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
Small brands can take advantage of user-generated content by getting customers to submit photos of them with the brand’s product. Then, offer a prize for the most liked photo on a certain social media platform or the photo with the most votes.
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 encourage customers to share pictures of their purchases, making them fantastic for brand awareness. Small brand owners should ensure not only to use these for their own posts but also to encourage their customers to use that hashtag for product pictures.
5. Referral Schemes
Depending on the budget, a referral scheme with a discount code, a free trial, or other freebies can improve brand awareness through word of mouth. Referral schemes are hugely beneficial to small brands because they reward loyal customers and help new customers try out a new product.
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.