12 easy ways to build brand awareness for your small business

build brand awareness

It’s time to put your business out there and take the spotlight.

You have discovered your brand purpose and other inner aspects. You made your brand identity and you’re ready to serve your customers.

But how do you put yourself out there? How do you make your customers recognize you and know you exist?

In this post, I will give 12 ways to build brand awareness and a simple formula to help you decide which technique to use.

So, let’s get right in.

What does brand awareness mean

First, let’s understand what brand awareness means.

Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. according to HubSpot definition.

When you build brand awareness you basically put yourself in front of your target audience to make them know you exist.

If they recognize you they will be more likely to buy from, trust you, and tell their family and friends about you.

Why should you build brand awareness

You don’t exist if people don’t know you. You built this business to serve a set group of people who want what you have. If they don’t 0know you exist, all your efforts will be useless.

Brand awareness is important because it helps your audience know you, understand you, remember you, and trust you.

Awareness is the first step in the buying journey of your customers. It’s the gate to the relation they will have with your business.

12 Ways to build brand awareness

There are multiple ways to build brand awareness that you can experiment with. And here are 12 techniques you can implement.

1. Create a blog

Writing a blog is a very useful thing to do especially if you’re just starting out. It will help with SEO and it will also position you as an expert.

Just like this blog post you’re reading right now. It’s a technique I use to build brand awareness for my business.

I write blog posts not only to improve my SEO but also to learn and understand some topics in branding that I didn’t understand before.

When you teach people about what you know, you learn more and deepen your understanding.

Also when you write blog posts, you can create social content out of your blog posts and support your business even more. And this takes us to the next technique.

2. Create valuable content on social media

Social media is a powerful tool, but only if you leverage it to your advantage. Each platform is unique. Some are text-based like Twitter, others are more visual like Instagram.

You have to approach social media strategically. Being on all platforms is exhausting especially if you’re the only person behind the brand (hey friend, I feel you and I’m on your side).

Focus on the platforms that will benefit you the most. Think of your customers, where they spend their time the most? Be there for them.

3. Create infographics

People love infographics. As they say “A picture worth a thousand words”.

Infographics are easily understood and are engaging and more fun. They are awesome because they summarize information in one place. They are easier to keep and share with other people.

If you are planning to use this technique, make sure to brand your infographics.

Use your colors, type, logo, and links. Make sure people can easily recognize it’s from you, and they can find who made the infographic.

4. Guest post on other sites

The same as making a blog, but this time you give it to someone else to post it on their site.

You give free content to them, and you get the exposure you want. It’s a win-win for both of you. They get free content to put on their site, and you get the eyes of their audience.

To make the most of this strategy, start by researching other blog posts that will most likely attract the type of customer you want.

It’s better to look for small sites when you start out and build your way up. Email them and offer to make a free blog post for them.

People will start to recognize your brand name and will want to know more about you.

5. Start a referral program

You can start a referral program where you give something to them if they refer you to someone who would be interested.

You can also give the other person something to motivate him to engage with your brand.

A great example of this is what Uber is doing. When you make an account on Uber, you get a referral code. Every time a new account is created using your referral code, both parties get their next Uber trip for free.

See, their customers are more likely to refer them now. I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff?

6. Give free value

Speaking about free stuff, you can give free value to your customers to build awareness around your brand.

Depending on your service or product, you can give them free trials or demos of your service. Or you can give them samples of the products you provide.

This way, customers can taste your offer without committing to taking huge risks.

7. Start a podcast

People like listening to podcasts while they are driving to work. It’s becoming easier to listen to podcasts (thanks to the Bluetooth technology).

You can make podcasts about topics your customers are interested in.

You can also host other thought leaders in your industry to give insights about topics your customers will love.

Starting a podcast isn’t that hard, it’s a great way to build a deeper connection with your audience.

8. Partnership with other brands

When you partner with other brands, you get a new group of customers to know about your brand. They already trust the other brand so, they are more likely to trust yours as well.

When you look for brands to partner with, make sure you share similar values with that brand. They don’t have to be in the same industry.

If they serve a similar type of audience then they are a good fit for you.

9. Use Ads

This one is obvious and it is the easiest technique but it requires investing money in it.

Running ads can put in front the exact type of audience you want to attract. This could be native ads or social media ads.

Make sure you know your customers to make the most of this technique. Running ads can be costly if you don’t do it right.

