01 Jul A is for… Awareness
Your A–Z of marketing essentials – A is for AWARENESS
Whether you want to raise awareness of your brand, a new product or service or maintain a presence in front of current customers, raising and keeping your awareness (in a cost effective manner) is a tricky business.
Making sure you stand out above your competitors is essential to the survival of any business.
Here are some ways to help raise awareness of your brand to your target audience:
There are so many social media networks around; Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn or YouTube, to name a few, that make getting in front of, and interacting with your target audience is easier than ever before. Pick one or two social networks that are most relevant to helping you promote your product or service, and concentrate on them. Use competitions, giveaways or videos to encourage sharing and interaction. Scheduling posts and engaging with your fans and followers can be time consuming so make sure you have adequate resources available to cope.
Exhibiting can be a really effective way of getting in front of hundreds of people that are your exact target market. As exhibiting can be a big investment in terms of time and money it is essential you create a strategy to make sure you get the most out of it. Make your stand attractive and compelling, include a competition or draw, collect data and follow up leads as soon as you return to the office.
Share your business stories, news or events with the local and national press and publications. By having them write about you in their publication you will essentially get free advertising. However, as editorial coverage is not paid for it gives more credibility to your business and potential customers are more likely to follow up and take a look at your website.
Print Advertising & Reader Offers
This is a medium a lot of people think is dead however, timed correctly and placed in the right publication, you have the opportunity to tell your story, showcase your products and capture data. Many of the publication are also happy to create bundles so you can also get digital coverage such as a spot in their newsletter, a page on their website or social media posts.
Pay per click advertising
Getting ranked organically on Google is very competitive, so using Google ads or PPC to help increase awareness of your brand is a smart solution. By doing some keyword research to identify what you want to be found for, and what people are searching for around your product or service, allows you to create targeted adverts based on location, time and keywords.
With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and generating organic reach getting harder, paying to run adverts will help to get in front of our target audience. Facebook advertising allows you to be very targeted about who, when, where and their behaviours and interests.
Pick out the best networking events for you and attend them regularly. This will help you build up a strong network of people that can refer and recommend you to businesses they meet. You will also be able to book speaking slots so you can share your expertise within your networking group so they are able to refer you with a better understanding of how you can help.
Collaborations / Partnerships
Do you know of any businesses that have the same target market but are non-competing? Setting up a strategic alliance for mutual benefit can give you more opportunities when it comes to gaining new business through cross referring or creating services that are combined. For example, an MOT garage could have an alliance with the local tyre fitters, or a marketing agency could have an alliance with a local printer.
YouTube is the second largest search engine with 5 billion video views per day so it makes sense to have a presence on there. By creating great video content, be it educational or informational, Google and the social networks will prioritise showing it over traditional content.
Event or launch party
Holding an event is a great way to get in front of your target audience. Send invites to exactly who want to have conversations with; prospects, customers, journalists, potential partners, local businesses. If running an event seems a bit big right now, why not running a workshop? This will allow you to showcase your expertise within your target audience.
These are just a few ways in which you can raise awareness of your brand, product or service however it is essential that you understand who your target market is and where they hang out. After all, there is no point being on Pinterest if your audience is on LinkedIn! As part of your overall marketing strategy, every tactic you run should be measured so that you fully understand the value of each method and can scale up the ones with the best ROI, and drop the poor performing ones.