How can you converse with prospects—let alone turn them to customers—if you've never even met them? There’s much talk these days about the value of engagement and conversions, but the value of branding is often forgotten. Think of how you present your brand online as “the 21st century equivalent of your first meeting with a customer.”1 Would you greet a customer and not have anything to say? Whether you’re meeting someone online or in person, you only have a few seconds to wow them. Don’t miss these four effective ways to increase brand awareness and make a powerful first impression.
1. Build Authority Through High-Quality Content
Whether you’re educating your audience with an infographic, blog post, webinar or SlideShare presentation, defining yourself as an authoritative source of information in your industry will increase both your presence and reach.2 Successful B2C and B2B brands understand this, which is why they are spending more time and budget on content than ever before.3 Here are a few ways to approach building authority with content:
Deliver content consistently. It’s not about content quantity; it’s about delivering quality content on a defined schedule.4
Focus on telling the stories for your niche audience that only your brand can tell.5
High-quality content is customer-centric. It’s not about what you can do for your customers; it’s about answering the question “What keeps my customers up at night?”6
2. Harness the Power of User-Generated Content
User-generated content expands your brand reach in two powerful ways. One, because it’s written by real people for real people, your audience is more likely to share UGC. Two, because UGC also uses natural language and terms, not marketing jargon, it drives quality traffic from search engines. So how do you encourage brand advocates to write about you and harness this authentic content for more awareness? By building a branded on-domain community where members are excited to share their opinions. Check out our recent post, Social Communities We Love, to see how some of the world’s best brands have leveraged the passion and knowledge of the crowd to attract new visitors.
3. Quickly Grab Users’ Attention with Video
Studies show that from the moment a video is viewed, brand awareness lift occurs.7 With over 500 million people watching videos every day on Facebook alone, social videos are a great place to start if you’re looking to make an impact on your audience. If you want to “better your chance of people remembering what they see,” Facebook recommends following these three considerations:8
Hook people before they even start watching with an attention-grabbing thumbnail.
Include your brand identity and messaging within the first 10 seconds.
Tell your story visually, or using text, graphics or captions, so that your message is understood without sound.9
It should go without saying that social media enhances the visibility of your brand to reach a wider audience.10 However, it’s not enough just to have a presence on the major social networks. Unless you’re lucky enough to be the next viral YouTube sensation, the days of getting an increase in brand awareness from social for free are over. Social is now a pay-to-play environment. Once you’ve followed the steps above to create compelling content, it’s time to start paying to reach customers and prospects.11