- How to Create a Brand Awareness Strategy That Will Generate Buzz - January 19, 2022
Have you ever recommended a restaurant to your friends or traveled to a city solely because your neighbor couldn’t stop talking about it?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have experienced the buzz—hyping something so much that people start talking about it.
The concept of generating buzz to get consumers, marketers, and media to start discussing your offers is what spreads brand awareness for your new business. It strengthens your business or product launch and gets people to spread awareness about it on social media. Eventually, all these efforts translate into better opportunities, more leads, and sales.
If you want to generate a buzz for your business and make people aware of your company and product, this guide will help you create a stunning brand in 2022.
Let’s get started.
Zoom in on your unique selling point
Your unique selling point (USP) is the starting point of generating buzz. It answers the question: “Why should a prospect buy from you?”
With so many businesses offering similar products and services, you can only stand out if you offer something unique that others don’t.
This can be anything like the problem you solve, the benefit you offer, lower price, higher quality, better customer experience, or fast customer support.
Whether you’re selling digital products or physical items, mention the benefits your customers will enjoy and use it as leverage to promote and position your product further.
Take SoundCloud, for example. What differentiates it from Spotify and Apple Music is that it’s a place for music creators and fans to connect with other artists and build a following.
A well-crafted USP shows your brand’s key advantage to consumers persuasively. Similar to SoundCloud, to create your USP:
- Make a list of benefits your business offers to customers.
- Select the ones that no other business offers.
- Once you find your USP, include it in your messaging and share it in your marketing assets like your website, blog and marketing campaigns.
Give a personality to your brand
Just as an individual’s personality impacts how people view and interact with them, your brand’s personality affects how prospects engage with your business.
For instance, the biker giant Harley-Davidson has an outdoorsy and tough brand personality. They speak to their customers as a member of the gang. By telling people to hop on and ride, Harley-Davidson evokes the feeling of freedom.
The brand personality should share feelings with customers. Prospects should relate to your brand’s traits to form an emotional connection.
That said, the most important thing you can do to build a personality is by giving a face to your brand.
Create a mascot for your company
Remember this character?
It’s Sonic the Hedgehog, the mascot of the video game company Sega. Sega wanted to point out their USP for their gaming infrastructure: incredible speed. So, they designed a character showing speed with a hint of edgy, snarky attitude. This mascot alone differentiated the brand from other childish rivals like Nintendo. With a mascot, you can turn your brand into an identifiable personality users can relate to.
You can use a graphic designing tool like GraphicSprings to build a mascot logo for your business.
Choose an image or symbol to represent your brand
Symbols are a visual representation of your brand. They tell people who you are and what you have in store.
For example, Amazon’s smile symbol gives an impression of friendliness and represents the brand’s promise of stocking everything from A to Z.
Like Amazon, you can choose a symbol based on your brand’s vision, mission, and values.
Create a short, catchy slogan
A slogan communicates the key benefit you want customers to associate with your brand. The most catchy slogans are short, easy, and relatable.
For instance, Dunkin Donuts’ slogan “America Runs on Dunkin” makes people feel part of American culture.
Tell your personal story
Being the mother of 2 toddlers, Sarah Beth understands how crazy life can get. That’s why she teaches yoga online to help people exercise anywhere, anytime.
Did you like the story of Sarah Beth? We all love stories. They strike to our hearts. And if you want people to remember your brand, you can tell them your personal story, unveiling why you started your business.
Craft a compelling brand story
A brand story is a narrative of your business journey. It reveals why you follow a mission, how you’re bringing a positive change to your industry, and the purpose you are serving.
A brand story encourages users to share the stories with others and turns them into prospects.
Here are some tips for creating a great brand story.
- Write your brand’s past, present, and future story.
- Build a statement summing up why your brand exists
- Use powerful keywords to add an emotional flavour to your brand story.
Here’s the brand story of the vacation rental company, Airbnb:
“A trusted community marketing for customers to list, book, and discover unique accommodations for unique travel experiences.”
Generate a steady stream of content
Content is a fun way to raise awareness as it shows who your brand is and what it represents. With each piece of content, prospects become familiar with your brand.
However, it takes more than publishing content to set your brand apart from your competitors.
