How to build brand awareness is one of the most significant challenges for new entrepreneurs. No one has heard of your company. You don’t have a track record or social proof to share on marketing channels. So how do you get started?
How do you build brand awareness and relationships with your target audience in a competitive market?
How do you break through all the digital noise so your brand voice is heard?
In this article, you’ll learn five easy, actionable steps to bring attention to your startup and build your brand.
- Live Events
Let’s dive in.
To successfully build brand awareness, you need patience and perseverance. Forget about those overnight success stories that you see on social media. It does happen now and then. But these rapid success stories don’t represent reality. Comparing your branding journey to these rare instances will only lead to disappointment.
Building brand awareness for a new business is more like a marathon, not a sprint. If you’ve ever run a marathon or heard stories of marathoners, you know that the key to completing the race is in your mind. When you hit that wall, you have to push through it mentally. And unless you’re an elite racer, you also know it will take time to cross the finish line.
Before you run a marathon, you train. So, here’s how that translates into training to build brand awareness.
Build your personal brand.
Make sure people know about you. Open a profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Quora, or other relevant social media channels.
- Tell your story.
- Talk about your passion.
- Highlight your experience and expertise.
Preview your new startup.
Before you launch, share your plans with your friends, family, colleagues, and others who can become instant brand ambassadors and members of your fan club. Word-of-mouth marketing is still a powerful marketing tactic.
Leak details of your startup on your social media channels.
Take advantage of Facebook or Instagram stories to leak the details of your startup. First, ask your audience what they think of it, whether they would be interested in your product or service, and what they would like to see you focus on. Then, find out what’s missing in the market for them and what you can do to fill those gaps. This step will also help you later on when you create customer personas.
Focus On Uniqueness To Build Brand Awareness
Data from the US Census Bureau shows that a little more than 5 million new businesses were started in 2022. On average, roughly 4.4 million businesses are started annually. According to statistics from CB Insights, as of December 2022, there were 1,203 billion-dollar unicorn startups worldwide.
Unless your new startup operates in a highly narrow niche, you will have competition. And remember, competitors are not always obvious. For example, a brand’s primary service or product might not be in direct competition with you. But, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that they also offer secondary services or products that might appeal to your target audience.
To build brand awareness, you must optimize what makes you unique. To do that, you need to know who you are.
- What are your mission, vision, and values?
- What is your product or service?
- How will your product or service disrupt or improve the world?
- What needs or gaps in the market does your startup fill?
- Why should anyone buy your products or use your services?
Stress what makes you different from the competition.
This might be the quality of your products or services, prices, or customer service.
Don’t hesitate to focus on your brand vision, mission, and values and infuse these messages into your brand voice.
Researching your competitors is the best way to develop messaging that focuses on your uniqueness. Once you know how they position their products or services in the market, you can create a brand awareness strategy that separates you from the crowd.
Using social listening tools will help you identify the needs of your target audience and provide you with the language they use to express their needs.
Include this in all your messaging everywhere—on social media, your website, emails, DMs, and videos.
High-Quality, Helpful Content Will Build Brand Awareness
Content still rules, but to build brand awareness for a new startup, you won’t have the bandwidth to create a ton of content. So you need to be strategic. The key to content success on social media, as Rashad Assir said at a recent TechCrunch Early Stage conference, is to be authentic and target a niche audience. As a brand-new startup, you’re not marketing to everyone. Drill down on your target audience and talk to them.
Try to find and narrow your focus and use the jargon that your constituents would use. (Rashad Assir, head of content, Redpoint)
Focus on creating and publishing valuable content such as blog articles, videos, and white papers that inform your audience about your startup and how it can help them.
And don’t forget to repurpose. For example, many new AI apps today can quickly repurpose your blog article into stories and videos. You’ll want to get as much mileage from your hard work as possible. Also, people don’t relate to content in the same way. Some of your target audience prefer videos, while others like to read white papers.
Establish yourself as a thought leader to keep your product top-of-mind for your potential customers. You don’t have to be a B2B startup to use LinkedIn. Posting consistently on your LinkedIn profile can bring valuable awareness to your brand. Share your insights on industry developments related to your startup.
Finish all your content with CTAs encouraging your readers/viewers to comment and share.
Interact with every engagement. Content marketing should be conversational. By interacting with every engagement, you’ll show that person that you care. In addition, you’ll learn more about their needs and be better positioned to create future content that speaks to those needs in a voice that resonates.
After COVID, everyone has been anxious to get back to in-person events. Attending live events is an easy and effective way to build brand awareness for your new startup.
Be strategic. You don’t need to attend every live event. But take advantage of those events that provide an opportunity to meet new people.
Remember, these live events are not sales but networking and brand-building opportunities. Seek out potential collaborators and supporters for your startup.
You might even host your own live event. For example, host an open house if you have a physical office or store. Invite your target audience, potential collaborators, influencers, and funders (if you also need to raise money for your startup).
Influencer marketing has gotten stronger, even in the B2B niche. According to Statista, the global influencer market is expected to reach USD 22.2 billion. Working with influencers can help you gain credibility and expand exposure for your brand.
Choose influencers who are authentic and align with your values.
Work together—don’t just give over your content creation—it’s a partnership.
Select influencers based on their record of “influencing” their audience, not on the number of followers or engagements.
It’s not easy to build brand awareness for your new startup. Still, you will achieve your goals by applying these five tactics strategically, methodically, and patiently.
- There are very few overnight successes.
- Amplify your uniqueness.
- Create helpful content that addresses the needs of your target customers.
- Take advantage of live events to spread the word.
- Work with influencers to optimize brand awareness and gain credibility for your startup.
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