Originally published February 2018. Last updated: January, 2022
Brand awareness is one of the most important aspects of your marketing. And I don't mean that in the abstract, let's-just-throw-our-money-away-on-social-media-impressions-and-influencers-all-willy-nilly sort of way.
I mean taking a regular pulse to calculate the current levels of aided awareness (recognition), unaided awareness (recall), etc. from your potential market (or at least a representative portion of it) and then doing marketing stuff to move that needle.
That's the kind of brand awareness marketing that I'm talking about. And marketers should absolutely be investing more time and money in it for a few key reasons:
- Studies find that consumers show an overwhelming preference for high awareness brands despite quality and price differentials
- Brands in the initial consideration set can be up to three times more likely to be purchased eventually than brands that aren’t in it
- Brand awareness has a greater impact on building brand equity than does advertising promotions
- Brands that have more awareness grow faster
- There's a strong positive correlation between brand awareness, perceived quality, and brand equity
The point is... brand awareness is critically important, and yet far too few marketers know how important it truly is or how to generate it with precision and intention.
You're here because you already realize the value of brand awareness. But now let's arm you with nearly three dozen of this year's best ideas to generate brand awareness in the year ahead.
(But before we do, feel free to take these tips with you in a handy .PDF download.)
1) Reveal the Big Picture of Brand Opportunity with a Persona Quiz
The Strategy: Create a lead generation quiz that focuses on segmenting the characteristics, needs, and traits of your leads in a specialized persona-focused survey. Use it to find ultra-specific angles for marketing offers, the exact copy and keyword phrases that your consumers use, and hidden product features and benefits that should become the backbone of your entire marketing strategy.
Why It Works: Your consumers own your brand. When you understand their biggest issues and put significant marketing efforts behind solutions to their problems, consumers take notice. This popular methodology creates a clear picture for what you need to accomplish with your marketing and utilizes trendy quiz-based surveys, which increase participation.
How To Get Started: Chris Gadek outlines how to create a quiz that doubles as a profiling exercise for incoming leads and triples as a secret weapon that you can use to identify the biggest opportunities for your brand to connect with your consumers. Personally, we think Interact has the best survey functionality out there.
We knew that our customers own our brand. We kept learning about how customers felt about our company and used those insights to build our brand awareness … and doubled MRR in the process.
Chris Gadek, AdQuick
VP of Growth
2) Access New Audiences with Influencer Marketing
The Strategy: Identify 50-100 influential people in your target market, vertical, and/or category. Do what you can to increase the credibility, recognition and relevance of these influencers as you grow your own brand’s awareness. Promoting a community of influencers will help create a halo effect of awareness within the community.
Why It Works: Influencer marketing is the art and science of finding people that are credible in your industry or area of focus and already have large audiences. Successful influencer marketing strategies are measured by the amount of business value you receive from the network of an influencer, relative to the effort needed to achieve the influencers interest.
How To Get Started: Buzzstream’s Discovery tool quickly helps you find the most influential people in a given area of interest. Sometimes the best way to get more recognition is to just get the word out about your product or service to people who benefit from breaking news in a category or vertical.
Build the right relationships with the right people and nurture them over time and you’ll always have a leg up on the competition.
Paul May, Buzzstream
CEO & Co-founder
3) Gain Nuanced Market Understanding with Consumer Surveys
The Strategy: Consumer surveying technologies such as Google Surveys, Surveymonkey Audience and Pollfish are becoming so commonplace that even professional pollsters like Nate Silver are using them. Brands can launch surveys to mainstream or targeted audiences to reveal the answers to your most burning questions, often for as little as 10 cents per response.
Why It Works: Entire marketing strategies are hinged on assumptions about consumers, whether they are inferred from hunches, trends or discrete data. Consumer surveys allow you to ask customers questions point blank versus using company metrics and other qualitative data as proxies for the answers to the questions that matter most. If you want to know something about consumers today, all you have to do is ask.
How To Get Started: Google Surveys have been around since 2012 and have really made it easy for marketers, entrepreneurs and data scientists to create and run surveys starting from 10 cents per response. Start with a non-targeted survey and then ask increasingly complex questions using screening and targeting options.
Successful brands understand they need more than performance metrics in their toolkit. Insights gained through direct consumer research allows brands to understand how their audience feels, creating a new opportunity to efficiently deliver targeted messages to their audience.
Michael Cumberbatch, Snap Inc.
