How to Measure and Optimize Brand Awareness
Brand awareness – as the term suggests is all about creating ‘awareness’ of a brand to make sure that the consumers know that it exists, and its products and services are available for sale. It is very important in promoting products. In commodity-related product markets, brand awareness decides the amount of sales that a product will make. Therefore, highly recognized brands thrive competitively in the market. Creating brand awareness is just the next step after creating a strong brand, which is very important these days for businesses to stay on top of the market. Hence, brand awareness measures how famous a brand is within its target audience.
In this article, we will explore brand awareness starting with 1) why you need to create brand awareness, and going then to describe 2) measuring brand awareness and 3) optimizing brand awareness.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO CREATE BRAND AWARENESS?
A strong brand is an essential element of your business behind its slogans and logo. Strong branding and brand awareness strategies are crucial to developing a long term standing in the market. Here are some reasons why brand awareness is important for a business:
- Brand Equity: Equity is a brand’s value beyond its physical assets such as equipment and buildings. Brand awareness is a key factor in developing brand equity. The more people know about your brand, the more they will associate with it, the higher your reputation will be and the greater your overall brand value will be.
- Social Impact: Businesses develop social impact through creating awareness about their brand in the market. This social impact helps people to spread positive word of mouth about the brand and perceive the brand’s importance in their lives. In this way, the brand begins symbolizing their lifestyle choices, taste, or habits.
- Customer loyalty: In order for a business to sustain, it is important to retarget the converted consumers and enable them to come back and make purchases rather than targeting new clients, which can be very costly. Brand awareness plays a key role in enabling repeat sales or sustaining old clients through developing their loyalty towards your brand. For instance, if a business follows up on a client through satisfaction surveys, promotions and newsletters after the sale has been made, it will increase a customer’s loyalty towards the brand and result in increased future sales.
- Capturing lost leads: Brand awareness can capture lost leads. A consumer might drop the idea of purchasing a brand or might prefer the products and services of the competitors for any reason. Through retargeting, businesses can reconnect with these kinds of lost leads and encourage them to make a purchase. The existing brand familiarity of the retargeted group can be leveraged along with an incentive such as discount, offers to make sales.
- Saves marketing costs: Brand awareness comprises of aided recall and unaided recall research. Aided recall research approaches the customers and asks them about their associations, awareness, and thoughts relating a particular brand whereas unaided recall research seeks to know the perceptions of the consumers regarding different brands of a particular product, such as Home Décor brands or Car brands.
This data helps marketing departments to create strategies and to find whether they should invest in targeting new customers or work towards retaining their old clients. Therefore, it can greatly save marketing costs. Moreover, executives can use brand awareness metrics to report to stakeholders, shareholders, the board, or the CEO in order to plan growth and break into new consumer markets.
MEASURING BRAND AWARENESS
Brand awareness is extremely difficult to measure. However, internet and technology has simplified numerous aspects of brand awareness measurement through online tools. Overall, a business should be aware of its brand’s engagement levels, impressions, and overall reach while measuring its brand awareness. Below is a list of metrics and tools to measure the brand awareness of your company.
Apply Reach Metrics
Reach is defined as the number of people who found your business through an online source and went through your online content. Whereas impressions refer to the number of people who went through your brand advertisement through retargeting campaigns, social media ads or paid advertising. Engagement comprises of numerous factors such as crowd sourcing participation, participation in discussion forums or contests, comments, social media sharing, etc. Here are some forms of data that can help a business measure its brand awareness:
If an online user places a search using your brand name, then it is obvious that they are aware of your brand. Does your business track search keywords? You should start doing it so that you know how many people are aware of your brand.
Social mentions and analytics
World Wide Web is loaded with online tools that help businesses to measure their social mentions and analytics. Social mentions provide you with information on how many times your business is being mentioned somewhere. For instance, if someone has written a blog about your product or has written a review, you will be notified about it.
This helps businesses in keeping an eye on negative and positive social mentions. In the case of positive social mentions, businesses can evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. On the other hand, if something negative is written about your brand, you can effectively tackle the situation by taking measures to ensure that you do not lose any sales because of it.
Moreover, businesses can also track social sentiment of the online users to gain an insight on different demographics of your target audience and what they are saying about your brand. This will enable a business to know about the most satisfied demographics in the target audience and hence will help it to create stronger marketing strategies for groups that are probably not receiving the brand so well.
Use Online Tools
There are online tools available for each channel – whether you want to acquire these stats from social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or through search engines, you can easily find free and paid online tools. These tools will provide you with in-depth data on social mentions and analytics, which will help you in knowing who to target and which strategies to apply.
Through signing up on Google Alerts, you can make sure that you get notified every time Google indexes a page that contains some information about your brand. This will enable you to keep an eye on your competitors while receiving all the relevant information.
Keeping an eye on returning visitors and monitoring new visitors plays a significant role in measuring brand awareness. Google Analytics is a great way to acquire this data as it helps you to understand the trends your business has gone through over a period of time.
PPC Analytics is probably the easiest way to track online brand awareness. It provides you information of the number of people that clicked your ads. This can help a business in calculating the conversion rate as well as knowing how many people are being reached through paid ads.
All businesses must keep an eye on review sites such as CitySearch, reviews on Yahoo and Google, Angie’s List or Yelp. You will find out the number of people that have reviewed your product or service and what they have to say about you. You can use the positive reviews as company testimonials or in promotions and can also take measures to resolve any disputes with the ones who have written negatively about your brand.
