Brand awareness is one of the parts of digital marketing that can mean the difference between a brand rising above their competitors or remaining small and unknown. Unfortunately, for small brands, building that awareness is often trickier because they can’t call on the same massive marketing budgets of their competitors.
But that’s not to say that small brands can’t improve their brand awareness. It just means that they have to use different strategies. To learn more about marketing strategies, click here.
What is Brand Awareness in Digital Marketing?
Brand awareness refers to how much a small brand’s name and its product are associated.
As an example, take a look at the phrase “Have you Googled it?” By this, people usually mean “have you searched for it using a search engine?” Because Google is a huge company with massive brand awareness, customers have replaced the generic phrase with the branded term.
While small brands may never reach this apex of brand awareness, it just goes to show how powerful brand awareness is as a digital marketing concept and how important to consider it for your online marketing strategy.
Brand Recognition vs. Brand Awareness
While brand awareness is all about connecting branded names and words to a product, brand recognition is where customers connect a brand’s chosen colours, fonts, or other visual aspects with a product.
So, if a customer is scanning fizzy drinks and sees white lettering on a red background, they’re likely to recognise it as Coca-Cola before they even read the words.
Brand recognition is the first step in the branding process because it’s the first association between a brand’s visual identity and its name. Brand awareness takes this further by associating the business’ name and branded words with products, services, emotions, and more.
Why is Brand Awareness Important?
Regardless of how much money a company can throw into their marketing budget, they won’t get far without brand awareness. It makes a business’ name and other aspects a key experience of purchasing from that company. Customers can then recognise their shared values with the brand, which helps increase their confidence. Not only that, but a robust brand awareness campaign can help garner loyalty with current customers and entice new ones, making it a valuable strategy for increasing sales and revenue.
Five Ways to Build Brand Awareness on a Budget
Thankfully, small brands don’t have to spend a fortune to improve their brand awareness. These five brand awareness campaign ideas are great for small brands who are looking to either get started with or improve their brand awareness.
1. Photo Competitions
Photo competitions present a fantastic opportunity for small brands to leverage user-generated content effectively. By encouraging customers to submit pictures featuring the brand’s products, businesses can create engaging and interactive campaigns. Offering a prize for the most liked photo on a specific social media platform or the one with the most votes generates excitement and encourages participation. These competitions not only foster a sense of community and loyalty among customers but also expand the brand’s reach as participants share their entries with their networks. Additionally, the user-generated content obtained through photo competitions provides valuable and authentic promotional material, further enhancing the brand’s visibility and credibility in the digital landscape.
2. Publish on LinkedIn
This is a great strategy for brands who want to improve their brand awareness amongst other industry professionals. Many professionals publish on LinkedIn to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry, which is what this platform has become known for.
3. Use Personality
Depending on their industry, small brand owners using more of their personalities on social media can help their brand stand out against their competitors. If it’s appropriate, sharing memes with an industry twist, funny pictures, or videos talking about certain topics will help connect a brand’s product to its personality.
Branded hashtags have emerged as powerful tools to boost brand awareness in the digital age. By encouraging customers to share pictures of their purchases using these hashtags, small brand owners can tap into the vast potential of user-generated content. Not only do branded hashtags create a sense of community and loyalty among customers, but they also serve as a promotional platform for the brand. As customers share their product pictures with the hashtag, it reaches a broader audience, attracting potential new customers. This organic and authentic form of marketing can significantly impact the brand’s visibility and credibility. Therefore, small brand owners must actively use branded hashtags in their own posts and actively promote their customers to do the same. By harnessing the power of social media, these hashtags can become an invaluable asset in growing and sustaining a brand’s presence. To learn more about effective business strategies on strategycapstone.org.
5. Referral Schemes
Referral schemes offer an ingenious way for small brands to enhance brand awareness through the powerful tool of word of mouth. These schemes, tailored to fit different budgets, entice customers to spread the word about the brand by offering enticing incentives such as discount codes, free trials, or other freebies. By rewarding loyal customers for referring others, these schemes not only strengthen customer loyalty but also entice potential new customers to try out the brand’s offerings. The ripple effect of positive word-of-mouth marketing generated by satisfied customers can significantly boost the brand’s visibility and credibility in the market. Moreover, referral schemes provide a cost-effective marketing strategy, as they leverage the existing customer base to attract new customers, thereby maximizing the impact on brand awareness and driving sustainable growth for small businesses.
Brand Awareness for Small Brands: In Summary
While small brands can’t afford to spend vast sums of money on a marketing budget, there are numerous ways that they can improve their brand awareness. Regardless of what budget a small brand has available, a brand awareness campaign is infinitely valuable as it attracts new customers, inspires loyalty from returning customers, and turn a small brand into a customer experience.
If you are thinking of giving your brand strategy a makeover or want to start creating brand awareness from scratch, see how Allsopp Media can help you.