4) Capture Hearts by Tapping Into Social Causes
The Strategy: Find something that society cares about and create a video that honors the cause and features your brand in a tasteful way. A word of warning though: The bar is being set higher each day for what brands need to do to leverage social causes in their marketing. Get it wrong and your social cause spot goes down in flames like Pepsi’s Kylie Jenner ad. Get it right and you’re Heineken.
Why It Works: Ultimately, brands, religions, sporting teams, and just about any other “super ingroups” are deeply intertwined with our identities. From the examples above, Heineken is able to reach and appeal to the part of the mind where the values of these ingroups all merge together, while Pepsi breaks the fourth wall with its trite attempt and ends up being caught by our brain’s advertising filter.
How To Get Started: The easiest way to get started with identifying social causes that your brand can target is to spend an hour looking through the social media postings of a representative sample of your target market. To speed up the process, consider using premium social listening tools, such as Brandwatch, which can help you track millions of conversations, all over the web, in real time. You can easily monitor the key topics people care about, the most popular links they share, influencers they engage with, their demographics details and much more.
The first step is listening to what your customers care about and getting a sense of the causes they support. Use that vital information and your own brand values as a key differentiator to build a strategy that respects your community’s views and most importantly, adds value to their lives, intrigues them or educates them. Lastly, make sure you put a premium on the social cause you’re supporting rather than your brand.
Ruxandra Mindruta, GLG
Marketing Campaign Manager
5) Fast-Track Your Relationship with Consumers Using Video
The Strategy: Some things are trendy; some things are here to stay. Video is one of the things that is here to stay, so it behooves just about every brand to start incorporating video into their marketing. Adding video into product or service pages, tutorials, social media posts, webinars and workshops will help you tell your brand’s story more effectively.
Why It Works: Two reasons: 1) If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the average 90 second HD video is worth just under three million words. Video helps your brand convey so much more than text or photos alone 2) People love video. The most popular internet destinations for consumers such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit all support and embrace video as a format because of its ability to engage users for long periods of time.
How To Get Started: Share your opinion about something that’s happening in your industry and make a video about it. Start with something simple such as a screencast video or a tutorial that uses a webcam or your smartphone’s HD camera. Then go from there. Use a professional video hosting platform such as Wistia–(it has a free plan for brands just getting started out–when embedding videos on your website, but don’t be afraid to be informal on social outposts like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Video is the most emotional medium. It lets you build a relationship with a prospective customer faster than any other medium. This is why even though TV advertising has become much less efficient, big brands still spend outrageous amounts of money hoping you'll see their ad and that you'll remember it when you're walking through the grocery store aisle. Online video increases the number of places, level of targeting, and focus you can use to build your brand with video.
Chris Savage, Wistia
Founder & CEO
6) Engage Hearts and Minds More Quickly with Imagery
The Strategy: While video is definitely something we recommend, good old-fashioned graphics, photos and other kinds of imagery have their place too. Use imagery that is consistent with the emotions and outcomes your brand promises as a way to bolster your brand’s awareness and build familiarity.
Why It Works: It only takes consumers a fraction of a second to form an opinion about the design and imagery you use with your branding, according to Dr. Susan Weinschenk, founder of the Team W, a usability and consumer psychology consultancy. Text takes time to read and process while our judgments and feelings about things we see happen almost instantaneously.
How To Get Started: There are scores of new options out there to add high-quality graphics and imagery to your website. If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t worry. You can create some pretty impressive content with graphics solution like Snappa, Pikiz or Venngage. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can create engaging graphics and imagery using these platforms and services.
You can use brain science to get the full brand impact from your images. Here are two examples: There is a special part of the brain that is sensitive to faces (the Fusiform Facial area) so if you have a face looking straight out it grabs attention. And people prefer objects with curves rather than straight edges.
Susan Weinschenk, The Team W
7) Become an Authority to Consumers by Doing Original Research
The Strategy: Take industry data, reports and other expert insights that you have access to and turn it into an epic piece of content with an impressive title like, “The <Year> Guide to <Your Industry>.” Conducting original research in your area of interest is a foolproof way to build authority, awareness and credibility for your brand.
Why It Works: Original research demonstrates that you are an expert in your field. Experts have access to data that spans industries. Experts can interpret, synthesize and convey the meaning of what certain numbers mean.
