Branding needs to be at the forefront of any communications strategy, regardless of whether you are a startup or an established business. An effective brand awareness campaign provides you with many important benefits. It helps your audience tie your name to your product or service in the context of your brand’s personality, culture, and social purpose.

Brand awareness campaigns are all about telling your story, humanizing your company, and featuring your team of experts. Brand awareness needs to be an underlying objective of your communications strategy as an ongoing effort that is reflected in your PR campaigns to build cumulative benefit and awareness. Being aware of what a business has to offer and stands for is the deciding factor for customers selecting one particular brand over its competitors.

Measure Current Brand Awareness
To build and improve awareness of your brand, you first need to measure it. With brand awareness, your target audience understands how your brand’s solution fits their needs or solves their problem. Measuring awareness of your brand sets the benchmarks for your campaigns and the objectives you need to achieve. Ways of measuring brand awareness include tracking website traffic, conducting surveys, monitoring mentions of your brand in the media and on social media. Track levels of engagement with content that mentions your brand name and evaluate the sentiment of these conversations. The insights, data and information you gather will give you a sense of how well your communications strategy is working, whether your messaging is correct and how your brand performs against your competitors.

Maintain Consistency
Regardless of how big or small your business, whether you are consumer focused or a B2B company, you will benefit from developing and maintaining a consistently recognizable brand. Ensure you present your brand in the right way across all platforms and customer touchpoints, both visually and in your key messaging. In addition to the logo, other aspects of consistency are your brand voice and the content you produce across every channel you are communicating on. Ultimately, brand consistency is all about building trust in your brand and for people to trust you, they need to know you, recognize you and remember you. Consistent branding is best achieved when you create rules to follow with a documented brand guide.

Create Branded Content
You need to 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 buyers will find it during their research process. In the digital age, most companies become their own publishers and good quality, keyword targeted blogs are an effective way to create branded content in the form of thought leadership. Research also shows that people are 3 times more likely to share infographics than any other content. Video and multimedia content consumption is on the rise and should be incorporated in your brand communications tactics. Interactive content is also highly shareable and will drive engagement. This includes content such as polls, quizzes, and competitions, which can all add value to your brand campaign.

Earn Media Coverage
To continually build and reinforce your brand story, you should aim to generate earned media coverage. Contact magazines, news sources, industry blogs, or other publications to pitch your content or company news. Not only are you broadening your audience, but you are reaching the respective media outlets’ social channels as well. Another great way to earn media coverage is with guest blogging on influential industry sites to get your name out to a new audience. All of their followers will see your name on their blog, and on social media. Aligning yourself with a respected brand or influencer will elevate you to their image and reputation.

Harness Testimonials
Most people trust the opinions of colleagues and friends, and actively consult them prior to making a purchase. People care about the experiences and opinions of others and place more value on those than they do on the word of a brand. Therefore, positive online reviews and testimonials influence decisions. This is your opportunity to provide social proof of your brand promise and experience. If you can create a community of advocates around your brand with your campaign on social media or other digital marketing channels, it will drive trust and loyalty, which are key prerequisites for brand recognition.

Segment Your Audience
Having measured awareness of your brand with target audiences, you have the knowledge to create a better strategy for segmenting your audiences. The goal is to present more relevant content to users, run more targeted campaigns, and deliver messaging that will really resonate with them via the right channels. When segmenting audiences, start with a few and see what the results are before taking on more. A simple segmentation structure puts you in a better position to do complex segmentations in the future.

Commit to Your Social Media Presence
Well optimized social media channels are a powerful tool for your brand campaigns. Almost everyone is now on social media and that is a market you cannot afford to miss. Use social media to make your message stand out from the crowd and to get recognition from your potential customers and your existing audience. The right platform for your business is always the platform where your customers are present. Create a branded hashtag that is only used to relate to your products or company. A branded hashtag helps to find and repost user-generated content.

Brand awareness helps build a loyal community that will support your brand through thick and thin. The process of building brand awareness is designed to make you a leader in your niche. The more brand awareness campaigns you run, the more brand advocates you gain beyond your normal target demographic.