Aug 2021

7 Unique Brand Awareness Techniques for Startups

Brand awareness is a vital component to growing your startup. Learn how to propel your company forward with a startup marketing agency.

two female collaborators creating a brand identity

As a startup marketing agency, we’ve learned how important it is to build your brand awareness. For your startup to thrive, people must recognize who you are and trust your products or services. In all honesty, what your target audience thinks of your company can be more important than what you have to offer. Because brand awareness is one of the pillars of success for any brand, it’s crucial to get started on the right foot. Take a look at these seven techniques that can allow you to stand out from your competition and grow your brand awareness.

7 Creative Tips for Building Brand Awareness from a Startup Marketing Agency

1. Establish a Social Media Presence

person holding phone with meal inspiration on Instagram

Building up a social media presence is one of the most affordable ways for startup businesses of any kind to expand their reach. As a rapidly growing startup marketing agency, we have learned the power of social media firsthand. Creating social media accounts is free until you start dabbling into the paid advertising space. Social media is an excellent way for your company to show your target audience your brand’s personality, give yourself credibility, and provide more detail about your products. Social media isn’t something your company should be using, it’s a must to grow your brand awareness.

Setting up social media accounts and posting every few months will not get you the kind of traction you desire. Like every form of marketing, there should be a strategy involved with your social media accounts. Take a look at these basic steps for designing your accounts and creating a valuable social media strategy. 

  1. Pick one or two social media platforms to focus on to start
  2. Create a content a content strategy that includes:
  1. Your target audience
  2. What type of content do you want to publish
  3. Your promotion plan
  1. Engage with your audience, follow their accounts, comment on their posts
  2. Promote your social media accounts with your email marketing and on your website

2. Embrace Your Story

Your 2018 Wrapped Spotify homescreen
Image courtesy of Active Campaign.

What makes you different from your competitors? What does your brand stand for? What’s your story? It’s crucial to keep in mind that what you are saying and how you are saying is equally important to your audience. To stand out, develop a story that connects with your brand and your target audience. Creating a story can be done with compelling graphics that match your brand’s colors, keeping a consistent tone or language, and take advantage of showing your story more than telling it. To better understand what it looks like to be a brand that tells an engaging story successfully, let’s dive into Spotify.

On the surface, Spotify is a streaming service that people worldwide use to listen to their favorite artists. Spotify has collected data from its 30 million users, and instead of keeping those analytics secrets, they use the data to tell stories. Each person listens to different music and has a different story, so Spotify develops interactive microsites like ‘Your 2018 Wrapped’ to reveal how often users listened to particular artists, what genres they listen to the most, and more. It allows people to show off their top music of the year and is a conversation starter on social media. 

3. Develop a Referral Program

graphic of person holding a microphone with text that reads 'refer a friend'
Image courtesy of G2 Learning Hub.

You probably trust your friend’s and family’s opinions more than a paid advertisement, so why not use that to your company’s advantage? If your company gives incredible customer service, people are probably more than happy to refer your services to someone they know — especially if they receive something in return. For example, you can offer a unique discount code to new consumers who sign up to your email list and the person who referred them. Then, once they are subscribed to your emails, you can use your email marketing tactics to entice them to make their next purchase.

4. Build Local Partnerships

graphic with a storefront with text that reads 'promote your local business
Image courtesy of Business First.

As a startup, connecting with local businesses and communities is a great way to get involved with companies and their audiences. Getting involved can be a more affordable way to get your name out there than digitally advertising when you start a business. In addition, you’ll meet a lot of new people and build valuable rapport with them. Here are a few examples of building your brand awareness locally.

  • Sponsor a local festival
  • Sponsor sports teams
  • Volunteer with your company team at a local charity
  1. Offer Freebies or a Giveaway
graphic depicting consumers are entering a social media giveaway
Image courtesy of Raffle Press.

Everyone loves free stuff! While you are sponsoring a local festival, you can set up your table with some free stuff for people walking by to grab. Most people won’t want to take away from their festival fun to listen to you pitch your business, but they’ll be more than happy to take the free things you are offering. Whether it’s a coozie, hand sanitizer, or hat, make sure it has your logo on it. The festival-goers may not look your business up right away, but every time they look at that freebie, they’ll think of your company.

Suppose you can’t have a physical table set up, set up a giveaway on your social media channels. This is an excellent way to get your products into new hands and promote your social media simultaneously. To design your giveaway, consider these few steps.

  1. Put together a basket with your products, a few freebies, and you can even add in a generic gift card to attract those who may not be quite ready to try new products yet.
  2. Once you’ve got the basket together, take a good-quality photo and post it to your social media.
  3. Develop a set of rules that are easy to follow, but encourage people to promote the giveaway. For example, have people like the photo, share the image to their story or page, and follow your company’s account. 
  4. Once the giveaway period is over, randomly choose a winner and promote that on your story to give the user credit and thank everyone for entering.

6. Give Your Brand Personality

screengrab from Old Spice commercial
Image courtesy of Digiday.

This tip goes along with telling a story, but your brand needs a great personality to have an engaging story. The best way to give your brand personality is to treat it like a person and not a company. So whether you are building your website or creating content for social media, make sure that your personality shines through. 

A classic example of a brand with a personality is Old Spice. When their commercials are on, they aren’t making you focus on their deodorant. Instead, they want you to notice the weird characteristics they’ve added into their advertisements that make them stand out from others. They want to be known as the funny deodorant brand, which they do very well. So what do you want your brand to be known for when your target audience thinks of you? Probably not being like everyone else. 

7. Run Brand Awareness Ads on Facebook and Instagram

graphic of Facebook and Instagram feeds
Image courtesy of Animoto.

Although building your organic social media presence is a great way to get started, you can reach more people by running advertisements. Because Facebook owns Instagram, both apps work together to offer one of the best ways to reach your target audience. In addition, Facebook ads cost around $7.19 per 1,000 impressions, making them a lot more cost-effective than traditional media.

Before throwing your money into advertising, it’s crucial to set up a strong strategy. Consider who you are trying to reach and what you want to say to your consumers. Instagram leans more towards a younger audience and is successful with entertaining content, while Facebook thrives with educational and informational content — keep this in mind when designing your ads. Facebook allows companies to create highly targeted advertisements, leading you to reach the people who are most likely to purchase your products. It is incredibly beneficial to reach out to a social media advertising expert to ensure that your content reaches the right audience and your marketing dollars are being used to the best of their ability. 

Creating brand awareness can be difficult when you are a new business trying to break into an industry, but it can be done with a great story and marketing tactics. As a startup marketing agency, we’ve had to build our brand awareness along with the companies we have worked with through the years. We understand that half the battle of owning a business is getting your name out there, but we can take that challenge off your shoulders. Connect with us to learn more about our customized strategies and proven tactics to build your brand into a household name.