E-Commerce has experienced remarkable growth and change over the past few years - especially after the Covid-19 pandemic changed online shopping behavior forever. Those who considered building their eCommerce brand awareness beforehand saw it pay huge dividends. Those who did not, unfortunately, didn't fair as well. But why have many business owners neglected this step from the beginning?
The first problem is an insufficient understanding of brand awareness and recognition. Although you may think these two terms have the same meaning, they do not. Let's explain them briefly once and for all.
Brand Recognition and Brand Awareness: What’s the Difference?
If we consider building a brand as building a house, we must start setting up the foundation. In this case, that foundation is brand recognition.
A good brand recognition strategy involves developing color palettes, logos, visual elements, and a tone of voice that summarizes your brand personality.
These are all elements that will further help you build brand awareness. On the other hand, brand awareness involves stronger, emotion-based connections between your company and your customer.
To explain more simply, what would be top of mind if you were asked to name a sportswear brand? The brand you immediately thought of has succeeded in its brand awareness efforts.
Most e-commerce startups and businesses think the consumer’s ability to recognize or recall a brand comes with a big price tag. However, even some of the hottest online brands in the world proved that developing eCommerce brand awareness doesn't have to be expensive.
7 Best Ways to Build Brand Awareness Without Breaking the Bank
1. Guest post on other websites
When building awareness of your brand - numbers matter. So writing a guest article targeting blogs with high domain authority is definitely something you will need when striving to be seen or heard… well, almost anywhere.
Using guest blogging to build brand awareness and grow your customer base is one of the most efficient content marketing strategies for increasing brand awareness.
More content on higher authority sites allows you to build credibility as an expert in your niche and connect with audiences outside your target market.
Build backlinks to your own blog and improve search rankings that will help you get more real organic traffic to your website. Like a cherry on top of a cake, this type of promotion of your brand does not require money.
All you need is a little research to find guest posting sites, time (so you can gather all the information you need), and your ability to show expertise in a particular area.
2. Take full advantage of online webinars
Although a webinar branding strategy requires a thorough analysis of your market, it represents a vital consideration for any business that wants to position its brand in a crowded market. Before making your content plan, you must have all the information on how your target market should look.
The more you know who they are, how they behave, and their interests (and the problems they want to solve), the more they will respect your brand and follow your calls to action. This will certainly have a positive effect on raising awareness of your brand.
If your webinar leads them to find a solution to their problem, they will likely remember your brand, which can bring new sales and other tools like e-commerce email marketing.
The good news is online webinars do not require heavy financial investment and are also quite convenient at the current time as most of the employees are working from home due to the pandemic. These are all things we should all take advantage of.
3. Include TikTok in your brand awareness campaigns
Heard of TikTok yet? Are you leveraging it? It isn’t just a place for teens anymore. With over 2 billion downloads and over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform became an essential element in the marketing strategy of eCommerce brands worldwide.
Creating premium content that hooks viewers’ attention could go a long way in unleashing your brand’s creative side while allowing users to build high-quality entertainment together.
Like in all good content, authenticity is crucial. If you focus on communicating your core brand messaging, values, transparency, and potential value to the customer, using your TikTok business account can lead to an enormous boost in brand awareness. And there’s always a possibility of going viral if you do it right.
Of course, some things are easier said than done, and measuring engagement across multiple posts is not always easy.
However, one of the best ways to grow your community on the platform (and do some social listening!) is to develop a good engagement rate on TikTok so that the algorithm can help you gain more visibility.
4. Test out influencer marketing
Did you know 86% of marketers use influencer marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness? This does not happen by accident.
Collaborating with an influencer to market your brand, eCommerce-related products, or service to a targeted audience allows you to communicate your message much stronger than if you, as a brand, would say these things. Why is that so?
Word of mouth is the most powerful tool brands can use. And let’s face it, people trust online recommendations as much as they trust the opinions of friends and family members.
Many influencers already have highly engaged audiences in a particular niche, their loyal followers who can be interested in your brand because of their authority, knowledge, and expertise on a particular topic.
Their followers respect and trust them — and, therefore, engage with their content constructively. That's where your brand gets a chance.
5. Optimize your website for organic search
While it may seem that SEO optimization and eCommerce image optimization have nothing to do with brand awareness, we have to tell you they certainly work wonders together.
Uplifting your brand visibility on search engines, within the public interested in what your brand already offers, leads to higher chances of current and prospective consumers remembering your brand.
It is also good to mention that optimizing your SEO to make your website’s content engaging and valuable is cost-effective compared to digital and offline marketing strategies.
Therefore, our advice is not to ignore the power of integrating your strategy for brand awareness through SEO.
6. Expose your brand to podcast audiences
People are constantly looking for topics that interest them. When you add some multitasking options, such as cooking, working out, or driving, it is certainly an enticing medium that your eCommerce brands should use for increasing brand awareness.
Not only is it a good way to build closer relationships with your target audience and potential clients, but it will be much quicker to convert them because you already convinced them they can trust your brand.
There are three effective ways you could use podcasting to boost your eCommerce brand awareness:
- Start your own podcast
- Appearing as a guest on someone else’s podcast
- Sponsoring a podcast in your niche
No matter which way you decide to go, you can be sure podcasting is one of the best ways to boost your eCommerce brand awareness with very little funding.
7. Launch affiliate marketing campaigns
There’s no better and faster way of getting recognized by many potential buyers than through affiliate marketing! In a nutshell, it’s an advertising model that allows affiliates to promote your brand and its products in exchange for a commission when a customer purchases the offer through their ‘affiliate link.’
Accessing larger audience members who might previously have been unaware of your brand’s existence while having your business endorsed by another brand (as long as you know how to find affiliates) is a win-win situation for both your eCommerce brand and the affiliate marketer.
Boosting your eCommerce brand awareness strategy is not an effortless task. It requires careful planning, persistent dedication, time, and hard work.
However, the good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to build brand awareness. The cost-effective tactics mentioned above, combined with analytics and some creative thinking, could yield significant benefits for your brand in the long run.
Along with social media, blogging, podcasts, and various marketing campaigns, you have incredible opportunities to quickly grab the attention of your desired customer and competitors.
Your eCommerce business is in good hands as long as your target buyers favor your brand over the rest.
These powerful tactics for boosting your eCommerce brand awareness, combined with analytics and some creative thinking, could yield significant benefits for your brand in the long run. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to build brand awareness. Here’s how to do it right!
David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.