Building Your Marketing Funnel, Part 1: Creating Brand Awareness
Written by Rebecca Barth
As a consumer, you’re often bombarded with choices for every service and product you could possibly want or need. As a business, you have to develop ways to make those services and products stand out. Attracting your potential customers’ attention can be challenging, which is why having a great brand awareness strategy is so essential.
You’ve probably heard the term brand awareness before, but it’s more complicated than it appears at first glance.
Brand awareness is the extent to which potential customers are familiar with the unique aspects of your company and the services or products that you offer.
It’s the difference between people recognizing a company as “that marketing agency” and consumers viewing a company as “that brilliant digital marketing company full of really talented people who are active in the community and are really awesome to work with.”
So how does creating brand awareness help attract potential customers to your business? The answer is by entering them into the digital marketing funnel: a series of marketing strategies designed to attract potential customers, generate leads, and nurture those leads into loyal customers who then advocate for your business.
This article is the first segment in a three-part series covering the key points of the digital marketing funnel. Since this is the first part in the series, we’ll start with an introduction to the digital marketing funnel and then dive into how companies and LaFleur can work together to create brand awareness.
An Introduction to the Digital Marketing Funnel
As you can see from the image below, the digital marketing funnel is actually two funnels representing one continuous process consisting of seven steps.
- Awareness: Businesses generate leads when consumers become aware of their brand through a variety of channels.
- Interest: Companies nurture these leads by educating consumers about their brand through personal marketing tactics.
- Sale: Businesses and consumers negotiate the services, products, or prices available and make a sale.
- Onboarding: The company sends their clients additional information about the product or service they acquired.
- Retention: The business contact remains in touch with the client to ensure their satisfaction with the product or service.
- Expansion: The company markets different or upgraded products and services to the client.
- Advocacy: The client advocates for the business, spreading the word about the quality of the services or products.
Each step of this funnel also has two different sets of initiatives: LaFleur’s digital marketing strategies and the digital and traditional marketing tactics that your company can oversee. We’ll describe these tactics in the next few sections.
Watch Our Podcast: Increasing Conversions and Understanding the Digital Marketing Funnel
How Digital Marketing Strategies Help Create Brand Awareness
Check out some of the strategies we use here at LaFleur to help our clients boost their brand awareness.
Websites and SEO
Having a website isn’t just an effective way to boost brand awareness; it’s a necessity for your business. Websites are a customizable solution for marketing the unique aspects of your brand and providing valuable information. But having a user-friendly website that shows consumers who you are isn’t going to be as effective without good search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
Did you know that 90% of web users haven’t made up their mind about a particular brand before starting an online search? This means that if they’re looking for your company, a poorly designed website can be off-putting. But also that if your site ranks high enough, they may decide to check out your brand instead.
Blogs and Content Development
Posting regular and relevant blogs on your website can greatly increase your brand awareness. Consumers looking for answers to specific questions aren’t likely to stumble upon your homepage, but they could easily end up reading a related blog on your site. You might be thinking, “that’s not brand awareness, that’s just website traffic.” You’re not wrong. It’s actually both.
Take this article for example, unless you regularly follow our blog (which you should), you likely came across this piece because you searched something related to the digital marketing funnel or creating brand awareness. Maybe you had no awareness of our brand or who we are before reading this blog. Do you now? At the very least, you might recognize our name and logo if you see it again. After all, it’s been following you as you scrolled down this page.
Social Media and Video
As of 2019, 72% of adults in the U.S. use at least one social media account. And that doesn’t just include the under 30 crowd, although they are still the most frequent users. According to the Pew Research Center, 40% of U.S. adults over 65 are also on at least one social site. Social media and video watching are the two most popular online activities. So since basically everyone uses social media, it’s important that you market to them on this channel.
How does posting on social media help create brand awareness? It allows you to:
- Express your brand’s voice informally
- Develop easy recognition through a short profile
- Be seen by consumers around the world
- Engage consumers with personal, relatable, and relevant content
- Visually show consumers who you are and what you value
- Stand out with unique quality content
Paid Advertising Campaigns
Anything that gets your brand out in front of people increases brand awareness, and paid ads are guaranteed to do just that. Paid ads can display on social platforms, online search engine results pages (SERPs), or specific web pages — and be configured to target the characteristics and demographics of your customer base.
A study by Google and Ipsos MediaCT found that search ads raised top-of-mind awareness by 80% on average, and even more for some industries. Even if a user doesn’t click your ad, they still saw your company name, logo, and offerings and might remember you in the future. This indirect benefit of paid advertising is a consumer behavior concept called top-of-mind awareness.
