Brand awareness: How small businesses can increase their brand awareness? Complete guide 2020.
Brand awareness: “The extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.”
Five million startups are born each year with the hopes of making their idea a famous brand. Unfortunately, only 10% of them actually get to unlock the door to success. What is the other 90% doing wrong? The answer is “lack of effective marketing.”In this competitive era, businesses have to work way harder to be on that elite 10% list. You have to try different marketing strategies to make people aware of your brand. If you market your business correctly, I see no reason why your business won’t reach the heights that you wished when starting a company. Right marketing strategies leave a mark in people’s daily lives. For example, have you ever asked for Q tips instead of cotton buds at the store? Q-tips is not a product category, it is a brand, and the Q stands for quality. Many people don’t even realize that they are promoting a brand unless someone explains it to them. Here’s a list of some brand names which changed the names of the product categories forever.
- Candy-coated chocolates– M&Ms
- Hot Tubs – Jacuzzi
- Slow Cooker – Crock Pots
- Drunkenness scale testing device – Breathalyzer
- Table Tennis – Ping Pong
- Multicolored frozen sweetened ice on a stick – Popsicle
- Air-filled packaging material – Bubble Wraps
- Inline Skates – Roller Blades
- Permanent marker – Sharpie
- Adhesive Bandages – Band-Aid
- Electroshock weapon – Tasers
- Photocopying machine – Xerox machine
- Expanded polystyrene – Styrofoam
Decades ago, if someone created an amazing product, everyone would start talking about it in a few days. However, in the era we live in, you’ve to work for your audience’s attention. Even if you had just started yesterday, you need an effective marketing plan to make people aware of your brand.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide of 20 key strategies that you can apply to your company to increase your brand awareness.
Freemium is a portmanteau of 2 words “Free” and “Premium.” Freemium is a business model where you provide basic services free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.There are four popular types of Freemium.
Classic feature – Limited Freemium:If you sell Softwares, SAAS applications, Mobile Applications, etc, this strategy will work very well for you. In this strategy, you’ll provide basic features of your product for free, whereas you’ll charge your customers for the premium version.We can learn a great deal about Classic Feature – Limited Freemium from Skype. It is free to download software, and you can make Skype to Skype calls free of charge. However, if you want to call a Mobile or a Telephone from Skype, you’ll have to pay for that feature.
Free Trial:In this Freemium strategy, your customers can access your premium service for free for a limited period. This allows your users to navigate your service and understand your product. If they like it, they’ll switch to a paid version when the trial ends.Services like Netflix, Amazon, Skillshare use this strategy and they’ve seen great results.
In-app Purchases:This strategy is usually exercised by companies that sell gaming applications. They offer limited credits upon download, and the player can use it to access the premium tools inside the game. When they exhaust those credits, they have to purchase in-game items to continue enjoying the premium features in the game.Clash of Clans is one of the best examples of in-app purchases strategy. They offer 500 gems upon download, and as the requirements emerge, the players can purchase the in-game items and enjoy the premium products.
Advertisements and Sponsored Content:You can’t build a product and improve it without monetizing. People use platforms like Google Adsense to show ads on their products. Companies also offer a paid version or a pro version of the product if the user doesn’t want to see ads. With this strategy, you monetize your product in both situations.Freemium is one of the best forms of marketing where your users can evaluate if what you are offering is worth paying. When they pay for your service, it means they like your product. This can also lead to many referrals by the users through word of mouth.
Offer referral rewards:
According to research conducted by Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, referred customers are both profitable and loyal. Read the research paper here.
How does referral rewards work?
Referral reward is a reward that is given to the referrer for a successful referral. It is designed to increase customers or sales through positive word of mouth. You reward your existing customers when they refer your product to someone, and they take action like signing up or purchasing a product. This strategy creates a chain of referrals which increases sales and followers. Studies suggest that referral is the most trusted form of marketing. The reason behind this is that they are being told about the brand by someone they know and trust.
Examples of companies using referral reward:
Dropbox – Dropbox started a referral campaign where they offered 500 MB of extra storage space whenever a user refers Dropbox to someone. This campaign resulted in a sixty percent increase in sign-ups.
