These days, branding is considered an essential part of doing business in any capacity.
It isn’t just big organizations that need to focus on brand awareness, either. Even solopreneurs and social media influencers understand the importance of having a strong and specific brand.
That’s because it’s no longer enough to offer a superior product or service. Customers, employees, and collaborators also need to connect with what your organization is all about.
And in such a saturated market, that can be more difficult than you’d think.
How can you help your business stand out from the competition? One way is to focus on brand awareness.
In simple terms, brand awareness refers to how familiar consumers are with a company. The more memorable your brand is to your target audience, the more successful you’ll be. In fact, 59% of customers prefer to buy from familiar brands.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why you might want to work on improving your brand recognition over the next year. Let’s take a closer look at just a few ways to achieve that goal.
Consider an Affiliate or Ambassador ProgramCustomer loyalty programs are nothing new. But affiliate marketing and ambassador programs can take this concept a step further, rewarding loyal customers while introducing your brand to new ones.
Affiliate marketing can allow you to connect with publishers, content creators, bloggers, and other influential figures online who can help you promote your products or services to their followers. They’ll share a unique link with their readers; when a purchase is made, the affiliate will make a small percentage of the sale.
This system will function as an extension of your marketing efforts. An affiliate program can help you tap into new demographics without taking a substantial financial risk. Unlike print or digital advertising, you won’t have to pay until or unless the partnership translates into a sale.
Brand ambassador programs work in a similar fashion, but the publisher or creator won’t get a percentage of sales. Instead, they might receive a few free products or services (or even a discount on them) in exchange for promoting your brand to their followers.
Since consumers may trust the honest reviews of public figures more than a conventional advertisement, this can translate into improved brand visibility and perception. If a popular and respected person endorses your brand, this can mean major exposure, traffic, and sales.
Both of these options can serve as lower-cost ways to promote your message and your offerings, establishing long-term relationships with influential individuals, and increasing web traffic, sales, and other performance metrics.
Choose Trendy-Yet-Practical Promo ProductsPromotional products have changed a lot over the years. Writing utensils, stress balls, and drink holders were once considered cutting-edge. But today’s consumers won’t be inclined to hold onto your promo products unless they can easily be incorporated into a daily routine.
Tumblers, reusable straws, eco-friendly canvas totes, BPA-free water bottles, face masks, and hand sanitizers have all proved immensely popular in 2020 and 2021. Typically, items that relate to health, wellness, and environmental responsibility are strong choices. Not only do these items serve important purposes, but they’ll also show that your company cares about the well-being of customers, employees, and the planet.
Tech-related items are another category to include in your promotional product printing plans. Pop sockets, phone chargers, phone cases, and earbuds may appeal to younger customers, in particular. They’re a great way to show brand value – and if a customer would rather use your branded version than buy one straight from the manufacturer, you’ll see greater returns.
Focus on Online Review GenerationIf you run a brick-and-mortar business and your customers are primarily from your community, it’s a good idea to include online review management as part of your branding and marketing strategy.
In the digital age, online reviews are more important than ever. In fact, customers tend to trust them as much as (or even more than!) personal recommendations from friends and family. And if you’re focused on improving brand awareness, brand reputation management can play an integral role in achieving that goal.
The more positive endorsements your brand receives from real customers – who are typically seen as being neutral and trustworthy – the more your brand perception and overall visibility will improve. As a result, you’ll want to make an effort to generate online reviews from your business. You can do this by reminding customers in person, sending out email blasts, posting on social media, or adding links to these review platforms right on your website. If you make it easy for customers to leave a review, they’ll be more likely to do so – especially if you help them understand how much it could help your business grow.
When you start to receive reviews, make sure to respond to each one promptly and with compassion. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your customer service skills and what your brand is really all about. Even if the review itself is negative, customers will care more about how you react!
When you start to receive more reviews on third-party sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, your brand will likely appear more readily in relevant web searches. Not only can this boost your overall brand awareness, but you’ll also solidify your place as a leader in your industry.
Get Active on Social MediaIf you aren’t active on social media, you’re going to miss out. Social media isn’t just for sharing funny memes and keeping up with friends from high school. It’s now an essential tool for businesses that want to connect with their target audience.
You’ll want to tailor your content to each individual platform for optimal success. While Instagram and TikTok are highly visual channels, LinkedIn and Twitter are well-suited for written content. But publishing social media posts regularly is just one part of the equation. You’ll also want to follow relevant accounts, engage in the comments, and respond to direct messages. You can even host giveaways with your promotional products to increase your brand awareness and overall following.
Social media marketing is actually a full-time job. But whether you hire an expert or decide to handle it yourself, you’ll want to highlight the best platforms for your specific audience, establish your brand’s unique voice, and share valuable content that will engage your followers. In doing so, you’ll introduce your company to a whole new audience and can gain substantially more visibility than before.
Improve Your Brand Awareness With a Diverse ApproachUltimately, there’s not just one right way to boost your brand visibility. In 2022, business owners will likely continue to use a combination of traditional and digital strategies to connect with customers and establish their reputation. With these techniques in mind, you can increase your brand awareness both online and offline.
Thanks to Jeff Shipman from Semify