Cut Through the Noise & Get Attention
Ever feel like you’re operating in a sea of noise? That other brands are yelling and screaming for attention, leaving you with no exposure?
You’re not alone.
In my experience, there are 2 ways sure-fire ways to cut through the noise and earn attention:
- Bizarre controversial content
I assume you, the reader, aren’t inclined to go the path of Jake Paul and Logan Paul. If I’m correct, then consistency is your best bet.
This article will show you exactly how to share your brand in a way that resonates with audiences and keeps you top-of-mind with consumers.
Use any one of these 15 brand awareness campaign ideas for your own business.
1. Write Newsletters for Your Audience
As part of your branding activities, write a monthly recap to your newsletter subscribers.
- News of accouncements
- Recent events you’ve attended
- Conferences you’re planning to attend
- State of operations
Possibly the best part of newsletters is the opportunity to share announcements. If your business is interested in collecting feedback, organizing a focus group, or wants to network, include it in your newsletter.
The only thing I will caution you of is (1) sending newsletters to blog subscribers (don’t do this) and, (2) the frequency to which you send newsletter updates.
In both of these cases, you risk coming off as spam.
Keep your newsletter at once per month or even once per quarter.
2. Write Blog Posts Each Month
There’s a beauty in consistency.
I’ve been blogging about 7 years now and everyone in my network is aware I do this. They may not have read every article and post, but whenever I publish my articles to social media, people see I write about marketing.
Once in the cadence of writing and publishing, be patient. Your audience will come when they’re ready. Trust and believe in the process.
Try Writing 2 Blog Posts Per Month
Writing and publishing 2 blog posts on top of your regular workload is possible.
Blogging shouldn’t take up all of your time (you’re running a business afterall).
3. Make a Podcast Recording
The intial perception of podcasts is that they’re complicated to make — this is false.
I started into podcasts with this blog and was delightfully surprised how easy it was to create and publish a podcast episode (writing blog posts takes me more time).
The secret is to template your episode. Record your intro and outro, save them, and re-use them.
As for the reasons to start a podcast, they serve as an excellent method to discuss deeply engaging topics your niche cares about. They’re also a great way to ignite your brand by featuring guest speakers.
Connecting and interviewing guest speakers and industry experts will help you grow your network, meet more influential people, and draw attention to your brand.
Try Recording 1 Podcast Per Month
Maintaining production quality takes time. The more time you use, the less time you have to run your business. Recording 1 podcast per month is manageable.
For many of you reading, you likely won’t have a recording studio in your office. That means you’ll require a rental studio OR a rough and jagged homemade studio. My only tip for homemade studios is blankets. Padden up the walls to prevent your voice from bouncing everywhere.
4. Publish YouTube Videos
The options video content are endless. For your convenience, here’s a short list of videos you could make for your brand:
- Message from the President
- Newsletter (Video Format)
- Animated Videos of Blog Posts & Podcast Recordings
- Livestreams of Events
- Video Testimonials
- Video Tutorials (Screenshare)
From my own personal experiments with YouTube, I found the 2 most important metrics to watch were:
- Average Watch Time (%) – impacted by your production quality
- Subscriber Growth – impacted by your consistency to upload
YES, there is a correlation between the your video frequency and subscriber growth HOWEVER, the more you publish, the higher the likelihood is your production quality will take a hit (decreasing your Average Watch Time).
There’s a balance with video creation and you’re the only one who will know if you’re spending too much time on it.
“We’re Going to Do YouTube This Year”
Don’t do video for the sake of doing video. Figure out how it’s going to fit with your customer journey and provide value to your audience.
Conduct an audit on the kinds of videos people are making for your niche. What do you like about them? What do you wish they featured? Could a difference angle be taken?
Answer these questions, commit, and proceed.
“Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month and every day people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views” (YouTube).
5. Make Facebook & Instagram Stories to Summarize Content
Interactive content is on the rise. This means people are going to want to watch, click, and touch the content you create.
Ever browse publisher content on Snapchat? It’s like that. A blend of interactive quotes, titles, snippets of text, and visual cues to assist learning.
Instagram’s Highlights feature gives brands the tools to create a similar experience. You can alter your existing blog posts and repurpose them into micro-consumable Highlights.
Should you do this AND blog?
Just because you’re already running a blog doesn’t mean you should avoid doing Instagram Highlights.
People consume content in different ways.
Do both if you’re really serious about building brand awareness.
6. Recycle Your Content on Social Media
This old chestnut dates back to the dawn of social media and the emergence of Facebook (yet still very few businesses do it).
Use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer (free) to recycle your old content.
You don’t need to pretend it’s fresh new content — just make it relevant again.
For example, “We were looking through our website analytics and noticed a high amount of traffic to this blog post. This blog post features ABC; helping managers achieve XYZ”.
Something like that.
