In a world shrouded in social media and customer focus, your brand (or self) awareness needs to be the main focus when creating your new year marketing strategy. Why? What your audience has to say matters, and others are more than willing to listen. In fact, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business (I know I do), and a huge 86% of those customers take those reviews at face value, treating them as a personal recommendation.
It’s clear to see that what you have to offer your customers resonates throughout the web, influencing how others see (whether they have actually interacted with you or your business, or not). This is why being aware of your brand and understand what your customers really think is so important. It’s 2019 – stop being ignorant to your audience.
Building Brand Awareness Into Your Strategy
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to know and connect with your customers. Do you read online reviews? Do you know what your “brand” is and what it stands for? How do your customers see you? Does this view reflect your own company vision? Not surprisingly, you may be more disconnected than you realize. However, there are easy steps you can take to ensure that you are not only aware but also using your brand and reputation to your advantage.
- Monitor Your Brand. Make it a part of your marketing tasks to monitor your standings through the web. This includes directories, review sites like Yelp, and social media especially.
- Don’t leave your customers in the dust. Some leave a comment or review? Respond. Whether the review is good or bad you want to show that you are interacting with your customers. Thank them for what they have to say, address their questions and concerns. Even a simple “like” goes a long way.
- Generate your own awesome reviews. If you’re a small business, chances are your reviews and overall brand are pretty bare and unknown. So, make reviews and referrals a part of your campaigns. Invite customers to your Google My Business or Facebook page to share their experience with others. And, if they refer a friend, offer a discount on services for them both. Use this opportunity to expand how your audience perceives you.
- Build your own brand. This might sound silly and might even be a no-brainer to some of the pros out there, but your brand is only as good as you make it. If you want customers to see you as a leader in tech or the next best candy bar, then it is your job to showcase yourself as such. This goes beyond simple reviews and really digs into the image of your business. Your logo, slogan, content, website, and products all need to reflect how you want to look to the world. This creates trust and easy association so your business can be recognized easily.
The main takeaway from all of this should be one thing – create an experience. Keep yourself new and fresh while also putting your customers’ opinions in the spotlight. They are your business and they are what matter. Don’t just create a vision and mission, BE it. Make that connection, build that loyalty, and, most importantly, be aware.