Obviously, the main goal of paid advertising is to entice users to click through your ad to your landing page and take some sort of action, but your ads might already be creating top-of-mind awareness that you’re not even aware of yet!
Boost Your Traditional Marketing Efforts
Traditional marketing can be effective for increasing brand awareness, but supporting these tactics with digital marketing strategies has significantly higher results.
Tradeshows can do more than help generate immediate sales. They can also increase your brand awareness. We recently helped a client design a tradeshow booth and develop a strategy that included giving away free socks to booth visitors. The main goal wasn’t that people would come by the booth for a free pair of socks and decide to sign on (although it happens); the company mainly wanted to increase their brand awareness.
By giving away useful branded swag at a tradeshow or creating a booth that is Instagram worthy, companies can attract consumers and also inspire those consumers to mention the booth to other people who didn’t attend the event.
You can advertise your participation in a tradeshow on your website, platforms, and paid ads. Creating an organic landing page specifically for the tradeshow allows you to direct anyone who sees your tradeshow content elsewhere online to your website.
Networking means advocating for your brand both within your industry and with potential customers or partners. More than showing up and handing out business cards, successful networking involves educating and engaging consumers. Yes, networking events often consist of repeating your brand’s elevator pitch over and over and sharing who you are, what you do, and why your company is unique.
However, to effectively spread brand awareness, company advocates need to personally engage with consumers. Talk less, smile more. Learn about each person you speak with, ask questions, and don’t rush into sales mode. Engage.
It’s also important to engage with potential consumers on social media. If your company is participating in a network event — even if only one or two employees are actually going — post about it. Let people know that a representative from your company will be available at the event to answer questions and provide more information. And if you’re sponsoring an event, paid ads can target specific people and industries you would like to attend your event.
Direct mail isn’t dead. Sending brochures, flyers, or postcards in the mail can be an effective way to get your brand in front of consumers. I receive dozens of promotional emails every day and typically delete them all without a single glance. But when I check my mailbox, I have to manually flip through every piece of mail to make sure there aren’t bills or notifications in the stack. And when I see a postcard with a gorgeous jacket, or a delicious steak, or happy smiling people, I’m inclined to remember the sender.
The visual element makes consumers want to know where to get that jacket or why those people look so happy. Even if they aren’t currently in the market for your products or services, they’ve now seen your brand, understand what you do, and will be more likely to consider you when they are ready to make a purchase — or pass along the good word to someone they know who is in the market.
If you have an eCommerce site, you can include a QR code on your postcard to direct consumers to a coupon landing page on your website. If you’re in the service industry, include a call to action to direct people to check out your website for more information about your services and offerings.
Using KPIs to Measure the Effectiveness of Brand Awareness Campaigns
Measuring brand awareness is more subjective than other digital marketing campaigns because there’s no single tangible key performance indicator. However, you can often see the effects of increased brand awareness in other digital marketing metrics. At LaFleur, we use a variety of marketing and analytic software — including Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Hootsuite, SharpSpring, and Call Rail. These programs help us monitor the following key metrics.
- Website Traffic: One of the most obvious signs that you’re doing something right is a noticeable increase in the total traffic to your website.
- Keyword Rankings: Are variations of your brand name appearing higher on the list of keywords your site ranks for? This shows an increase in the number of people who are specifically searching for your brand.
- Social Engagements: This refers to the number of mentions, tags, and other engagements with your brand on social media. It’s also circular. Increased brand awareness leads to more mentions, which lead to more awareness.
- Leads: Another obvious sign that your campaigns are working, more leads! Keeping track of your lead stats can be difficult as they often come through a variety of channels, but there are many tools that can help.
So how do you know if your efforts to increase brand awareness really paid off? Successful brand awareness strategies will show an increase in interest and consideration of your brand, which leads us to the next segment of the digital marketing funnel: Lead Nurturing.
LaFleur | Brilliant Digital Marketing
The brand awareness stage of the digital marketing funnel is where everything begins. At LaFleur, we help clients boost their brand awareness through digital marketing strategies designed to complement their traditional marketing efforts.
Can’t wait until next month for Part II of the series? Contact us today to learn more about Lead Nurturing and the other stages in the digital marketing funnel? Give us a call at (888) 222-1512 or fill out our online contact form to get started.
Infographic: search ads lift top-of-mind brand awareness. (2014, June). Think With Google. Retrieved from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/ marketing-resources/search-ads-lift-brand-awareness/
Social media fact sheet. (2019, June 12). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/
The ultimate list of marketing statistics for 2019. (2019). HubSpot Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.