How to Increase Brand Awareness for a Small Business
Did you know that there are about 32.5 million small businesses (opens in a new window) in the United States? This includes any firm that has fewer than 500 employees, so it encompasses a lot more than you would expect. But this still means that there are millions of other people with entrepreneurial mindsets that dared to dream and start a business themselves.
In the last several years, business applications have increased exponentially with more individuals seeking to become their own bosses. Maybe you were a part of this wave, or you were already a few years into starting your company by this point. One thing that all small or local businesses have to overcome is the challenge of growing.
Many Small Businesses Fail Due to Competition or Lack of Funding
Unfortunately, not everyone can live out their dream in the long run. Heavy competition within the industry and tight budgets can hamper the growth initiatives of any brand, and small businesses are no exception. Whether your business is just a side gig or your main source of income, finding ways to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits are keys to obtaining long-term success.
Building Brand Awareness Can be the Solution
When you are facing intense competition in your industry to provide the best product for customers, or you are having trouble making enough sales to stay in business, then a brand awareness campaign might be your saving grace. Why is brand awareness an effective solution for small businesses?
More Potential Customers
Every successful small business owner will tell you that marketing to your target audience is crucial. But gaining an audience in the first place is even more important. When you build brand awareness, you expose your company to new customers who will learn about your product and improve your sales.
Increasing Brand Recognition
Recognition is one step beyond building awareness. When people see the name or logo of your small business, recognition means that they have seen it before and are starting to become familiar with your brand. A brand awareness campaign can aid your marketing efforts by familiarizing new customers with your business, especially in the local community.
Brand Awareness Campaign Strategies for Small Business
How you generate brand awareness for your small business will look different from other companies, even those within your specific industry. You will need to craft a plan that is backed by research to have a successful campaign, so here are a few ideas for working toward established brand awareness.
Lean on Your Networks
So many small businesses start by relying on the social circles of the owner. Your friends, families, former co-workers, and others that you know can be the first layer of the onion to peel back. Though the reach may be limited, it is a crucial first step to getting your name out there and starting your brand awareness journey.
Harness Social Media Channels
Social media are the lifeblood of small businesses. When a brand does not have the resources to dedicate to a perfect website or more targeted marketing efforts, social media platforms provide a useful tool for building brand awareness. The key to winning on social media is understanding your target audience.
Are they business professionals who spend a lot of time on LinkedIn? Are they teenagers who love to share images and videos on Instagram or TikTok? Could influencer marketing work for your business model? Should you focus on multiple channels or just one?
Building a strong social media presence can grant you access to more possible customers while giving you an avenue to connect with them on a deeper level. This will increase brand awareness and develop customer loyalty. The more people can connect with the personal side of your small business, the more growth you can experience.
Focus on Content Marketing
Content marketing can be the ultimate weapon for small business owners. When you are an expert in your field, sharing your knowledge with others can bring in additional traffic from search engines, social media, and other channels. Create marketing materials like blogs, how-tos, short videos, emails, social media posts, and others to share with the world and demonstrate your expertise. This will improve your brand image and expose you to prospective customers who are looking for solutions.
Create a Strong Website
Ranking in local searches on Google or other search engines is crucial for small businesses that are looking for more website traffic. With a well-designed website that shares your brand's story and utilizes search engine optimization principles, you can show up on results pages when people conduct searches for topics that you have written content about.
Plus, when audiences encounter your online presence, if you have built a positive customer experience, they will be more likely to make a purchase.
Start a Referral Program
Word-of-mouth marketing campaigns could be your biggest asset early on as you are generating brand awareness. That is why leaning on your social circle initially is so important. You can offer discounts or rewards to current customers who refer a colleague to your business. This will increase brand exposure by leveraging your loyal fans and turning them into brand ambassadors.
Consider Promotional Product Marketing Campaigns
One unique strategy that can improve brand building is giving away promotional products. These items are made for everyday use and contain your company's logo and/or name on them. T-shirts, hats, tote bags, mugs, pens, and more can be used to bring additional exposure to your business every time someone uses them. Plus, they are cost-effective as a one-time purchase that pays off every time they are used. Low minimum order promotional products make for great gifts and are ideal for reaching a niche audience. A great example is our Engraved Black Stainless Steel Flask Set in a Wooden Box, which is pictured below.
Form Partnerships with Local Entities
How do you build up your reputation in the area that you serve with your target audience? Strategic partnerships may be the answer. Finding another local business to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship can increase brand awareness when people trust the other company involved.
You can also become involved with local events like a charity race to establish a presence in the community. The more you show up, the more brand awareness you will generate. Other businesses in the area may be thrilled to form local partnerships that expose them to different audiences as they look to grow their own brand.
How Will You Build Brand Awareness?
Tips for crafting an effective brand awareness campaign are not a one-size-fits-all concept. In general, your marketing strategies for increasing brand awareness should include specific goal-setting, key performance indicators, a digital marketing campaign, consistent messaging, and an understanding of your target audience.
Many business owners spend so much of their time focusing on the wrong marketing channels, which ends up wasting their energy and their resources. Conduct the necessary research to find the best way to communicate your brand values to new audiences to improve your company's brand awareness. This will help you gain a competitive advantage and increase your sales.