So many brands leave oodles of brand awareness on the table because they only attempt to create it during certain time periods, focusing most of their messaging on a push for conversion.
Of course, conversion is the ultimate goal. But there’s a journey there, and the winners in digital marketing know how to tread that trail effectively and elegantly.
One helpful framing is to remember the old ways of doing things. Before digital, TV and radio were huge brand awareness mediums. There was no place you could click a button—brands had to depend on creating attention-grabbing, memorable messages that people would recall when it came time to fulfill a need, whether it was for a new vacuum or the latest innovation in TV dinners.
Here’s the hitch: you still have to do that. In their excitement over the new tools digital advertising provides, brands have often given up on creating awareness and affinity altogether, drowning with their competitors in a sea of ignored (even pesky) CTAs at very limited times of the year.
It’s the equivalent of calling your friend—but only at the moment you need something. If your audience only sees you when you’re asking them to do something, they’re a lot less likely to convert.
Instead, you should be engaging in a conversation year-round, one that educates and informs through blogs, case studies, influencer marketing, emails and more. When you’ve been talking all year, it’s a lot easier to help people understand what you offer, but more importantly, you’ll be armed with a better understanding of who they are, too, by asking them for information along the way (collecting emails, for example, for content-driven and useful messages).
When the time comes, you want people to search your brand’s name and go directly to your website because there’s no other brand in their mind. That’s really what we mean when we say “conversion”—a far deeper, more rewarding achievement than measuring clicks on buttons. Building brand awareness will help you achieve that.
So I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that you need to be educating and speaking with your intended customers throughout the year. What else should you be doing?
Empathize with your audience. How many times have you seen an ad on your screen—whether it’s your phone, television or laptop—and taken the action requested (to call, click, or even more demanding, scan a QR code from a TV commercial). Don’t fall into a false perception of the value of advertising—impressions count just as much as clicks when you think of the long game you can (and should) play.