I was doing some reading this past weekend on building awareness for brands and was overcome with the realization that nearly every one of the marketing experts who wrote one of the articles I read was WRONG!
To build awareness, these authors wrote about things you might expect, like:
- Videos & podcasts
- Webinars & workshops
But here’s the problem… THOSE THINGS DON’T BUILD AWARENESS! If your firm doesn’t show up in a Google search, for example, visitors will never get to your website in the first place. If you don’t effectively promote your upcoming webinar, no one will know about it or register for it.
The kinds of marketing tactics listed above are great for telling your firm’s story, showcasing your services and positioning you as a Subject Matter Expert. But they are PASSIVE, just sitting and waiting and hoping that someone will stumble by to read, watch or register for them.
When building awareness, you have to be PROACTIVE. You have to push your message to the marketplace. You have to drive prospective buyers where you want them to go. Here are just a few examples you might implement for the items listed above:
- To get people to visit your website or read your latest blog post, you need to effectively use SEO (search engine optimization) or Google AdWords so your website and blog posts show up on internet searches. Or drive people to your website by providing links to your key content in a monthly enewsletter.
- Got an interesting infographic? Drive people to it with teaser posts on LinkedIn, Twitter and your other social properties.
- Are you producing videos or podcasts? In addition to making sure they’re made available (and searchable) on a popular platform like YouTube or iTunes, promote them with social media, email and digital ads.
- What about an event like a webinar or workshop? Again, no one will register for your event if they don’t know about it, so build a strong promotional effort with social ads, re-marketing campaigns and compelling posts on targeted LinkedIn groups.
And not everything need only be promoted electronically… “get out there” and network at key industry events (Which events? The ones where you’re likely to find potential buyers, not just competitors.). And when you meet someone and swap business cards (with your website address on it), you’ll also have the opportunity to invite them to listen to your podcast, read your latest blog post or attend your newest webinar.
When it comes to building awareness for your firm in the marketplace, don’t assume that potential clients know you or will discover you… because they won’t! At least not on their own. You have to help them. You have to be proactive.
So, as you create those things that can help when building awareness, remember to also create promotional plans right alongside them. You have to grab the potential buyer’s attention and drive them where you want them to go.