Thanks to the relatively low cost of Pay Per Click ads (PPC), even startups can begin a Brand Awareness campaign for just a few dollars per day.
Brand awareness is a marketing term describing consumer recognition of a product by its name or logo. Smart marketers know brand awareness is important for consumer behavior.
Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms allow almost any business to reach people on their platform for a relatively low cost, using their PPC systems. All that’s needed is an eye-catching ad that attracts readers, but think benefits, not features.
These ad networks and many other social networks are sitting there waiting to be leveraged by any company. This is a direct reach into a desired target audience that can be used to grow a brand.
Brand awareness is not about selling. It is a focus on getting the business name into the subconscious of the target market. Then prospective customers will eventually realize they have seen or heard the name before, associated with their needs, and benefits for them. That recognition is important.
If the business name is associated well enough with the benefits and their needs, that awareness may encourage them to seek out the company when they need help.
The first stumbling block to getting this done is that most business people think they are creating a sales pitch, but that is a sure way to fail. The focus must be on the brand and its connection to customer needs.
As master marketer Neil Patel says “In many ways, brand awareness is about how recognizable you are. Of course, in a noisy world online, where brands compete for attention all the time, it may seem impossible to build brand awareness.”
Brand Awareness Key Takeaways
Here are the key takeaways from Neil Patel’s advice on using PPC ads to increase brand awareness:
- Understand your target market
- Understand what works for other companies (case studies etc.)
- Introduce the brand using ads the target market can see
- Build reputation, don’t be salesy or obnoxious
- Test using more than one ad
- Use the right keywords and phrases
The most important thing is to associate the brand with the need, in a positive way. This can be done without the need for setting up a sales or marketing call, and that is perfect for a small or startup business.
Here is what Investopedia says about how Brand Awareness works:
Products and services that maintain a high level of brand awareness are likely to generate more sales. Consumers confronted with choices are simply more likely to buy a name brand product than an unfamiliar one.
Consider the soft drink industry. Removed from their packaging, many soft drinks are indistinguishable. The giants in the industry, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, rely on brand awareness to make their brands the ones consumers reach for. Over the years, these companies have employed advertising and marketing strategies that have increased brand awareness among consumers, and that has directly translated into higher sales.
This higher rate of brand awareness for dominant brands in a category can serve as an economic moat that prevents competitors from gaining additional market share.
The hard part of this is to overcome the brand recognition built up by big companies with big branding budgets. Small companies can do this by “not being the big player,” if the big player hasn’t lived up to its promise over time.
The small player should never attack the big competition, but should instead focus on the way they will deliver what the big player failed to do.
How One Upstart Failed to Beat The Big Brand
Does anyone remember Netscape? Netscape’s aim was to compete against Microsoft and beat them. So Netscape added features to their browser. Their first target market was geeks, and they grew quickly because the geeks didn’t like Microsoft.
Netscape never stopped adding features and their target market loved that. Business people started to notice Netscape and tried it too.
But while adding great features, Netscape programmers added a massive amount of bloat and bugs. They didn’t care about that because they were intent on beating Microsoft with features.
Unfortunately, Netscape weren’t listening to the calls for bug fixing and reduction of bloat that caused slowness. Their users were now business people as well as geeks, and many people were screaming out for bug fixes and speedups.
Microsoft saw what was happening and took a different path. They recognized that Netscape were no longer listening to their business users, only to the geeks who wanted more features. Microsoft concentrated on fixing bugs and doing what their business customers wanted, even though they were slow to add features.
Eventually, Netscape started complaining that Microsoft were playing dirty tricks against them, but still they did not change course.
In the end, Netscape crashed and burned and blamed it all on Microsoft, but they did it to themselves. They only had themselves to blame because they forgot about the new converts who were already using their product.
The geeks and businesses were being evangelists for Netscape but Netscape continued on their own path. That is what destroyed them.
This same model can be used by the small enterprise to beat larger competition. Take the time to step back and understand what is happening in the marketplace.
Read more on brand awareness from Neil Patel: https://neilpatel.com/blog/brand-awareness/