How To Get Started: How do you get started as an expert if you’re not one already? You can borrow authority from other experts to help you build your own. Reach out to a handful of existing experts in your space and ask them all one question. Bundle the responses together into an insider’s guide and publish it on your website.
Original research builds authority for the content you're creating; authoritative content builds credibility for your brand; a credible brand builds trust in the eyes of current and prospective consumers; consumer trust in your brand drives revenue. Original research is the catalyst that starts the chain reaction.
Jeff Roberts, Inprela
Senior Brand Storyteller
8) Train Consumers to Open Messages from Your Brand with Email Mini Courses
The Strategy: Write a simple how-to and package it into an email mini course that people can opt into. Send a small lesson each day for 3-7 days as a part of an email marketing or marketing automation campaign.
Why It Works: Frequency is a key driver in driving brand awareness and recall. The effective frequency is the number of times a consumer needs to see a brand message prior to taking the desired course of action. Taking a large piece of content and sending it out over the course of a few days takes one touchpoint and lets you turn it into as many as you’d like.
How To Get Started: Create a new campaign in your email marketing or marketing automation platform. If you don’t have one, you can get everything you need to build and deliver an email mini course for free from the nice folks at Drip.
Email marketing is like showering. Everyone tells you to do it, but you just never make the time.
Rob Walling, TinySeed Founder
9) Amplify Your Growth by Reusing Your Best Social Content
The Strategy: Take a look through your most successful social media content. The stuff that has gotten you the most amount of likes/shares/favorites. Take the evergreen (i.e., timeless) ones and schedule the same content to be posted sometime again in the future. Do this as a core part of your social media strategy to both grow awareness and save time.
Why It Works: Historically, frequency and reach are two factors that come together to increase brand awareness. In the social world, reach represents the size of your follower/fan base and frequency refers to how often you post. Posting your best content more often increases your exposure and brand awareness as a result.
How To Get Started: Find your best social media content and then spend some time scheduling it for dates in the future. Use a spreadsheet to copy/paste your best hits or check out something like Edgar, which was built with sole purpose of taking your best social content and scheduling it for you, which saves a ton of time in the long run.
If you want to double the traffic you get from social media, double your social media frequency.
Laura Roeder, Paperbell
10) Recruit Loyalists to Advocate for You With Referral Marketing
The Strategy: Referral marketing is one of the biggest untapped opportunities for many brands. Four out of five consumers consider the opinions of friends and families when making a purchase, so why not invest in a channel geared specifically towards getting your existing customers to become loyal and passionate advocates for your brand?
Why It Works: From the perspective of your existing customers, referral marketing works because the best programs are built with a focus on creating, amplifying and sharing positive moments with the brand throughout the customer journey. Referral programs work from a new customer perspective because what is essentially an ad coming from their friend is much more compelling than a Facebook or Google ad.
How To Get Started: For a really simple and powerful referral program, take a look into Extole. It offers a simple way to give existing customers a place to send their friends and family to tell them about your brand. If you want to achieve a “Disney-like” experience by creating an immaculately groomed, gamified customer experience, give Influitive a look.
Your existing customers already talk about you and make passive referrals when sharing their experience. Formalizing and organizing those same people to consciously think about who would make a good referral, and how they'd benefit from using your business, is one way to benefit from your existing customers and their networks today.
Onnela Pukk, Loopio
Director, Enablement Services
11) Broaden Your Reach with Good Old-Fashioned Hashtags
The Strategy: Use hashtags. This is the dryest, lamest, most boring tip of the lot. We know. But it works, and sometimes exceedingly well. Discovering and tapping into popular hashtags, twitter chats and other existing threads online is a great way to borrow authority to build your own. Including one, two or even up to ten hashtags in a single social media post will help build awareness.
Why It Works: When you don’t have followers, you don’t have reach. Hashtags that are relevant to your niche or vertical are frequently followed by people on social media. If you include a popular hashtag in your social media posting, you’ll be exposed to potential followers and consumers. The key is to find the right hashtags and then use them consistently.
How To Get Started: Free services such as RiteTag help brands discover and evaluate the reach potential of hashtags with handy features like hashtag searches, suggestions and even a nifty Chrome extension that grades your social media postings as you type them.
Hashtags provide a trifecta of topical relevance, scannable usability, and findability. I strategically lead all tweets with a relevant, all-caps topic hashtag. Tweeting without a hashtag is like whispering in a crowd and expecting people to see/hear you.