Airbnb – Airbnb offered a two way referral program where both parties received a $25.00 credit when the referred person completes their first trip.
Paypal – Paypal offers $5 credit to both parties when they sign up using the referral code. In the 2000s they got 7-10% daily growth through their referral program.
Tesla – One of the best electric cars manufacturer, Tesla, is no behind in terms of referral marketing. Earlier, Tesla used to give $1000 for a successful referral. Now the successful referrals are rewarded with prizes including an exclusive battery. If a Tesla owner refers to twenty people in their region, they will get a free Model X or Model S Tesla car. People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.
CEO – Facebook
Referral rewards work excellent at increasing your user base in your initial days.
Create urgency with Freebie, Discounts, and rewards
Scenario one: Samantha saw an interesting product on your website. The product is in stock, and it costs $35.00. She knows that the price won’t change if she buys it tomorrow or next month. She got a Facebook notification. She goes to the next tab and starts checking Facebook. Her computer is slow as there are too many open tabs. She closes all those tabs except Facebook. There! Your website’s tab is closed with all the other ones. Now, will she return to purchase the product? If yes, then when? Maybe later, maybe tomorrow or maybe never?
Scenario two: Samantha saw an interesting product on your website. She’ll get 35% off if she purchased it within 1 hour. The product is limited in stock, and it’s selling fast. She got the Facebook notification, and she ignoresit. She adds the product to the cart. If she adds another product worth $10.00, she’ll get free delivery. She adds another product worth $10.00. Samantha is happy, she clicks on buy now, enters her details, and the product is sold. In scenario 2, you’ve grabbed Samantha’s attention from watching the cat video that her friend sent on Facebook. You sold the product, and there is no emotion of regret in Samantha because she got a great deal. The theory of greater good applies to this scenario. It is because humans are psychologically evolved to compete for the best things and compare what adds more value to their life. Three major strategies which appeal the prospect to purchase your product:
Price Based incentives
1. Buy one get one free
This is one of the classic strategies where you double the value for the price of one. You can use it to reward your customers for signing up and making their first purchase.
2. Free shipping
This is the strategy where you will ship the product for free if the customer purchases products worth a certain amount.
3. Free Trial or Freebies The free trial strategy is widely used especially the companies that sell a service. This strategy lowers the emotion of regret in users by making it seem like everything’s at their control. Companies use phrases like: Try free for 30 days, cancel anytime, etc. Free trial strategy creates a sense of trust in users. When trust is built, there are chances that the user will convert into a paying customer after the trial. For companies who sell products, freebies work great in gaining customer loyalty. For example, if you are selling shoes, you can include socks for free. This is one of the best strategies to acquire returning visitors. Using scarcity “I want this before anyone else,” we’re humans, and we do this. If the product is available in a limited number, people will hurry to buy it. For example, when you search a product on Amazon, it sometimes has a tag where it says only five left in stock. You can create this sense of scarcity
to compel your customers into making immediate action. Using Urgency Offers that last a limited period create a sense of urgency in your prospects. Again Amazon does a great job in creating Urgency. For example:
• Buy this within 30 minutes to get same-day delivery.
• 40% off if you purchase within the next 2 hours
• If you are an Amazon Prime customer, you’ll get access to the limited products 30 minutes before everyone else. When you increase the reward for their actions, it motivates the customer psychologically to take action immediately. This also reduces the emotion of regret in the buyer.
Be active on social media:
Who doesn’t love free advertising? Social media platforms allow you to connect with more people. You can use that opportunity to let people know about your brand and how it will add value to their life. Staying active on social media has many benefits. If you are fairly regular, there are chances that their algorithm will favorite you and your audience reach will increase.You can create your company’s profile on these platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.How to stay active on social media:
- Post on your twitter daily.
- Create instructional YouTube videos.
- Upload relevant pictures on Instagram.
- Post on your company’s LinkedIn page daily, and write at least one article per week.
- Build a Facebook page and manage it.
