As a small or medium sized business, building brand awareness happens to be one of the most crucial parts of your marketing strategy. In all probability, you don’t have the budget or capacity for large-scale advertising campaigns at the moment. Therefore, the best way to acquire momentum and stay ahead of the competition is to get your name out there as much as you can.
If your social media posts, product packaging, website, app and promotional content send a uniform message about your brand identity and its fundamental values, you are more likely to generate leads faster and do well on the monetary front. According to one recent research article published by Forbes, presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
In this piece, we will be looking at three tried and tested ways SMBs can ameliorate their brand awareness swiftly to generate more leads.
1) Leverage the Power of Content
Content marketing is not just about getting your keywords to rank and creating as many backlinks as possible. It is also an exhilarating way to tell a story. And presenting the right story, one that will resonate with your target audience, will finally lead to increased brand awareness.
Other marketing tactics like paid advertisements can tell people what your brand and offering are exactly about, but content marketing holds the potential to show them what your brand truly represents and the attributes that make it distinctive.
Provide people with information on what you believe in, how you started, what your organizational values are, and how you have succeeded up until now. More often than not, people like to connect with brands on a more personal level. So, by telling them your story, you indirectly increase your chances of being remembered. One of the many ways you can come up with your story is by conducting frequent brainstorming sessions with your team and leveraging audio to text transcription to swiftly convert all the discussions into written notes.
Nick Greene, Co-Founder and Creative Lead at Apollo Digital, integrated content marketing with the company’s brand strategy. The result – brand awareness soared to new heights for this relatively new player in the market. However, he opted for a more widespread approach, focusing less on the company’s story and more on furnishing vital information on a topic significant to his target audience.
“We used this one piece of content to make sure most people in our target audience have heard about us. Here is what we did:
- Created EPIC content. We wrote a mega-guide to SaaS marketing. 14k words, 41+ strategies, 50+ case-studies. The key here is to create really, really good content that people will care about
- Promoted the hell out of it
This resulted in (so far – we’re still promoting it):
- 5,000 traffic in 2 days
- 3 leads
- Hundreds of upvotes on HackerNews
- TONS of love all over the internet / in Facebook groups.”
One important thing to draw in from Greene’s story is that content marketing is not just about posting your article online and leaving it there for people to find it. What Nick did to expedite brand awareness was to share his guide online. With an estimated 3.02 billion social media users by 2021, it can be one of the easiest ways to show your brand to a vast amount of people in a short time.
As an SMB, you need to be on a constant lookout for content and formats that work with your target audience. Once you know what works, use that as a framework to build your strategy around it.
2) Get Social
Once you’ve come up with a robust content strategy, next in line is – promoting that content. Social media can be easily leveraged to create brand loyalty, increase sales volume, and spread brand awareness.
There are several social media platforms available for small and medium sized businesses to successfully run their awareness campaigns. However, the most effective ones happen to be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. These platforms provide SMBs with numerous options: creating pages, creating and sharing content, or partnering up with social media influencers for better reach. These platforms offer business options as well wherein SMBs can run brand awareness campaigns, initiate business transactions, and close sales.
Social media makes it feasible and cost-effective to get marketing messages to leads easily. It makes brand awareness campaigns inexpensive for SMBs. Since these platforms are economical and easily accessible, they usually see immense competition. Hence, businesses must come up with innovative and creative brand awareness content that stands out.
SMBs should ideally choose the social media platform that is frequently used by their target customers. For a small business, it is pretty easy to identify the right platform because it has little stake in the market. Even then, it can only profit from brand awareness if the right audience is reached with the right message.
There are numerous ways SMBs can run successful social media campaigns for increased brand awareness. For one, they can start a brand awareness campaign by creating a hashtag that evokes customer interest and invites them to the product/ service page.
SMBs can also make use of demographic social media tools. These tools are instrumental in identifying the target audience, demographics, location, and time they actively engage in social media by studying their online behavior. By leveraging these tools, SMBs can come both up with accurate brand awareness content and determine the best time to run their campaigns for the potential customers.
Brand hashtags also help in locating and further reposting user-generated content that can then be featured on the company’s page for increased credibility. This type of content further helps to validate your claim. When your users present your offering in a positive light, they indirectly influence their connections to like and trust the brand.
Keep experimenting with different platforms to find out what your target audiences enjoy the most. The platform that fetches you the majority interactions: likes, shares, and comments should be the one you’re focusing on most and should be a part of overall marketing strategy.
3) Furnish an Exceptional Customer Service Experience
Lastly, furnishing an exceptional customer experience can greatly improve brand awareness. Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors that lag in customer experience.
Customer experience is essentially all about the relationship a customer has with your brand — great experience creates advocacy — and advocacy creates greater brand awareness. Some of the common customer touchpoints SMBs should be focusing on ameliorating include:
- Your company website/app,
- Your email marketing messages,
- Your customer support,
- The chatbot on your website,
- Word of mouth,
- Your company’s social media channels,
- Online advertisements you employ on various mediums,
- Your e-commerce store,
- Your brick and mortar store,
- The customer’s follow up experience, and
- Your field sales team.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are many more customer touchpoints in a typical small or medium business. They can differ greatly depending on the business model or niche.
Amazon has possibly created the single greatest brand awareness campaign of all time, in part because of its incredible customer experience. The Ritz Carlton chain has also invested heavily in improving customer experience and has seen incredible returns in the form of its brand awareness, recognition, and advocacy.
While today, these are corporate giants in their respective industries, their strategy isn’t anything you can’t adopt. Investing in your customers is more about showing mindfulness towards them and less about money. Caring about their experiences throughout every step of the customer journey has no shortcuts and it is definitely one aspect of your marketing campaign that can’t be faked.
Brand awareness is nothing but a bi-product of incredible customer experience. Your customers are more likely to tell family or friends about their experience with you if it is a positive one. If their experience really blew them away they may even rave about it on brand reviewing platforms, social media, or a public forum. Even a brief mention or use of a product or service they truly believe in can do wonders for you.
Brand awareness is very important for every business, be it a small, medium or big one. While each brand uses different tactics, one thing stays the same, companies need to invest in brand awareness campaigns. You won’t need to have a big budget to see results when it comes to brand awareness. Using the right strategies and a tad bit of creativity can take you a long way in succeeding and reaching your customers just like big brands do.