Angie Schottmueller, Artisan Interactive
Growth Marketing Consultant, Author & Speaker
12) Accelerate Recognition & Intimacy with Right-Time Marketing
The Strategy: Find mainstream brands that your target consumer already loves. Create content that incorporates these brands into a content marketing and social media campaign. Then attempt to pull in advocates from both brands into a joint brand conversation that expands your reach and reinforces positive feelings consumers have about both brands.
Why It Works: Right-time marketing started as real-time marketing, the best example of which is Oreo’s “Dunking in the Dark” tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl. Real-time marketing is great because Oreo got nearly universal reach across an unsegmented group of consumers. As real-time marketing has gotten harder and harder to capitalize on, brands have switched to right-time marketing because it’s easier to reach more targeted customers by first identifying complementary brands.
How To Get Started: Remember the persona quiz we covered earlier? Include a pop culture question in your quiz that asks respondents to identify their favorite movie, song, band, etc. After you get a handful of respondents to your quiz, select a complementary brand among the submitted responses after thinking about which submissions most closely support your own brand’s identity.
They key thing here is to make sure you are saying or providing something that others are less likely to provide, candor can be very valuable here however it is always important to get a few people to give their thoughts on a statement to make sure it is in line with company values.
Lexi Mills, Shift6
13) Grow Your Brand by Owning Non-Branded Exploration
The Strategy: Identify the search terms and phrases that are used by beginners looking to learn more about your category or vertical. For example, searching for “SEO 101” will almost always produce Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO at the top of the organic search results. Seek to own discovery terms for your keyword space and your brand will become synonymous with your category
Why It Works: Targeting non-branded discovery keywords in both organic and paid search is brilliant because you get to be the first solution in the minds of consumers when they’re first exploring a new category. You get to create the first impression, and when you can be first in the minds of consumers, you can become the market leader.
How To Get Started: Search for “<your category> 101” and some related terms to see what comes up in the search results. Create content that are similar to, but better than, what is already in the search results. Incorporate influencers into your content creation process for an added bonus of them sending traffic to your site when you publish.
Brand awareness isn’t just simple name recognition –it’s how well your audience understands the qualities that make your brand unique. The best way to communicate your brand value is to craft a narrative that addresses their needs and allows them to see how your organization fits into their lives.
Claire Berge Schmidt, Scholarship America
Director of Marketing
14) Help Others Rank for Terms that are Out of Your League
The Strategy: Most people try to target search terms that are too competitive for them to rank for in the early days of their SEO strategy. Instead, help an established brand rank for a competitive term. You’ll make some powerful friends and even earn some links from said powerful friends to help you build your own brand and domain authority.
Why It Works: Established brands have the domain authority to rank for competitive terms and the established reach to get enough links to outrank established listings in the search results. For example, this article about Google Analytics advanced segments has ranked on the first page of Google for nearly five years and was a top ten article for SearchEngineWatch.com in 2013.
How To Get Started: Find a competitive search term in your category that has a lot of searches but not a ton of potential monetary value for your own brand. Pitch 3-5 trade publications in your market or industry to write a contributed article for the publication on the topic. Be sure to do your research on editors before pitching them and provide proof of your credibility when you reach out to avoid being cast aside.
Out of the thousands of posts we published this year, one of yours was among the most viewed of the entire year.
Danny Goodwin, Search Engine Journal
15) Defend Your Territory by Dominating Your Branded Search Results Page
The Strategy: When people search things related to your brand, ideally everything that comes up in SERPs is positive and consistent with your brand identity. If Google shows images, you want them to be official images and/or approved images. If there are reviews, you want positive ones. Ultimately, you want to work to influence or control as much of your branded search results wherever possible.
Why It Works: Google used to provide ten simple results for any given search term or phrase. Today, Google shows a mix of web pages, maps, images, news, informational cards, reviews, shopping and an ever-expanding list of additional types of search result resources, which can require a few proactive steps on your part to understand how to claim and optimize these branding opportunities.
How To Get Started: Search your brand and your competitors to see what types of search engine results appear in addition to the normal web page results. Make a list of these items and then further explore how to replicate the tactics you see until you’ve achieved all of the additional branded search real estate opportunities. Soliciting reviews or adding Sitelinks for your AdWords ads are the easiest way to get started because they will appear immediately in valuable real estate (i.e., the top of the search engine results page).