What to post on your social media handles?What should I post on my social media today? People spend hours with this question because coming up with new ideas every day is difficult. To overcome this, you can create a content strategy.Here’s a list of things that you can post on your social media handles:
- Your latest blog post: Encourage people to read your blog posts through social media.
- Photos of your employees: Post pictures of your employees to show that you believe in working hard and having fun.
- Video promos: Post your video promotions on your social media. There are many cases where video promotions went viral on social media.
- New products: Let the users know about your new products.
- Customer case studies: Showcase how you’ve added value to your customer’s life.
- Company accomplishments: Proudly show what you have accomplished.
- Infographics: It is easy to remember pictures than words — Post visual infographics.
- Inspirational quotes: Post quotations from famous personalities to motivate your followers.
- Insightful research: Show your findings.
- Upcoming event information: Promote your events on social media.
- Your recent podcasts: Link your podcast on your social media handles.
- Customer reviews: Show how much your customers love you.
- “How to” posts: Post content that is useful to your followers. It can be a guide to your products, or anything else which they may find interesting.
- Testimonials: Show what your clients say about you.
- Throwback photos: Proudly show your past and your growth story.
Run Social Media Advertisements
Statistics showing how much time an average user spends on each social media website:
An average user spends lots of time on social media. You can gain their attention by running social media advertisement campaigns. Almost all social media platforms have an advertisement service.If you are targeting a B2B audience, LinkedIn advertisement works great. If you are targeting the B2C audience, you can run advertisements on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.Tutorialspoint.com has beautifully designed a guide on how to run Social Media Advertisements, which you can read it here: Social Media Marketing Tutorial
Sponsor social media influencers
Sponsoring social media influencers is also one of the vastly used forms of marketing. In this strategy, you’ll collaborate with an influencer, and he/she will promote your brand, product or campaign on their websites and social media handles.You can find these influencers on sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This is a tried and tested strategy to generate sales conversion.Brands like: SkillShare, Dashlane, Woocommerce, Wix, Udemy, Dollar Shave Club, honey, etc uses this strategy and they have seen significant results.Another success story of a brand sponsoring social media influencers is Raid Shadow Legends. It is a video game that recently turned into a funny meme and social media users are creating lots of memes around it. These memes are working as a free advertisement for the brand.
How to find the correct Influencer?Follow the three R’s method.Reach: Find out the number of followers the influencer has. Relevance: See if the content the influencer produces is relevant to your brand.Resonance: See if the influencer can create a potential number of engagements. You don’t want just a huge follower’s base; you want conversion.
Get involved in social causes and show what you did
As a small business, you should get involved in social causes. It is a strategy that appeals to the sympathetic psychology of the prospects. You can do charity work by partnering with charitable organizations. This way, you’ll not only do good work for society, but you’ll also have something to tell your audience.Recently there was a social cause named TeamTrees. The idea behind TeamTrees was you could donate $1 to TeamTrees and they’ll plant one tree. Many business professionals got involved in this like:
- Tobias Lutke ( Founder – Shopify) donated: $ 1,000,001
- Elon Musk (Founder – Tesla & Space X) donated: $ 1,000,000
- Marc Benioff (CEO – Salesforce) donated – $900,000
Many business owners contributed to TeamTrees, and their donations were widely talked about.As a small business owner, you can do things like donating $1.00 to charitable organizations on every purchase. This way, you can proudly show what you have done to advertise your brand.Donating to charitable organizations is exercised by many well-known businesses as a part of their marketing strategy.
Infographics as a content strategy
- Write a compelling headline
- Use white space
- Make data interesting
- Use Color and Shapes
Make sharing easySocial sharing buttons play a vital role in your marketing plan. Again, using AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) strategy, social sharing buttons cover the action part in your content. Once a reader reads your content and if they find it interesting, they would want to share it with people they know. If there’s no option to share, the reader may not bother copying the link and sharing it on their socials. You can use social media sharing buttons on:
- Blog Articles
- Video promotion
- Product pages
- And many more
Use your logo oftenIt is easier to remember a picture than the text. While your customer’s mind is crowded with promotions from your competitors, your logo helps them identify you from the crowd.Places where you should be using your logo:
- Your social media profiles pictures.