Here are three tips to create unique, valuable content:
- While creating content, talk about the benefits people get from your products or services rather than focusing on features of the product.
- Explain how your products or services change the lives of your targeted audience
- Show what problems you are solving.
Look at this example by Robin Sharma, author of “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”:
You can create content in different formats including blogs, infographics, podcasts, videos, etc.
While the idea to create a variety of content sounds interesting, it can be massively time-consuming.
To speed up the process and create content on the fly, you can follow social media expert Gary Vee’s Content Model.
Gary Vee recommends creating one long-form content and breaking it into dozens of smaller pieces of content.
Build an email list and generate leads
Opt-in-Email Marketing gives you a direct way to communicate with prospects who have already signed up to receive your emails. You can send your product information, updates, discounts, and other details to make subscribers familiar with your business while watching your brand awareness level up.
While you can’t build an extensive email list overnight, here are some effective methods to grow your email list faster:
A high-converting sign-up form
A sign-up form is one you add to your website to gather email addresses. The sign-up form gives your website visitors an option to receive emails from you, which helps attract leads interested in your brand.
You can place your signup form anywhere on your blog or website without interrupting the user’s browsing experience. Here are some tips to help you create an impactful sign-up form:
- Keep your form simple and easy to fill in. Asking the user’s name and email address is the simplest form you can create.
- Use a wide, easily visible, and clear call to action.
- Describe the benefits users will get after filing your form. Whether you offer a free trial, weekly newsletters, early-bird discount for subscribers, or information on new products/services, you should clearly state the value around your sign-up form.
Take a look at Netflix’s sign-up form:
You can use online drag-and-drop form builders to create a sign-up form and embed it in your website within minutes.
But having a sign-up and getting people to subscribe is not enough to generate the buzz. You need to take care of your subscribers by using automation and personalization.
Automate sending personalized emails and follow-ups
Email marketing automation creates a series of personalized, contextual emails that automatically reach the inbox when people subscribe.
For example, when users finish the sign-up process, they instantly receive a welcome email in their inbox. These automated emails make readers feel welcome while giving them a brief tour of your brand, what they can expect next, and CTAs, leading them to content worth exploring.
Email automation makes it easy to nurture subscribers once they opt-in. It allows you to automate sending follow-ups and exclusive offers, reminding them about your brand when subscribers start straying.
Now you know how setting up email automation can result in lucrative growth for your brand.
However, it would be best to have email marketing solutions with varied automation features and tools to fit your business needs. For instance, some email marketing services focus on specific industries like bloggers or SaaS products.
Encourage early excitement with unique strategies
In 2018, people waited in long queues outside Apple stores for iPhone X, and the brand sold 16 million units worldwide.
With a loyal fan base, it’s obvious for Apple to create this milestone. But you can still steal some of Apple’s strategies to launch your new business, instill early excitement in your users, and generate buzz.
Here are some strategies:
- Limit your offering to a certain set of customers: For instance, only your first 1k subscribers can buy your products. Keeping your products limited to some customers will encourage them to act now.
- Acquire your first buyers by invitation only: In an invitation-only marketing strategy, users can buy your products or services only when they receive an email invitation. This adds exclusivity to your brand, making users feel like they’re part of something special.
- Take preorders: Potential customers like to get their hands on the product the moment it hits the market. So, preorders play a great role in exciting and encouraging your customers to be among the first set of customers, thus contributing to the buzz leading up to your product launch.
- Create a waiting list: Waiting lists remove the laziness of signing up whenever people want. It creates a sense of excitement when the product or services open up for purchase and ensures you have a set of potential customers who will convert as soon as you make the product available—further advancing brand awareness.
- Hold a countdown for the launch date: As the launching date nears, remind your prospects about your product launch date with a countdown to keep them engaged without having to promote your product constantly.
For instance, here’s how Kendall Jenner ran a countdown to promote the new Mango clothing line before officially launching it to the public.
Leverage new-age social media strategies
An alarming 54% of people use social media to research products. For businesses, this percentage equals a massive opportunity of putting your products or services in front of these users.
Here are three new-age strategies to incorporate into your social media marketing arsenal:
Create viral quizzes
From “which career should you choose? to “which Marvel character are you?”—quizzes make the most shared content on social media.
