Before online shopping became the next big thing, consumers ventured to their local retail stores to buy a variety of products. Now, after the events of COVID-19 forced many to relocate their stores to digital marketplaces, customers have taken their purchasing needs online to DTC e-commerce.
However, with so many brands offering the same thing, it’s difficult for customers to differentiate which companies offer the greatest value. Likewise, DTC businesses are also facing challenges in getting their unique brand message to stand out to consumers.
Fortunately, this can all be solved by fine-tuning brand awareness campaigns.
Though brand awareness is a relatively straightforward concept, it can still seem hard for marketing experts to pin down. On the surface, it’s simple: Brand awareness equals people being aware of your brand. But how might that be measured? And how does brand awareness translate to your business needs?
Even if you believe your current brand awareness campaign is sufficient, there’s always room for improvement. Let’s look at five ways your DTC company can up your game on brand awareness campaigns:
- Start With Attention By Association
The answer to why brand awareness matters is a simple one. Customers can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Even if you consider your product truly one-of-a-kind, we can guarantee that there’s at least one similar product on the market.
So, how do you draw a consumer’s attention to your product?
It starts with association.
Increasing brand awareness doesn’t necessarily mean creating bright, flashy ad campaigns that show off how incredible your product is. It could also translate to customers simply associating their needs with your brand.
For example, say your company specializes in selling jewelry, and a customer purchases similar jewelry from another company only for the product to show up broken, tarnished, or defective in some way. The customer could then say, “This product is awful. Oh! I should buy from [Insert Your Brand Name Here].”
The key is to ensure your brand awareness provokes a “must-have” association. If customers have a positive association with your brand instilled in their minds, they’ll be more likely to buy from you before all else.
- Encourage Written Content
Blogs: They never go out of style. No matter what anyone in the marketing world may tell you, blogs still serve as a great way to generate traffic and get shoppers to your site.
From how-tos with step-by-step instructions to Q&A interviews, blogs create an opportunity to deliver massive amounts of high-quality, informative content — something potential customers are always looking for.
According to Yahoo, consumers are becoming warier about the brands from which they purchase. Especially when it comes to shopping online for big-ticket items, many customers seek to educate themselves before buying a product.
One study on Think with Google reports that more than 50% of shoppers always conduct research before buying something to ensure they’re making the best decision possible. Likewise, 77% of buyers say they tend to gravitate to companies that align with their values.
Now, how might a company express its values to a customer?
That’s right: Content.
Whether you’re writing the blogs yourself or you’re partnering with an influencer in your niche, the goal is to create relevant and engaging written content that will showcase your brand’s goals, purpose, and values — boosting both your views and awareness in the process.
- Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media has become the new big thing in DTC marketing. Not only does it expand your global reach, but it allows brands to build connections and share their values with current and future buyers like no other marketing strategy.
With approximately 4.9 billion social media users, it has become a non-negotiable marketing tool for DTC e-commerce companies. Some stingy marketers might believe social media doesn’t yield any significant results, but this could be a consequence of using the wrong platforms.
Not all social media is the same. Twitter and Facebook, for example, perform completely differently from platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Choosing the right platforms will largely depend on where your audience is.
But what if you’re already on the right social platform, but you’re still not performing?
This answer might lie in how you’re using it. If you’re using Instagram, maybe posting on Stories will give you higher engagement than posting in your feed. If you’re using YouTube, uploading short-form videos might not perform as well as long-form videos, which gives customers a more in-depth analysis of your brand.
- Look Into Referral Programs
Particularly for new DTC brands, referral programs can serve as one of the most affordable and effective ways to boost sales and spread awareness. Referral programs essentially let your customers do the selling for you. By incentivizing buyers and encouraging word-of-mouth advertising, referral programs help you acquire new customers at a much lower cost and lower risk compared to traditional ad campaigns.
Depending on your brand, each referral program will look different, but the goal should be ease of use. Some programs could offer brand ambassadors custom referral URLs, while others could give a percentage discount for referring other customers.
Buyers also love loyalty solutions, like point-based reward systems that offer coupons or exclusive promotions. Whatever method you choose, an effective referral program will help you build your brand awareness quickly and easily — all at a minimal cost.
- Constantly Measure and Adjust Brand Awareness
While all the above tips and tricks will help you better implement your brand awareness strategies, the only way to truly know if they’re working is by routinely measuring results, comparing data, and adjusting your campaigns accordingly.
To prove your efforts are paying off, you can track site traffic data, social media engagement, surveys, reviews, and other measurement tools to determine if your strategies are making an impact.