- Your website and your blogs
- Your product and packaging
- Your invoices and forms
- Your business vehicles
- In your email signature
- In the pictures, you post on social media
Use of humor in social media
Nowadays, many brands exercise humoristic approach of marketing in their social media handles. Wendy’s has reached the pinnacle of using humor in social media. They started posting sarcastic comments on their social media, and people are going along with it. Here are some examples:There’s plenty of fish in the sea:
You can also try a humoristic approach in your social media handles. It won’t do you any harm, but there are chances that your content will go viral. So, pull up your witty pants and post something funny.
Create your company’s YouTube channel
YouTube is a platform with millions of users. You can create a YouTube channel and it to answer some of your frequently asked questions and to advertise your brand. Creating a YouTube channel and posting content there will:
- Make you visible to a broader audience
- Work as a part of your support articles, and frees up your customer service team to only address important queries.
- Give you loyal followers base
- Increase your brand awareness
- Give you a chance to exercise your creative abilities.
Try YouTube; it is free.
Start a podcast
The popularity of Podcasts is rising in recent years. According to research: Over 40% of Americans, ages 12 or older, have listened to a Podcast. Podcasts marketing is booming as the Smart Phones market is proliferating.Creating Podcasts will also help your website in terms of Search Engine Optimization. If you host your podcast in services like iTunes (a Page rank one website) and link your website there, SEO crawlers will trust it. Once the SEO crawlers flag it as a trusted website, it will appear on the front page of the Search Engines’ search result. Adorma.com has beautifully covered how to get your podcast on iTunes, which you can read here.
Things you need when creating a podcast show:
- A catchy name:
AIDA is a widely used term in marketing. It stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. The first thing you need to make sure is that you have your audience’s attention. To do this, you need a catchy name. Here are some examples of Podcasts with catchy names:
- Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn
- Youpreneur by Chris Ducker
- Ambitious Entrepreneur Show by Annemarie Cross
- As Told by Nomads by Tayo Rockson
- Mixergy by Andrew Warner
- Learning With Leslie by Leslie Samuel
So, think of something which makes a listener want to click and listen to what you have to say.
- A cover art.
Picture speaks louder than words. Your podcast needs an attractive cover art filled with colors, images, and texts. Take an example from YouTube. If a YouTube video has an attractive thumbnail, chances are the video will perform well.So, let your creative juices flow while making a cover art, as it is the front face of your show.
- A professional introduction
Record a professional introduction like a radio show. Hire a professional Voice Actor/Actress and use catchy music with no copyrighted materials.The reason behind this is, your audience needs to think of you as an expert in your field, and you practice what you preach.
- Your podcast needs hosting
You write the script, you record the show, and you edit it. Here is a situation, “where will you post it?” You can’t simply upload your podcast on Facebook or Twitter and expect people to listen to it on a huge scale. You need a podcast hosting service where you can reach the right audience.Here’s a list of some of the best Podcast hosting services:
- iTunes – 800 Million Users
- SoundCloud – 272 Million Users
- Libsyn – 14 Million
- Google Play – 2 Million Users
- Podbean – 1 Million Users
- Acast – 1 Million users
- BuzzSprout – 100k+ Users
You can also consider using other services such as Smart Podcast Player, Castos, Anchor, Transistor.FM, Blubrry, etc.
- Your podcast needs guests
Featuring guests makes your podcast more interesting. Your guests will have different views, opinions, and thoughts on the topic, and that interests people. Your guest will also share your podcast with their network, a whole new network of new followers for you.Once you have a podcast, advertise it in your social media handles, your website, and other platforms. Furthermore, you can also transcribe your podcast so that it can be shared as multiple forms of content.Create a podcast. It will give your brand a whole new look.
Invest in Content Writing and not just copywriting
Yes, there is a difference between content writing and copywriting. People usually tend to confuse content and copywriting as one skill. Content writing and copywriting are separate things and both produce different results.