People love to answer quizzes as they trigger curiosity, make people aware of the topic they are interested in, and are a great way to pass the time. And that’s what you can leverage to drive engagement and make people more aware of your offerings.
You can use tools like Woobox to create quizzes within minutes, gain insights into your targeted audience, and allow your users to share results on social media.
Create branded hashtags
A branded hashtag is associated with your brand. It inspires people to talk about the brand on social media.
For instance, when Ben & Jerry launched a new flavor, they used the hashtag #benjerryflavor, encouraging their fan base to share the new product.
In today’s information-loaded social media world, hashtags make it easier for users to find the content they want.
But how should you create a stand-out hashtag for your new business?
Here are some surefire tips:
- Make a list of all words relevant to your brand. Add slogans or purpose as well.
- Choose the words or phrases that relate to your business and your prospects. For instance, Redbull’s hashtag #PutACanOnIt reflects both the brand and its audience.
- Turn your words or phrases into a hashtag. Keep it short like #benjerryflavor
- Once you decide on the hashtags, search them on Twitter or Instagram to ensure nobody uses them.
- Make sure words or letters don’t jumble up to form a new or irrelevant word. For example, prime minister of the UK (1979 – 1990) Margaret Thatcher died in 2013. People misread the hashtag #NowThatchersDead as #NowThatChersDead, assuming the singer’s who was very much alive was dead.
- At last, avoid using banned hashtags as Instagram may flag your account, sending your Instagram marketing off the rails.
Use referral marketing
Referral marketing encourages people to share the products or services with friends, family members, and colleagues. In exchange for their efforts, users receive rewards like discounts or gift cards.
The referral program encourages people to sign up for your product or service and puts your brand in front of new customers.
Also, with 93% of customers trusting recommendations from their friends and family more than any form of advertising, no wonder referral marketing has the upper hand.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to craft a compelling referral message:
- Convey the referral benefit at the beginning of the message.
- Offer a clear call to action telling what to do next.
- Make it easy to understand.
Look at this example of a referral program by Dropbox:
Would you like to collaborate with a business to create marketing campaigns benefiting both parties?
For example, the business will promote your products or services on their social media channels and vice versa. Both partners conduct research together to understand your audience. Or run live events targeting the same prospects.
The partnership is an effective way to combine forces and reach a broader audience. When you partner with another business, your brand gains exposure to your audience.
However, you can’t partner with just anyone. You have to follow two criteria to find the right partner:
- The business should not be your competitor
- It should have a similar targeted audience.
For instance, Starbucks can’t partner with Costa Coffee. But the partnership of Starbucks and Spotify is worth mentioning here.
Spotify streaming is integrated with the brand’s most popular loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards. It enables users to curate a playlist in Starbucks stores and continue listening to the songs when they leave the premises. Paid Spotify subscribers can earn rewards points to redeem for free beverages.
This partnership helped Starbucks to engage with users when they are not drinking their favorite coffee, while Spotify got access to the brand’s 10 million users to target.
Following the above example, start shortlisting the businesses you want to partner with. Once you have a handful of brands, you need to follow four steps to contact the people working in the brands and convince them to partner with you.
- Connect with people: You can find them on LinkedIn. Let’s say you want to connect with people working in the marketing and advertising department to discuss your partnership plans. You can enter the company details in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, apply the position filters, and instantly get the list of people to connect with.
- Send personalized message: Next, you need to reach out to them with an advanced personalized message, going beyond the surface-level personalization like first and last name. Adding personalized images will make your LinkedIn message stand out from the masses like this:
You can also use Automation Tools to automate sending image-driven personalized messages, scheduling demos or closing deals to shorten the sales cycle.
- Schedule a meeting with potential partners: If the brand accepts your request and agrees to discuss your partnership plans, schedule a meeting right from the LinkedIn platform. Here’s how:
You can also use a third-party app like Google Meet, generate a meeting link, and share it in your LinkedIn message.
- Present yourself in a professional way: Once the brand agrees to meet with you, prepare yourself to ask for collaboration and have a professional business presentation. Your best bet is to prepare a pitch deck with your proposal, start with some icebreaker questions and discuss mutually beneficial terms, which make saying “yes” a no-brainer.
