Since businesses have been moving towards the eCommerce landscape, they have been enforcing digital marketing strategies to help raise awareness about their brand and their products. In the eCommerce space.
A digital marketing strategy is essential as it helps in increasing brand visibility. There are various long-term and short-term strategies that can be applied to improve eCommerce brand awareness like paid advertising, SEO-focused content, and blogging.
The one that’s currently taken over the online social world by storm is short-form video content where Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube shorts are used as crucial platforms to market on to increase brand awareness. This is because they feel interactive and grab the attention of the viewers.
Essentially, through the online world, eCommerce businesses can take advantage of digital marketing strategies to create brand awareness. It can help them reach the heights of success and have an edge over their competitors. This is because the content on these platforms has the potential to reach a plethora of people of various demographics.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness focuses on the target audience’s familiarity with your brand and how well they can recognize your business.
Often, brands with good and high brand awareness are called “popular” and “trendy”. And you can establish brand awareness of key marketing strategies and promotion of your company and products. It is a good idea to implement these efforts in the beginning stages of your business.
Is brand awareness a marketing strategy?
Although brand awareness may seem like a vague concept and does sometimes come across as such, marketers and business owners know how vital it is. So, they make efforts to chase accurate and neat numbers, to ensure success for their business.
It isn’t a metric that can be determined but you should not dismiss it based on it being a concept- it still carries value. Brand awareness is still very important for marketing and overall business goals.
Let’s see why.
Why is Brand Awareness Important?
Brand awareness builds brand equity
Brand equity involves various dimensions and includes different factors and brand awareness is one of them.
Here, brand awareness helps in building brand equity by strengthening the brand’s presence in the minds of the consumers. It is often considered the critical first step toward building brand equity and a strong marketing strategy.
According to Papers, a high level of brand awareness can help increase brand choice, product great consumer loyalty, and overall, improve brand equity.
Additionally, HBR states that consumers do not believe in the quality of unfamiliar brands. Therefore repeated exposure with proper brand messaging can help create that familiarity, earning the trust and loyalty of the customers.
Brand awareness creates an association
Say, you have a question and the first thing you do is Googling it. Or when you get that painful paper cut, you find yourself searching for a Band-Aid. Or when it is too hot outside, you are most likely to grab a can of Coke.
Popular brands like Google, Band-Aid, and Coke are used in the verb format instead of being simply referred to as nouns. Ideally, one should look up the answer to the question on the search engine, look for a bandage when hurt and quench their thirst with a cold beverage.
But these verbs are now taken over by specific brands because of their products and this is known as a brand association. And brand awareness helps achieve that. It associates actions and certain categories of products with specific brands. And, we people, subconsciously replace these common words with brand terms or names.
And by the time you know it, being thirsty or inquisitive is doing the marketing for us. And the brand doesn’t have to spend a penny on this because it has simply become a psychological practice.
Brand awareness helps in establishing that trust with your customers and creating positive associations that build invaluable brand equity. And thus your brand becomes a consumer staple and a household name.
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Brand recognition vs brand awareness
Before setting your brand awareness strategies in place, you need to understand the difference between brand recognition and brand awareness because they are not the same thing.
They are often used interchangeably but brand awareness and brand recognition have key differences.
Brand recognition, simply put, is how your target audience can recognize your brand.
More than a memorable business name, a good brand recognition strategy focuses on creating a color scheme, logo, and visual elements that will be the foundation of your brand “tone” that your customers can attribute to your brand.
For instance, people recognize the brand Coca-Cola among a sea of soda beverages through their iconic red color. Or Apple with simply their half-bitten apple logo.
Here, we realize that these brands are synonymous with the service or category of products they provide. The connection can run so deep that their noun counterpart has a verb format, becoming a part of our daily lingo.
Brand recognition strategy involves engaging the eyes and minds of your customers at all times and this is achieved by producing a consistent visual and verbal strategy that is posted on relevant platforms.
Brand recognition is an element of brand awareness.
Brand awareness is about building a connection between your company and the customer. More than knowing about what your brand does or recognizing you by your logo, it will ensure that the customers know your product is the best solution for their problem.
Therefore, brand awareness is about highlighting what makes your company different and how that point showcases the value of your company.