Google has placed a high value on review oriented content in branded searched results. You want a consistent, strong reputation on these sites to help convert searchers to customers. Smart companies know which review sites rank well and focus their online reputation strategies to build them up.
Aaron Weiche, Leadferno
Co-Founder and CEO
16) Own Your Image by Owning The Long Tail of Branded Search
The Strategy: When people search for ideas related to your brand (e.g., pricing, features, services, etc.), you want them to find a page on your website. Own your brand image by researching your branded keywords and then publishing optimized content one at a time to address the needs of people searching for those terms.
Why It Works: A common mistake in branding is to think about the customer journey in abstract terms only. Every search involving your brand is a brand touchpoint, so why not eagerly and proactively find everything people search about relative to your brand and rush to engage folks where they are? Many brands neglect this important, albeit unglamourous, aspect of their marketing, which makes it even more effective for those that do.
How To Get Started: Head to your favorite keyword suggestion tool (e.g, Keyword.io), enter your brand into the search box, and hit go. You’ll get a healthy list of keyword suggestions. The bigger the brand, the more keywords you’ll find. Run that list through the AdWords keyword tool to see traffic potentials for your keywords as a way to prioritize topics for your content strategy.
Long-tail, branded search is a gift. Not only are consumers explicitly telling you they're looking for you; they're telling you what they specifically want from you on a silver platter. Your customers are throwing you a touchdown pass to catch. Create something exceptional for them.
Shinhee Son, Augurian
Partner & Senior Manager of Organic Search
17) Defend Your Branded Search Space
The Strategy: Overtaking competitors in the search listings is vital to earning clicks. Submitting editorial complaints for off-brand competitive ads lowers competitors’ quality scores and makes it more expensive for them to advertise on your branded search terms, that is phrases that contain your brand’s name (i.e., “McDonald’s burgers”).
Why It Works: There are two big success factors behind this tip that both stem from how Google makes its money. First, Google has some pretty strong protections in place for its advertising, given that advertising constitutes 89% of Google’s revenue. Second, Google doesn’t make money unless it’s serving up quality results for its users, so actively voting down a quality score can definitely make an impact on the visibility of a page.
How To Get Started: Take a handful of branded search terms that are known to have traffic for your brand to see if anyone is using low-quality ads according to Google’s advertising guidelines. From there, you can determine if you want to leave the ads in place (i.e., if it’s complimentary/beneficial) or submit an editorial complaint, which can make it more expensive to advertise for subpar or off-brand content.
Your brand building efforts will generate interest from people of all shapes and sizes. Many will search for your brand name on Google. When that happens, you want to make sure you capitalize on this traffic and protect your company at the same time. Protecting your brand searches from false claims or blatant opportunism is another way to ensure that your brand marketing efforts achieve their desired effect.
Jeff Sauer, Data Driven
18) Amplify Your Reach by Boosting Native Advertising
The Strategy: Native advertising involves paying or persuading a reputable third party to publish positive content about your brand on a website other than your own. Boosting this inventory involves sending paid advertising to these destinations. It’s counterintuitive for many to send traffic to other websites and brands, but done effectively it can be highly effective in building familiarity and favorability with consumers.
Why It Works: We all have advertising filters in our brains. It’s what allows us to tell the difference between reality and the claims brands make. When branded messages come from sources that are perceived to be entertainment or informational content, the advertising filter relaxes and our brains more willingly accept the claims and ideas being put forth in the content.
How To Get Started: To get published in a reputable third party content destination, you’ll either have to find a pay-to-play opportunity or use your outreach hustling skills to find an editor and a story angle that works as both content for the destination and effective top-of-funnel advertising for your brand. From there, create ads in platforms like Outbrain that let you send paid traffic to those high-profile, brand-friendly publications.
We help people discover what’s interesting, personally relevant and timely, so customers can discover your brand message or promotional offer on premium sites. You can align your content to different stages of of buying process and reach audiences at scale.
Liraz Rahmin Postan, Outbrain
Senior SEO and Content Manager
19) Make a Vivid First Impression with Instagram Story Ads
The Strategy: Instagram Story ads are basically branded commercials for Instagram. Story ads are up to 15 seconds long and can feature a photo or video. For little or nothing you can create up to five awareness-focused Instagram story ads, each one targeted at a different market segment. These video ads used within Instagram and other ad platforms work to produce recognition and awareness within target markets, which can be incredibly effective in conjunction with other digital marketing efforts.
