As much as we like to seize money making opportunities, a sales funnel is ultimately of no use unless you put in effort right from the very beginning. Every new sale begins with a consumer first being made aware of your brand. If you can't get people to take this first step, then you have no chance of building advocacy - the most coveted step of the sales funnel.
While increasing brand awareness is an important first step, there's no doubt that it's also a difficult one. In today's oversaturated marketplace, it can be challenging to get your brand seen - especially by the right people. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which you can increase brand awareness and fuel your sales funnel. The tips provided are easy to implement and will help you get your brand out there.
How to improve your sales funnel with brand awareness campaigns
1. Create content
Of course, there are many types of content you can produce - whitepapers, reports, videos - but one of the easiest places to start is by creating a company blog. Blogging will drive more traffic to your website. Fact. Each month, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages. And, if you publish high-quality content that your audience can learn from, they will come back. Regular readers will trust your brand and will begin engaging with your content. When they're looking for a product/service like yours, guess who will be top of mind? You!
But how do you get those people to come to your site? You need to use blogging as a way to improve your SEO. Publish good quality articles that are of interest to your target audience. Your site will soon be favoured by search engines. More pages of your site will get crawled, indexed, and ranked higher by search engines, leading to more visitors and ultimately more leads.
However, simply publishing articles is not enough. You need to optimise your articles for SEO. That means creating good quality content and articles based on the keywords your target audience is searching for (a quick keyword search using Google Keyword Planner will give you what you need).
A good example of this is the Toyota blog. Toyota is the type of blog that keeps you coming back for more. Not only does it announce the latest product and event news, but it also touches on industry topics and educates readers on the latest technology and innovation.
2. Spread the word on social media
3.69bn people are present on social media - and you won't reach them if you aren't there too. It will take some time and resources to run a really good social media account, but it will work wonders for raising brand awareness and moving consumers to the first step of your sales funnel. Social media can help you:
- Engage directly with your target audience at every stage of their buying journey by having a direct conversation with them, sending retargeting campaigns and sharing the content that will help them make up their mind.
- Increase the profile of your brand. People in the US use social media for an average of 12 hours and 9 minutes per day. By sharing your content on social media, you are making it easier for them to find you.
- Improve your SEO ranking. The website links you share via your social media accounts increase brand exposure and influence search engine optimisation to improve your online visibility and organic traffic.
- Encourage consumers to share your content. Consumers will trust their friends and family's opinion over yours any day. If you can get people to share your content or recommend your product online, you have a better chance of making a sale.
But how do increase the likelihood of people sharing your posts?
Firstly, you need to create the right kinds of content. Social media posts shouldn't solely be about hard selling. You need posts that will invoke an emotional reaction with your target audience, a reaction that will encourage shares. Ultimately, what you want is for people to share your posts and spread the word, creating social proof. Timeline infographics can help as they offer visual data highlights. To better understand your approach, you could create a personality quiz to identify your target audience.
Want some inspiration? Check out Sony PlayStation - who has significantly increased its followers - adding 12 million followers in the space of 5 years. PlayStation is especially successful on Twitter where they promote their games through trailers, promotional posters, and gameplay footage. The brand makes a real effort to engage with the gaming community by resolving questions, expressing opinion on issues, and making recommendations. One of their most successful social media campaigns was 2018's #PlayStationClassic, a comeback collection of PlayStation's classic games.
3. Paid campaigns
The hard truth is that increasing brand awareness organically is a long-term commitment. It's also becoming increasingly difficult to improve social media results or get featured in a top publication organically. If you want to get your brand name out there faster, and have the budget to do so, then paid campaigns are an option.
One option is to build on the social media tips mentioned above, either boosting your most popular posts or creating a paid social media campaign. If you would like to expand your reach beyond social media, then consider running ads using the Google Display Network.
The Google Display Network enables you to reach your target audience via contextual targeting (targeting content on a site using placements and keyword targeting) and audience targeting (targeting the individual user regardless of what content they're viewing).
YouTube is another platform that is great for paid advertising. In fact, some businesses see better results there than via the Google Display Network as it allows more room for creativity. On YouTube, you can utilize the popularity of video with the right tools and create something visually appealing that really shows the value of your brand. Sadly, YouTube is more expensive, but the investment is worth it if you drive home the right message.
Just remember that, as with any other brand awareness campaigns, you must create ads that are attractive to your target audience. If you don't, brand awareness might increase, but for the wrong reasons. If that happens, you certainly won't be able to move these consumers down the sales funnel.
Looking for inspiration? Check out the Hello B #ExploreBCLater campaign. Facing the harsh impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, the brand created a campaign based on social responsibility, which encouraged people to stay at home. The campaign was a twist on their usual #ExploreBC campaigns and encourages user-generated content that resulted in 9,500 uses of the hashtag on Instagram alone. The campaign helped increase the brand's awareness and reputation and helped keep their name front of consumers' minds for when they do begin to travel again.
While the pressure is always on to increase sales, there is no magic trick to get the dollars rolling in. You need to do the groundwork before consumers become loyal customers.
If you really want to improve your sales funnel, and ultimately increase profit, you need to make more consumers aware of your brand. With a healthy number of people at the top of your sales funnel, you're well on your way to making sales. Take the time to work on brand strategy campaigns that will get your voice heard over the crowd. It might seem overwhelming at first the tips and advice above will set you well on your way.
Copyright 2021. Article was made possible by site supporter Joy Corkery, Content Marketing Lead, Latana