10. Partner with influencers

Your customers already trust them. These influencers can motivate their followers to take actions and test products they say are good.

You can look for hashtags on Instagram that are related to your industry. Scroll through the posts there and look at whom are posting.

Visit their accounts and see what they are talking about. Scan their account to know whether they are a good fit for you or not.

You can give them your product for free in exchange for their review.

11. Sponsor events

Sponsoring big events in your city can be a great boost to your brand awareness.

Focus on supporting events that align with your brand values and the values of your customers.

When you do so, your customers are more likely to look through and consider working with you.

12. Hang out in groups

Be one of your customers. Look for high-quality groups where your customers hang out and discuss different topics related to your industry.

Engage with them, leave comments, answer their questions. Be active and let them know that you exist.

How to increase brand awareness

1. Develop a unique personality

You can build this with branding. Use your brand identity whenever you put yourself out in the public.

Keeping a consistent brand identity and personality will make it easier to recognize you in any place your customers see your brand.

2. Be a person

Don’t speak like a company, speak like a human.

Make a face for your brand and don’t act like a company, act like one of them.

Show them that you understand them and their problems, goals, and desires. Show that you are there to help them.

3. Tell a story

We like stories, this is why we are addicted to Netflix.

We love stories because we see ourselves in them, we relate to them, and feel as just like we are the characters in the story.

The story you tell can be about how you started your business and the challenges you have gone through. Or it can be about a customer who changed his life with your product.

Make sure the story you share is relative to your customers and they can relate to it.

4. Give them an unforgettable experience

Your customers will share their experience with your brand with their family and friends. People trust the opinions of others who they know and trust.

So make sure you get great reviews and testimonials, especially in the beginning.

What technique should you use?

There is no good or bad technique. It all depends on your strengths and what you’re good at.

Some techniques will be easier for you to do and will have a great impact on your business, while others, might be hard or have less impact.

Here is a simple process to figure out which strategy to use:

Step 1: List all the techniques

List everything that comes to your mind. You might have more strategies, list them all.

Step 2: Evaluate each technique

Here is a simple way to choose which strategy to use:

Draw two crossing lines. This will give you two axes.

The horizontal axes indicate how hard the techniques are for you to implement.

The vertical axes indicate how strong its impact will be on your business.

Put each technique in the right place you think it belongs to. Think of your strengths and weaknesses when evaluating the techniques.

Step 3: Take action

Now that you have evaluated each technique. It’s time to take action on them.

Each technique will be on one of these 4 groups:

Easy to do — High impact

These are the techniques that you should do first. You must give those techniques priority and focus your energy on them.

Easy to do — Low impact

You can plan these techniques for later.

Difficult to do — High impact

You have to focus on those techniques next after investing in the first group.

Difficult to do — Low impact

Just ignore them for now.

Home to measure your efforts

Investing time into these techniques is great and will help you build brand awareness. But how would you if the effort you’re putting in is worth it?

You have to measure it. As Lord Kelvin said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

In order to know if your effort is worth it or not, you have to look into the analytics to see if what you do is right or not.

You don’t want to waste a lot of time and money on strategies that won’t give the results you want.

what to measure

Before going to your analytics and start looking at all the overwhelming data, you have to identify your KPIs.

KPIs is term marketers use which basically means the specific data that is relevant to your goal.

These could be:

  • Clickthrough rates
  • Web traffic, both organic and referral
  • Pageviews
  • Time on page
  • Email and social shares
  • Newsletter subscription conversions
  • Ebook or white paper downloads
  • Signups for free trials or consultations
  • Sales conversions, upsells, and repeat sales.

Choosing what to look at depends on the technique you will use and the goal you want from it. In this case, brand awareness.

If you choose to create content, then you should look at impressions and followers. Maybe likes as well. Shares and saves are not relevant in this case since we are focusing on building brand awareness and not increasing engagement.

How often should you measure

To make sure your measures are effective, you have to look at your analytics on a consistent basis. You can look at your data on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Just set a schedule and keep up with it.

Don’t fall into the trap of short-term measures. You may not see many results in the first weeks, but as keep up with results will come.

It’s hard to tell how long is ideal, but try to give it enough time to bloom. If you keep measuring and see no difference or a very small difference, then it’s time to try something else.

Final words

Brand awareness isn’t something that you do once. You have to experiment with it. Try different techniques and stick to what works.

Keep measuring and iterating until you find the winning techniques that will help you spotlight your brand.

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