Content Writing:Content Writing is a form of writing where you write to inform or educate your visitors. You find a hot topic and write an article around it, which will be beneficial for your reader.You can also mix Content writing with SEO Content writing where you write to rank high on search engines. The purpose of this copy is to engage your reader and earn a revisit from them.
Copy Writing:Copywriting is a form of writing where the reader is persuaded into taking action at the end of the copy. Copywriting includes writing like Internet advertisements, landing pages, emails, etc. While creating a copywriting draft, you intend the reader to take immediate action. Actions such as: Filling up a form, purchasing a product, signing up for your service, scheduling meetings, downloading reading materials, etc.Content writing benefits you in the long term. If your content is useful to your reader, they’ll share it with the people they know. They’re not only sharing the content, but with it, your website will also gain shares. When a user shares your content, it will help you in building your brand awareness.Copywriting is essential, but don’t write everything with an intention to generate a sale. If you write content that is useful to your readers, it will produce wonderful results in the future.
Invest in SEO
Search Engine Optimization is vital for every business. 33% of the world’s internet traffic comes from Search Engines. If your website ranks higher in search results, you will generate more customers and more sales.
How to see where you rank on search results, and what changes are required?
\ Neil Patel, a famous digital marketer, has created a website where you can analyze your website’s SEO Score for free. The website will also show you what changes your website requires to rank higher on search engines. To visit Neil’s website, you can just search “SEO Analyzer Niel Patel” on Google, or you can visit: http://www.neilpatel.com/seo analyzer/.If you don’t want to perform SEO yourself, there are companies that will do it on your behalf. Some of them are Ahrefs, SemRush, SimilarWebPro, AlexaMarketingStack, etc.When you have the list of changes that your website requires, you can hire an SEO Expert to make those changes. If you don’t want to hire an SEO expert, you can also learn how to perform SEO through sites like Udemy or Coursera. Performing SEO is relatively technical, but you’ll quickly get a hold of it.
PPC or “Pay Per Click” is an advertisement campaign service by Google AdWords where you can promote keywords. When a Google user searches the promoted keyword, Google will show your website on the front page of their search result page. PPC is proven to generate high conversion rates. The best part of ‘Google AdWords PPC’ is that they’ll only charge you when a user clicks on your advertisement and enters your website.
How to run a PPC Advertisement?
Initially, you need to perform thorough keyword research. Again, you can use Neil Patel’s Uber suggest tool for your keyword research. Build a list of keywords relevant to your brand and create a Google AdWords account. Once you have an account on Google AdWords, you will now able to create an advertisement campaign. You can visit this step by step Google Adwords guide for more information on creating an AdWords campaign.
Backlinks: When a webpage links to any other page, it’s called a backlink.Building backlinks is crucial for your website as Search Engine crawlers trust web pages that are referred by other websites. There are two types of backlinks, “Do-Follow” and “No-follow.”Do-Follow Backlinks: These are the links that allow Search Engine bots to crawl the link which is posted on the content.No-Follow Backlinks: These are the links that don’t allow crawlers to crawl the link which is posted on the content.No-follow backlinks are not SEO friendly, and it is only posted to link two webpages, e.g., Quora.You can gain Do-follow backlinks by posting content on other websites as a guest. Here are some websites which allow you to post on their website as a guest.
- Digital Inspiration
- Business 2 Community
Or you can simply search on Google for websites that allow guest posts and reach out to them. By guest posting, you can link your website to other websites, which will increase your domain rank.
Allow guest posts
There are many marketers, business influencers looking for an opportunity to write a guest post. You can allow them to write on your website. They will write useful content on your website, and they’ll advertise the content. Guest posts are one of the best methods to get more visitors.Post on your social media handles that you are accepting guest posts proposals. You can then segregate the writers by the relevance of their content to your business.
