Brand awareness is a staple of marketing. It’s one of the critical fundamentals that every organization should execute with precision. But sadly, that’s not always the case.
First of all, why is brand awareness important?
The most important reason that awareness matters is because it plays a key role in consumer decisions. When faced with several options, brand awareness makes certain choices a little more obvious than others. Customers are going to be more likely to purchase from a brand that they have heard about, whether it be through advertising or personal referrals. Heightened brand awareness also leads to customer loyalty and higher profits over the long run.
Many marketing teams keep brand awareness growth as a top goal; however, measuring the results of their campaigns in this regard is extremely difficult. There isn’t really one way to accurately measure how recognizable your brand name is. But, there are several tracking methods that can provide insight as to whether this key metric is increasing or not.
Here are four ways that you can track your brand’s awareness and determine whether or not your marketing efforts are working.
Use Social Media Listening Tools
Social media listening is one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not your brand recognition is growing with your audience. Social platforms are becoming one of the first points of references that customers look to when researching a product or discovering new brands. So, what should marketers pay attention to in terms of social media listening?
Track Your Brand Mentions
The more that your brand is getting mentioned on social networks, the better. Not only does it mean that people are aware of your brand, it can also increase your social SEO and help you become more “searchable” on social platforms. You may want to invest in a social listening tool that tracks brand mentions from every site on the internet, not just social media. Tools like Mention and Hootsuite monitor these websites for you and create analytical data reports to help you track growth.
Track Your Social Media Reach
An obvious sign that your brand recognition is growing is your audience size is expanding and changing. As your business grows in popularity and familiarity, more and more people will be actively seeking you out. Most social media sites offer some resource to help you measure your reach per post, such as Instagram’s analytics reports for business accounts. Start paying attention to the numbers and notice any shifts or changes that are occurring. Is your name starting to become popular overseas or among a different demographic? This is a sign that your recognition is improving, and it opens up new doors for ad targeting as well.
Track your Engagement Levels
The importance of engagement on social media cannot be overstated. It is one of the keys to getting more followers on Instagram and creating a customer community on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Again, most social media sites offer insights for business accounts to track how many likes, shares, and comments they are getting.
Keep an Eye on Your Website Traffic
Another key signal that your brand awareness is growing is a boost in the number of people visiting your website. Of course, a Google search is typically a customer’s first response when they want to learn more about a brand or are looking for a specific product.
Your website traffic can be broken down into two main categories:
Direct traffic is determined by the amount of users who specifically entered your website’s URL or have your site saved as a bookmark on their browser. If this number is consistently growing, it is a huge sign that your brand recognition is increasing. Obviously, a customer needs to know your brand name to enter it into a URL. So more than likely, these are going to be repeat customers or highly-engaged consumers who are actively seeking your brand.
As you track this metric, it is important to keep an eye on the number of new users from your direct links. Direct traffic is usually going to be coming from customers who have already visited your site, but if the number of new users in your direct traffic is growing, that’s a great sign of brand awareness.
Referral traffic is typically going to be the more common source of website visitors. This number comes from the amount of webpage visitors who clicked on external links or found your website via a search engine query. This is why it is so important to increase your brand’s external link presence through strategies like guest blog partnerships, active social media posting, and robust SEO strategies. Keep an eye on the links and websites that are driving the largest groups of visitors so you know where to direct your link-building efforts.
Use Brand Awareness Surveys
You can always go straight to the source to find out how memorable and recognizable your brand is. Conduct some market research of your own by asking different demographics and targeted audiences whether or not they have heard of your brand name.
You may have noticed businesses doing this frequently on Instagram and Facebook by asking users whether they remember seeing an ad for a specific product or brand within the last week. This simple question can help your marketing team determine how effective their social media ads are.
Analyze the Sentiment of Your Brand Conversations
As you track the number of brand mentions online, it is also important that you understand the meaning behind each reference. Unfortunately, there are over 2 million negative brand mentions created on social media every single day! Brand mentions can be tricky because you need to understand the sentiment behind the message, so you will want to use a social listening tool that is able to accurately determine whether your social media mentions are helping or hurting your brand’s perception.
Brandwatch is a good option here because it uses AI technology to measure sentiment and identifies opportunities for engagement. This tool also compiles social mention data into analytical reports to help track if your mentions are growing, as well as provides insight into the overall feeling that customers have towards your brand.
Building brand awareness is not easy, and it can take a long time before you start to notice any drastic increases in the number of customers who recognize your company’s name.
The key here is patience. Focus on the strategies that are going to make the biggest impact, such as engaging through social media and partnering with other brands and blogs to increase your external links. Use these methods to keep track of your numbers and guide you towards the strategies that are working best.