Recognition focuses on unique aspects like your brand voice, strategy, and image. And awareness focuses on the soul of the company, an accumulation of everything that can convince your customer to prefer you amongst all the competition.
How to Build Brand Awareness
Building brand awareness among the public does not happen overnight. And it also doesn’t happen from a single marketing campaign.
Brand awareness results from various continuous efforts that extend beyond trying to get your customers to pay.
If you think you can raise brand awareness by simply running a few Facebook Ads, then it is false hope.
Here are some ways you can establish a solid foundation for your brand awareness that will have an ever-lasting impression on your audience:
1. Be a person, not a company
There are values and traits that your brand should have and once you determine that, you should promote them.
Just like introducing yourself to a stranger with an intention of making friends, you share your likes, hobbies, and dislikes. They’re likely to reciprocate and then you’d bond over these topics.
Similarly, when your present and promote yourself as more than a company, you will leave an impact on your audience and become more than a business that sells things.
Just as humans benefit from socializing, spending time as a community, and using these connections they’ll be known to others, brands can do the same.
When you connect with others when making a sale or providing support, you’ll be known as a company that is beyond simply business.
In order to raise awareness for your brand, being social is vital. Posting on social media and presenting things to the world about your brand that are unrelated to your products, can help increase brand awareness.
Furthermore, interact with your audience by asking questions, retweeting, or commenting; treat your social accounts to speak to your audience- not as a business to a customer but as if you’re trying to make friends.
3. Tell a narrative
Known as the most powerful marketing tactic trending, storytelling is an incredible tool when it comes to marketing products or promoting your brand. This is because it provides your audience with something real to get hooked on.
When to craft a narrative or a story around your brand, it humanizes it. And when you use the narrative in marketing, it automatically enhances brand awareness along with marketing your products.
You may be wondering about what story you could share.
It truly can be anything, as long as it is true. It could be about you as the business owner, the story of your business and how the idea of the product came about, or even rags to riches story about how your small business found success in the industry.
Audiences latch on to stories like these and these are authentic tales, therefore are very impactful and can lead to high brand awareness.
4. Make sharing easy
It is important to make it easy for your audience to share your content, no matter what industry you are in or the marketing strategies you use. You should have blog posts, all the sponsored content, social media posts, and even product pages in a shareable format.
Even now, word-of-mouth as a marketing strategy is very effective in building trust and familiarity between customers.
If anyone sees a friend or a family member recommend a product, they are likely to take notice of the product and the brand. They’ll further do their research by browsing through your content to understand everything about your brand.
When you make it easy to post and share your stuff, customers will raise brand awareness for you.
Now that we’ve gone through how to build brand awareness, let us look at some brand awareness strategies and examples.
Strategies and examples of building brand awareness
There is obviously no quick fix for great brand awareness, however, you can establish that by using these brand awareness strategies.
If you offer an added perk, users will gladly be marketing your product through word-of-mouth or referring your business to their connections.
An example of this would be the cloud storage solution Dropbox which provides existing users 500 MB of extra storage for every friend they refer. It helped Dropbox generate a huge number of sign-ups, saving them from spending money on advertisements.
Impressive guest content
You can also get your brand known on the internet by delivering valuable and aesthetic-looking content that can be shared on other blogs.
Guest posting is still a very powerful tool to get your name known throughout the industry.
The key here is to ensure that your guest publishes high-quality stuff.
Now, create valuable, gorgeous, and aesthetic content that will ensure that new audiences know your brand and leave a lasting impression.
Promote Your Store on Social Media
Promoting your eCommerce business on social media is crucial to increasing brand awareness.
Doesn’t matter if your business is small or popular, it is important to use social media to your vantage and promote your store. This is because there are a high number of people that use social media daily and engage with content on these platforms actively. This can really help businesses reach a large audience.
According to GlobalWebIndex, over 50% of social media users use social media to research products, share brand-related content and connect with their favorite brands among various other things. And 54% of active users on social media follow and engage with brands actively.
This simply highlights what a significant role social media plays in marketing; it is impactful and effective, providing businesses the space to advertise their products directly to customers.
Run Contests & Giveaways
Another way to raise awareness for your business is by running contests and giveaways online.
