website traffic after your awareness-boosting campaign.
If you used tracking links in your campaign, review your website’s analytics for those specific pages. Watch for spikes in views and time spent on those pages. Track conversions (which are actions people take after visiting your website), such as customers buying something or signing up for your newsletter.
If you used awareness-boosting strategies that didn’t involve tracked links, such as getting press coverage or launching new products, compare overall website traffic figures during and after the campaign to the period before it. Wix Analytics traffic reports will be quite helpful in this regard.
Social media engagement
Review your social media channels’ analytics to understand how your awareness strategies affected your audience. Did you gain a significant number of new followers? Did you see an increase in post engagement? Did your platforms’ overall impressions increase?
Keep track of how these metrics change from campaign to campaign or from month to month. Make sure that increases are statistically significant (i.e., whether your campaign had a meaningful impact beyond regular growth) before investing more resources.
Beyond checking analytics to understand how many people are interacting with your social media content, you might also consider social listening. This practice involves actively monitoring what people are saying about your brand online.
Use tools like Hootsuite Insights and Sprout Social to find out who is talking about your brand and what they’re saying. Manage your brand sentiment, learn how you compare to the competition and use those insights to make constructive changes to your brand awareness strategy.
Look beyond your current audience as you gauge awareness and send surveys to the general population to find out if they know about your brand. Not sure where to begin with surveys? You could:
Hire a market research firm to help
Create a social media ad poll asking people if they’ve heard of you
Survey people about your brand on the street or at events
Include questions such as:
Have you heard of [Your Brand Name]?
Where did you hear of [Your Brand Name]?
What types of products does [Your Brand Name] sell?
What is your impression of [Your Brand Name]?
Offering an incentive—such as a freebie, compensation or raffle entry—will make people more likely to participate in your survey.
Search volume growth
Another strategy for measuring the effectiveness of your brand awareness campaign is tracking search volume growth. If more people are searching for your brand, related keywords and topics online after your campaign than before, then your efforts were a success.
An easy and free way to estimate search volume growth is to use Google Trends, which lets you see how interest in a specific keyword has changed over time. Suppose you are running a brand awareness campaign for a fictional brand called “Sunshine Sunglasses.” By analyzing the "interest over time" graph for the keyword "Sunshine Sunglasses," you might notice spikes that correlate with the duration of your brand awareness campaign efforts. These spikes indicate increased interest and can serve as valuable indicators of the campaign's impact on brand awareness.
Additionally, Google Trends offers a "compare" feature that allows you to compare the search interest for "Sunshine Sunglasses" with competing brands. This comparison can provide valuable insights into how your brand's search volume growth stacks up against others in the same industry or niche, further aiding your assessment of the brand awareness campaign's effectiveness.
Backlinks are links from external websites that lead back to your website. An increase in backlinks means that more people are talking about your brand.
Backlinks also help boost SEO by affecting your domain authority, which tells search engines that your website is a reputable source. You can use a variety of SEO tools, like Semrush or Ahrefs, to measure how many backlinks your website has and what your domain authority is.
Press coverage can be massively helpful for increasing brand awareness. If even one publication covers your brand because of your PR efforts, you can earn a massive amount of attention and credibility.
PR efforts can also have compounding effects. If one media outlet covers a newsworthy story about your brand, other publications may also want to cover your brand to not miss out on the scoop.
To measure the effects of this press coverage, you could directly ask publishers how many views or listens the piece received. If your brand appeared in a print publication, ask for their circulation figures to gauge readership.
Why is having a brand awareness strategy important?
Implementing a brand awareness strategy can have powerful effects on your business, including:
Building trust and loyalty
Attracting new customers
Helping you command higher prices
Improving your brand image
Expanding your brand
Build trust and loyalty
When you increase brand awareness to the point where your brand is synonymous with your product category (e.g., Kleenex and tissues), you build trust among consumers. A trusted brand stands out from the crowd.
Let’s say a customer is shopping for a window air conditioning unit on an online marketplace. They have hundreds of seemingly identical options to choose from. All other things equal, customers are more likely to choose a brand that they’re familiar with because awareness equates to trust. According to a study by Adobe, 71% of customers will buy more things from brands they trust than ones they don’t.
Attract new customers
Beyond nurturing repeat customers, building brand awareness also helps you attract new customers. When consumers have heard about your brand from friends, reviews or ads, they’ll be more likely to choose you over other brands.
Command higher prices
According to Zippia, nine in 10 people say they’d pay more for a product from a brand that they recognize than one from a brand that they don’t recognize. That’s part of the reason why brand names charge more than store brands of the same product. When your brand is associated with quality, you can command higher prices.
Beyond attracting the right customers, high brand awareness helps you attract the right talent.Your primary goal for increasing brand awareness is likely to get more customers. But there's an added bonus: People would rather work for companies they’re familiar with than those they haven’t heard of. A study by Glassdoor found that Gen Z employees are seeking jobs at household names like Microsoft and Google over no-name startups. Therefore, building brand awareness can also help you recruit and retain staff.
Moreover, when people have heard of your brand and know what it stands for, you’re more likely toll attract employees who are passionate about what you do. Brand awareness helps to create a strong culture of employees who are proud of their workplace. With turnover costing companies up to two times each employee’s salary, an investment in awareness can lead to significant cost savings.
Improve your brand image
A brand awareness strategy can significantly improve your brand image by increasing the visibility and familiarity of your brand among your target audience. When more people become aware of your brand's existence, it creates a sense of recognition and familiarity, which are essential elements in shaping a positive brand image. As consumers repeatedly encounter your brand through various marketing efforts, they begin to associate it with specific values, attributes and emotions.
Expand your brand
Brand development helps you grow your business from one that simply sells products or services to one that stands for something. It gives you the opportunity to build customer loyalty and expand your product base.
Let’s say you run a mattress company. You add pajamas and sheets to your product line and start publishing a monthly magazine featuring bedtime stories submitted by customers. By doing so, your business transcends beyond a mattress company and becomes a brand that’s synonymous with sleep and wellness.
Brand recognition vs. brand awareness
Although brand recognition and brand awareness often get used interchangeably, they’re different in that awareness comes before recognition. When people are aware of your brand, they simply know that it exists. When people recognize your brand, they’re able to associate your logos, colors, mascots, jingles and products with your brand. If you find yourself thinking of Coca-Cola whenever you see its signature shade of cherry red, that’s an example of brand recognition. Once you increase brand awareness to a significant enough degree, you’ll start to solidify in customers’ minds so that they can recognize your brand anywhere.