Is Brand Presence Or Brand Awareness More Important?
Brand awareness is a term that’s been floating around marketing departments and MBA classrooms for years. It’s considered fundamental to the promotion of a product, and companies like Coca-Cola and Nike spend boatloads of money on brand awareness each year. Recently, however, a new term has been taking its place at the table: brand presence. Is this simply an evolution of terminology, or are we talking about something new here? What is the difference between brand presence versus brand awareness?
What is Brand Awareness?
The most common brand awareness definition that’s trotted out goes something like this: the greater the likelihood that consumers are able to recognize your brand and associate it with your goods and services, the greater your brand awareness.
Having consumers immediately connect your brand with goods and services sounds pretty good, right? And it’s true, brand awareness is certainly an essential part of marketing and sales. But today’s digital marketing capabilities offer so much more. They’re an opportunity for your company to build brand presence.
What is Brand Presence?
Brand presence is establishing your brand in the lives of your consumers. A company with solid brand presence has their content and services built into the very fabric of their market vertical. When consumers are looking for information on a given subject or a product to serve a certain need, they go to companies with strong brand presence. It’s connecting a brand with goods and services that a consumer needs at the moment they need it.
Brand presence isn’t an entirely new concept, but it’s been made more accessible to companies of all sizes thanks to digital marketing and SEO.
“If you inspire someone, they will want to engage. Be inspiring.”
BRAD “RAIN MAN” BATDORF
Brand Presence versus Brand Awareness. Which One is Better?
Think about it: would you rather be the guy at the party who has presence, or the guy whose attendance is something others are merely aware of?
When you build brand presence, you’re doing the work of truly standing apart from your competition by gaining market share in a way that’s meaningful to your consumers.
Brand awareness is most often achieved through traditional outbound marketing like advertising and sponsorship. It relies on a consumer remembering a certain brand once they’re ready to buy a product. Brand presence, on the other hand, utilizes inbound marketing techniques that fit seamlessly in with the consumer’s needs and preferences. It allows the product purchase to occur at the end of the natural sales cycle, after a consumer has done research, considered their options and made a decision.
While both brand awareness and brand presence are necessary for growth in today’s market, what we specialize in here at GingerHippo is, not surprisingly, helping companies establish and mature their brand presence. We believe that it’s brand presence that will ultimately and most effectively feed the sales cycle. Brand awareness is simply a step in the journey towards brand presence.
How To Build Brand Presence
Now that we know it’s better to understand how to build brand presence rather than how to increase brand awareness, let’s dive into the good stuff. Here are our top three tips for doing just that:
1. Invest in content marketing
Solid, relevant content that the consumer can trust is central to building brand presence. Write and distribute content that will help address the core problem(s) that your products or services can solve for your target audience. Don’t worry about giving away too much information—today’s consumers are savvy, and when they find good information online, it’s often the first step toward a later purchase. It’s better to establish authority with your content than to write blog posts and articles that read more like a sales pitch.
2. Use SEO Best Practices
Even the best content will do you no good if it can’t be found by your consumers. SEO ensures that your digital presence is effective by creating content that shows up high in search results and is encountered based on the appropriate keywords. At Brand Presence Agency, we’ve helped small companies and start-ups compete with the big dogs by beating them at the SEO game. And we’ve helped the big dogs too when it comes to elbowing out the competition.
Some of the best content on the internet is rarely found, due to a lack of search engine optimization.
3. Integrate Information With Design
Digital marketing allows your brand to communicate your marketing message through the design of your site. Images should use LSI keywords in their alt-tags, and the right website template can make the difference in stretching your marketing dollars. We also recommend integrating design with content in media like videos and infographics, which are highly prized by today’s consumers and search engine algorithms alike.
Brand presence takes more consistent effort to build, but it also allows for a long-term strategy rather than one-off marketing efforts. And since your company is for the long-term, we recommend that your brand create presence for the long-term too.
What Are Some Methods To Build Brand Awareness?
If you thought we would only gear this post towards brand presence, you are mistaken. Both brand presence and brand awareness are being covered, and each has their place in the branding food chain. Here are some methods for creating brand awareness quickly:
Step 1: Socialize Your Content
Telling people how you feel about a subject, versus being interactive with your audience, is truly a skill. Be interactive.
The days of people following content publishers like sheep are gone. Today’s readers want to be inspired, and they require engaging content.
If you inspire your digital audience, they will want to share your content with those they feel will agree.
We all know the flip side of that coin, being that same audience will share negativity, should they disagree with you. If that weren’t true, Facebook wouldn’t exist.
Step 2: Get People’s Attention
Sure. We have an advantage at GingerHippo in regards to metrics. We know that 5,000 people search for this topic per month, and this article will receive approximately 900 views per month, if we write it correctly for search engines.
Did we get your attention with our title? We are assuming we did, if you found this article through organic search, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading it.
Article titles should be both engaging and thought provoking. If you have a quality piece of content that isn’t performing, try updating the content, and refreshing the title.
Using negatively toned titles draws negative visitors, which leads to negative interaction.
Step 3: Build A Referral Network Through Incentivizing Your Audience
Referrals are quite simply the most underutilized growth hack, in today’s market place.
Your current audience is the warmest source of engagement and lead source, assuming your current audience’s network values their opinion. By offering your audience an incentive to engage with their network, they are motivated to achieve results for you. Sounds easy, right?
Most businesses unfortunately have extremely selfish marketing programs. Their marketing programs are driven purely by sales. Your audience will recognize this antic, and be negatively displaced by your messaging.
Step 4: Become The Content Authority
Our last recommendation regarding brand awareness, is to become the authority for the subject matter you are trying to be known for.
The steps for becoming the authority on subject matter is actually quite simple, regarding how information is presented by search engines. Search engines want to see a variety of information and content, which relates to other subject matter, and is regarded as quality content by others. Simply stated, don’t tell the same story, about the same product or service, over and over again, while expecting to achieve different results.
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