Learn more about How to Generate Customer Awareness Online.
A key part of digital strategy is customer acquisition. Before you can acquire customers, they need to know you exist, which is where awareness plays its part.
Whether you’re starting a new business or taking an existing one online, lack of consumer awareness is a significant barrier to success. Especially for new businesses, developing an online presence can be a significant undertaking, and one that can take a long time to come to fruition.
Develop Your Social Media Presence
If you’re establishing an online presence, taking advantage of the major social media platforms is a must: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are all useful, depending on the type of brand profile you’re trying to create. For every account you create, make sure that each is fully-developed with plenty of information, and use the same logo and company bio in each location to ensure that all the information you provide is consistent.
If you’re a service provider, you’ll also want to claim your business on Yelp and any other applicable review sites. This is important not just to make sure you’re providing correct and consistent business information, but also so that you have a way of addressing negative reviews that pop up on these sites.
The key awareness feature is that the search engines such as Google, currently list content from platforms including Twitter, Google+ and directories like Yelp, in the search results. This cna help in the crowded arena of so many brands.
Consider Paid Advertising
If you want to get a jump-start on community-building on social media sites, it may be prudent to consider paid advertising. For instance, Facebook sponsored posts can be a useful way of increasing your reach and boosting your audience in the initial stages. Once you’ve generated a sizeable following it may be that you can do away with advertising, as word-of-mouth will do the work for you.
Another option are search ads such as those offered by Google AdWords. These can be particularly useful because targeting people at point-of-search with highly specific advertising is a good way to raise “top-of-mind” awareness. When someone is searching for information about a product or service, putting your brand right in front of them helps to strengthen the connection between their desire and your brand. It means that it’s more likely that your brand will be the one that they think of when they’re looking for the kinds of products or services you provide.
The other reasons for using ads at the start is to gain attention from the search engines – it’s the fastest way to get a listing!
Provide Great Content
Generating a good-sized following is all about providing great content. That means creating content that engages people, gets them talking, and inspires them to share what they’re learning from you. The more opportunities for engagement that you create, the more your content gets shared, and the wider your reach becomes. And as more people see your content and start to follow you, your brand becomes more visible and generates more awareness.
So what makes content shareable? There’s more to it than just creating clickbait—and these days clickbait headlines are starting to turn people off, and make them less likely to read a blog post or article. On the other hard, some examples of good and shareable content include:
- A problem your customers are likely to have, and how one of your products solves it.
- An interesting video clip about how your products work, or how they’re made.
- Insights from “behind the scenes” at your business, or a sneak peak into what various employees do during a typical day’s work.
- Something interesting or controversial about the industry you’re operating in.
We’ve written about content before, check out our Content Strategy 101 and why use content marketing posts.
Use Special Events to Generate Extra Buzz
Contests and product giveaways have been popular ways of generating publicity ever since the days when retail stores reigned supreme. And even now, when so much business is done online, these kinds of events are still a great way to build customer awareness rapidly. And the great thing about creating these events for social media is that it’s so easy to encourage sharing of contest-related content.
A simple way to set up contests and giveaways to encourage sharing is simply to make sharing the contest itself a condition of entry. For instance, if you’re promoting an event on Facebook, make sharing the post announcement a condition of entry. You increase customer engagement and interest, reward loyal customers, and increase your brand’s reach all at once. Continue to provide great content after the contest is over, and those people that became aware of your brand during the event will continue to follow your brand after its over.
Take Advantage of Unexpected Opportunities
As you develop your online presence and become known to an increasing number of people, you may find yourself presented with opportunities that can generate a lot of free publicity if handled in the right way. For a great example of the right way, look no further than the Wendy’s brand and the “Nuggs for Carter” Twitter escapade.
The story began in April 2017 when a teenager from Reno, Nevada tweeted at fast-food chain Wendy’s: “Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?” The hamburger chain replied with a daunting “18 million” but Carter Wilkerson was not fazed, saying only “Consider it done”.
Within just a few days the 16-year-old had already amassed over 1.5 million retweets, and within a month had become the most popular tweet of all time, with over 3.4 million retweets in total. Despite not hitting the 18 million mark, Carter Wilkerson did get a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets, but the value of the free publicity and goodwill that Wendy’s generated by going along with the joke is priceless.