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18 Expert Tips for Building Greater Brand Awareness in 2020

May 22, 2019

Brand awareness is a perpetual task for every marketing team.

The fact of the matter is consumers are constantly on the lookout for the next best thing. The market is as competitive as ever, and if your brand is not constantly top of mind when your target market is ready to buy, you will lose out fast.

The importance of brand awareness

With the ferocious market competition in today’s day and age, building brand awareness is a crucial undertaking for every business that wishes to be successful with its brand marketing efforts.

And what business doesn't want to be successful?

Brand awareness plays a massive role in the consumer purchase cycle. Without any form of awareness of your brand, there would be absolutely no reason a consumer would choose you over your many competitors.

If you are able to build up enough awareness in your product category that resonates well with your target market, you will have reduced the noise of competitors by creating an easy purchase decision for your customers. How? Well, you’ll have successfully eliminated the hassle of researching other options.

If you are looking to successfully boost your brand awareness, you have to stop using tired and recycled tactics. As previously noted, your target market is always on the hunt for something better. To ensure you make a lasting impression as the most popular option on the market, you have to use fresh and exciting strategies.

To help you out with that task, I asked 17 marketing experts what their most clever brand awareness tactics are that proved to be successful.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Meet your customers where they are

“Hire a bus and drive around your city to meet potential customers. Do a video interview in the streets with them and ask them to participate in a fun and engaging game of your choosing. Upload the videos to your social channels to increase your brand awareness. Why stop there? Visit more cities and interview new people! These kind of casual, playful interactions can do a lot for your company.”

- Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing, Your Parking Space

2. Get personal with tagging

“Leverage the power of personalized videos and social media tagging. Film a 20-30 second selfie video in which you use a customer's name at the very beginning. Thank them for a recent interaction, whether it be simply filling out a contact form, helping troubleshoot an issue, or purchasing your product/service. Be sure to tag them on social media so that they and their network see the post and engage with it! A personalized video ensures customer buy-in.

By leveraging a social media tag, you'll tap into the platform's algorithms and immediately boost the post's reach. With any luck, the video's target and their audience will begin liking and commenting, and you'll have a mini-viral post. The beauty of this campaign style is that it's free and takes only minutes to execute – plus, it's repeatable multiple times per day.”

- Yaniv Masjedi, CMO, Nextiva

3. Be present amongst your audience

“Businesses get carried away with 'typical' marketing channels and forget to follow the trends amongst their target audience. Which community is the most relevant to them at this moment? Which websites do they follow? Which challenges are they facing? Know the answers to these questions and become a part of their communities and real-time conversations.”

- Petra Odak, Marketing Executive, Better Proposals

4. Create authentic content

“I am a big fan of content marketing and thought leadership, which are great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile, and attract more clients. Activities like speaking at a conference, writing articles, and building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.

Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well-trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of like-minded organizations reaching the same target audience as you. Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up. When your articles become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts. Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or two that are authentic to you. It should look and sound like the brand you’ve built.”

- Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

5. Get your brand out there

“Don’t overlook the importance of company fairs and conferences. If your brand or product has a certain niche, make sure to be present at events that celebrate and promote your specific visions. You’ll become known in the field, and you’ll make connections with related businesses and customers in the process.”

- Nate Masterson, CMO, Maple Holistics

6. Create a nurture funnel

“To create a successful nurture funnel you must first identify a keyword your website can rank for in Google's organic search. Create incredible content around that keyword and acquire links to the content using guest posts, link roundups, resource pages, and more. Repurpose the content by creating a long-form video and then post it on YouTube. You should then create micro videos around the topic using the results in the advanced model. That means you'll create a short 3 to 5 minute video about a granular topic that adds a ton of value. At the end of the video, you'll inject a call to action. Sometimes that's telling the user to visit your newly published content or to subscribe to receive some type of lead magnets. Next, run Facebook ads using your micro-videos and test which ones perform the best. Make sure you have a clear objective to measure the performance of the ads. Lastly, nurture your new email subscribers (you better be trying to convert your visitors into email subscribers!) and pitch your products to them.”

- Nathan Gotch, Founder, Gotch SEO

7. Attend everything within your niche

“Use remote employees to target local events in cities that attract your target audience. RunRepeat is the largest source of sport and running shoe reviews. We have more than 50 remote employees working from several different cities. Whenever there’s a marathon, race, or sports event in any of these cities, we have representation of some sort. It helps with PR, brand awareness, and building relationships with influencers.”

- Sadi Khan, Digital Marketing Manager, RunRepeat

8. Implement a link-building strategy

“You should implement a link-building strategy. This will help get your brand’s name onto sites that your target audience frequents, and introduce your cause to them. This will also help bring more people to your site, and thus start to grow your website.”

- Nicholas Farmen, Marketing Strategist, Spire Digital

9. Create real experiences to foster genuine advertisements

“I’ve been a big advocate of getting clients on relevant podcasts for the sake of brand awareness. I can attest to the benefits of this medium: the content is often more engaging because it is audio, podcasts typically have engaged communities to be leveraged, and hosts often times are hungry for new guests, especially when they’re independently run.

Another way to generate some buzz that my team has experimented with is working with clients to offer influencers (journalists, bloggers, nonprofit leadership) unique, in-person experiences. For one of our clients, for instance, we coordinated an afternoon on the Chesapeake Bay where the influencer and our client would sail on one of their boats. The hope was that this would more easily facilitate an interview without the overly 'salesy' cold emailing or calling.”