Contests can your social media accounts grow at a significant rate. In fact, accounts that create and share contests with their followers grow 70% faster than those accounts that do not, according to Tailwind.
Furthermore, the research also shows that contests are the type of social media posts to get higher levels of engagement. On Instagram, these are the posts that receive the most number of comments on that account.
Therefore, brands are now incorporating contests and giveaways into their social media marketing strategies to keep their audience engaged and attract new followers.
Build Links Back to Your Target Pages
Building backlinks to some of your pages is a great way to increase brand awareness.
Building links to target pages (most likely to be product pages) can help in increasing the domain rating of your site which can make your site authoritative and powerful.
To achieve this, you need to make sure that your content is linkable and engaging, enticing people to link back and refer to, and share on social media.
According to Backlinko, posts that are considered the engaging types are the “why posts”, videos, infographics, and “what posts”. You can use these types of content to build backlinks to share and improve your brand awareness.
Engage with Niche Communities Online
By engaging with niche communities online, you can increase your brand awareness. Engaging with a niche may lead your website to be catered to and addressed to people with particular interests.
When you engage with a particular niche, you have the chance to gain loyal and engaging customers that will be happy to interact with your content, buy your products and use your services.
Niche communities can help you increase trust between the business and the audience, and it is profitable.
Use Social Ads
Using social ads can help you expand your audience and as a result, improve brand awareness for your eCommerce store.
Therefore, setting a budget for ads on Instagram, Facebook, etc. can prove to be useful and effective for your business’s growth and success.
This is because social media platforms give their users the chance to post paid ads or share sponsored posts through influence collaborations- all of these can help improve brand awareness.
Forge Strategic Industry Partnerships
When you are a new business, it is a great idea to form close partnerships with other business owners. Again, never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing or referrals.
An in-person networking opportunity can be achieved through content marketing as well. And here are a few ways you can use content to build industry partnerships:
- Email outreach can help form third-party publishing opportunities.
- Publishing inspiring leadership content on LinkedIn to get new connections.
- Joining Facebook groups and sharing insights with other industry professionals.
- Hosting a Facebook or Instagram live to grow your following.
- Posting informative and engaging video content so that other business owners can interact in the comment section.
- Inviting business owners to be interviewed for your blog or to contribute a content piece.
There are various benefits to forging these partnerships, like, as you can create a wide network of referrals and you can take advantage of the authority and reach that other businesses have when you share content.
If you want to boost brand awareness, this should be an ongoing activity.
Publish On Third-Party Websites
If you have a new business, your website could lack the authority to ensure that your content reaches the top of the Google search results.
And it can be due to your content optimization, the age of your domain, and your backlinking history.
However, you can boost your own influence and authority by simply using others, and here’s how this works:
- Create a list of your industry-related website because they are most likely to publish your content.
- Reach out to publishers via an email and ask if you can contribute content for the blog periodically. And remember to specify that this is not for linking purposes but for simply sharing your experience in the industry.
- Once they accept, you can write content on the topics your audience finds valuable. Also, draw a balance and avoid self-promotion.
- Now, simply share this content and grow your audience.
This process is known as guest posting and it can really be helpful if you have a very small audience. With this process, you can garner more attention to your content and your brand.
Capitalize On Influencer Marketing
When you use influencer marketing strategies, you reach a wider audience. This is vital for eCommerce brands to engage with influencers to share and promote their products and brand.
All you need to do is find influencers in your industries that are interested in collaboration. This can be in exchange for free products or could be a paid collaboration.
And if they accept, it can be a great way to grow your following and increase brand awareness.
Let Data Drive Your Content
Content marketing and its success rely on using data to boost your content. Publishing and praying will not work as a strategy, therefore you need to have a content plan backed by proper audience research.
You can use any of the tools listed below to interpret your user data and form your content strategy.
- Google Analytics can be used for data on performance insights, user demography, and user behavior.
- Google Search Console can be used for keyword performance data, click-through rate, etc.
- SEMRush can be used for keyword research, content analysis, competitor analysis, and backlinks reports.
- Hootsuite or Meta Business Suite for data on social media engagement, impressions, and brand awareness.
You should monitor these tools on a weekly basis to understand how your content is currently performing on your platforms and how they support generating brand awareness.
