Whether we like it or not, we live in a digital world. More than ever, consumers are dominating the online space and this is why a strong online presence is important for brand awareness. Therefore, as small businesses, you need to be present and visible online in order to be able to compete. Of course, there are methods to gain a solid online presence, so let’s dive into that.
What is brand awareness?
Firstly, what is brand awareness? In essence, brand awareness highlights the level of familiarity consumers have with your brand as a whole. So you need to take into account how recognisable and memorable your brand is, especially to your target audience. You want to be the first business or brand that comes to a consumer’s mind when thinking of your particular product, service or industry. That is where brand awareness comes into play.
What are the 3 types of brand awareness?
Predominantly there are three different types of brand awareness that you should know as a small business. These are: brand recall, brand recognition, and brand dominance.
- Brand recall
This refers to the awareness of your brand within a product category. Some consumers will recall three brand names in the category, some may only be able to recall only one. For example, in the fast food industry category, you may say McDonalds, Burger King and KFC off the top of your head. These would be three brand recalls. How effective the branding is, is dependent on how effective the intricate marketing strategy performs, including methods like advertising campaigns, brand ambassadors, catchy slogans and more.
- Brand recognition
You may not be able to recall the name of a product right away. However, if you were browsing a supermarket, you’d be able to recognise brands via their logo, packaging or name once it’s in front of you, in the moment. Essentially, just because a consumer may not be able to recall your product when directly asked, doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of your product or recognise it. This is brand recognition.
- Brand dominance
This is, arguably, the ultimate goal of the three brand awareness types. This is essentially when a consumer associates an entire product category with just one brand, demonstrating complete market dominance. This is often referred to as ‘top of the mind awareness’. An example of this would be, if a consumer was asked about chain coffee shops in the UK and they recalled Starbucks only, not including other competitors in the industry category such as Costa Coffee or Cafe Nero. In this example, Starbucks would be exhibiting total brand dominance.
What is online presence?
Just because your business exists online, it doesn’t mean your business will have a strong online presence. Online presence refers to the visibility your brand or business has online. It can almost be completely defined by how easy it is to locate your business online, or how easily you can be found when searching for keywords relevant to that business. It’s also important to remember that the amount of virtual touchpoints a consumer comes into contact and interacts with is an instrumental indicator of your online presence. Think of it as a rich tapestry of all your businesses online actions and digital marketing efforts – how distinct and detailed does your tapestry need to be and which areas could you improve on?
What are examples of online presence?
Examples of an online or digital presence, include:
- A web page (business or personal)
- A blog with relevant content, rich with keywords
- Active social media profiles and posts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Relevant and good quality video content.
- Being highly ranked on search engines as a direct result of a comprehensive SEO strategy
- Inbound links from other websites
- Online customer reviews, client testimonials or a page on a review site
The connection between brand awareness and online presence
It can definitely be argued that brand awareness and online presence are directly linked. The broader your online presence, the higher your brand awareness, simply because you will be being seen more.
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer: one Instagram post targeted at them on a random Tuesday may not be memorable for them. But if they see: an Instagram post, a different but still related post on LinkedIn or Facebook, along with seeing that the business ranks highly on Google – by which we mean the search results show lots of landing pages to be directed to, including relevant blogs and articles – as well as a high volume of positive customer reviews, then perhaps the consumer is much more likely to remember you.
Why it’s important to have a strong digital presence when building a brand
By now, you should have an idea as to why a strong digital presence is so important when building a brand. But let’s dive even deeper into this. If you apply these handy tips to establishing online presence, you will be able to see huge advantages such as:
- It becomes easier for new customers to discover and enjoy your brand
- 24/7 visibility and availability for your customers
- Increased credibility and trust with both customers and Google
- Higher conversion rates
- Able to better apply budgets through informed decisions using free analytical data
- The ability to perfect the buyer journey
- Have better knowledge of your buyer personas
What makes a strong online presence?
Unfortunately, just because you’re posting regularly or have a lot of blogs on your website, this doesn’t guarantee a strong digital presence. The content matters as it directly affects SEO, which in turn affects how good your organic ranking is on Google. Each piece of content relating to your business – such as social media posts, blogs, landing pages etc – must be carefully curated to include relevant headings, topics and keywords to enhance your chances of being noticed by the algorithm. Your business’s social media can do three posts a day, every day of the week, but if the posts have no relevance to what your business does, it will make little difference to Google and how highly your business is ranked.
If you’re producing video content, ensure it is not only based on an appropriate topic, but also that it is of a high quality to maximise its appeal to your target audience. Video content is considered very engaging and can be a great way to produce a variety of content and attract potential new customers at the same time as tempting back past customers.
How Cariad Marketing can help you make sure your brand has a strong online presence
Having a strong online presence requires a lot of hard work and commitment, which is usually why businesses fall short in this area. That’s where we come in. At Cariad, our purpose is to help small businesses outperform their online competitors. When we provide you with a loud digital voice, you will have the time to focus on other aspects of the business. We will give you the confidence that your online presence is being managed and built stronger thanks to our award winning knowledge and experience. But don’t just take our word for it, discover how you can benefit from growing your business online and get in contact today!