Establishing strong brand visibility is a huge challenge that marketing leaders face. In fact, 35% of marketers surveyed in an Experian report rated increasing brand visibility over their competitors as one of their biggest challenges.
This task can be even more difficult for online businesses. Without a shop floor bustling with foot traffic to build familiarity with your customers, online brands must try and gain visibility in more creative ways.
In today’s market, it is naïve to think that you can just build a niche website and customers will automatically come flocking (no matter however well it addresses their pain points). Online competition is growing constantly, and every business is vying for your audience’s attention just as zealously as you are.
Going beyond the traditional approaches and taking a more unique and creative stance is a surefire way to build a brand that can be recognized. Here are a few content-centered ways to get some online recognition for your brand right away.
Develop a Strong Brand Voice
When it comes to developing a brand, consistency is key. Marketing lore says that a customer needs to see your brand about six times before they begin to recognize it. However, an incoherent message can make it more difficult to establish visibility. Inconsistent branding can potentially lead to lost sales and diminished trust.
Figure out your overall brand message before you start pushing out content. Start by creating buyer personas and craft your content in a language they can relate to.
Across all your campaigns, be sure that your team emphasizes the importance of sticking to a unified voice and tone that creates a cohesive experience for customers. Everything from your company website, to your social media pages, to your packaging and beyond must be consistent in a way audiences can recall it at the right times.
Take the Experience Offline
Taking an online store into the “real world” is no small feat. However, it’s a great way to introduce your business to an entirely new market or strengthen your current base. For instance, hosting a popup shop is a fun, immersive way to give people an exclusive taste of your products. And it helps boost brand familiarity.
Kylie Jenner’s new cosmetic outlet in LA’s Wakefield Mall shows just how powerful an offline shopping experience can be. Her team worked with e-commerce major Shopify to integrate her customers’ online and offline retail experience. They connected her with thousands of fans and helping her brand build even stronger customer relationships in the process.
Rather than focusing solely on sales and building a customer base, create a brand experience that reaches beyond your core business model. Try getting involved with events in the community, partner with non-profits, or sponsor a fundraiser. This not only provides your company an opportunity to give back; it also works to build positive brand association.
Providing your customers an experience beyond your website creates a wonderfully authentic connection with your audience. This strategy is especially great if you’re looking to start an online clothing store, sell apparel, jewelry, or any other physical products that customers like to try before they buy.
Allowing shoppers to see, feel, and try out your merchandise in person can help dispel any questions about quality. More importantly, it’s a great branding and marketing opportunity.
Go Live with Video
Live streaming exploded on the scene a couple years ago. As it stands, 80% of brand followers would prefer to watch a live stream video over reading an article or post.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of live video is it gives brands an opportunity to provide viewers an unedited look into what exactly they do. Whether it be a behind the scenes look at product manufacturing or a question-answer session with an industry expert, live video can work like magic to skyrocket your engagement and improve conversions.
One of the signs that live video is here to stay is that Facebook’s algorithms significantly favor the format.
Even without the “live” part, video has been one of the most significant marketing trends throughout 2017, when nearly 75% of all online traffic was related to video. Creating a video (or a series) shouldn’t be a one-off project. Different video content serves different purposes. While it’s best for building brand awareness and providing lift, with each video you produce in 2018 and beyond, you need to have a clear idea of how it fits into the sales funnel.
How does your video fit in the sales funnel?
- Is it meant to raise awareness?
- Drive decision making?
- Validate choices?
Some videos are meant for the sole purpose of building trust. Others are designed to provide supplemental information. Still others are created to answer pressing questions. The list goes on and on. Whatever the objective is, diversifying your content for a well-rounded strategy is crucial in attracting people of all interest levels.
Videos can also be personalized to align with each viewer as they move along the steps of your sales funnel. This can be done by collecting CRM data that shows each customer’s position along the buyer’s journey so you know what information they need to make their next move.
Remember, each of these touchpoint interactions is important for etching your brand in your customer’s minds.
Send a Personal Message to Consumers
MediaPost reported that an individual in the West is bombarded by more than 3,000 commercial messages a day, most of which are lost in the cacophony due to the lack of brand-individual connection. When a commercial or advertisement speaks to the consumer on a personal level, they will pay attention.
Unsurprisingly, stories work well in forming this connection. MediaPost states: “Stories are very popular – especially with sequels and, preferably, stories that relate to people’s lives, at that particular time and place.”
In the 2016 United States presidential election, democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told stories of individuals who lost loved ones due to gun violence, in an effort to attract people who wanted gun control, which was part of her manifesto.
Secret Deodorant released a commercial featuring a young woman looking in the mirror, practicing a conversation with her boss about equal pay. Another lady eventually comes up and goads her to “do it,” following which, she does.
The commercial spoke directly to women, aiming to address the relevant issue of women getting paid less than men. In advertising the deodorant, the brand is conveying the message that women can tackle any workplace related problems when they have enough confidence and support. Secret followed this up with a social media campaign using the #StressTest hashtag.
Over to You
Establishing an online presence is vital for drawing in new customers and keep them coming back. Finding clever ways to grab your customers’ attention requires careful planning. Make content marketing a strong priority and constantly tweak your brand messaging and voice to connect better to your audience.
Finally, no matter what strategies you follow, always make consistency a priority. Mixed signals will only lead to confusion; so, first establish a strong brand personality and then craft your content around that personality.