As a small business owner, you’re continually looking for ways to increase brand awareness and stand out from the competition. While many different techniques can be used, some are more effective than others to increase brand awareness for SMBs.
Since we’re all about helping small businesses grow, we’ve put together a list of recommendations for increasing brand awareness for your small business. It’s a great start and should give you some ideas for getting started.
Identify your target audience.
When building your brand awareness campaign, you must clearly understand who your target audience is. Try to get as specific as possible when identifying your target audience. This way, you’ll be able to create content and marketing materials tailored to them, which will help increase brand awareness.
I’m not talking about just making a general assumption about who your target audience is. You need to take the time to research and understand who they are, what their needs and wants are, and what motivates them.
This research can be done in several ways, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups. You can also conduct research based on what you know.
For example, if you serve small businesses as we do, then with some quick searching, you’ll find that over half of small business owners are 55 or older. Almost half are between the ages of 35 and 55, and only a tiny percentage are under 35. So what does that mean? It means we need to target ages 35 and up.
Of course, that’s just one metric to look at, and you’ll want to consider other factors as well, but you must take the time to understand your target audience before moving on to the next step.
Research your competition.
Now that you have a firm understanding of your target audience, it’s time to start looking at your competition.
When building brand awareness, you want to take the time to understand what they’re doing well and what they’re doing poorly. This will give you a good idea of where there may be opportunities for you to improve upon what they’re doing and better serve your target audience.
Start by identifying who your top 3-5 competitors are. Once you’ve done that, look at their website and social media presence. You want to check out their already established brand awareness.
How often are they posting? What kind of content are they sharing? Are they active on social media?
You should also look at things like their reviews and ratings. What do people say about them? This can give you an idea of how their target audience perceives them and where opportunities for you to improve may be.
It’s also a good idea to look at their marketing materials. What do their business cards, flyers, and other marketing materials look like? This can give you some ideas for making your marketing materials stand out.
Finally, you’ll want to take a look at their sales process. How are they selling their products or services? What kind of offers are they making? What’s the overall experience like?
This will give you some ideas of how you can improve upon their sales process and better serve your target audience when you build brand awareness.
Develop a marketing strategy.
With your target audience and competitors in mind, it’s time to start developing your marketing strategy. This is where you’ll decide how you will reach your target audience and what kind of message you will share with them.
You can use several different marketing channels, including social media, email marketing (there are many different types of email campaigns you can send out), content marketing, and paid advertising. You’ll want to consider all types of marketing campaigns and how they could work for your business.
After all, what works to make one person aware of your brand might not work for another.
You’ll also want to create a marketing budget. This will help you determine how much you’re willing to spend on marketing each month or year.
Once you’ve developed your marketing strategy, you’ll want to create some goals. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART goals). This will help you track your progress and ensure successful marketing efforts.
Some goals you may want to consider include the following—
- Increasing website traffic by X% before the end of the month.
- Growing social media following by X% in 2022.
- Generating X new leads per month.
- Increasing sales by X% in the third quarter.
You get the idea. These are just a few examples, but you’ll want to develop goals that make sense for your business.
Develop a professional website.
With your marketing strategy in place, it’s time to develop a professional website. This is one of the most important things you can do to increase brand awareness for your small business.
Your website is often the first thing potential customers will see, so you want to make sure it makes a good impression. It should be well-designed, easy to navigate, and informative. When I say well-design, I mean it should look good with your brand’s color scheme, logo, and overall style.
If you’re not a web designer, you may want to consider hiring someone to help you with this. It’s worth the investment to have a professional-looking website that will help you increase brand awareness and attract more customers. A pro will know how to design a website that is visually appealing and easy to use. They’ll integrate various design elements and funneling techniques to get customers to take action, whether signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
If you decide to go the DIY route, there are plenty of website builders and templates available to help you create a professional website on your own. Services like WordPress and Squarespace make it easy to create a website without coding knowledge. I don’t recommend this route, as your website is far too essential, but it’s doable if you’re on a tight budget. Especially if you want to have an online store or something more complex.
In addition to making sure your website looks good, you’ll want to ensure it’s optimized for search engines (SEO). This means using the right keywords and phrases throughout your site so that people can find them online when searching for businesses like yours.
Create high-quality content.
With your marketing strategy, it’s time to start creating content. But for a successful content marketing campaign, you have to create high quality content. Remember, you want your potential customer base to be engaged.
Content is one of the most critical pieces of your marketing efforts as it helps attract and engage your target audience. When you really want to increase brand awareness for your small business, content is king.