- Andrew Clark, Marketing Strategist, Duckpin

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10. Hand out fun and branded products

“If you appreciate fun ideas that align with your brand, we suggest putting your heart, soul, and personality into customized giveaways. Everyone loves free stuff! Customization allows a company to promote their unique brand voice in a fun and practical way with items people will use.

A great example would be an airline company placing their name and logo on a frisbee with the message: “Fly with us!” Frisbees are popular items with people of all ages. But to hit a target audience such as college students, airlines could distribute them to universities in January for students booking flights for spring break.”

- Shelley Grieshop, Public Relations Director, Totally Promotional

11. Do more with your testimonials

“Ask satisfied customers for testimonials. My tip revolves around the fact that most of these testimonials see very limited use: they sit on our LinkedIn profile and our ‘What Customers Are Saying About Us’ page. Put those testimonials into wider circulation. Fashion each one into a small graphic, and put one at the end of all your blog posts. You should put them on your social channels as well.”

- Mark Armstrong, Owner, Mark Armstrong Illustration

12. Influencers actually work

“Partner with influencers every step of the way. In my experience, this is an often overlooked form of marketing. It's very personal and allows you to get down to the crux of the issues, which is always: What is it exactly about my product that makes it special? An influencer can hack that question, because they know how to speak one-on-one with their audiences in an authentic and personable way. It's allowed us to build stronger relationships, and in turn, a stronger brand.”

- Harrison Doan, Director of Analytics, Saatva

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13. Sponsor organizations and events

“Companies can build greater brand awareness by sponsoring organizations or events. I believe this is one of the top tactics when it comes to integrated marketing. A company gains an increase in digital presence through logo placement, social media, and SEO. A company can also maximize its opportunity by having a vendor table at the event or community presence by offering discounted services or products while building out their email list.”

- Michelle Ngome, Marketing Manager, Sutliff & Stout, PLLC

14. Helps others create content

“Use your resources to help others create engaging content. For example, as Director of Campus Relations for the Art Institute, I arranged for our industrial design department to carve intricate pumpkins on a segment for Fox 11's Good Day LA to help promote a nonprofit partner's Halloween fundraising event. I also arranged for our Media Arts department to demo virtual reality and Cintiq sketch pads on KTLA's morning news item featuring the Orange County Fair. You should also arrange social media takeovers. The Art Institute received free press and reached a wider audience by having Orange Coast magazine and a former Project Runway star take over the Art Institute Instagram accounts.”

- Sheila Estaniel, Founder, Dilatation Agency

15. Invest in podcasts

“For the last year, we’ve been testing and optimizing podcast advertising campaigns for our clients. This is a great brand awareness play for brands that are just getting started or have a very niche market. If you think about it, there’s a podcast for nearly any topic that could be directly related to a brand. And if you notice your competitors are advertising with podcasts, then you definitely should be too.

While this medium may feel overwhelming, it really just comes down to doing your research by figuring out what has worked for other brands, understanding how to measure podcast advertising, and building authentic relationships by contacting podcast hosts that are aligned with your brand and asking them to try your product. The best part is you don’t have to sponsor the most popular podcast to build brand awareness. Well-known podcasts tend to be far too expensive anyway. From what we’ve seen, audience size isn’t as important as the relevance of your product or service to the podcast and its listeners.”

- Kat Shereko, Senior Content Strategist, Portent

TIP: Check out the 50 best podcasts by category and find your perfect match! 

16. Focus on your personal LinkedIn

“At Accelity, we've increased focus on activity on our personal LinkedIn pages this year. All of our employees work to create content establishing us as subject matter experts in our vertical. We focus on educating and providing value instead of selling. Through this, we've been able to grow our connections, increase our brand page following, generate new leads, and even land customers. I've found that this directly contributes to strengthening our brand awareness.

People might not know the exact services we provide, but they know we're content and inbound marketing experts and are more likely to reach out to us when they need help or have questions in those areas.”

- Cass Polzin, Copywriter, Accelity Marketing

17. Increase your credibility with reputable endorsements

“Investing in brand-building opportunities that increase your credibility will help you build influence much quicker than any other avenue. For example, joining the invitation-only Forbes Council was an expense that paid itself back several times over. Being able to use the Forbes name to validate my industry experience and expertise helped me close sales for new client relationships in my communications consulting business much quicker because they viewed me as a credible resource before picking up the phone.

Invest in opportunities that align your name with influential brands and you'll likely see a major return on investment in the form of more leads, a shorter sales cycle, and the ability to charge premium rates.”

- Krystal Covington, CEO & Founder, Women of Denver

18. Create research or guides and promote them

“Become an expert in your niche. The type of business doesn’t matter, you can publish an idea about research, guidelines, or a checklist. Choose the right keyword, prepare A level content, get good backlinks for it, and promote it Facebook.

When you reach the first page of Google, other websites will start to use your data in their content. They will mention you and add backlinks. Even our direct competitors mentioned our research data! It works."

- Evaldas Mockus, SEO Specialist, Omnisend

Build your awareness

Your ultimate goal is to be the loudest brand in your category to ensure your target market recognizes you by name first. Use these fresh tips and tricks to boost your awareness and beat your competitors in ways that will completely surprise and delight your customers!

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