Schedule Content 1 Quarter at a Time
Don’t go overboard with scheduling content. If you’re running a marketing department, it’s likely you’ll have other campaigns and projects requiring their share of the spotlight.
Schedule your posts over a quarter. At the end of each quarter, you’ll have an idea if you posted too often, too little, or if your content held little meaning to your audience.
Also if deciding to use Buffer, they’ll email you when your queue is empty. You can treat that as your trigger to assess performance and schedule more posts.
7. Volunteer Doing Something You Love
Volunteering builds character and empathy.
On one side, you help fill a community need. On another side, you make new friends.
Either way you cut it, you’re building your reputation, likeability, and network as a volunteer.
People will support the things you set out to achieve and that can carry a lot of weight for your business.
Take some time to narrow down the things you could be helping people do. Then go find a charity or non-profit in your community that needs those skillsets.
It feels good to volunteer.
8. Attend Workshops Related to Your Industry
Workshops can be boring when you’re already proficient in the topic, but there are still a lot of benefits to attending:
- Get a chance to refresh your knowledge on the topic being covered,
- Gain opportunities to network with others (sharing word about your company),
- Learn about the pains/reasons why people are attending this workshop,
- Network with the guest speaker/workshop facilitator for your own future workshops.
The two activities I recommend you focus on most are:
- Observing participants to identify their pains and goals, and
- Connecting with the guest speaker/workshop facilitator.
Observing Participants. Who has attended the workshop? What are their job titles? How is each segment of the audience interacting with the content? Are the CEOs on their phones? Are the junior staff vigorously taking notes? Find out who’s in the room. Find out what content triggers them to write notes and ask questions. This will help you go back to your blog or website and creating meaningful content for audiences. It’s also an opportunity to refine your advertising audiences.
Connecting with the Guest Speaker / Workshop Facilitator. This person is facilitating for a reason. Either they have a strong network or they carry a lot of insight into your field. Either way, there’s value in connecting with them. If the Q&A section of the workshop ends early, invite them out for a coffee, or to set up a call sometime (or just discuss with them then and there).
9. Facilitate Workshops Related to Your Industry
Trying to build your profile as an industry expert?
Positioning yourself as a professional in your industry builds authority.
An easy way you can fortify your position as an expert is by hosting and facilitating workshop events in your local community.
In order to host your own event, you’ll need to have a following. If you haven’t hit your stride on followership, you’ll want to try the following techniques:
Doing Workshops in Your Local Region. Find a well-rooted community group that hosts events in your space. Reach out to them and start building a relationship with them (coffee, volunteer opportunities, etc.). Make sure you articulate your goal early in the relationship. If you come in and struggle to describe who you are and what you do, they won’t know how to help you. Instead, clearly state who you are, what you do for businesses, and give an idea of the groups you align with (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.). If you don’t have recognized certifications to mention, take the approach of stating the kinds of businesses you typically work with (large enterprise, medium, 100+ employees, small businesses, etc.).
Doing Workshops Outside Your Local Region. It’s hard to do workshops outside your local region if you don’t have a foundation to stand on. Once building up your professional and speaker profile, you can start to probe at regions outside your local area. Use software to take inventory of all the events taking place in your industry for the year. Next, see if they’re accepting speaker applications. If they are (and are relevant to your speaker portfolio, apply).
This process is similar to how a band would grow. You won’t start out playing at large arenas, rather you have to start small.
10. Join Online Communities & Connect with Relevant People
Head to Google and type [your industry] + online communities. You’ll likely get results like “Top Communities for [your industry]”.
Scan the lists and identify online communities that fit with your brand and audience. Go through the process of joining the community (Facebook Group, Slack Channel, etc.) and update your profile to reflect your brand’s message and tone – once you interact in the channel, you’ll start to get profile visits.
Once complete, write a hello paragraph to everyone. Include your name, company, the reason you joined the community, and what goals you have for yourself and business (and how the community will help you).
Connect, interact, and discuss topics with other members. This will build your sense of cohesion with people in the group and put you on the good side of the administrators. From there, you can hook-up with other people doing similar things to you and strategize on ways you can collaborate and help each other succeed.
11. Share News & Stories About Your Subscribers
There’s nothing more rewarding than receiving news that your subscribers are achieving success (and that you’ve been part of their journey).
I love telling the story about a friend of mine, Aaron Crispen.
Aaron and I met through a Facebook group. He was looking for advice on his career and I offered the piece of guidance I had (I’m only a few years older than Aaron).
He subscribed to my blog, became a Facebook friend, and followed me on Snapchat. For years we’ve been back and forth with small bits of information, book recommendations, and more.
Aaron eventually went on to start a business with his father called Cumberland Signs & Designs in Somerset, Kentucky.
This news made me incredibly happy. I immediately hopped online and shared thanks to Aaron for being a part of my blog community and staying connected over the years.
