People can’t buy from you if they don’t know your brand exists. That’s the purpose of brand awareness — to help people recognize and recall your business when they need you. Making sure people know and remember your brand is where to use content marketing to build brand awareness.
Understanding Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is how readily consumers recognize your brand. Have they heard of it? Do they remember anything about what you do? Brand awareness is critical to your business’s growth because people can’t consider purchasing from you if they’ve never even heard of your brand.
But what you want from brand awareness goes beyond just an “Oh, that” moment. Yes, you want people to recognize your company’s name, but it’s also excellent if they associate specific details with your name.
For example, we don’t just recognize the name McDonald’s. We know what McDonald’s serves, how easy it is to find one, the consistency of their products, etc.
We tie thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviors, and preferences to brands. Those things help us differentiate and prefer certain brands over others. But all of these positive benefits start with brand awareness.
Children don’t want that Happy Meal toy until they know McDonald’s exists and has Happy Meals.
Content Marketing’s Role in Brand Awareness
Awareness is the first step in the customer journey. That means, without it, you can’t make sales.
Back in the day, companies like McDonald’s spent tons of money on traditional advertising to make people aware of their brands. They erected golden arches seemingly everywhere and made TV commercials featuring Ronald McDonald so children would beg their parents to go. But that’s not the way brands get recognized anymore.
Today’s buyers go online when they’re thinking about buying something. More than 65% of people research online before making a purchase. Enter content marketing’s role in today’s customer journey. By having a website and doing SEO content marketing, your brand is more likely to show up for customers when they search for products or services in your category.
For example, let’s say I have a problem. It’s getting colder outside, so I like to have a mug of green tea in the afternoon. Kind of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. But I’ve noticed that I bring the tea to my desk, then get distracted by calls or emails. My tea gets cold before I drink it. I mentioned this frustration to a friend, who recommended I get a mug warmer. I can set my cup on the warmer, and my tea will stay warm until I finish it. This product sounds like a perfect solution to my problem, but I have no idea where to buy a mug warmer. So, I head to Google and type it into the search bar. Here’s what I see:
I find brands I’ve never heard of, varying products and price points, and even a story from “The New York Times” recommending specific warmers. If I scroll down past the ads, I also find smaller businesses that have written posts similar to the one from the “Times” and have links on their sites to buy those products. That is content marketing’s role in brand awareness! It leads me from a Google search to content that makes me aware of new brands and helps me eliminate my pain point. My afternoon tea will be warm from here on out!
As a bonus, the money spent on content marketing (much less than those television ads featuring Ronald McDonald) will keep those brands showing up in search results potentially for years, driving traffic and leads to those companies’ websites while creating greater brand awareness.
Advice for Using Content Marketing to Build Brand Awareness
Now that you understand how content marketing can drive awareness, you want it to happen right now! That’s understandable. Once you have a tool that you know can make big things happen for your business, you want to use it. But here’s some advice before you dig in.
When using content marketing to build brand awareness:
Know Your Audience. Understand your audience and their pain points. What are they likely to search for on Google? Be sure your content is anticipating their search intent.Use Keywords. Once you know what your audience searches for that your brand helps with, build your keyword strategy around those specific searches. You want your site to pop up when they ask Google their questions.Vary Your Content. Don’t focus on blog posts alone. You need product or service pages, emails, Google Business Profile, and a presence on social media. Post words, videos, graphics, photos, etc., to help people see, recognize, and consider your brand.Show Up Regularly. You can’t post once and expect people to flock to your site. You have to show up regularly for your audience. That means having a strong website, posting on your blog at least twice a week, and posting and interacting daily on your social media channels. Use the content marketing methods you choose to best serve your audience regularly.Be Patient. This piece of advice may be the most challenging. You have to be patient. SEO content marketing done right will always work for your brand, but it won’t work overnight. You have to trust the process and celebrate the steady increase in awareness.
The Lesson to Learn
Building brand awareness through content marketing takes a thoughtful approach but has lasting effects. Using content in these ways will attract more customers to your brand on social channels, your website, and even strategic partners who never heard of you before. Planning and executing a content marketing plan takes time, but the effort is always worth it.