Once the partnership is solidified, you can align your vision together, build a plan to create content, cross-promote and start executing it, while keeping the larger goal in mind—brand awareness.
Be your own brand ambassador
Being your brand ambassador is all about attending network events, startup meetups, and other niche-relevant events to give your brand the exposure and attention it deserves.
Becoming your brand’s spokesperson brings many benefits, but the best one is giving a face and voice to your brand. This will make your brand more human, helping people relate with you in a much better way.
Here are four ways to become your own brand ambassador:
You can support an event financially or provide your products and services for free in exchange for brand exposure, access to attendee data, and speaking opportunities.
For instance, Red Bull gave away drinks at VIP and sporting events, helping the brand take off and become the most in-demand energy drink.
So, scan and pick events where you can become a sponsor and who have a similar audience to who you want to target, and reach out to them. You can use online platforms like SponsorMyEvent to connect with events and sign event sponsorship agreements.
Write guest posts
Guest posting, also known as guest blogging, is about writing content for another company’s website.
By delivering your valuable write-ups, you will widen your brand’s reach to an entirely new audience, build authority, and position yourself as an expert.
But before you submit content to the website, make sure it’s a noncompetitive site with a targeted audience matching yours.
Build a presence at trade shows
Imagine entering a large exhibition hall with booths of top brands like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., promoting their products and giving you a clear idea of who they are.
That’s what a trade show is—an exhibition of companies with their products or services where many industry experts, enthusiasts, and media gather under one roof for business, education, and fun.
With the right trade show marketing in place, you can wow these attendees and turn them into your leads or even customers.
If you want your brand to be a part of the trade show, start searching for upcoming trade shows relevant to your brand. A simple Google search like “Arts and Crafts trade show” will show plenty of results. Use the trade show directory like EventsEye to search location, industry, and keyword-based trade shows.
After finding the trade shows, look into their reputation and costs, book your booth, and invite your subscribers and social media audience to attend the event.
Appear as a guest on podcasts
There are millions of podcasts online, many of which will be relevant to your niche. You can become a guest at these podcasts, contribute valuable thoughts and insights and also raise your brand awareness in the process.
Another obvious benefit of guest podcasting is once your podcast interview goes live, you can repurpose it into a blog, social media posts, audio clips, etc.
To become a guest at a podcast, research podcasts in your niche, track their email addresses, write email pitches and get on calls.
The process works but is time-consuming, so you can use a tool like PodcastGuests to directly connect with podcasters and be their next guest.
Work with influencers to create the initial buzz
2021 showed us the massive role influencers play in consumer decisions. Their following and powerful presence in their niches make them a valuable launching pad for your businesses to get some initial traction and even the first few customers.
Part of the reason collaborating with influencers works is because it taps into the idea of social proof—people trust what other people say about the brands more than they trust what brands say for themselves.
However, with so many influencers online, it’s difficult to choose the best one for your business. Here are some tips to get started:
Connect with micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are individuals with a 1,000-100,000 fan following on social media. They are known for their super-specific interest and high engagement with their targeted audience. Coca-Cola partnered with the travel and food micro-influencer, Miette Dierckx, to promote its heritage soda brand. Miette’s on-brand coke content aligns well with her posts, ensuring a solid appeal to her specific niche while representing the brand.
Create an influencer marketing strategy
Influencers should help you move the needle on your brand goals. Therefore, you need to plan a winning influencer marketing strategy to make it worth your time and investment. Start by setting your goals, identifying your KPIs, finalizing a budget, performing the campaigns, and evaluating your strategy for better results.
Co-create a content plan and set up a system
Once you build your influencer marketing strategy, plan content together with influencers. Co-creation invites influencers to share their thoughts and ideas, helping you create content reasoning with your brand, influencer’s niche, as well as your audience. Let’s say if you are a cosmetic brand and your influencer knows the beauty products people use daily. Together you can create a monthly beauty subscription box and promote the same on influencers’ social media channels.
The goal of brand awareness is to reach your target audience, and position your brand and solution in front of potential customers, which can translate into sales and revenue.
Use the strategies mentioned in this article to create a brand awareness strategy for your audience, product, and services to put your brand on the map, and drive your first set of customers and momentum to push the business forward.