When creating content, you’ll want to ensure that it’s high quality and relevant to your target audience. It should also be exciting and engaging so that people will want to read and share it with others.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that each piece of content is optimized for search engines. This means using the right keywords and phrases so that people can easily find your content when they’re searching online. Remember to integrate your color scheme, logo, and overall branding into the content to increase brand awareness.
Depending on which channels you’re focusing on from your marketing strategy, some types of content you may want to create include—
- Blog posts. Keyword rich are great for SEO for your website.
- Videos. These have more engagement than photos.
- Podcasts. This is a great way to get your brand in front of new audiences.
- Infographics. Everyone loves a good infographic on social media.
- Whitepapers. These get shared across industries. These can make your brand authority.
- Ebooks. These are great for lead magnets.
- Email newsletters. Using email templates, reach out to your email list periodically to keep your brand top of mind.
Use social media to reach a wider audience.
Although this may fall under content generation, social media has such a broad reach it deserves its category.
You’ll want to start by creating profiles on the social media platforms that your target audience is most active on. You don’t need profiles on all platforms (a ton of them), but at least focus on the major ones, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Once your profiles are set up, it’s time to start sharing content. Remember to share a mix of content types (text, images, videos) and to focus on quality over quantity. You don’t need to post ten times a day—once or twice per day is fine.
It would be best if you also interacted with other users on social media. This means liking and commenting on other people’s posts and sharing their content on your own profiles. Not only will this help you get more followers, but it will also help you build relationships with other users—which can be beneficial for your brand.
One key thing to remember with social media is that it’s all about being social. It’s the face of your brand online. So whatever you post, make sure it’s something that will start a conversation and get people talking about your brand.
Invest in online advertising.
One of the quickest ways to increase brand awareness for your small business is to invest in online advertising.
You can advertise on different platforms, but some of the most popular ones include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. These platforms allow you to target your ads to specific audiences, so you’re only spending money on ads that will reach people interested in your product or service.
When creating your ads, you’ll want to ensure they’re eye-catching and relevant to your target audience. You’ll also want to include a call-to-action so that people know what you want them to do (such as visiting your website or signing up for your email list with their email addresses).
Online advertising can be a great way to reach a larger audience and get your brand in front of new people. Ensure you’re investing money wisely and targeting your ads to the right people. Also, ensure that you’re capturing leads from your ads by sending people to a landing page where they can sign up for more information. I’ve seen many businesses throw money away by not doing this!
Attend trade shows and events.
Depending on your industry, you may attend trade shows or local events to help increase your small business’s brand awareness.
Trade shows are a great way to meet new people and get your brand in front of potential customers. You’ll want to set up a booth or display so people can learn more about your company. And don’t forget to have plenty of marketing materials (such as business cards, flyers, and brochures) on hand to give out to people.
Events are another great opportunity to get your brand in front of new people. You can sponsor an event, host, or attend events relevant to your industry. For example, if you sell pet products, you could attend a pet-related event or host an adoption event at your store.
Attending trade shows and events can be a great way to increase brand awareness. Make sure you’re strategic about which ones you attend and that you’re prepared with plenty of marketing materials to hand out.
Pro Tip: Before going to an event, create a webpage dedicated to the event on your website. On the page, thank the user for visiting them at the event and offering a discount.
Then, post a QR code to that page at the event or trade show. That will be the only way anyone will find that page. It’s a unique way to personalize their experience with your brand.
Give back to the community.
One of my favorite ways to increase brand awareness for a small business is to give back to the community. There are several ways you can do this. Still, some examples include hosting a charity event, giving a percentage of sales to a cause, or volunteering your time to help others.
Giving back to the community is a great way to improve your brand’s image and make people feel good about doing business with you. It’s also a great way to get your brand in front of new people.
When giving back to the community, ensure you’re strategic about it. Choose a cause that’s relevant to your business and that you’re passionate about.
For example, a company we worked with hosted its grand opening, dedicating proceeds to cancer awareness. They could generate quite a bit of media coverage because it was a cause that people could get behind. And, because they were strategic about how they gave back, they continued to see an increase in brand awareness and sales months after their grand opening.
Is brand awareness important for your small business?
Brand awareness is critical for any small business. You want your target market to recognize your brand and for it to be top of mind when they go to make a purchase.
To increase brand awareness, you need to be strategic in targeting your ads, developing your content marketing strategy, attending trade shows and events, and giving back to the community. All of these brand awareness campaigns will keep your customer base engaged with your brand.
Make sure that you have a well-designed website and plenty of marketing materials available to hand out to potential customers. By following these tips, you’ll be able to increase brand awareness for your small business, focus your content marketing efforts, and see an increase in sales.