A list of “lesser-known brands that consumers should learn about” comes out almost annually. Lists like these prime consumers to be impressed, be in the know, and remember the mentioned brands in the future. If your brand is referred to as “lesser-known” in the early days of its existence, that’s totally fine. After that, it’s probably the last thing you’ll want to be labeled. In today’s retail landscape, if your brand doesn’t have a strong digital presence, it is likely to be lesser-known. Fortunately, you can change that by learning how to increase brand awareness through digital marketing.
Learn How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Digital Marketing
The first thing to do to increase brand awareness is to make sure your digital strategy is effective, and that you are attracting the attention you want. This is a matter of choosing which mediums (email, targeted ads, etc.) you want to use, creating social media profiles, and scheduling how often you send out communications. This is called organic reach, and it’s essential. When done properly, it can pay off in a big way.
The foundational steps in crafting your digital presence are straightforward:
- Choose your media carefully: Most marketing campaigns adopt an omnichannel approach. There are a lot of digital platforms, and while it’s perfectly fine to take advantage of more than one, you can’t be on every one of them. You want your presence known on the platforms where your customers interact the most. Be aware of national trends, as well as the habits of your demographic segment. Among the digital platforms you have to choose from are:
- your website
- social media
- mobile apps
Your presence on each of these platforms should be uniform in appearance and tone—making it easy for consumers to recognize your brand.
- Stay on the cutting edge: Preference and technology can change fast, and your brand needs to keep up. Interacting on the right platforms not only helps you stay at the center of your customers’ attention, but it also provides you with new ways to tell your story and expand your audience. Make your digital content engaging, targeted to your customers’ interests, and shareable—every share has the ability to expand your audience exponentially. And, don’t forget to include hashtags where appropriate.
- Reach all channels: Be technically proficient. People access their media across multiple devices, so you need to be sure your content looks as good on a smartphone as it does on a tablet or computer screen. Otherwise, you will be excluding a big chunk of your potential audience. This involves a little more technical work, but it’s an important quality assurance issue.
Give your digital presence a paid boost too. There is a dizzying array of choices on the ad market, so it’s not always easy to make a choice. Once again, market research is needed to focus your efforts where they will be most effective. A good start is to look at where your competition is already advertising. Paid social media can complement and expand on your organic social media or exist as independent campaigns.
Paid social media
These are the familiar pay-per-click ads, banners and display ads, but newer formats like paid videos on platforms like Facebook and TikTok are gaining popularity. If you create really clever videos, they will find an audience on YouTube too. Native advertising fits into its surroundings more unobtrusively, usually around the edges of the main content. You see native advertising all over: Google, news websites, shopping sites, and more.
Remarketing and recommendation
Remarketing is a process that takes into account one’s previous browsing habits and suggests similar items in other contexts. Say someone views a pair of shoes on your website. Remarketing will offer similar types of shoes from your website to the same potential customer as an ad on Facebook, Google, or anywhere else they browse online. One study found that online retail browsers who engaged with a recommended product had a 70% higher conversion rate during that session.
In-app advertising is exactly what it sounds like: your ad appears in an app. The advantage of in-app ads is that they have the ability to travel with consumers wherever their mobile phone does. They can be delivered to a specific demographic or they can target audiences in certain locations. This huge ad market highlights the importance of having mobile-ready content—that’s where your in-app ads will link.
Engage and Interact
You want your brand to be likeable and your digital presence to be memorable. Although, some brands try courting controversy or arousing discomfort from time to time. In any case, a well crafted digital campaign can stick in the public memory for years and even be remembered by the imitators it spawns. To this day, “Axe” summons up images of teenage boys and cologne in the minds of many people before they think of the woodcutting implement.
Cleverness counts here, but responsiveness is equally important. It creates the emotional connection that leads to brand affinity.
Be fun and engaging: People will spend more time interacting with your brand when it’s enjoyable. Consider creating contests and giveaways and posting content that humanizes your brand. Different platforms have inherently different tones, so you can highlight all aspects of your brand culture—Twitter would be a great place to keep your consumers updated about contests and giveaways, for example.
Listen and be responsive: Make a space for your customers to express themselves, and then answer their questions, thank them for their opinions and let them know they are important in your eyes. Providing a space for customers to leave reviews allows them to feel heard. You will inevitably get a few negative reviews, but consider them an opportunity for you to turn that impression around and demonstrate your concern for the customer experience. You might also pick up a few valuable tips that way. Research has shown that replying to negative reviews leads to better reviews overall.
Use a third-party app: Third-party apps have a lot of advantages. First, you increase brand awareness by associating yourself with an existing brand. The user opens the app they already know, and there you are. One of the biggest impediments to app launch is adoption, so you can get ahead of a very crowded market this way, and you get access to an existing audience base.
If you’re still wondering how to increase brand awareness through digital marketing, look no further than Shopkick. This innovative mobile rewards shopping app allows your brand to be visible, reach consumers, and reward them for their engagement and loyalty. With Shopkick, you’ll be able to reach an audience of consumers who may not yet be familiar with you or your products—ensuring you are no longer referred to as “lesser-known”—and incentivize them for engaging with your brand.