Research indicates that in the U.S. alone, $62 billion is lost each year due to poor customer service.Customer service is an integral part of any company. Give the best customer service whenever your customers face any issues with your products or service. If you provide swift resolutions to their problems, they will stay loyal to you. If you do not care about your customers, they have many more options to choose from.If you give excellent customer service and create a pleasing customer experience, your customers will feel the obligation to give you back.This psychological factor was studied in a survey by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola said that there was a day-long survey and they need two volunteers. The secret was one volunteer was actually part of the Coca-Cola team. Both sat for the day-long survey, and the person who was with Coca-Cola brought a soft drink for the subject.As a nice gesture, the subject accepted the drink. At the end of the day, the person from the Coca-Cola team asked for a favor. He said that there is a concert and he is selling the tickets for just $1. He asked the subject if he would like to buy one.The person bought two tickets. Coca-Cola experimented with this on many volunteers. The soft drink receivers purchased two or more tickets, whereas non-receivers only bought one or none.This psychological factor also applies to Customer service. If a customer feels that the company cares about their issues, they’ll refer your business to the people they know.
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”
Read more about gaining customer loyalty and providing effective customer service on our blog section.
More than 280 Billion emails are sent daily. Experts believe that this figure will rise to 300 Billion by 2021.Email marketing is the most economical yet effective platform for reaching a wider audience. People read their emails, and emails do work.Many people will tell you that email marketing doesn’t work as it didn’t work for them. This is not true. “Ineffective email marketing doesn’t work.” Effective email marketing still has a place in the world of marketing.
What emails can you send?Confirmation emails: When a user signs up for your website, send them a confirmation email. This process is automated, and it won’t take you much time to set it up.
Welcome emails:When your user confirms that they have subscribed to your list, send them a welcome email. Let them know that they are now a part of the family.
New content announcement email:Send an email whenever you post a new Blog Article, Case Studies, PDFs, GuideBooks, etc.
Digital magazine or Newsletters:Send useful newsletters to your users every week or fortnight.Event invitation email:If you are hosting an event, don’t just advertise it on your website and Social Media, send an email with automated customization.
Lead nurturing emails:Send a series of email content that is useful to your readers. You may segregate your leads according to the action they take on your website.
How to make your email campaign effective?: Email service providers are rigorous in terms of spam these days. If your domain is new and you are sending bulk emails, there are chances that your email may land in the user’s spam folder. To overcome the spam filters, you can warm up your domain for a few days. You can send emails to your friends, families and colleagues from your domain and ask them to reply. If your domain gets reasonable open rates and replies, email service providers will allow you in the user’s inbox.Things that you need to keep in mind to avoid the spam filter:The best way of generating an email list is to give a subscribe option on your website. If users have opt-in to your email list, your emails have a strong chance of landing in the user’s inbox.
Things that you need to keep in mind to avoid the spam filter:
The best way of generating an email list is to give a subscribe option on your website. If users have opt-in to your email list, your emails have a strong chance of landing in the user’s inbox. We do not suggest sending unsolicited emails. However, if you are sending one, here’s a list of things that you need to keep in mind.
- Use your company’s domain. email@example.com is more trusted by email providers than firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don’t use spammy words on subject lines like, “free,” “money,” “help,” “URGENT,” etc. Here’s a list of words to avoid that may trigger the spam filter.
- Never write your subject line in all caps.
- Don’t use too many exclamation points. For example, Checkout the best shoes you can gift yourself this 2020!!!!!!!
- Limit your usage of Links and Images.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe. If a user wants to opt-out, they can just hit unsubscribe and not hit the spam button.
How to make your emails effective?
Once your email lands in the inbox, the user has to read the email and take action. All your efforts will be wasted if your email not interesting and a user ignores it. You can use this formula to make your emails more compelling. A.I.D.A, which is an abbreviation for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Here is an example of AIDA in action
Firstly, grab your reader’s attention. Once you have it, say something which interests them. As soon as the reader is convinced that your product will add value to their life, you have created a desire. Now, ask them to take action.
Conclusion: Strategies written on this page is not 100% guaranteed to produce results on day one. It can take some time, but the time spent on this is totally worth it. If you apply these methods, your business will elevate to the heights that you wish it to be on. With that said, we’ll let you carry on with your amazing day.