As a business owner, you know that building brand awareness is key to your success. If people don’t know who you are or what you do, they’re not going to buy from you.
In order to increase brand awareness in 2023 (and beyond), you need to employ some of the best strategies out there.
In this post, we’ll discuss 5 brilliant ways to increase your brand awareness and capture your target market’s attention.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
1. Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers are a must in your brand awareness campaign playbook.
As you know, influencers, well, influence!
More specifically, influencers persuade their loyal followers to take action, whether that’s buying a product, signing up for a service, or following a brand.
Now, consumers don’t follow influencers “just because”. They follow them because of a shared belief system. In other words, influencers and their followers have similar interests and are motivated by the same desires and goals.
This is why it’s so important to identify influencers whose personal brand style and values align with your own. Otherwise, you’re targeting the wrong audience and likely confusing your existing followers, diminishing customer experience and tarnishing your brand equity.
Can you imagine if Kim Kardashian promoted Alienware gaming computers on her Instagram?
Her followers would be confused, but not as confused as Alienware’s gamer audience. An influencer-brand misalignment like this would be disastrous for brand image.
Examples of Influencer Marketing That Increased Brand Awareness
So, what does influencer marketing actually look like? It takes a few different forms but these are some of the most popular and familiar:
- Sponsored posts: an influencer promotes your brand in a post on their social media channel — think “paid partnership” posts on Instagram.
- Unboxing: an influencer “unboxes” your product, revealing the contents — these are very popular on YouTube.
- Tutorials: an influencer teaches their followers how to use your product — think makeup tutorials.
- Reviews: an influencer gives their honest opinion about your product or service — the internet is packed with this type of content.
Now, influencer marketing can also take more unorthodox routes. For example, look at the award-winning campaign from Lagavulin Distillery, “My Tales of Whisky Yule Log” featuring Nick Offerman.
The campaign is a 44-minute video of Offerman staring into the camera and sipping whisky next to a crackling fire. Not a single word is said in the entire video.
And yet, because of Offerman’s own unique brand identity and the massive popularity of his television character, Ron Swanson (who adored red meat and dark liquor), the campaign was a massive hit.
Another popular (and equally hilarious) example is Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin promotions:
Or his Mint Mobile promotions:
Cheap mobile service plans and premium gin aren’t uncommon. But Ryan’s comedic personality and alluring charm have made both Aviation and Mint highly recognizable brands.
Further Reading on Influencer Marketing
- What is Influencer Marketing? – The Ultimate Guide for 2022
- Influencer Marketing Guide: How to Work With Influencers
- 10 Great Influencer Marketing Examples (& What They Do Well)
2. Paid Ads
I’ll admit that paid ads are a better tactic for product recognition than for brand recognition and awareness. But hear me out:
Paid ads get eyeballs on your product, which can help people discover your brand.
As you know, ad platforms use algorithms to ensure your ads are served to relevant audiences. And this is particularly handy if you’re a newer brand trying to elbow your way through the competition.
Paid ads also force you to be laser-focused with your messaging. For people to notice your ad, you need to be very clear about what your brand offers and how it can help them. This means you have to understand your audience and how to connect with them on an emotional level.
And that’s brand awareness 101: know your audience and cater to their needs.
Examples of Paid Ads that Increased Brand Awareness
Following the Equifax data breach in 2017, identity theft protection company LifeLock bid on a series of trending search keywords related to the data breach (like “Equifax breach” and “data breach”).
This savvy strategy helped LifeLock secure the top position for several of these relevant keywords.
Given the severity of the data breach, and thanks to LifeLock’s paid ads, a large number of Americans searching for advice regarding the breach were exposed to the LifeLock brand for the very first time.
Let’s look at another example from Hungryroot.
If you’ve ever tried to eat healthy, you know two things: 1) it’s hard and 2) it’s expensive.
HungryRoot, a personalized grocery delivery service, aims to solve that problem. And they do a pretty darn good job at it.
But when they first started out, no one knew who they were.
So, in order to increase brand awareness and get their service in front of as many people as possible, they ran Facebook ads like the one featured here:
Admit it. You’re curious, aren’t you?
Let’s break it down:
- The contrast of “before” and “after” Hungryroot immediately grabs your attention;
- the testimonial makes you wonder how Hungryroot can cut a customer’s grocery bill in half, and
- the simple value proposition, “The Easiest Way to Eat Healthy” is attractive even if eating healthier wasn’t immediately on your radar.
The bottom line: it’s a simple ad that taps into a specific desire, making it more memorable, relatable and more likely to boost brand awareness.
Further Reading on Influencer Marketing
- Paid Advertising in 2022: What it is (& How it Works)
- How to Increase Brand Awareness: 10 Best Ad Placements
- Increase Brand Awareness with Paid Search Advertising
- How to Measure Brand Awareness in Paid Search
A solid public relations program is one of the best ways a business can connect with its target audience and strengthen brand recall, awareness and image (with minimal effort, might I add).
You see, PR programs are specifically designed to generate positive media coverage.
And what better way to generate trust with your audience and increase brand awareness than by receiving third-party validation from credible publications? This earned media is more powerful than any kind of paid advertising, especially when it’s coming from a source that your audience trusts.
So, what makes a good PR story — one that’s likely to get picked up by media outlets and influencers, and also speaks to your target audience?
