Measuring your brand awareness is an essential part of your marketing strategy. Among other things, it gives you a clear picture of your brand penetration, enabling you to evaluate the impact of your marketing efforts. You also get to identify the most effective marketing channels and campaigns that you should focus on more.
Though brand awareness attracts divided opinions from various marketing quarters, mainly due to the inability to accurately estimate the return on investment (ROI), businesses must prioritize improving their brand recognition among their target market. According to research, people remember a brand after 5 to 7 impressions.
That's not a small feat. But with consistent marketing, it's possible to create such awareness. One of the company's that demonstrate the power of consistent marketing is Coca-Cola. Despite the global giant's success, it doesn't relent in its marketing efforts.
Whenever someone mentions soda, Coca-Cola is the image that flashes in the minds of many. And this is thanks to the marketing messages the company keeps flashing before our eyes at every corner we turn - billboards, TV adverts, branded kiosks, coolers, etc. As a result, no other soft drink brand has managed to steal the customer loyalty the over a century-old giant enjoys.
And research supports Coca-Cola's efforts. Consistent brand marketing increases revenue by 33%.
Nonetheless, putting your marketing message out there is not enough, especially for a small business that doesn't have a huge marketing budget for grand marketing strategies like Coca-Cola.
While that doesn't negate the power of other marketing strategies you might employ – content marketing, improving SEO, using social media, etc. – you need to measure your brand awareness efforts to ensure you're reaching the target audience. This is the only way you can optimize your marketing efforts and get in front of the audience as often as possible.
So, how can you achieve this? Let's find out.
How to Measure Brand Awareness
As mentioned above, measuring your brand's awareness helps you evaluate your relevance in the market and analyze the impact of your marketing efforts. This involves employing a mix of brand penetration evaluation strategies. Some are directly tied to campaigns, e.g., tracking digital advert impressions, while others are not tied to any marketing campaigns like conducting surveys.
No matter the strategies you use – direct or indirect – they all provide insights into how effective your marketing efforts have been in creating brand awareness.
That said, here are the metrics to monitor.
Targeting Campaign Impressions
The first brand awareness metric you should measure is targeting campaign impressions. There are various paid search platforms where you can publish ads to target the most relevant audience. The most popular is Google AdWords.
Generally, the ad serving platforms provide detailed reports on brand reach and engagement. For instance, you can analyze the impressions and clicks each ad generates to gain insight into the most effective campaign. This way, you can optimize the campaigns to boost awareness and overall success.
Social media platforms also offer paid ads solutions, whereby you can target specific segments of the audience (existing and matched audiences). Matched audiences are users who possess similar qualities (age, interests, location, gender, income level, etc.) with your existing audience.
Using social media analytics tools, you can measure the impact of each campaign by evaluating the reach and consequent engagement. Then similarly, you can analyze the strategies that derive the most brand awareness and optimize them.
Solution for measuring impressions: Google Analytics, Social media analytics tools (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
Your website is another handy means of measuring your brand awareness. Essentially, estimating awareness through website traffic involves tracking changes in the number of visitors. For example, after you publish a blog post, you can monitor the page view changes to see the impact of the content. Or, if you collaborate with an influencer, you can monitor your website traffic following one of their promotional posts.
Some CMS (content management systems) offer traffic tracking tools that show website visits and impressions statistics. Also, you can use Google Analytics as it gives detailed reports besides capturing the page views. For instance, you can check the referral sources for information on traffic sources. This way, you can discover the platforms that bring you more visitors.
Solution for measuring website traffic: Google Analytics
Social Media Engagement
Evaluating social media engagement is another way of measuring brand awareness. Usually, you measure the awareness by analyzing followers, likes, comments, post shares, brand hashtags, etc.
For instance, if you collaborate with an influencer to promote your brand to their audience, you can measure how much awareness their posts generate by analyzing the new followers you gain around that time.
Also, if people share your posts, you can monitor the impact by observing the likes and comments the posts generate on their profiles. A spike in your followers following the shares could also be an indication of increased brand awareness.
Solution for measuring social media engagement: Social media analytics tools (Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, etc.), third-party tools (Hootsuite, Brandwatch, Sprout Social, etc.)
Another excellent method of measuring your brand awareness is through surveys. You can conduct these on your website, via email, or telephone. To run a successful survey, you need to select your audience (doesn't have to be an existing audience or customers) and then ask them questions to gauge their brand recognition or recall.
For instance, you could ask them whether they know your brand with a yes and no answer. If they answer yes, you can inquire further about how they learned about you. This provides insight into the channels that create the most awareness.
For existing customers, you can target them with a different survey asking them to identify your products/services among a cluster of competing brands and what they like about them. This way, you can find out how much they remember about your brand. Generally, customers who have had a positive experience with your brand are most likely to recommend it to others, thereby increasing awareness.
