Brand Awareness Online

You see the habits of off-line purchase decision making and online purchase decision making are very similar in many ways. I think we need to get out of our heads that off-line and online advertising are at 2 different ends of the spectrum. We also need to stop thinking about online advertising as clicks on ads.

A recent study performed by ComScore (adage N.Y) studied 139 online ad campaigns by marrying data from its panel of U.S. internet users with shopper data, found online ads, even when they didnt result in a click, increased a consumers likelihood of making a purchase at an advertisers retail store by 17% and increased visits to a marketers website by an average of 40%.

What they are saying here is that your awareness of brands you spot as you travel the web stay with you long after you leave the computer and go about your daily life. What you want is for your clients to have brand recall of your products and services over that of your competitors. They cant do this if they are not seeing you online.

Yes this means get your site optimised and increase traffic to it but it also means think laterally. Where can you brand appear online. This can be in the form of banners, rich media advertising, contributing to social sites or the standard Google Ads. What works for one company may not work for another.  Test analyse and re test there is no secret here.

Just on a side note to those that say banner advertising is dead .. yeah to a degree I think that the popup ads and misplaced in your face style has no place online. What I do love is a well thought out ad on a relevant site.

To give you an example I drive a 1976 Kombi I love this car and it is completely restored.

I visit the Kombi Forums often to chat and find new and better ways to keep her hummin along. Its a very Niche site with a VERY niche market. On this site I found a well placed banner ad that wanted me to look at some amazing kombi parts on sale. .. so I do  .. and I find a small site that just does that, and very well I might add.

So I keep going back, and again to purchase online and have stuff sent to me within a day or 2. This business is now full-time for the guy that started and growing.

I get stopped everyday by other kombi drivers and just people wanting to buy one and everytime I tell them about the Bus Stop so whats my point!  Advertise, get out there and test, analyse and build your business. No different to how it has always been.

Facebook Marketing

So ok this is a fair enough strategy, however the energy it takes to continually generate new fans is exhausting for a small business as they dont have the massive dollars the larger companies have. The other side to this is that recent studies have shown that only 1% of Facebook Fans actually engage (or communicate with) your brand. Great! Youve now used your marketing budget to attract as many fans as you can afford and only 1% will communicate! It just doesnt feel like a solid strategy.

Taking a backward step here and looking at social media, we need to remember why it is so popular. This is a way for people to connect with each other. Its massive because your voice as an individual can reach places you cant in your smaller circle of friends. It also ads credibility, status (being the first to discover something cool), its a way to stay in touch and retouch with old friends. See the pattern? Its all about ME ME ME and this is perfectly normal human behaviour.

If we wanted to take this into consideration and involve the MEs in our strategy, it would make sense that we would be engaging with our fans. If your thinking thats just common sense, then why do we still see so many companies with posts such as come and stay with us , pay 5 stay 7 nights because were the best or the one I hate the most, like our facebook page.

OK enough with the negative you get the message. So what does work?

1. Create a persona a personality for your business. Remember youre trying to get other humans to connect with your and these humans are interested in your brand be the personality you try and represent in your other media campaigns. If more than one person manages the accounts then agree on a style and voice that best conveys who you are. To demonstrate the difference in personality check out Globe Surf and Wall Street Journal both have content and a voice that engages with their fan/follower. Globe at times will use slang and language based around its own sub culture where the wall street journal would never write things like this Did my dog have asparagus for dinner, dude whizzed on my wetty, almost passed out in the surf This works for Globe find what works for you.

2. Reply to your fans If you successfully connect with your followers via a post AND receive comments back acknowledge that, as this is the perfect opportunity to converse. A way one post by you does not constitute engagement. The other thing to realise here is that Facebook has an algorithm (Edgerank) that puts your post in place of your competitors as a result of the engagement. More people talking about a subject means it is more popular right! makes sense.

3. Frequency and Content what you post and how often can have a big impact. Facebook offers insights which is one tool that can be helpful to determine what posts reach more people. In our experience we find 3 areas work the best. Videos, a photo and posts that talk about events, festivals and smaller intimate nights such as book launches or networking evenings. Mind you the content still has to be relevant.

As for how often this will really be determined by your audience, however to get a good start on things twice a day is safe. Experiment with times of post does the morning before work reach more people or is it later in the evening?Make sure you check out your analytics to see whats working for you.

Just in case youre wondering how you post twice a day at different times and measure the effectiveness get onto Sprout Social and organise an account. Its cheap and the tools you get around the ability to schedule your posts on any day and time are so worth while.

Note: The 1% of facebook fans article on Adage article points our that the engagement strategy is not the be all and end all. Of course the writer is referring the article to larger corporations and in any case there should always be focus on engagement that advocates your brand via word of mouth. It has never been different, even before the social media days. Word of mouth is part of the reason you strive so hard with your customer service, after sales support, quality and image engage away!