Digital marketing isn’t just about bringing in more online sales, improving your search engine rankings or increasing your click-throughs. Of course, those are important, but they’re not the only thing you and your team should focus on.
It’s also about increasing exposure – raising brand awareness so that more and more people know your brand, are familiar with what it does and can recall it, recommend it or think about it later on in their time of need.
Sure, it won’t give you a return on your financial investment right away, but more often than not, that brand awareness will benefit your brand down the line, turning into a lead, a sale or a referral that puts cold, hard cash in your pockets.
Is Your Digital Marketing Campaign Raising Awareness?
Take a minute and analyze your overall online marketing efforts. Are you doing all you can to raise awareness of your brand on the web? Chances are, you’re not.
And that means it’s time to make a change.
Check out these seven ways we use digital marketing to increase ours (and our clients’) awareness online. Maybe you’re doing one or two, but do all seven? And you’ll see an immediate improvement in your efforts and your prospects down the line.
1. Reach out to influencers
In every industry, there are a handful of people who are really, really involved. They may have an active Twitter account, talking about industry news or issues, or they may run a blog or organization for professionals in your sector. Heck, they could do all three! Regardless, these people are known. And if you want to increase awareness of your brand, they could do a lot to help.
So start leveraging them.
Now, I don’t mean contact them and ask them to promote your name to their friends, members or followers for free (or for money, even.) But start putting yourself into their conversations. Reply to their Tweets, tag them in important industry news updates on your Facebook page, or DM them a link to your latest blog post when it’s up. They might ignore it, sure, but they also might find it interesting and relevant. In which case, they’ll share it with their group, and you’ll have hundreds of more eyes on your brand.
2. Use your social networks wisely
Too many businesses use their social networks willy-nilly. They post every link, post and thought that comes out of their heads on each and every platform they’re a part of. Sometimes, they even join certain social sites just to do it – not because it’s relevant to their business or customers.
The truth is, if you want your social efforts to have an effect, you have to use them right – and wisely. Don’t use each and every platform if they’re not applicable to your audience. Pinterest, for example, probably isn’t the best fit for a company that sells cleaning products or electronics. LinkedIn most likely isn’t great for a hip new boutique clothing store in Des Moines. Get it?
Really think about what you’re posting and where you’re posting it. For super professional and industry-related things, use your LinkedIn. For things that would interest your customers or their friends, use Facebook. For news and current happenings, use Twitter. The more you tailor your posts to these platforms, the better traction you’ll get, and the more brand awareness that will come of it.
3. Pay up once in a while
There are tons of free ways to increase company awareness on the web, but that doesn’t mean you should only stick to those. In fact, paid efforts can actually give your efforts a huge boost.
Take Facebook advertising for example. While simply posting your latest blog on your Facebook page is a start, if you actually promote that post through Facebook’s paid platform, you can reach out to hundreds, even thousands of others. And the best part? You can target that outreach.
You can choose what gender, age group, geographic area and even interests that your audience has, and that can mean much more qualified eyes are seeing your post. And in the end, that means more brand awareness and more potential sales down the line.
4. Build out email lists
Email lists should be a part of every digital marketing effort you’re making. You should have one for your blog, for potential leads who contact your or visit your site, for past customers, for current customers, and every group you can think of.
Then, you can use those lists to send out targeted emails from time to time – ones that include information that’s useful, relevant or even needed by your audience. These emails will remind users that you’re there – ready to help – and they’ll keep you at the top of their minds.
You can even automate email lists to ensure regular contact. Having an automated email alert for each blog post you create is a great way to build community on your site, keep customers involved and still provide them powerful information at the same time. They may even forward those emails on to friends and colleagues if they like them enough!
5. Tag, tag and tag some more
Anytime you have the opportunity, tag another brand or person in your social media posts. This will not only give them a little recognition (which they’ll love), but it will also alert them of your post, and encourage them to share it with their own followers – an automatic exposure to new and probably qualified customers.
So next time you’re talking about a past project or case study, tag the client. If you’re meeting at a prospective customer’s office, tag their page and give them a little extra love. It just may put them in your corner. Did you mention another brand in your most recent blog post? Then tag them, tag them, tag them! It’s easy, simple and with give you lots more bang for your buck.
6. Optimize everything
Every page, every post and every link on your site (and your social media pages) is an opportunity to be seen and noticed by web users. They help with SEO, and they have the power to improve or hinder your search engine rankings.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you optimize each and every one of them from top to bottom. Work with an SEO expert to make sure your titles, URLs, content and images are all in alignment, and give yourself the best chance at getting noticed.
7. Hone in on your loyal followers
Want to raise company awareness without doing any work? That’s where your “brand ambassadors” come in – the people who love your brand, have had great experiences with it, and want to share it with the world.
One of the best ways you can improve your reach is by finding these ambassadors and really honing in on them – giving them the love and attention they want. Have someone who posts a lot of comments on your page? Reply to them, learn their name and start working them into the conversation. Chances are, it will push them over the edge, and they’ll become a free spokesperson for your brand for life.
Want more ways to increase brand awareness or improve your digital marketing efforts? Check out our 25 website must-haves, and start making changes today.