Why It Works: Reaching the full potential of any brand awareness campaign is a matter of relevant messaging, effective creative and an ideal ad frequency to achieve the optimal impact on consumer ad recall and purchase intent. Facebook recommends 1.5x ad exposures per week for optimal ad recall and about 2x ad exposures per week to achieve the optimal impact on purchase intent.
How To Get Started: The folks at Social Media Examiner published a straightforward walkthrough on how to get started with Instagram story ads. Whether you use a single image or a video ad, be sure to highlight a single brand promise, feature or benefit in your Instagram story ad in order to achieve the maximum intended impact.
Brands that will win in this space are those who are presenting a tangible way for users to interact with them through the ad, and also gives them something in return such as a discount code. Ads that will get the time of day will be true to the platform, that fit in with the stories that are already being shared everyday by the people your customers follow.
Kendall Bird, DKY
Social Media Manager
20) Test Promotional Offers in Paid Media to Drive Brand Awareness
The Strategy: There’s an old advertising adage that says, “The success of any given offer is due 40 percent to the offer, 40 percent to the ‘list’ (i.e., or targeting, in today’s parlance) and 20 percent to the creative (i.e., the ads and the ad copy).” The majority of marketing advice focuses on how to use each marketing channel and how to target each audience, but very few sources provide advice on how to test promotional offers with your audience.
Why It Works: Psychologically, there’s a difference between “$0-trial,” “30-Day Money-Back Guarantee,” and “Free 14-Day Trial.” It may not always make sense that one offer works better than another, but it’s best to test a wide variety of emotional benefits and “bonuses” (i.e., free ebooks, guides or another kind of resource) in order to achieve the highest possible direct and indirect benefit from your branding efforts.
How To Get Started: Ask a handful of people who fit your ideal consumer’s profile what would be a helpful complement to your core product service or offering. If you have a software product, consider throwing in a free video course on how to use it. If your brand provides services, offer a free consultation on another service or offering as a bonus to what people buy already. Try out three to five offers of similar value in AdWords or Facebook ads and see which one consumers respond to best.
When building brand awareness, it's critical that you test the right messaging to catch your customer’s eye. We've seen a big differences in performance with different offer messages (i.e. "Free Delivery" vs "10% Off"), even if the offers are essentially the same dollar value.
Craig Key, Step One Foods
Chief Marketing Officer
21) Indoctrinate Your Followers to Accelerate Your Influence
The Strategy: Creating an effective content strategy for product onboarding is brand marketing at its finest. Send all new customers emails and in-application messages that tell them who you are, what you stand for, why you’re different, what to expect from you and what to do next. Done properly, an “indoctrination” onboarding sequence can quickly turn brand newcomers into loyal fans.
Why It Works: When you tell people who you are and what you stand for, the people who disagree with you may become disengaged, but your brand will strike a powerful chord with the people who see the world the way you do. Those people will then engage more deeply, share more broadly and be more likely to have followers of their own that fit your ideal customer profile.
How To Get Started: Take the first step by learning more about the concepts behind indoctrination strategy and how it fits into a larger email-based customer journey strategy. Ultimately, your onboarding sequence should be the first thing you send to all new customers to help orient them to your brand and start getting the most out of your product or service.
A welcome email or best-of series really puts your best foot forward and exposes new subscribers to all the great things that your business and your brand has to offer. That’s what the indoctrination series is all about.
Ryan Deiss, The Scalable Co.
Founder and CEO
22) Pay Others to Spread the Word with an Affiliate Program
The Strategy: Add affiliate marketing to your marketing mix. This strategy involves recruiting folks to sell your brand on your behalf and providing them with the materials (i.e., ad copy and creative) and technical infrastructure (i.e., links and tracking) needed to sell on your behalf. In return, affiliates earn a portion of the revenue from the sale.
Why It Works: Affiliate marketing works because you’re essentially recruiting salespeople to help get the word out about your brand. And not just any salespeople. Affiliates often have vast audiences of their own. A really successful affiliate makes their living solely through the endorsements they make and the commission they receive as a result.
How To Get Started: Creating an affiliate program requires a signup process, links, tracking and the ability to pay your affiliates. It’s best to leverage an affiliate marketing platform like Impact Radius. They provide all the technology needed to be successful along with an extensive network of affiliates ready to start selling your product or service.
