Brands live or die by their ability to connect with potential customers. Turn on any television worldwide, and it won’t be long until you see adverts from famous brands such as Coca-cola, Apple, Heineken and many more household names.
These adverts are all part of brand awareness campaigns, and businesses launch these campaigns to get their brands in front of their target customers, with the end goal of eventually driving more sales.
While most businesses, SME and start-ups particularly, won’t have the budgets of some of the giants we’ve mentioned, brand awareness campaigns conducted on a smaller scale can still effectively grow a brand’s influence and reputation.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness is a term used by marketers to describe the extent to which consumers recognise a particular business or brand.
It can be particularly impactful for companies promoting a new product or service, but it’s also used to describe the initial method of marketing usually used for new businesses and start-ups – as improving the ideal target audience’s awareness of this new brand is the primary KPI.
Brand awareness campaigns will often be carried out by a brand’s in-house social media marketing team or outsourced to an expert social media marketing agency, who will have experience driving the most relevant audience to this brand.
What is a brand awareness campaign?
A brand awareness campaign is any advertising campaign with the primary intention of raising a brand’s profile and visibility to its target audience.
Brand awareness campaigns commonly occur through social media channels, more traditional advertising channels such as TV and radio, magazine advertising. Email marketing and paid advertising, such as Facebook and Google, are also commonly utilised channels for brand awareness campaigns.
Live events are a standard method for large brands to boost their brand awareness. Brands use these events to engage in person with fans and followers, while big brands will often promote these events by partnering with influencers who can promote a brand’s products to their followers.
Influencer marketing on social media is also fast becoming one of the most prevalent brand awareness methods, utilising the existing following of relevant social media figures to highlight a brand. However, this must be done authentically to generate genuine interest in the brand. Considering which influencer to approach is just as important as the overall message the brand wants to convey.
No matter the channel a business chooses to launch a brand awareness campaign, the main ingredient is consistency, clear objectives and thorough planning.
Pros of brand awareness campaigns
Brand awareness campaigns build trust
Today consumers do plenty of research before making a purchase. Data compiled in 2018 by Google states that 53% of shoppers say that they always research before they make a purchase to make sure they are making the right choice.
While research reported by Forbes states that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store, 45% read reviews before purchasing.
To increase trust, brands will often partner with one or a series of influencers to promote their products to build trust with a target audience.
Brand awareness campaigns can boost sales
While the primary goal of brand awareness campaigns may not be direct sales, there is plenty of evidence to show that brand awareness campaigns can boost purchases. For example, the footwear company Shoes of Prey partnered with YouTube influencer Blair Fowler to host a product giveaway on her channel.
The primary goals of the campaign were to build brand awareness and reach new audiences. Still, as the giveaway video targeted a highly relevant audience, the video led to a 300% increase in purchases of the featured shoes.
Brand awareness campaigns boost association and familiarity
What’s a commonly used term when anyone needs to search for something online? Google it! This phrase is one of the most widespread examples of brand association.
When users or customers begin to resonate with a brand, it’s not uncommon for subconscious associations to be created around particular brands and for common terms to be replaced with branded ones.
Association can also change the way consumers feel and think about your business. In one such campaign, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial group aimed to improve brand awareness among global business leaders outside Japan. To do this, they launched a sponsored content campaign on LinkedIn and used LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities to get their content in front of their target audience.
The company increased its brand familiarity by 12% amongst its target audience in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Cons of brand awareness campaigns
Brand awareness campaigns can be difficult to measure
The success of an advertising campaign with the sole aim of increasing sales can be relatively straightforward to measure. Suppose a brand launches a Facebook advertising campaign for a particular product to increase sales of a specific product through Facebook by 25% over three months, but by the end of the campaign, sales have only increased by 10%. In that case, the brand can see that the goals of the campaign haven’t been met.
However, if a company defines a campaign objective as increasing brand awareness by 10%, they will need to decide on how to measure what they mean by brand awareness. A social media manager may measure brand awareness by the number of new followers gained through a particular channel, while other stakeholders may measure brand awareness differently.
If you’re running a brand awareness campaign, it’s essential to define clear objectives before you launch your campaign to avoid any confusion when measuring the results of your campaign.
CoSchedule’s guide on measuring brand awareness is a great place to get familiar with how you can avoid some of the common mistakes brands make when measuring their brand awareness campaigns.
Poor public perception can negatively affect brand awareness
Occasionally having a strong brand awareness can backfire if a brand launches a misplaced advertising campaign. For example, if a brand launches an unintentionally offensive advertising campaign, this can severely tarnish a brand’s image overnight.
Just as brand awareness campaigns can create positive associations between a brand and consumers, they can just as quickly develop negative associations and damage a brand’s reputation.
Wrapping it up
As you can see, there are various pros and cons to brand awareness campaigns.
While brand awareness campaigns can sometimes be challenging to measure in terms of hard data and ROI, consistently building brand awareness is crucial for businesses who wish to stay competitive and in front of their existing and potential customers.