Tips & techniques to create brand awareness for small business
One of the top concerns among the businessman is a lack of brand awareness. They have so many great things to offer, but no one seems to know they exist.
When building brand awareness, your greatest weapon is repetitive and relevant exposure. You want your business name to show up where your target audience exists online to increase viewership and likelihood of engagement.
As with all inbound marketing strategies, your brand awareness strategies should not annoy or interrupt your target audience. Nobody likes spam. Your content should place you in their field of view so they can approach you willingly when they become interested.
Here are 25 ways to increase brand awareness with inbound marketing.
Content Marketing and Distribution
- Regular Content Production
Create new content regularly to improve your SEO and increase your chances of being found online. The more optimized content you produce, the more likely your best buyers will find it during the buying process. Blogging is the easiest way to create consistent content.
- Infographics & Visual Content
People like and share infographics 3 times more than other content. Similarly, colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. Additionally, with mobile devices accounting for the majority of internet usage, condensing key information from your content into an infographic that users can save onto their phone or tablet will add a ton of value to your posts.
Multimedia content includes videos, presentations, webinars, and more. Short YouTube videos are a fantastic way to create a buzz around your brand. Each year, video and other multimedia content become more and more prevalent in the marketing world, yet so many businesses fail to utilize it as a tool. Stay ahead of the curve and start incorporating multimedia into your marketing tactics!
- Demos, Free Trials, Samples
Nothing catches attention like free stuff. Use the power of "free" to get your hooks in potential customers. Whether it’s pens and pamphlets at a trade show or offering a free consultation on your business cards, adding extra value to your customers’ experience is much more likely to help turn your leads into sales.
- Interactive Content
Interactive content is highly shareable and drives high conversion rates. Quizzes, graders, checklists, and calculators can all add value for your visitors. Not only does this type of content present more opportunities for engagement, it also provides a better UX because consumers feel like they’re getting more involved in the process.
Keep your business in front of visitors who have already seen your site. Remarketing targets prior visitors to keep your name at the forefront of their research. Doing this creates an audience of users who are clearly already interested in your business (based on their prior sessions), and delivers your content to them faster the next time they’re using relevant search queries.
- Email Tagline
Make sure to link to your website or blog in your email signature. This is a low-investment, low-effort way to promote your business. HubSpot's email signature generator tool is a quick and easy way to create a visually appealing branded signature.
- Industry Publications
Contact magazines, news sources, industry blogs, or other publications (online or offline) and see if they'll publish your content or company news. Not only are you broadening your audience with the publications themselves, but you’re also opening yourself up to those outlets’ social channels as well.
- Guest Blogging
Do you have friends (or even competitors) in your industry who would be willing to do a guest post on your blog? Guest blogging is a great way to get your name out to a new audience. All of their followers will see your name on their blog, and vice versa. If they post on social media and send out email blasts, your content will reach their entire follower base.
- Referral Programs
Ebates is on top of referral marketing. If you refer two friends to the website and they make purchases, you get $50 free. You get more money the more people you refer! Even if you aren’t in a place where you can give money away, there are many other incentives you can offer to reach your customers' social and professional circles.
- Local/Industry Partnerships
Mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses can have a major impact on your bottom line. If they run into someone who needs your services, you'll get the first referral. We've done it for other businesses in our area, and we've had others refer customers to us.
- Community Involvement
Bring your marketing close to home by getting involved in your community. Sponsor local events, get involved with local schools, and host your own events to make your business a household name. Not only will this spread the word about your company, but it will do so with a positive connotation because of your service.
- Join Your Chamber of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce aim to promote local businesses and stimulate the economy. You'll be added to their website, get notifications about events, network with other local businesses, and take part in additional opportunities to build brand awareness.
If you've got news, make sure to share it in your local paper (or do an official press release if the news is big enough). It could likely catch on and spread to other news sources, plus most publications these days also have social media channels where they share articles, so you’ll be getting double the exposure!
- Daily Social Posting
You don't have to write a novel every day, but visitors should be able to look at your social media profiles and know you're in business. Plus, the more valuable content you post, the higher the chance of a follower sharing your content.
- Paid Social Ads
For B2B companies, LinkedIn has a huge professional population and highly targeted advertising capabilities to get your name out. We've had great success using LinkedIn Ads. You can also try Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if they apply to your business.
- Social Publishing
LinkedIn also offers Pulse, a social blogging platform that lets users write and publish on their own. The most successful content is informative, relatable, and emotionally driven. Aside from spreading the word about your business, you can also use it to network with other writers in your industry.
- Contests & Giveaways
More free stuff! You can exchange free items, small prizes, or big rewards in exchange for social reach. Request that your audience engages with your post in some way to become eligible for the contest.
- Polls & Surveys
People like answering questions. You can ask questions in a Facebook post, or you can create a survey directly on Twitter or in Instagram Stories. Not only is this a way to quickly and easily gain valuable input from your audience, but it also improves UX by getting consumers more involved.
You can reach a bunch of strangers with hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. By placing a hashtag in your post #likethis, users can click/search for those tags to find similar posts. #tbt (Throwback Thursday) is a very popular tag that you can use on Thursdays to increase brand awareness.
Directly mentioning or tagging someone notifies them, literally bringing their attention directly to your post. If they retweet or respond, you can also reach their follower base. Use mentions to call out influencers or other brands (just make sure you're adding value).
- Limited Time/Limited Quantity
Create a sense of urgency surrounding your content or product to spread the word about timely sales and limited offers. People love being part of limited time or quantity offers, and slapping a timer on the offer instills an pressing need to take action.
- Closed Beta Launch
Offer select early access to your content to a few lucky people. If you want to generate buzz, plan your offer in the form of a social contest - only those who opt in the way you’ve requested could be eligible to be chosen. Everyone wants what they can’t have, so making your content more exclusive will increase demand.
- Freebies for Special Customers
Those who are most involved with your business get the biggest prizes. Many businesses give away freebies when customers hit certain checkpoints (X years of loyalty, spend X amount of money per month).
- Membership Benefits
Many websites are moving into freemium territory- you get free access to some services, but you have to become a member to unlock ad-free viewing/free shipping/other perks. For brand awareness, you can emphasize the benefits of your free services, and whoever wants to pay for membership will do so.
Try to keep in mind that these are just our suggestions! If you find something else that works better for your business, don't be afraid to try it. Increasing brand awareness takes time, effort, trial and error, and a lot of experimentation. You won't see results immediately - very few pieces of content go viral, and shaping your online presence takes time.
Whatever you do, do it the inbound marketing way: by adding value, educating, and most importantly, by delighting your target audience with all the unique content your business has to share!