When it comes to leveraging influencers to drive brand awareness, think outside the box. Most people think of “influencers” and they only think "social”. But people or companies you partner with and even your customers may introduce people to your product or service in a completely organic, non-salesy way.
Sheryl Ryan, Infrastructure By Design
Strategic Operations Consultant
23) Tell People Who Your Brand is By Saying it With Swag
The Strategy: Swag. Tchotchkes. Promotional products. Regardless of what you call the customized branded items given away to consumers, this strategy involves the careful identification of apparel, office/home goods and novelty items that don your brand’s logo and that you give away to current and prospective customers in an attempt to further endear them to your brand.
Why It Works: This little-understood area of marketing is one of the most underrated branding opportunities, because you have the opportunity to create brand touchpoints that consumers can literally touch. These touchpoints say something specific about your brand and can stay with consumers for days, weeks, sometimes even years after the initial consumer experience. Swag that is well-branded and practical can be an incredibly effective form of advertising and retention marketing.
How To Get Started: Head over to a custom apparel shop like Startup Threads and browse their selection. The most important thing here is … don’t be cheap. The difference between a basic t-shirt and a premium tri-blend t-shirt is usually about $3, which seems like a lot when buying in bulk, but you’re competing with every other t-shirt in your customer’s dresser drawers. You want your t-shirt–your brand–to be the one picked by consumers.
It's important to keep in mind the recipient/customer and what they want to express with your merchandise. Good merch isn't a billboard for your brand but rather an opportunity to encapsulate the thoughts of your customers.
Frank Denbow, INK'A
24) Measure Your Brand’s Awareness Over Time to Track Your Results
The Strategy: Implement a brand analytics solution and begin to track your brand awareness score and other branding metrics. Services like Brandish Insights are pioneering brand measurement and making it possible to generate benchmark and trending reports for important brand metrics such as awareness, frequency, familiarity, favorability and demand.
Why It Works: You can’t improve what you can’t measure. If you’re trying to measure your brand, a brand analytics tool like Brandish Insights is exactly what you need. The previous 23 strategies will all help move the needle on brand awareness, but none of them can provide a benchmark for how much awareness your brand already has in the market and whether it improves as you implement each tactic.
How To Get Started: Sign up with Brandish Insights now and become part of an exclusive pre-launch group of customers. You’ll be able to calculate your brand’s awareness score, track it over time and use the insights to prove the efficacy of your brand marketing efforts. Plus, you’ll gain access to exclusive coaching calls and feedback sessions where you can ask your biggest questions about growing brand awareness and discuss powerful ideas with other brand pioneers.
Your brand should be as easy to measure as your website.
Josh Braaten, Brandata
8 Bonus Tips for 2022
25) Take Advantage of Podcasting
The Strategy: If you have the time and ability, creating a podcast is a great way to spread brand awareness. Podcasting allows you to share the tone and voice of your company with listeners and offers a sense of community. If creating an entirely new podcast is out of the picture, look for shows that are seeking guests in your area of expertise. This is a great way to get your brand out to a whole new audience who has similar interests.
Why It Works: Getting your brand out to more people is what drives more people coming to your page. More people knowing about your brand means you are more likely going to find ones who are interested in your products or service, resulting in more conversion rates.
How To Get Started: Adobe has a new service called Project Shasta which is an AI-powered audio recording and editing platform. This service allows podcasters to upload audio and have it transferred to text immediately. You can also consider using services like MatchMaker to get in touch with podcasts looking for guests. Identify what areas you are interested in podcasting for and connect.
26) Draw People In With Giveaways
The Strategy: If you provide a product or service, give people a sneak peak at what you have to offer. It can be tricky to convince people to purchase something, so offer up a free one. Whoever wins will be so excited to share and repost about it, making their followers believe that the product is great. Free stuff makes people happy.
Why It Works: People love free things. By requiring tags or mentions of others for one entry in a prize, there will be an exponential increase in the amount of views, likes, or comments that post gets, resulting in more people knowing about your brand.
How To Get Started: Ottoway is a sustainable clothing line based out of Australia, and they are exceptional when it comes to giveaways. Follow their lead for giving some stuff away and having followers tag other people. If this goes well, you can push it further by partnering with other brands and share each other's accounts to reach a wider audience.
27) Identify What Makes You Stand Out From The Crowd
The Strategy: Find that one piece that makes your brand different from others and run with it. If consumers see that you do the same thing as another brand they are loyal to, they aren’t going to switch. Distinguish yourself from the crowd so people are drawn to your brand.