Like most noteworthy content, it comes down to the concept of REV:
- Relevant: your story must be relevant and relatable to your audience.
- Engaging: your story must be interesting and captivate your audience on an emotional level.
- Valuable: does your story have an impact — something meaningful that will improve your audience’s lives in some way or make them think differently?
Examples of PR that Increased Brand Awareness
The example below shows a press release from SC Johnson announcing their first-ever line of Windex bottles made completely from 100% recycled ocean plastic.
Powerful stuff, right?
Even though Windex is an extremely popular brand, the eco-conscious narrative within the press release sticks with you and keeps Windex top of mind.
Next time you’re buying window cleaner, you’ll likely gravitate toward Windex over other brands because you’ll associate Windex with something positive: sustainability.
Speaking of positivity, check out this press release from United Way:
Even if you were oblivious to United Way’s mission, this powerful, emotionally-driven press release puts them on your radar.
Not only does the headline signal United Way’s authenticity, but you’re likely wondering “how did they achieve such an amazing feat?”
This feel-good combination of humanity, authenticity and curiosity inspires you to learn more, making United Way a more familiar organization and one that you may donate to in the future.
Further Reading on PR
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a PR Campaign
- Public Relations Builds Awareness of Your Business
- 15 of the Best Public Relations Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign
4. Social Media
Social media is one of the most critical channels for boosting brand awareness.
But it’s not as simple as posting random updates and hoping that people see them. For starters, you should regularly post helpful content to attract new audience members and retain your current ones.
But the buck doesn’t stop with posting.
You also need to engage with your audience through comments, messages, quizzes, giveaways and contests. These tactics lead to a thriving community, helping to legitimize your brand, build trust and encourage customer loyalty — all of which lead to strong brand awareness.
The bottom line is that social media should be a two-way street. It’s not just about broadcasting your brand name, but listening and engaging with your audience as well.
Examples of Social Media that Increased Brand Awareness
GoPro’s Instagram profile is a thing of beauty. It’s visually stunning — which is what you’d hope from a camera brand — but they also regularly promote user-generated content.
User submissions are tagged with #GoProFamily, which not only encourages followers to submit their content, but also creates a sense of community and belonging around the brand.
GoPro also hosts contests where followers have a chance to win cash prizes:
And no discussion about building brand awareness using social media would be complete without highlighting Wendy’s.
Wendy’s social media marketing is known for its irreverence and upkeep with trends and memes — not the brand positioning you’d expect from a corporate fast food account.
Still, the efforts have paid off, with Wendy’s edgy posts often going viral and the brand regularly being featured in news stories, propelling the company’s brand building efforts.
Further Reading on Social Media
- 10 Tips for Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy
- 15 Awesome Examples of Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Marketing In 5 Minutes [Video]
5. Collaborating With Other Brands
Brand collabs are a super effective way of reaching an entirely new audience.
Typically brands collaborate on a special campaign or join forces for a special event. It’s a win-win situation because both brands are exposed to one another’s audience, and there’s very little risk involved.
Now, the key to a successful brand collaboration is to choose a brand that’s complementary to your own, but not in direct competition.
For example, fashion brands often partner with beauty brands. Why? They share a similar target audience but they don’t sell the same products.
Examples of Collaborating With Other Brands that Increased Brand Awareness
In October 2012, RedBull sponsored the Stratos Jump, where daredevil Felix Baumgartner ascended approximately 40 kilometers above the planet’s surface before free-falling safely back to Earth.
Although it was a RedBull event, action-camera company Go-Pro collaborated with RedBull, providing 7 of their HD Hero2 cameras affixed to Baugarnter’s space suit to capture the epic event. Both RedBull and Go-Pro gained worldwide attention (read: brand awareness) from the stunt.
Now, not all brand collaborations are this extreme. But this event shows how complementary brands and products with intersecting audiences can achieve their brand awareness marketing goals by working together.
But a common audience isn’t always necessary for brand collaboration. As long as companies agree on an initiative or shared value, collaboration is possible.
Take the partnership between the NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, and SC Johnson (whom we discussed earlier). The Bucks and SC Johnson are collaborating on a new recycling initiative at the Bucks home court, Fiserv Forum.
With SC Johnson acting as the “Official Sustainability Partner” of the Bucks, the two organizations aim to recycle more than one million plastic cups used at Fiserv Forum each year, turning the cups into bottles for SC Johnson’s Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning products.
They’ve even collaborated on brand design where the plastic cups, recycling bins and Scrubbing Bubbles bottles are all co-branded, improving brand awareness for both partners.
Check out the brand assets here.
Further Reading on Collaborating With Other Brands
- 12 Best Brand Collaborations and Why They’re So Successful
- The Power of Brand Collaborations
- 7 of the Best TikTok Brand Collaborations — And Why They Work
Which Brand Awareness Strategy is Your Favorite?
Whether you plan on using one or all of these brand awareness strategies, remember that consistency is key.
Pick a few brand awareness ideas and stick with them. Consistent brand messaging will help improve brand recall and better position your brand in the minds of your target audience.
Do you have a favorite strategy? Or do you have any brand awareness tips you’d like me to add?
Let me know in the comments below!
Oh before I let you go, another way to help your brand stand out in 2023 is by creating a strong personal brand — Get inspiration from these 13 examples 🙂
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