Navigating business processes in the new normal can bring many challenges for startup businesses that are aiming to gain more brand recognition. The visibility factor of brick-and-mortar stores, billboards, and posters are no longer the most effective marketing tool to get exposure.
In the past, marketing campaigns used multiple platforms to gain brand awareness. In today’s climate, it is almost now entirely reliant on online platforms. What this means is now more than ever is it important to adopt more effective customer engagement strategies in order to appeal to your target market — who may not have heard of you yet.
But don’t worry, we got you covered. In this article, we explore 10 ways to help your brand gain traction in the new normal to continuously thrive in the consumer business.
How to Build Brand Awareness in the New Normal
1. Make customer user experience your top priority
At the root of it all, customer user experience should be your main priority. It is how potential visitors decide if your brand is worth engaging and further checking out. Customer retention is highly based on the limited time and experience of browsing through your brand’s social media accounts or website.
Consider your current customer experience strategy and how you can still improve them, especially online. Invest in website performance tools to keep your site loading speed low, robust ecommerce software to ensure speedy and seamless transactions, and reliable email marketing services to ensure your emails are landing right in your customers’ inboxes.
And don’t discount customer support either — send responses to queries and complaints in a timely way, and have a plan to deal with negative brand experiences. By prioritizing better customer experiences on all your major contact points, customers will be more engaged, spread the word, and bring more awareness to your brand.
2. Let your personality shine through
Most of the time, new brands that stick out are brands that are highly individualized. Regardless of whether or not your products or services are in a highly competitive industry — adding a touch of what makes your business “you” can get customers to easily perceive it from the rest.
Think about your brand’s personality and stick to it. It should encompass more than just your logo and aesthetically pleasing design; it’s what makes you unique and valuable for your customers.
Your personality is what resonates with customers — so even if you sell the exact same products as another brand, your personality is what attracts your customers to your brand over anyone else’s.
3. Publish round-up expert posts on your site
If your brand hasn’t reached credibility status just yet, try publishing round-ups from experts to your site. Round-ups can increase readership and brand exposure from people who already have a following.
It creates a win-win situation for both your brand and the experts involved. From your end — your brand gains new audiences to view posts, increase credibility, and sales. For the experts: free promotion and exposure.
When done correctly, an effective round-up can open many opportunities for both parties. The new normal shouldn’t take away from this strategy as collaboration is entirely done online and with people who have expertise in the industry.
Like the example above, MyUKmailbox posted a great roundup from 13 fashion blogger experts that feature notable people who gave their favorite fashion tips. They even optimize the post itself to include the option to tweet their quotes and links to their social media account.
4. Submit guest posts
A subtle yet effective way to attract visits and promote your brand is through guest posts on reputable sites.
There are tons of benefits that come with the submission of guest posts to your brand’s website. It improves search engine results, website traffic, and backlink building. Your brand can appeal to new visitors by leveraging content from guests with similar niches.
An important thing to note about guest posts is that providing valuable sources of information is key to get audiences to be interested in your brand. It shouldn’t necessarily focus on your products or services; no one likes a salesy post, after all.
Be wary of practices that get your guest blog pitches rejected to ensure you get published. And soon, you’ll be getting in front of your target audience through these bigger sites in no time.
5. Focus on building relationships, not sales
Building and sustaining customer relationships is more beneficial in the long run rather than focusing on increasing the number of sales. Customer engagement marketing is one tactic to help customers feel more connected to your brand. By getting to know your customer, your brand can have the reputation for anticipating your customer’s needs.
Unlike many marketing techniques in the past, where information is released to a large audience, this form of engagement is highly personalized. Reach out to individual customers by connecting on various platforms in real-time. Thus, making potential and existing customers feel satisfied and loyal to your brand.
With social media presence in the new normal, reap the benefits of an effective customer marketing strategy to popularize your brand’s name.
6. Launch contests on social media
Everybody enjoys free things — which makes social media contests a great way for your brand to increase your presence online.
There are many effective ways to optimize contests that get you in front of your target audience. First, make sure your giveaway is something valuable for your audience and relates to your niche. If you have your own products you can giveaway, that’s an excellent way to ensure that participants of the giveaway are already interested in your brand.
Then ensure guidelines for participation, such as following, liking, or commenting on relevant posts. Other options to make the contest more engaging include online voting, tagging a friend, and sharing your posts.
7. Collaborate with influencers
For the past several years, influencer marketing has been one of the fastest growing strategies for brands to gain a following. The growing rate of social media influencers increases opportunities for collaboration with your brand. Today, 77% of marketers use influencer marketing to boost engagement and as a result, 70% of millennials are influenced to check out and purchase the product.
There are best practices to take note of when partnering with influencers. Start by collaborating only with influencers who have a similar niche audience with your brand, set agreements on the types of content to be published, and then monitor the success of the campaign.
8. Invest in native advertising
Advertising your brand and business may mean considering a mix of strategies and platforms to really get your audience’s attention and interest. One effective strategy is the use of native advertising: ads take the form and function of the web page where they appear.
For example, a native ad can link to a blog post in a popular lifestyle publication. Instead of being a full promotion or pitch, the blog content more subtly and naturally mentions the product or brand without making it the central topic. Rather, the content provides relevant and interesting (and valuable) information to the target audience, catching their attention and interest.
Another example: An insurance company specializing in workplace insurance features an article on their blog about how to boost employee retention. The insurance company then runs a native ad campaign promoting the article. Potential customers trying to solve this particular pain point (ie. HR managers or CEOs) click through to read the article, and land on the insurance company’s blog. Links and CTAs on the blog page tempt them to find out more about the company’s insurance products and start them on a journey of discovery about the brand.
This is the magic of native advertising. It is an ad, but it doesn’t disrupt users’ online experience in the annoying and intrusive way that banner ads or pop-ups do.
9. Create a co-marketing campaign
A co-marketing campaign is when two or more brands work together to launch a shared product or service. Both parties involved can benefit from this strategy in a major way.
Broaden your target market by sharing expertise with similar businesses or brands that have different products but make sense to collaborate with. Easily split the work and effort to gain awareness by promoting and publishing the relevant content to double the potential for more customers to know your brand.
There are many different campaigns you can use while co-marketing, like joint webinars and live videos, shared online and offline launches, or even guest blogging, like we mentioned in an earlier point. This way, existing customers from both brands can come across the campaign and learn more about the partner brand.
10. Stay consistent
After using all the best strategies for your brand to build awareness, the final thing to remember is to remain consistent in your campaigns online. Especially as you start to draw attention from customers, consistency truly is key.
Like most deeply-rooted relationships, it takes time to develop trust and connection with your audience. By being consistent in offers, content publishing, services, and other business processes, you increase your credibility and value in the eyes of your ideal buyers.
Create an editorial calendar for your online posts and promotions, and carefully monitor the performance of each campaign. Tune into which posts and campaigns perform best, pay attention to customer feedback and reviews, and soon you can be one of the superstar brands that are owning the new normal social media space.
Just because we’re in a new business climate surrounded by uncharted territory doesn’t mean you can’t still boost your brand’s awareness on a limited set of platforms. Introduce some of these tactics into your brand’s business strategy in order to get your brand in front of your audience, and start seeing more customers rolling in.