But sharing his news achieved something else.
Skeptical followers saw the news I shared and were impressed. They weren’t sure how real I was as a marketer. Was I a fake-it-til-you-make-it kind? Someone chasing a dream?
They didn’t have that underlying foundation of trust, but after sharing Aaron’s story, they did.
The story of Aaron was enough to get them over the fence and build the trust they needed before becoming subscribers of my blog.
Take some time to share the love with some of the amazing people you work with.
12. Leave Business Cards at Your Local Coffee Shop
Never underestimate the power, reach, and connection of coffee shops (they’re always packed with people).
Print a small batch of business cards designed to feature your content, opt-in, or website. Invite people to take a card and explore your website later on their own accords.
You’d be impressed with your website visitors. They’ll message you, connect with you on LinkedIn, request help, and even introduce you to others who can help you grow.
Make a Big Impression — Pair Your Print Ads with Your Digital Ads
If operating close to your market, pair your digital advertising creative with your print advertising creative.
We ran digital ads to our local community and created print ads that were visible in our local coffee shop.
The response was great.
Not only did we re-engage people who already saw our print/digital ads, but we reached them through an entirely different medium.
“This is that ad I saw earlier! I didn’t know this was local!”
This experiment proved to be extremely effective.
13. Print Company Apparel You’ll Actually Wear
When you’re starting up, no one knows about you or your brand. By wearing your brand, you make a social statement.
But a typical tee-shirt with a half-assed logo won’t cut it. You need to sport clothing that fits with fashion, your preferences, and looks legit.
When I started my paddleboard company, SUP Baddeck (sold in 2016), I had to get the word out. I bought a black Helly Hansen sports jacket with minimal stripes and colors on it.
I took the jacket to an embroidery store and request they put patches on the jacket. On the left arm, I had them place the Paddle Canada logo on it. On the right, I had them place the SUP Baddeck logo. On the left chest, they placed the words “Lead Instructor, Cape Breton Island Watersports Inc” (the legal name).
The jacket looked amazing and I was proud to wear it. It made me look like I was a part of some formal professional group of athletes.
During a visit to a coffee shop, I noticed people were scoping me out (who wears patches on their jacket, after all?). I knew they saw the SUP Baddeck logo, but then I revealed my other arm – “Paddle Canada”.
By now, they could piece together that I was some kind of person who did paddling. When I turned around with my coffee to leave, they caught a glimpse of my chest – “Lead Instructor”. The mystery of who I was and what group I was a part of was complete.
I had interactions like this OFTEN.
The jacket cost me $250.00, but I saw every penny returned (and more).
I wore the jacket for years. Hiking, at the bar, opening shop in the morning, getting coffee, lunch, etc.
Each interaction helped me build awareness of SUP Baddeck.
You can do the same thing for your brand. Leverage logos and certification badges your audience would be familiar with like Google, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc. Then create an amazing piece of clothing you would love wear.
People will be able to piece together what it is you do, what company you work for, and what suite of brands you align with (Paddle Canada, Google, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.).
14. Run Display Ads on Google Adwords
Display Ads get a lot of impressions, not clicks.
As a former analyst who has reviewed, assessed, and advised companies who spent $50k+ per month on digital ads, I wouldn’t suggest Google Adwords if you were looking for tons of clicks and website visitors. However, if you were looking for brand awareness, it’s among the first places I’d recommend.
With Google Adwords, your logo and brand can appear on websites. When visitors read blog posts or scan articles, they’ll gain exposure to your brand (earning you impressions).
Impressions don’t necessarily translate to clicks, but you’re not playing this game for clicks. You want people to pause, look at the ad, and think of your brand.
THAT is the magic of Google Adwords.
15. Run Video Ads on YouTube
People are spending insane amounts of time on YouTube.
More and more people are turning their attention to YouTube for explainer videos, tutorials, clips of TV shows and more.
And right now it’s very cheap to run ads on YouTube.
If you’re trying to gain exposure for your brand, count YouTube amongst your best bets for where to spend money.
Tip for Local Businesses
Run a video ad that introduces the business and the storefront. Adjust your Adwords account to only run the ad to people within your local region.
Sounds pretty obvious, but it gives you a huge advantage over big brands competing to advertise on YouTube against your bid.
If Nike were to run ads across all of North America with a bigger budget, it’s likely their bid would be small (they’re spread too thin). For the small business owner, the area is more condensed, making your bid higher despite having a smaller budget.
Take those wins all day.
Consistency is key. Make sure to take a look at your workload and determine which brand awareness ideas are most realistic to implement.
If you’re working a full-time job and trying to do brand awareness on the side, consider doing a podcast or blog.
For those of you who decide to implement these campaign ideas into a fully-functional org, enjoy the results.
Try using a combination of the ideas listed above. You’ll be surprised at the results.
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