Brand awareness is how consumers view the quality of your goods and services and your company culture – and it’s critical to your success. Brand awareness tries to align how you want others to perceive your business and how people actually do perceive your business. This is more important than ever with social media because news and opinions – good and bad – spread like wildfire.
Some companies focus on having a global brand while others focus on building a local brand; for you, it depends on your business goals. Today, we’re focusing on the importance of local brand awareness.
Here are 3 tips for growing your local brand awareness.
Networking is one of the oldest rules in the book, especially for local brand awareness. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get the most information about a brand. You can expose people to the visual brand with your logo, goods, and services and can enlighten people in your community about your company culture and what you stand for. People care about more than what you do – they care about why you do it.
Local networking, like Toastmasters or Business Network International groups (BNI), help you build relationships with other business owners. Toastmasters teaches public speaking and leadership skills within clubs in your community; BNI is a worldwide referral organization that meets weekly in local chapters. If you take advantage of such networking events, they’re great resources for building a network for referrals. It’s nearly impossible for a local business to be everywhere and talk to everyone, but if other business owners know and trust you, they’re likely to mention you to someone they feel you can help.
Programmatic advertising is using software – artificial intelligence – to buy digital advertising space; the AI decides where your ads will be most beneficial to you and allow you to target an ever-more specific audience. (To learn more, read our other blogs: Search, Geofencing, and Programmatic Advertising – Oh My! Or Sounds like blasphemy ….)
How does this help with brand awareness? With geotargeting and geofencing, you can choose local areas or businesses to see your ads. Strong content and design make them effective at either reminding people of your brand or introducing you to people who’ve never heard of you. (Consider offering a free trial or discount for people who clicked on the ad to guide them further down the marketing funnel.)
Engage on social media
Social media offers many free ways to build trust and relationships with consumers. Businesses commonly think the only way to utilize social media is through paid advertising, but there are several other ways it’s helpful. Often, your community has people who are already established as trustworthy figures. Once you’ve determined who they are, engage with their posts. Comment on some – but put a little more effort than just “Great post, I agree.” Add something to the conversation or ask a question that creates a bigger thread. You’ll eventually start to be recognizable to others in the community, helping you gain followers. This is essentially like going to a networking meeting, but on social media. The goal is to get people talking about your brand or at least to recognize it.
There are many ways to teach people about your brand; you just have to experiment. Remember: it’s critical to your success. If people don’t know your brand, they won’t think of you when they have a problem and your name won’t come up as a possible solution.If you want to talk more about getting your brand out there, we’d love to help, so contact us! And, for other reading about brand awareness, check out our blogs 3 Reasons Brand Awareness Makes a Difference and 3 Tips to Increase Your Brand Awareness.