In this economic climate, it’s become the case that new business owners are exposing themselves to fierce competition on a daily basis. In 2017, we are living in a world where more people are now able to open a business, but in the same instance, are also setting themselves up in a saturated market, where more and more businesses are opening, offering the same products and the same services at competitive prices.
New business owners are faced with a constant dilemma, how are they supposed to make their business known in a sea of competitors? There is no simple way to build up brand awareness, as business markets are constantly changing and adapting to meet consumer demands and trends.
The best way to build brand awareness is to, first of all, explore all of your options, study your market and be sure to understand the needs of your customers and create a bespoke business plan that will ensure that you are getting in front of the right people at the right time. Consumer trends change based on seasonality, based on technological advances, some new social media platforms, changes in the economy, to name a few, so it’s important to be one step ahead at all times.
Here are some simple tips to help you to understand brand awareness and how to successfully attain it. Remember, brand awareness strategies should be tailored to suit every business.
1. Build up a social following:
Social media is something that every business should take advantage of because it is free and it also gives a platform for new businesses to have their own personal voice. Social media may seem a little bit wishy-washy and old-fashioned to some business owners, especially if they are working within the digital marketing profession, but many customers and clients still respond to the personal approach.
There are two different approaches to social media marketing, on the one hand, you have a method that is called “organic social media”, this essentially means that you are not paying for the social media marketing. Organic social media is a great way to have a more personable communication platform and many big named e-commerce brands to find success by having people who work on their organic social media platforms.
It’s been the case that many customers who have a complaint or a query about an order, will turn to social media, as they find that communication is quicker and that their issue is resolved more graciously. In order to get to this point, you must first do the groundwork and actually get people buying your product or service. One of the best ways to build up followers is to reach out to social media influencers, follow and befriend like-minded companies, potential customers, have promotions, and really look into ways to build up your following.
The other side of social media marketing is the paid advertising aspect. As with anything, social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram have a paid advertising option, which allows you to get your product or service in front of the right people at the right time.
This is achieved by the user building a campaign to advertise their product or service, and in this campaign, there are options that allow you to go after a certain age range, with specific likes and interests who live in a certain area. The more you put yourself out there in front of people who are likely to buy your product or service, the more brand awareness you will gain.
2. Host unorthodox networking events:
Networking events can often be overly corporate, stale and uninteresting. Whether you are hosting a networking event to attract potential clients, or to rub shoulders with your competitors and to gain a better industry insight, there are better ways to do so than hosting a conferencing event in a dated boardroom or function room. Thinking outside the box, especially if you are working within the creative industry, will help you to quickly build up a reputation, which in turn will lead to more interest in your business.
Building brand awareness is all about standing out from the crowd and making yourself known to the world. As we approach the festive season, one of the best things to do is to host a networking event or a Christmas party or Winter festival for all of your customers (or potential customers) and competitors.
There are many different directions you could go in, but whatever budget you are working with for such an event, it’s important to really bring the wow factor to your event. Start off by thinking about the entertainment you are going to have at your event, whether this is a live band, or adj. Next, think about whether you are going to have a caterer at your event, and if so are you going to have people serving you? Some businesses who really want to add the wow-factor to these events have hired people such as waiters in the buff.
Adding a unique and interesting aspect to your party will get people talking and will help you to build up a positive reputation.
3. Invest in digital marketing:
Digital marketing is a practice that every business should familiarise themselves with. There are different digital marketing practices, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) which help a business to get their website in front of the right people at the right time.
These strategies both work on the premise of keywords, when an internet user types in a certain keyword, companies use these different strategies to ensure that they appear in the search results.
Tapping into the online world opens your business up to a whole new host of potential clients and customers, and the more digitally focused the world becomes, the more important it will be to establish yourself in the online world. Again, these strategies will need to be implemented in a trial and error fashion, as some techniques will work better than others for your business.
There are a plethora of different strategies that need to be explored in order to build up brand awareness, the trick is to try as many different strategies as you can, and this way you will know what works best for your business and will be able to move forward doing this.
Alice Porter is a marketing and brand awareness ambassador, who writes for the Waiters In The Buff Company. Her aim is to share her knowledge of brand awareness to like minded individuals and new business owners.