Marketing is all about getting the right people to know, like, and trust you. Building brand awareness, then, is the first step in marketing your small business effectively. You must build brand awareness before you can install desire and trust in your brand.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness is how well your business is recognized and associated with a particular product or service. For example, if you’re a wellness consultant, you want people to know who you are and how you’re different from all the other wellness consultants out there.
When people in your target market think about a wellness consultant, you want them to think about you. You want your brand to come to mind first. You want your name associated with all things wellness.
Building brand awareness is more about creating association than it is about recognition.Building brand awareness is more about creating association than it is about recognition. Click To Tweet
6 proven ways to build brand awareness
So how do you build brand awareness? If you have a huge marketing budget, you can plaster your brand name on every billboard in town. But that strategy doesn’t always equate to brand awareness. And what if you’re trying to reach people in other cities? You’ll need a much bigger budget.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs (with limited budgets), you’ll need to be a little more creative when it comes to building brand awareness.
Here are six proven ways you can build brand awareness starting right now.
1. Establish your foundation
In order to build brand awareness, you need to start with a solid foundation. Why did you start your business? What’s the purpose behind your brand? People want to know your “why” so they can feel connected to you and your brand.
Here are two ways to establish a solid foundation:
Create a purpose statement. This is a simple explanation of why you do what you do. People want to know why you exist, so just tell your story.
Identify your big idea. What’s the one thing you do that no one else does? This is one of the easiest ways to differentiate you from everyone else.
2. Keep your messages consistent
Now that you’ve laid out your foundation you need to be consistent with all your messages. Share the same big ideas everywhere. You don’t have to use the same words, but you do have to communicate the same ideas.
One of the easiest ways to be sure you’re communicating a consistent message is to create a key messaging document. Your key messaging document is a list of your brand’s big ideas and a few supporting statements for each of those ideas.
For example, as a wellness consultant, one of your big ideas is that you believe we should all be eating organic. Being an advocate for organic is one of the things that sets your brand apart, it’s one of your core values and beliefs.
This becomes one of your key messages.
Next, you can create a few statements that help to clarify and support that key message:
- Eating organic has been proven to be better for your body and better for the planet.
- Eating organic helps support local farmers and the local community.
- Eating organic means no chemicals or pesticides, so your food tastes better.
- Choosing organic means you don’t have to worry about what’s in your food; you’ll know what you’re eating.
Now, whenever you, as a wellness consultant, need to share a message about organic, you can refer back to your key messages document. It’s a great way to stay consistent and build brand awareness.
3. Stay true to your word
Another way to build brand awareness is by making sure you are delivering what you promise. There’s nothing worse than being deceived. People who are willing to pay you for your product or service deserve to be treated with honesty and integrity.
Last year, I attended a webinar. It was advertised as a live training in social media marketing. During the webinar, the instructor asked if there were any questions. I had a few, so I typed them into the chat box. She then said, “OK, I guess there are no questions so we can wrap it up now.” So I retyped my question and sent it a few more times. I was ignored.
It turns out the webinar was actually pre-recorded and just made to appear live, even though it wasn’t. At first, I felt like an idiot for frantically typing in my question over and over since there wasn’t anyone there to respond. But then I felt duped. I had been tricked into believing it was live when it wasn’t. I felt taken advantage of. I will never do business with that person again.
If you want to build brand awareness you need to stay true to your word. Be honest, be authentic, and be transparent in everything you do. Be impeccable with your word; it means everything.
4. Partner with other brands
One of the fastest ways to build brand awareness is to partner up with other brands. The idea is to get someone who has an established audience to promote you and your brand. There are several ways you can do this:
Partner with an influencer. An influencer is someone with a large following who is willing to promote your product or service. Since they already have a large and engaged audience, they can quickly create some buzz for you. Their endorsement will build brand awareness much quicker than you could do on your own.
Guest blogging. There are a lot of established blogs out there who don’t create all of their own content. They look to people like you who are trying to build brand awareness to write for them. Do a little research to find some blogs on your topic and then ask if you can write for them.
Interviews. Like guest blogging, interviews are a great way to get featured on someone else’s established platform. Look for podcasts or video channels who interview people in your industry and see if they’d interview you. I know from experience that finding guests to interview for my podcast was always challenging. I would have loved it if someone approached me!
Brand advocates. These are people who are willing to promote you to their networks. They don’t necessarily have huge followings, but they regularly share your posts, rate and review your products, and are loyal to your brand. Ask friends or family to be your advocates, and you can start to build brand awareness close to home.
5. Get serious about social
Social media is one of the most powerful ways you can build brand awareness, but you have to have a plan. Without a solid strategy in place, your business will just end up getting lost in the shuffle. You have to get serious about social.
Start with a plan. The first step to build brand awareness on social media is to make sure you have a solid plan in place. What are your goals? What platforms will you use? What are you sharing? Tips, tricks, ideas, inspiration, motivation, advice, insights, entertainment, quotes, jokes, behind-the-scenes, etc.
Use a content calendar. A great way to stay on track with your social media plan is to use a content calendar to organize and schedule all of your posts. Using a content calendar helps to build brand awareness by ensuring there are no gaps in your social media strategy. When you can see a month of posts at a time, you can quickly identify problems.
Post regularly. The most important part of using social media to build brand awareness is consistency. If you want people to start associating your brand with your topic, they need to see your name, your logo, and your big ideas just about every day. A well-thought-out plan and a content calendar should work together to help ensure you post regularly.
6. Deliver WOW! experiences
Perhaps the most important way to build brand awareness is to provide WOW experiences for your customers. When you go out of your way to be generous, or helpful, or kind people will tell their friends about you.
This proven way to build brand awareness has been working for centuries, and most of the time it doesn’t cost you anything at all. Look for ways you can surprise your clients with a little something extra.
Think about all of the ways that someone interacts with your brand – your website, email, voicemail, advertising, social media, in person – and then choose one or two where you can do something unexpected. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It could be as simple as sending a hand-written thank-you note in the mail.
The best way to spread the word about how awesome you are is to be consistently awesome. Good news travels fast.
So does bad news.
You can also build brand awareness quickly by disappointing your clients on a regular basis. Obviously, this is not the kind of brand awareness you want!
Building brand awareness isn’t difficult, you just need to follow a few guidelines: Start with a solid foundation, be consistent with your messaging, stay true to your word, partner with other brands, get serious about social, and deliver WOW experiences. When you do this well, your brand will always be top of mind whenever someone thinks of your type of business.
What do you do to build brand awareness? What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Share a comment below or in our Facebook group.