Brand awareness is a crucial aspect to growing your business. The success of your company can often hinge on your reputation - that is, if you have a reputation at all! Even the biggest companies would have failed if nobody knew about them, which is why it’s so important to create brand awareness within your target market.
Brand Awareness - Definition:
What does brand awareness mean? In a nutshell, brand awareness is how familiar consumers are with your company and services. It centres around how easily your target market can identify your business and what you have to offer. So how does brand awareness impact sales? Well, say there are two different profiling companies on the same industrial estate. Company A understands the advantages of brand awareness and has taken steps to raise it, whilst Company B isn’t well-known outside of their existing customer base. Company A will inevitably receive more orders, because their brand pops into the buyer’s head whenever they have a laser cutting requirement. It’s about your business becoming synonymous with your offerings, so that you are the first port of call for any purchaser with a relevant requirement.
Benefits of Brand Awareness:
The benefits of brand awareness are plentiful. Firstly, it is a ‘snowball effect’, meaning that the more people know about your business, the more people will continue to know about your business through word of mouth. Therefore, the hardest part is getting things started but once your brand awareness campaign gathers momentum, it will start to work for itself. Brand awareness campaigns are reactive, meaning that the end result is the buyer coming to you, but it’s also important to support your new business efforts by proactively looking for prospective customers.
Secondly, boosted brand awareness will correlate directly with company growth. It will make sure that buyers think of you first when they have a relevant requirement, meaning that you can expect to receive a higher amount of orders, as well as an abundance of invitations to tender.
If your objective is expansion - whether now or in the future - then brand awareness activities should be at the forefront of your agenda.
Brand Awareness Examples - How Do You Increase Brand Awareness?
With all the day-to-day jobs associated with running an engineering business, it can be difficult to find the time to get your name out there. So how do you create brand awareness in between all of the other tasks on your to-do list? Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to boost your brand exposure within a matter of minutes, leaving you to concentrate on other activities.
The following are examples of brand awareness campaign ideas that won’t eat up too much of your time:
1. Directory listings
With the internet serving as the prominent medium through which we find potential suppliers for goods and services, it’s wise to have your company details added to as many directories as possible. Directory listings rely on potential customers to react by making contact with you; therefore, in order to see a return, you should take the time to ensure that you have listings on all directories that are applicable to your business - in short, it’s a numbers game and the more listings you have, the better your chances of being found by potential new clients.
If you move premises or your company details change, make sure to update your listings accordingly. Inaccurate information can equate to missed opportunities and subsequently, the loss of a new business relationship.
Remember, subcontract engineering companies are entitled to a free listing on the Qimtek directory, which focuses exclusively on the manufacturing and subcontract engineering sectors. Click here for information on how to make your Qimtek free listing work better for you.
2. Social media:
Social media can appear relatively daunting to those with little experience of using it. However, it’s a key marketing tool utilised by successful businesses, as it allows you to engage with your target market as a whole and build brand awareness with ease.
Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are simple to sign up to and manage, providing you with a platform through which you can reach thousands of people with every post. Due to the reach on offer, social media is especially useful to subcontract engineering companies that are trying to build brand awareness, as it works efficiently and affords you more time to concentrate on running your business.
If you’re wondering how to create brand awareness on social media, then follow these three tips.
- Post regularly to build up a following.
- Make sure your posts are relevant.
- Engage with your audience - reply to any comments and messages you receive and make sure to like and comment on other people’s posts.
3. Ask your customers for testimonials:
If you’re wondering how to establish brand awareness, then start by asking your existing (and happy!) customers for testimonials. A great reputation is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can ask for – especially in an industry such as engineering which relies heavily on word-of-mouth. Of course, any company can make claims about the high quality of their work – indeed, this is part and parcel of being in business – but having tangible evidence to reinforce these claims is what can set you apart.
Testimonials from your existing customers create credibility and can be utilised in lots of different ways. They make a great addition to your website, as well as any company brochures and literature. In addition, they can also supplement your proactive marketing to increase response rates, which brings us onto the next point…
4. Email marketing:
Brand awareness and digital marketing go hand in hand, although some forms of digital marketing are more proactive than others. Unlike reactive marketing, proactive marketing involves contacting your prospects directly, as opposed to being reliant on them contacting you. E-mail is a great way of building brand awareness efficiently, as you can target multiple recipients at once; however, it’s really important that you adhere to the latest GDPR laws, which came into effect as of 25th May 2018. This means making sure that recipients have ‘opted in’ to receive your emails, as well as clearly giving them the option to ‘opt out’ at any time. There can be serious repercussions for violating GDPR laws, so take the time to understand them fully before clicking send.