Diversify Your Content Strategy
Since you are a fresher in the field, it can be impossible to understand and know which platforms and what type of content will work best for you and resonate with your audience.
Therefore, you will need to diversify your content strategy to see which one has creates the most impact on your brand.
Your content should serve the purpose of communicating your values as a brand, and as a company. You can use different types of content like:
- Social media posts
- Blog articles
- Live videos
- Guest posts
- Paid ads
- Email campaigns
As time goes by, your analytics will help you understand which types of content your audience likes and engages with the most and will guide you on what content to publish more often and how to mix up your content strategy.
Utilize Social Listening Tools
Sentiment Analysis uses machine learning to listen to the conversations users are having online and see how people are talking about your brand.
This can be valuable as it allows you to see if your brand is discussed in a positive manner or a negative manner.
Furthermore, it provides you with the opportunity to own your narrative.
This new age of consumer intelligence allows brands to get ahead of the curse and shift their perspective, driving positive brand awareness online.
Establish A Content Publishing Strategy
Once you have the results of your audience research, data analysis, and social listening insights, you will have a general idea of what to publish. However, getting the actual content out there is whole another thing.
Building brand awareness depends on messaging and consistency. Therefore, if you are lax on your publishing schedule, you can miss out on opportunities to create and boost brand awareness. And if you are inconsistent with your messaging, you can easily confuse your audience about your brand.
Therefore, it is crucial to establish a publishing schedule with dates and outlined topics that can hold you accountable and help create content regularly.
Own Branded And Non-Branded Conversations
Being the sole voice for your brand is important but you should also ensure that you have non-branded conversations online.
This can be achieved by simply shifting the focus of your content like sharing your knowledge on certain industry topics, what topics your audience is interested in, or sharing your views on recent trends.
This is to keep in touch with your industry, not just your business and brand. You should be able to talk shop with your audience and they’re more likely to encounter your brand and engage with it.
How to Measure Brand Awareness
Now, there are various quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure brand awareness across different distribution channels- this includes net promoter scores, market matching, and brand rankings.
Qualitative Brand Awareness Measures
These tactics can help you understand who and how many people are aware of your brand and you can measure them qualitatively using:
- Google Alerts
All you need to do is set it up and see how your brand is being talked about online. It will give you alerts on any news or mentions by any third-party press.
- Social Listening
This can help monitor organic mentions and engagement like who is tagging your brand, what kind of comments are they leaving, using your hashtag in their posts, etc.
The more your audience discusses your brand on social media, the more they’ll get aware of it.
- Running brand awareness surveys
Here, you need to directly get feedback from your customers and audience. This can be really helpful with understand who knows of your brand but also what they think of it.
You can either share these surveys via mail or share them on social media.
Quantitative Brand Awareness Measures
Numbers can really help paint the big picture of your brand awareness. You can use these metrics to mature quantitatively:
- Direct traffic
Direct traffic results from people typing out your URL and visiting your site. And this number will tell you how much your marketing tactics entice people to visit your site.
It is an important metric as customers directly go to your site meaning they are more aware of your brand than those who are simply redirected through social media or by typing keywords.
- Site Traffic
This metric reflects the overall site traffic which can tell you how much of the internet population is looking through your content and engaging with your brand.
Although it won’t tell you where these people are coming from, it shows that they’re aware of the brand enough to check it out.
- Social engagement
Engagement consists of follows, likes, comments, retweets, shares, and more. It reflects on how many people are not only aware of your brand but how they socialize with it.
These qualitative and quantitative metrics will help you understand your brand awareness. It may never be a perfect number but when you measure it, it will help guide campaigns and connect with your audience.
So, there you have it. Brand awareness is important for the success and growth of your eCommerce business.
We hope that this guide has helped you realize what brand awareness is, how it is vital to brand equity and association, how you can build brand awareness, and some of the brand awareness strategies you can use. You should also measure your brand awareness both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Again, we’d suggest laying down your foundational strategy to raise brand awareness soon after the launch of your eCommerce business as it will help in boosting customer loyalty and generating revenue overall. Additionally, it will also help in the longevity of the business.
So go ahead and choose a mix of suggested strategies, find out what works best for you and create your own identity in the eCommerce space.