Fundamentally, awareness is just getting in front of the right people, at the right time, and with the right message.
When you break it down to its core – if you double the number of people who are aware of your business, you should double your sales – and therefore experience 100% growth.
Sounds simple, right?
Although it sounds simple, this is, essentially, marketing, and marketing is an ever-changing beast.
What worked 100 years ago, definitely doesn’t work today, and what works to grow awareness today probably won’t be what works 20 years from now.
Where taking out newspaper ads for “Mabel’s Miraculous Marketing Formula”, with unsubstantiated (and grossly exaggerated) claims, would have worked extremely well 100 years ago, this awareness tactic wouldn’t work at all today.
Looking at it purely from a numbers perspective, newspapers were the only form of mass media 100 years ago, so if you wanted to get in front of your audience, that was your best chance to get in front of as many people as possible. Now, even newspapers are digital and news websites are being visited less often.
This article from pawresearch.org shows that the number of Americans who “often ” got their news digitally was only 60% in 2020, and this had dropped to 49% by 2022.
So, while using the awareness tactic of the 1920’s (newspapers) wouldn’t work today, there are plenty of options available that would help your business.
There are 6 steps that you need to take to maximise the awareness of your business.
1. Market Research
This isn’t the first thing that would typically come to mind when thinking about creating awareness of your business, but it is an essential first step that will help all of your future efforts.
You could easily say that the market research phase should be completed before you even look to increase your authority, but we put it in the awareness phase because while you are research gathering, you are actually letting more people know your business exists and discussing your offer during this phase (increasing overall awareness).
You probably already did market research before starting your business.
We suggest doing some form of market research on a regular basis throughout the life of your business if you want to continue to experience growth.
The market research we are talking about here is more like a short survey.
We would advise no more than a total of 8-10 questions.
In those 8-10 questions, you will use 3-4 of those on the respondent’s personal details – leaving you anywhere between 4-7 questions to ask all of the questions you need to gather the following information.
- How they want to hear about businesses like yours
- How they would like to be sold to
- How much they would pay for your offer
- What they would like to be part of your offer
- What objections they might have to your offer
Another opportunity market research presents is the reactivation of previous clients and content generation for future marketing efforts (awareness).
We did some market research for a client of ours in the health and beauty space. The goal was to better understand their existing client behaviours. But, equally, we wanted to re-activate these people into booking another appointment and gather content to help attract more bookings from new clients.
To do this, we needed to understand why these people booked their first appointment, and every respondent’s demographic (while keeping the responses anonymous.
We were able to do all of in just 8 questions (including name and email address).
Two things we did in this survey to help with our goals were:
- asked them to give their experience with our client a rating out of 10, and asked if they had already given a Google review. If they rated their experience 8 or higher and hadn’t already left a review, they were offered a large discount on a future booking in exchange for a Google review.
This re-activated the customer and got our client another Google review. The added Google review helps with search engine optimisation and social proof, but it also gives us/our client new content that we can put across social media to help generate more awareness.
- we asked open-ended questions such as “tell us about your experience”, “what would you change about how we operate”. and “describe the perfect experience”.
The answers to these questions not only gave our client new ideas and insight into what their clients actually want from them, but the responses were often so positive and kind about the service they received that we could again use these as direct quotes for social media content to generate more awareness.
You want a minimum of 50-100 responses with your market research. In the example above, our client got so many new Google reviews and positive comments on the responses that they had enough content to post to their social media accounts every day for more than an entire year.
2. Social Media Optimisations
You have to make sure you’re posting regularly on social media and that your accounts have enough information on them.
If you are a local business or serve a specific area, make sure this is shown on your social profile bio’s.
All accounts should have a minimum of:
- web address
- contact phone number
- short description of the offer
3. High Converting Web Design
In today’s world, everything leads back to your website.
Anyone who hears about you – even if it’s word of mouth – will try and look through your website before making contact.
So you need to make sure your website has been set up to convert a high number of your visitors into leads.
Explaining exactly how to do this could take a couple of books to write, but the best place to start is by thinking about the action you want your visitors to take.
Do you want them to fill out a form, give you a call, or make a booking?
Once you know what action you want them to take, everything on your website needs to lead the visitor to take that action.
Remember, the majority of your website visitors are on your website because they want your service, most likely have the funds available, and just want to know if you’re best positioned to help them (this is why authority is so important).
4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is the practice of being found on Google when people are looking for businesses like yours.
If you want people to become more aware of your business, you don’t have an option, you must be found on Google.
As the saying goes “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google”. If you don’t want your business to die, you need to get as high in Google results as possible.
97% of internet users will search online for a business before using any other method to get in touch with them.
If you can’t be found on Google, you are, effectively, only opening your business up to 3% of your potential market because people simply aren’t aware that you exist.
5. Ad Campaigns
These are the best possible way to create awareness of your business.
The reason we list them as 5th on the steps to take is because your ad campaigns are informed by your market research, they’re more complex than optimising your social media accounts, your website needs to be highly optimised to convert the increase in traffic your ads will bring in, and SEO takes longer to gain momentum so it’s important you do this as soon as possible.
A successful ad campaign is very rarely a single ad, telling people to buy what you have to offer.
You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, and people don’t buy from businesses this way either.
Your ad campaign should have multiple ads, with the first ad simply being about generating awareness of your business – making sure as many people as possible in your target market know you exist.
6. PR Campaign
Finally, PR campaigns can help generate more awareness.
Find a way to gain media attention for your business (in a positive way).
This can also help with your SEO efforts as links coming back to your website from larger news websites will help you rank higher within Google search results.