How can you make money if no one has ever heard of your brand? To put it simply, most of the time, you won’t
How do you fix this? By using marketing strategies where the main goal is increasing brand awareness. Typically, tactics that increase brand awareness include display advertising, print advertising, outdoor advertising, television advertising, social media posts, and many others.
Brand awareness, while incredibly important, is notoriously difficult to track. But, in my experience, if you aren’t tracking how your marketing efforts are performing, you are typically wasting money, and no one wants to do that, right?
So, how do you track brand awareness initiatives? It isn’t easy and not a perfect science, but let’s look at the metrics I like to track when it comes to proving if a brand awareness campaign is effective.
A simple way to monitor the effectiveness of your brand awareness campaign is to pay attention to your website traffic.
Benchmark your traffic before starting the campaign, and then see if the average monthly traffic is trending up.
Branded Organic Search
Another way to track if your brand is becoming more popular is to check the number of searches you are getting for your branded keywords. The easiest way to do this is to connect Google Search Console to your website. While not perfect, it will show you what keywords you are showing up for in search results.
With brand awareness, you want people to be searching for your brand or company name more often. Therefore, you should typically rank very high for your brand name, so you will be able to see how many people are searching for those keywords.
Again, benchmark the impressions your branded keywords are currently getting. That will tell you how many times your keywords have been seen. As you run your brand awareness campaigns, continually monitor your branded keyword impressions. If they are going up, more people are seeing your brand!
Paid Branded Search Terms
Another way to monitor your brand awareness campaign performance is if you are running Google Ads. If you are running Google Search Ads, you are hopefully bidding on your branded keywords as well. You don’t need to spend much, but you want to ensure your brand is showing up first when people are looking for your brand.
Similarly to organic search tracking, you will want to benchmark the number of impressions your branded keywords are getting each month. Track those throughout the entire brand awareness campaign. If they are going up, again, it means that more people are searching for your brand and know about you!
If you are increasing your brand awareness, more people are likely to talk about your brand - which will help grow awareness of your brand even more!
But, how do we know if someone is talking about us? The easiest way to do this is to invest in a social listening tool. I recommend Reputation.com’s social listening product, but there are many others out there.
These tools can take a while to set up and perfect, but the results are well worth it. With a social listening tool, you can track how many times people tag you in social media posts, how many times your brand name is mentioned in a social media post, and how many times your brand name is mentioned in an article on the web.
Have you ever wondered how Wendy’s knows people are talking about Wendy’s even though they weren’t tagged on Twitter? This is because they utilize a social listening tool to keep track of their brand mentions.
Yet again, benchmark these metrics, and if they are going up - your brand awareness campaigns are doing what they are supposed to.
Impressions and Reach
Last but not least is tracking impressions and reach. This is the easiest way to measure brand awareness, but you should take it with a grain of salt.
When you run an ad for brand awareness, you typically pay for impressions - especially if this is an offline campaign.
Impressions are the number of times your ad has been seen. That means that if you have a billboard and 100 cars drive by an hour, you will get 100 impressions an hour. The car will drive by the billboard, but we don’t know if they took in the content.
The same can be said for display digital advertising. People will scroll through or “see” your ad, but you can’t know if they are reading it.
The one nice thing about digital advertising is that it also measures reach. Reach is how many people saw your ad, not the number of times it was seen overall. So, if I saw your Facebook ad ten times a day - you would have ten impressions but only one reach.
Reach helps you understand exactly how many people you have touched. I prefer to look at this metric, especially if the goal is to expose more people to your brand.
How else are you tracking your brand awareness campaigns? I struggle with brand awareness marketing because it is important but sometimes difficult to track.
I’d love to hear your stories and successes - drop a comment below!