Why It Works: This works because people don’t want the same-old. Oftentimes they are looking for innovative market leaders. They want to be a part of something that isn’t the “norm”. They want to be unique, and you can help them do that if your brand finds what makes them stand out.
How To Get Started: A brand that does this is Apple. They are innovative, modern, and sleek, and they run with those terms that they have identified themselves as. Look at this Brand Assessment Tool identify those unique characteristics of your own brand.
28) Improve The Customer Experience From Recommendations
The Strategy: Listen and monitor what consumers are saying about your brand. If there is an issue or they have a recommendation, take it into consideration. As much as you love the way things get done, you're not the one bringing in the money. Keep your consumers happy and your business will follow the same trend.
Why It Works: Consumers need to feel seen and heard to continue being loyal to your brand. If you are actively updating, helping, and connecting with them, then they will feel important and most likely won’t leave your brand for another one.
How To Get Started: A great way to begin monitoring your audience is with Hootsuite. It’s a great platform to keep track of all your socials, as well as to see what people are talking about. You can set up streams to look for key phrases or words and are also able to reply and communicate straight from Hootsuite.
29) Invest In Worthy Brand Partnerships
The Strategy: Find a brand that suits yours well and work together to help one another grow. Share their account with your followers and vice versa. If people trust and love your brand, they will more likely consider looking at other accounts you share and support.
Why It Works: This strategy is great because you can reach a whole new audience of like-minded people. You also don’t have to do a ton of work which can let you use that time elsewhere.
How To Get Started: Take a look at this post from GoPro, who partners with RedBull for “thrill seekers” and “adventurers”. Find a brand that has similar values and reach out to propose a partnership. Talk about how your brand could benefit theirs and how working together will increase brand awareness and success for both parties.
30) Connect With People Through Good Storytelling
The Strategy: Create a compelling story to catch people's attention. Whether they are returning customers or entirely new, you can connect with them through great storytelling that ties back to your brand and who you are. People like brands that are personable and easy to relate to, and storytelling is a great way to take advantage of this.
Why It Works: People are connected through stories and shared experiences. Storytelling can be emotional, inspiring, and motivating. Use these feelings to connect with your audience and customers to keep them coming back.
How To Get Started: Check out this guide from STORYSOFT to learn about everything in storytelling from why they sell to how your brand can use stories to cut through the clutter. This will help you determine what stories your brand can use to bolster their awareness and connect with consumers.
31) Guest Blog For Other Sites
The Strategy: Though it may seem backwards to blog for someone else's website, you can find great success in this area. Guest blogging allows you to get in front of another audience, increase your brand's credibility, and most importantly, have backlinks to help improve your SEO.
Why It Works: Guest blogging works because you make your brand visible to people who may never have seen it if it weren’t for the company’s blog page. Typically, you will guest blog on a site that connects to your own brand, hence their audience will be composed of individuals who are like minded to your own brand. Getting the attention of these people will draw them into your site and hopefully will result in a new customer.
How To Get Started: First start off with defining who your buyer personas are. Once this is done, you can reach out to companies or use MyBlogGuest to see if there are any brands that have a similar audience to you who are searching for a guest blogger. Once you find the right fit, make sure to backlink to your webpage to help boost credibility and your own SEO.
32) The Power Of Niche Social Channels
The Strategy: TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn draw in different groups of people. Whoever your audience is, figure out what other channels they are on aside from the big three, and create a unique post that can resonate with them. If your post gets enough feedback, reactions, and shares, there is a chance it could end up getting shared and reposted to people with similar interests, but haven’t yet heard of your brand.
Why It Works: Relatable content connects people through social media. If they feel similar they are probably going to like, comment, or share a post that they feel has resonated with them. This begins the exponential growth of having your brand name out there connecting and
How To Get Started: Check out Pew Research Center to search and see where your audience can be found online. By seeing the numbers, implement the correct social channels into your social media strategy to boost your brand's awareness.
What's Your Best Brand Awareness Advice?
Ok now it's your turn. We want to grow this list to 100. Maybe even a 1,000 if it doesn't slow the page speed to a complete crawl.
What are your favorite brand awareness tips?
Is there anything that's helped your branding in general beyond just awareness?
Share your thoughts in the comments so I can feature you in the future on our blog, video series or podcast!