5. Postal marketing:
Whilst slightly more time-consuming than email marketing, postal marketing can be extremely effective if you’re wondering how to boost brand awareness – although be warned that it comes with a few caveats. Firstly, it can be quite a costly exercise when printed materials and the price of postage are taken into account. Secondly, you’re going to wind your prospects up to no end if you underestimate the postage required.
Whilst the outlay may put many people off of sending out material by post, it’s important to remember that the measure of success is in the return. This means that the outlay is irrelevant if the campaign achieves its objectives – whether this is an order from a shiny new client, or simply raising your brand awareness. Postal marketing has largely been shunned in favour of e-mail marketing, which in turn has given the former a renewed novelty factor as prospects battle against their overflowing inboxes.
Preparation is the key to success when it comes to postal marketing. Take the time to ensure that your database is up-to-date before sending anything out. Double-check that you have applied the correct amount of postage and err on the side of caution if you’re unsure.
As with email marketing, make sure that you aren’t breaching GDPR laws before you embark on your campaign. Whilst postal marketing is not as heavily regulated under GDPR, you still need to be able to prove that you have a legitimate reason for contacting your recipients.
6. Overhaul your email signature:
The use of an effective signature enables you to boost your brand awareness every time you send an email. But what makes an email signature effective?
Firstly, make it eye catching. You can achieve this simply enough by including a copy of your company logo and making sure that the layout is aesthetically pleasing. Signatures shouldn’t appear to be too ‘busy’, but should still contain your contact information (telephone number, company name, company address and a link to your website are good places to start).
Also consider implementing a call-to-action which, for instance, invites recipients to book a meeting or request some samples. If you can make your email signature interactive, then it transforms every email you send into an effective marketing medium which, in itself, may yield new business.
7. Review your website:
The internet has become one of the most prolific ways in which we buy and sell, meaning that it’s now more important than ever before to have a top-notch website. Your website acts as your shopfront and showcases your business to the rest of the world, meaning that it is well worth spending time ensuring that it works to the best of its abilities. How do you create brand awareness through your website? Make it easy to use and simplified.
‘A good website allows the visitor to navigate to where they want to get to within two or three clicks,’ explains Dean Munkley, Qimtek’s Marketing Manager. ‘It should be user-friendly and get straight to the point, offering a succinct description of the business and its services.’
Simply put, ‘busy’ websites are a headache to the end user. Make sure that you have clearly outlined the services you offer, without trying to cram too much into the site. Test drive the user journey by visiting your own site from the point of view of a potential client. Can you navigate your way around easily? Do you have a clear understanding of what your business offers right from the word go? Are the contact details easily found if you wish to advance interest into actual communication?
8. Guest blog:
Guest blogging is a great way to increase your brand awareness and get your name out there. By writing about a topic in which you are particularly well-versed, you gain the confidence of your audience and attract a following that may not have previously been aware of you. What’s more, most sites will broadcast your submission across their social media channels, meaning that you actively benefit from their marketing campaigns.
Look for blogging sites that are specific to your industry and get in contact with them to see if they accept guest blogs. Remember, an effective blog should not directly promote the services of your business, but indirectly position you as an industry expert with a broad knowledge in your chosen field. After all, who wouldn’t trust an expert with their business needs?
Qimtek are always looking guest blogs that focus on the engineering and manufacturing industries. To find out more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call on 01256 394 500.
How Long Does it Take to Build Brand Awareness?
Building brand awareness does not happen overnight - it requires patience and faith in the objective. Although you may not see instant results, brand awareness campaigns are extremely worthwhile and could lead to unprecedented business growth if performed correctly.
Building brand awareness is almost always a case of trial and error before you find the method that works for you. Spend some time studying brand awareness best practices, as well as brand awareness campaign strategy before you get started. By making sure you’re prepared and organised, you can increase your chances of early success and give your brand awareness campaign the best possible start.