Starting your own business is a thrilling roller-coaster ride filled with dreams, aspirations, and a whole lot of hard work. One golden ticket to success on this exhilarating journey? Brand awareness. But many startup owners might wonder how to increase brand awareness – when they’re starting from scratch! Let’s discuss…
Think of brand awareness as a startup owner’s first impression, leaving your audience curious and eager to learn more.
Now, let’s define brand awareness, navigate the challenges you’ll face in obtaining it, and learn how to increase brand awareness for your startup.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is how familiar and recognizable your product or service is to your audience.
● For example: If you think about athleticwear, there’s a good chance your mind automatically goes to brands like Nike or Adidas. You might even be able to tell that a pair of shoes or even an advertisement belongs to the company without hearing the name.
Now, how do brands attract customers like this? Through a strong brand awareness strategy.
Of course, you’re here to learn how to increase brand awareness for small businesses and startups. Remember: You don’t have to be one of the biggest companies in the world to gain brand awareness. You can learn how to get your business noticed by standing out from the competition, being consistent in your distinct messaging, and continually connecting with your target audience.
Why Do You Need a Brand Awareness Strategy?
Ever wonder, ‘How do brands attract customers?’ Well, the answer is simple: A brand awareness strategy.
A brand awareness strategy guides you in learning how to get your business noticed.
Think of it like this: If a random person approached you and asked you to buy their product, would you? Probably not. But if you already knew about their product — if you already knew them — you might give them a chance.
It works the same in digital marketing. Before we start selling, we must start attracting. We must start building trust, recognition, and familiarity. We must spread awareness of your brand, who you are, and your unique value. This marks the beginning of your audience’s path to becoming a loyal customer.That’s why a brand awareness strategy has endless benefits:
Expand Your Market Reach
In the marketing world, there’s something we call the ‘marketing funnel.’ This framework outlines your buyer’s journey, from how they find you to when they make a purchase.
The first stage in the marketing funnel is awareness. Before your customers can becomecustomers, they need to find out who you are.
Awareness is fundamental because it widens your pool. With a brand awareness strategy, more people will know your name, follow your social media, and eventually become customers.
Stand Out From the Competition
Ever feel like your content isn’t getting noticed? You might need a brand awareness strategy. Brand awareness is all about getting people to remember who you are. People will remember who you are if you stand out. If you’re different. If you focus on what makes you unique.
Build Trust with Your Audience
We buy from brands we’re familiar with. It’s why 46% of customers will pay more for brands they trust. The more brand awareness you have, the more your audience will trust you — and the more likely they are to choose you.
Learn How to Get Your Business Noticed
The best strategies are always improving and adapting. As you develop a brand awareness strategy, you can discover insights that refine your efforts and reveal the most effective ways pertaining to how to get your business noticed.
Problems Startup Owners Face in Brand Awareness Strategy
Running a business isn’t without its challenges. But by knowing the obstacles ahead of you, you can prepare to overcome them.
When learning how to increase brand awareness for small businesses and startups, you might face challenges like:
Lack of Time to Show Up Consistently
Racking your brain trying to figure out, “How do brands attract customers?” You’re not alone.
You’re running a business here. A brand awareness strategy requires you to be consistent in all meanings of the word:
You need consistent branding, a consistent strategy, and consistent engagement.
Brand awareness requires a growth mindset and approach, often necessitating hiring a brand awareness strategist and content marketing team to help you execute.
Brand awareness is achieved through repetition.
Think of it like this: When learning a new language, we repeat the same words and phrases again and again until we finally remember them. Similarly, you need to repeat and reiterate your brand voice, message, and strategy across channels for your audience to finally remember you.
If not, it’s like you’re speaking a whole different language.
Defining Their Unique Selling Point
Your business is your baby. Knowing what makes you different requires objectivity, market research, and competition analysis — which can be hard when your business is a part of you. Sometimes, you need to take a step back to see what your unique selling point truly is. You need to outsource to gain the perspective of a third-party expert.
Creating and Implementing a Brand Awareness Strategy
It’s one thing to create a brand awareness strategy — it’s another to implement it. Whether you’re more of an ‘idea person’ or ‘execution person,’ it can be challenging to find the time, energy, and resources to do it on your own.
How to Build Your Brand Awareness Strategy
Ready to learn how to get your business noticed? We’ll start by laying the foundation for your brand awareness strategy:
1. Understand Your Audience and Market
You don’t just want more people to know about your business. You want the right people to know about your business.
The first step to building awareness is to attract your target audience.
Get to know who they are. Beyond demographics, search online forums, competitor reviews, and expert articles to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. From there, you can start creating content that matches these needs and solves these problems.
2. Define Your Unique Selling Point
What makes your business different from the rest?
Clearly define what makes your business unique. Find out why customers should choose youover your competitors: This is your Unique Selling Point (USP).
To find your USP, start by performing a basic SWOT analysis:
- Define your Strengths
- Be honest about your Weaknesses
- Project Opportunities, based on your strengths and the current market
- Identify Threats, based on your weaknesses and competition
The goal is to find where your strengths, your competition’s missed opportunities, and your target audience’s needs align.
3. Develop a Clear Brand Identity
Choose a distinctive brand name, logo, color palette, fonts, and visual elements that represent your business’s unique values, personality, and identity.
Most of all, consistently use these elements (and these elements only) across all posts and platforms.
Simply using a signature color palette can boost your brand recognition by 80%. Brand consistency affects more than your reputation. The State of Brand Consistency Report showed that consistent branding can increase revenue by 10-20%.
Never underestimate the power of consistency.
4. Create a Content Strategy
Your content strategy should follow your target audience through each stage in their journey, starting at the moment they first discover you. Get discovered by creating engaging content that aligns with your target audience’s needs, interests, problems, and goals. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more.
Pro Tips for Brand Awareness: How to Increase Brand Awareness for Small Businesses & Startups
Once you’ve laid a solid foundation for your strategy, you can start taking action to put your name out there and learn how to get your business noticed.
Here are pro tips for brand awareness that can help you do just that:
Build Your Network
Get your name out there by commenting on other accounts’ posts in your industry. Reply to your comments, and start engaging.
Share Your Authentic Values & Stories
Why do customers become the #1 fan of one brand over the other, even when they sell the same product? One survey found that 88% of consumers support brands based on their authenticity. 77% choose brands with the same values.Gain traction by weaving a narrative into your content. Stand up for what you believe in. Spark a human connection with your audience.
Create Shareable Content
Let your audience do the work for you. Create content that’s easily shareable. This is content people can relate to and share with their network without having to explain or provide extra context (motivational quotes, educational tips, inspiring videos, etc.)
Start a Referral Program
Once again, let your customers do the work for you. Spread awareness by incentivizing your current customer base to tell others about your brand.
Jump on Current Trends
Hop on a current social media trend and make it yours! This is a great way to start increasing your reach today.
Collaborate with Others
Expand your network by collaborating with other businesses, influencers, or organizations with a similar target audience as yours.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Host a free webinar, create a free guide (like these!), or offer a free trial to attract new potential customers and gain their trust before they make a purchase.
Provide Value First
Overall: Provide value to your audience first, and sell second. That’s how to increase brand awareness for small businesses.
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Brand awareness is an ongoing effort. By tuning into your audience’s needs, showing up consistently, and stepping outside your comfort zone, you can stand out from the crowd and start building a relationship with your audience.
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