Got an idea? A catchy name? If you've created a company you now need to get people to know who you are and what you are about!
When we started, VenCat was a brand name only we knew. When searching on Google results returned were details of an individual in Indonesia, nothing relating to VenCat the product. A brand awareness strategy was most definitely required.
Brand awareness is a form of marketing, but it is different from advertising, which attempts to persuade consumers to make purchases by sharing details of a product or company.
Advertising is best left until a brand name has been public for a while and people know who you are.
When starting the brand awareness campaign the first thing you need to understand is who your target audience is.
- Who are they?
- What are they interested in reading?
- Where do they tend to get their information from?
With these answered you can start your campaign and try the following:
1. Sponsor articles
If you know what trade magazines and industry press your target audience read it will enable you to focus your time and budget on sponsored articles in the right publications.
Sponsoring articles can influence both brand awareness and attitude, increase your credibility, improve your image, and build prestige.
A sponsored article can be plain text, photo, animations, and other, non-standard forms that are then published on blogs, social media, websites, magazines, any media suitable for your target audience. The article can be written just about your product or something related to it which then has your product placement added within it.
The ideal purpose is to be helpful and entertaining, without being too sales-oriented and overly pushy of branding to the reader. This in turn helps the brand share knowledge and ideas.
2. Post on Social Media
If budgets are too tight for sponsored articles or promotional posts then focus on your own social media campaign to begin with.
Posting on platforms such as LinkedIN, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Again work out what social media platforms your target audience are looking at and post only on these.
Using only social media will take longer to get the brand name out there than a sponsored marketing campaign, but using it in the right way and with perseverance, you could get the same results.
Bear in mind these key points to get social media working for you.
- Include the #'s that are used regularly in discussion feeds by your audience.
- Who are the social influencers in your area? Follow these and mirror their content.
- Do you have any budget you could push paid content or tweets out?
£3K behind social can ensure your tweets are sent to your target audience.
Twitter offers campaigns that you can run through with Twitter business.
If you don't have the confidence to write the articles or even manage to post regularly you can outsource the work to marketing firms. They will have the experience of posting grabbing content and the tools to schedule regular posts.
We approached an external firm to help us get our social media campaign running and they are still helping us now.
Mehwish from Art of Design states :
‘Consistency is key!
With any content that is published on social media, the content needs to be relevant to your brand. With this in mind, once you have found the content that fits your brand image, regular posting is key.
Find out what time is the most popular for your users.
Is it evening or is it morning?
Posting regularly and engaging with followers is one of the ways to gain brand awareness.’
3. Partner with another company
Find a company that compliments the product you are offering. This will allow two businesses to benefit from one another's audience.
Once partnered your branding budget can double. Both companies will be putting effort into the promotion which can only be a good thing, leading to better returns.
Partnering with another company can create another story in itself to create interest in your brand and help spread awareness.
4. Sponsor local sports teams and donate to charity events.
Choose events that are directed at people that could benefit from your product.
This will not only promote you as a company, but you will be contributing to the local community which creates positive associations with your brand and encouraging word-of-mouth branding.
You can also capitalise on the media presence of that event.
And last but not least,
Don't forget to hand out those freebies. Useful items with your brand name on or even some of your products.
Everyone loves free stuff! and you may be able to get some customer feedback and positive reviews that you can use in future marketing.