Brand awareness is one of the most valuable assets for any business. But reaching that goal isn’t overly simple, especially when very few people are actually searching for what you sell. Or maybe they’re searching for the product, but they’ve never heard of your business.
Fortunately, a quick glance at Google Adword’s keyword planner tool can tell you which problem you have. Try punching in your brand and/or your products and see where the search volume (or lacks thereof) is most notable.
Whether your problem is a lack of brand awareness or an unknown type of product, it’s never too late to start building awareness.
If You Have a Lack of Brand Awareness
Getting your customers to find you organically takes time. It’s important to make sure you’re driving a solid SEO strategy which includes keyword-rich content and relevant descriptions and tags.
But the best way to expedite the process of getting found is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Even the most well-known and reputable brands use PPC advertising to further increase awareness, stay top-of-mind, and drive conversions, and you too can use these types of ads to get your name out there and establish a stake in the marketplace.
PPC ads take on a few different forms:
Why it works: Running ads on Google is effective for targeting individuals that are seeking a solution to their problem, but do not yet think of your business as a viable vendor. With an optimized strategy, search ads allow you to expedite the sales funnel.
Keys to success: Without “skin in the game,” you’ll need to establish authority with your audience. Use Review Extensions and Sitelinks to share testimonial pages or other links that help you communicate your positive reputation.
Why it works: Display advertising is an excellent option for businesses who need to build brand awareness but find that the number of monthly searches for relevant search terms is low. Because you’re allowed to use creative imagery in display ads, you have the opportunity to stand out. Keep in mind that with display advertising you may experience lower conversion rates, as your audience isn’t actively searching for a solution.
Keys to success: Ensure your ads have visible branding and don’t limit your frequency too much. It often takes 6-8 touches in order to generate a qualified sales lead.
Social media ads
Why it works: Advertising on social media is a great way to build brand awareness. Since the platform is typically used for entertainment and engaging with friends, users are already in right headspace to discover new brands and products.
Keys to success: Create an audience with similar interests and demographics to your target persona (use the Lookalike audience function if possible!). Ensure the ad copy and creative are top-of-the-funnel and avoiding rushing users along the buyer’s journey by asking for a sale too early. Instead, start with a smaller ask such as liking your Facebook page or signing up for your newsletter.
If You Have An Unknown/New Type of Product
When your target audience doesn’t even know that your type of product exists, you’ll be faced with extremely low monthly searches (if any!). Fortunately, there are different ads you can use to raise awareness and attract customers.
Why it works: Facebook is the ideal platform to target your audience while they’re looking for something to catch their attention and stop them in their scroll. Facebook ads blend in very well with organic content which often leads users to believe they’re viewing a post that a friend or family member shared. This helps immediately establish a positive reputation.
Keys to success: Choose either the Awareness or Conversions objective, depending on your goals. If your goal is to introduce your product to new users and expand your reach, remember that individuals may not be ready to to purchase just yet so don’t ask for too much too soon. If your goal is to drive conversions back on your site (which doesn’t’ have to be a product purchase–it could be a content download or email sign up), be sure to that your target audience already has some exposure with your brand prior to seeing your main offer. Facebook is not search advertising (…yet) so we have to warm them up to a conversion first.
Why it works: Building your audience of brand evangelists is good practice, but it’s even more effective when those individuals have a strong influence over their following. If you’re not familiar with influencer marketing, typically you’ll reach out to the individual to get a feel for their interest, send them your product for free, and have him/her publicly share a review on their networks, often for a fee. Influencer marketing shouldn’t be confused with advocacy marketing which follows a similar concept but without any monetary exchange.
Keys to success: Influencers are approached by businesses every day to promote their products. Ensure your outreach is personalized (do not copy and paste your message to multiple users!) and answers the question “what’s in it for them?”
Incorporate influencer marketing campaigns across a variety of media:
- Social media: Find users with a large following on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
- Blogs: Bloggers in a related industry with significant traffic and a large readership
Avoid approaching influencers that have 1M followers without doing research first. Who are those followers? Do they align with your target audience? Do they even engage with the account or are they typically “follow for follow” accounts?
YouTube Display Advertising
Why it works: YouTube has over a billion users, so it’s safe to say your audience is using the platform. Plus, people are rarely multitasking while watching videos, choosing instead to give all of their attention to the one tab or window they have open. It’s this level of engagement that businesses find attractive for promoting a new product. Display ads, which appear to the right of the video, are ideal for promoting a new product as they aren’t “skippable” and are in an eye-catching position above the organic “up next” videos
Keys to success: Design your image to stand out among video thumbnails and craft value-driven copy that’s rich with keywords–avoid being spammy!
The image below is an example of what NOT to do. The ad has bland copy, barely stands out, and doesn’t really have much relevance to the video that it appears with.
Major brands like Coca Cola and Apple still invest in brand advertising even though they are two of the most well known brands with the most well known products in the world simply because you can never have enough brand awareness. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend millions to build brand and product awareness. All you need is a solid understanding of your audience, a smart strategy, and the ability to analyze results and make effective optimizations.
Do you have any questions about how to get started with your campaigns? We’d be happy to help!