Usually, surveys do not always guarantee engagement as people often ignore them. But you can encourage participation by offering a gift in return – a discount, free resource, etc.
Solutions for conducting surveys: Survey monkey, Survey Planet, Google Forms, etc.
The other method of measuring your brand awareness is by tracking brand mentions. According to Brandwatch, 96% of conversations about your brand happen among people who do not follow you. This means it's not possible to track the brand impressions thereof through your channels.
But that's an appalling amount of brand awareness going on out there. So, how do you track this?
You may not be able to comprehend the extent of brand awareness those conversations create, but tracking the volume of brand mentions can provide a rough estimate of your reach. This involves gleaning the web for conversations about your brand to find what people are saying about you, where they are, and when they mentioned you.
After tracking the mentions, you can then look at your internal metrics like website traffic and social media engagement around the time the conversations took place to see the impact of the awareness.
Solutions for tracking brand mentions: Brandwatch, Google Alerts, Hootsuite, HubSpot, etc.
This is a more ambitious method but one worth watching out for as well. Besides, having backlinks to your site is an indication that your brand is on point, and other people find your content or products worth recommending to their friends, followers, or readers.
For instance, if a blogger mentions your products/services on a post and links to them or links a post from your website, it generates valuable awareness. While it's not guaranteed people who read the post will click to view the product or read the post, it's worth tracking those mentions to gauge their impact on your overall brand engagement over time.
Backlinks also increase your website authority, drawing the attention of search engine crawlers to rank your site more. Better ranking enhances the chances of increased organic traffic, which translates to more brand awareness.
In a nutshell, every backlink you receive is an indication of increased brand awareness. You can estimate how much awareness they have created by analyzing the impact of referral traffic from those sites on your brand engagement and conversions over time.
Solutions for tracking backlinks: Linkody, Monitor Backlinks, Ubersuggest, etc.
Customer reviews are a big deal. Almost 90% of consumers read reviews before purchasing a product/service, and 79% trust the reviews. Essentially, reviews have a powerful impact on creating brand awareness – positive or negative. As long as you have an optimized web presence, chances are people are reviewing your business – either on social media, Google My Business, listing sites, or industry forums.
Tracking your brand reviews not only helps measure the impact of the positive reviews on brand awareness and engagement but also enables you to mitigate the impact of negative reviews on your brand reputation.
Once you identify positive reviews, you can then observe the impact on your channels. You can look at metrics such as changes in website traffic, social media interactions and follows, etc.
Solutions for tracking customer reviews: Reputology, Mention, Go Fish Digital, etc.
This metric is only applicable if you publish video content. And with the success of video content, we assume it's part of your content strategy. In case you haven't started video marketing, you can start right away and join the 86% of businesses already using it.
Video marketing is treasured for its boost on brand awareness and high ROI (return on investment). Generally, most people prefer video over text content, making video marketing one of the most successful forms of digital marketing.
We will discuss more on that in another post. But now, assuming you create video content, you can measure brand awareness generated by analyzing the video views.
Solutions for tracking video engagement: YouTube Analytics, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Brandwatch, etc.
Blog Post Performance
Another metric worth watching is your blog posts' performance. If you create engaging content, chances are your readers share it with their followers. These shares are beneficial as they lead to increased brand awareness, whether your readers' followers click the blog links or not.
One way of measuring the brand awareness generated is by observing the engagement the posts derive wherever they're shared. The other much easier way of analyzing their impact is by digging into analytics to get insights on the performance of the posts either shortly after sharing or over time.
Solutions for tracking video engagement: Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing Hub, etc.
Lastly, you can measure your brand awareness by analyzing your search popularity. For instance, using Google Trends, you can determine the popularity of your brand by tracking search trends.
Google Trends allows you to refine your search by time range, geographical location, industry category, among other parameters. You also get to see a list of related queries, which give further insight into your brand awareness.
Solutions for tracking search popularity: Google Trends
Measuring your brand awareness is delving into the minds of your potential market to find out whether they recognize your brand. It provides insight into how much influence your brand wields. As a result, you get essential tips on how to streamline your outreach for more impact. From monitoring brand mentions, targeting campaign impressions, customer reviews, backlinks, social media engagement, website traffic, video engagement, and blog posts performance to conducting surveys, using various brand awareness measuring tools is essential for a healthy marketing strategy.
While measuring awareness will reveal mentions and impressions, you may also want to evaluate the resulting engagement since the ultimate goal of improving brand recognition is to boost leads and sales. At the same time, you should step up your brand awareness creation campaigns – be it influencer marketing, content and social marketing, or paid search ads – to ensure you reach as many people as possible.
Meanwhile, if you want to chat be sure to get in touch.
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