Taking the Modern Approach to Brand Awareness

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Jenny Ann Beswick works alongside Cancer Research UK on their fundraising campaigns to raise awareness for the charity giving to Cancer Research. With experience in devising strategies for awareness, Jenny hopes her advice here today helps you.

Recognition of your brand is vitally important to set you apart from the competition. To set yourself firmly in the minds of customers who are influenced by social media, your brand needs to not only build a good reputation, but become interactive on all platforms.

In order to stay current in the market, your campaigns need to be planned with strategic thinking around social media and video content, which are the new approaches to brand awareness. Nowadays, it is vital to build an integrated campaign that covers the correct channels to reach target consumers with your messages.

So, What Has Changed?
TV advertisement campaigns and radio competitions used to be the pinnacle of advertising; the best way to get through to consumers is to tell them about your brand and (ultimately) get them into stores. However, the way we shop, communicate, live and even donate has changed. Nowadays, it is more likely that a TV advert will convert into a Google search or a Facebook update. Around 60 percent of viewers browse the Internet on laptops while watching TV (according to a KPMG study of U.S. television viewers, 2013) and this shows how people interact with brands today.
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The Fundamentals of Modern Marketing
The key thing to remember is that while the tools have changed, the basic principles and building blocks remain the same for brand awareness. Human behavior has not fundamentally changed in the past twenty years, but the way we interact has.

In modern marketing, it is better to target a group of consumers by honing in on them and standing out where you can in a niche segment of the industry. That could be online through groups on Facebook, through video interaction on YouTube or through specific print media. The essentials remain the same – positive brand awareness converts to sales and loyalty.

Old Tricks, New Tools
Social media platforms can be vital in marketing campaigns. Making content as shareable as possible enables the consumer to do some of the work for you by spreading your message amongst a wider audience. This newer form of ‘Word of Mouth’ advertising could not be easier. Participating in conversations via social media or a brand website can be incredibly beneficial for both brand and customer. So set up a quirky discussion topic on your social media networks today and get people talking about your brand.

Pushing Video Content Marketing
One thing to remember in brand awareness promotion is that video content is one of the most potent media available, as it allows you complete control over messaging. Making your video content a success is based on having an informed strategy and the motivation to push it to a viral level. In order to do this, research your audience and classify what type of messaging will help them identify with your brand.
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Knowing Your Limitations
Although social media awareness is great, there are always limitations. The Bill and Emma Keller kerfuffle around livetweeting cancer prompted discussion on how to socially engage in the right way. Using phrases such as “‘F–k Cancer’ and ‘Share if you hate cancer’ is not the right avenue to pursue — yes it draws in social attention, but what you need to remember is that cancer is a sensitive subject and words must be chosen with care. This is important for any cause or brand as your reputation relies on positive feedback that should not cause outrage. You should always use social to be informative and help others, but social awareness handled in the wrong way can come back to haunt you.

Setting a Good Example
Although the world is filled with competitive beasts who are out for profit, there are still brands who value their consumer. Thinking about the human factors is important in modern day marketing. Cancer Research UK’s latest video for awareness uses imagery of family, technology, science and a unified battle. It gives hope to the millions of people who raise money for the charity, reinforcing the message that it is vital.

Video-sharing platforms are a place where you can freely write comments and share experiences, which makes it a good target for brand awareness. If you look beneath the latest Cancer Research video, one of the comments mentions that it is the most powerful advert that they’d ever seen, rating it 10 out of 10. Other comments praise the use of emotive music, (which means it will stay in the mind of the viewer) and some say that the video has a powerful and positive message.

This kind of brand awareness is what all marketers and businesses can learn from and is the way forward in 2014.

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