Conferences and trade shows
If your brand takes part in conferences or trade shows, make sure that you have a team, which can collect on-location data regarding your brand from people. The team can ask people whether they have heard about the new product line or collection by your brand or not. This will help you in figuring out where you stand and the measures you need to take to ensure the maximum brand awareness. This data can further help you in devising strategies.
Questionnaires, surveys, and polls are a great way to collect information regarding brand awareness. Especially while devising important strategies, such kind of data can play an important role in saving marketing costs.
You can ask your prospects or customers about the channel through which they found your brand or whether they are aware of your upcoming product line or not. However, majority of the times, it is not easy to ensure that the user will attempt the poll, questionnaire, or survey. That is why businesses have to make sure that they design them affectively.
Measuring User Engagement
Measuring user engagement on social media networking sites also provides businesses with a clear picture of where their brand stands in terms of awareness. Since social media plays a significant role in assessing the popularity of a brand, you can easily assess user engagement through seeing how active your Facebook or Twitter accounts are. Greater user engagement directly means higher brand awareness. Social media tools such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and Social Sprout enable businesses to manage their social media profiles and keep an eye on all the activity that is going on there.
OPTIMIZING BRAND AWARENESS
Engagement campaigns should be run for optimizing brand awareness. Businesses should understand that optimization requires great follow-up and repetition in order to be successful. Through optimizing brand awareness, a business can structure its campaigns on different social media and online channels analyze important data and create any required changes based on the results.
Planning the structure of the engagement campaign
Businesses should start with planning the structure of their engagement campaign and the channel they want to utilize. For instance, if a business wants to make use of search engines and Facebook to run an engagement campaign, it should make sure that it clearly defines the objectives it has, such as:
- Gaining 100, 000 Facebook page likes
- Attracting 100 new users each day on the brand’s website
- 2.5% conversion rate
Every business will have a different objective, and they need to be clarified in the beginning as it just makes the whole process very smooth. Moreover, target audience should be defined with their demographics such as:
- US Females 18-25
- US Males 35-45, etc.
This will save the promotional expenditure and will only target the business prospects. Finally, the advert structure should be decided. How will your advert look like? What text will it contain? How will it gain the attention of users?
The targeting considerations for engagement campaigns are flexible as businesses make use of a combination of interests, languages, demographics, Geographical data, mobile devices, or partner categories. All you have to do is to acquaint yourself with the categories that your preferred channel provides and select the ones that are closest to your business requirements.
- Relevance: Relevance is of key importance while targeting audience, as they should be relevant to the kind of content you are posting. If you are unsure of the users, you want to target, try to test different audience segments moderately and then shift budgets based on the results you derive.
- Fresh ads: Ads should be modified and kept fresh especially if you are testing different audience groups. Create ads that are compelling to the type of people you are targeting for the best returns.
- Scalability: The number of target audience should correspond with your budget. For instance, if you are choosing to target only your fans within your city, it can lead to limiting your brand. Moreover, you also cannot target an entire country, as the advert will become irrelevant. As a rule of thumb, 1 million users should be targeted on a promotional budget of 5,000 USD for 5 days of desktop/mobile advertising.
Various channels will provide you different placement options i.e. where do you want your ads to show. Typically, following are some placement options that most channels provide:
- Mobile newsfeed: It is probably the most effective method of advertising as the adverts are displayed to mobile users of a given online channel.
- Desktop newsfeed: This is a good option for flexible and open targeting.
- Positioning: In Google, sponsored ads that show on the top of the page are more effective as compared to the ones placed on the right-hand-side. Moreover, Facebook also provides right-hand placement of ads, which are effective. However, different versions of the ad should be tested to make sure that it is working well.
Business objectives will decide bid types in engagement campaigns. Both Facebook and Google have different bid types. For instance, on Facebook if you want comments on a particular post, increase user engagement or increase the overall reach of the brand, you can opt for a bid type that charges per impression (CPM). Through this, you will be able to optimize a certain action from users that you are targeting. Similarly, if you are looking for Page Likes, offer claims, or link clicks, you can opt for CPA bid type, which will only charge you once the specified action is performed by the user. There is another bid type on Facebook by the name of CPC, which will charge you if the user interacts with your post.
Google AdSense has different bid types to select from:
- CPC (Cost Per Click) – You will decide what you want to pay on receiving each click to your website. The price depends on what are you advertising.
- CPE (Cost Per Engagement) – You will only pay in this type of bidding if the user actively engages with your ad. Under CPE, if you have a lightbox ad (an ad that can be expanded into a larger size), then you will only pay once the user expands your ad and views it for two seconds.
- CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impressions) – You will set a fixed price on each 1000 ads served.
- Active View CPM – You will only pay for 1000 measurable and viewable impressions of your advert.
Creating your campaigns and making changes
Create your ad and start A/B testing. This is an important step, as it will tell you which feature of your campaign will generate more conversions for your brands. The ultimate goal of brand awareness is to make sales and hence you must test different versions of your advertisement to see which one works the best. This will also make sure that you are effectively making use of your advertising budget. You will have to choose demographics such as interests, location, and age to conduct successful testing. Use the testing data to make important changes to your ad for better brand awareness.
An active follow-up is crucial in the success of a promotional campaign. If you are facing under-paced delivery, try to expand the size of your target audience or opt for another bid type to make sure that the market-reach increases. You can also increase your bids to make sure that you stay competitive. Similarly, if you find that CPE bids are too high, you should sit back and cut down on the budget of high CPEs. This mostly occurs when too many advertisers are fighting for the same kind of users in a small market. You can also choose to cut down the duration of your adverts.
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