Which Targeting Strategy Is Best for Achieving Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the familiarity and associative equity your brand builds with customers. At the most basic level achieving brand awareness means potential customers associate your branding with your company niche. At peak performance, brand awareness leads to potential customers thinking of your brand over a competitor’s. For example, if you need to perform a search online, you probably think, “I’ll just Google it.”
This is a step beyond brand recognition, where customers are familiar with the look, sound, and feel of your branding, but may not associate it with what your company actually does. There are a lot of different ways to build brand awareness and developing a branding strategy that includes this is important for long-term customer loyalty. What works best for you and your company will depend on what your business does, the goals you have set, and the people you are trying to reach.
Why Is Brand Awareness Important?
Brand awareness plays a key role in product purchase – most people won’t even consider a brand they are not familiar with on some level. Part of this is that achieving brand awareness reduces perceived risk for customers. People are more comfortable with what they know than trying to figure out a new and untested brand. Building brand awareness is important because it makes your company a familiar and known commodity.
What Is Audience Targeting?
Audience targeting is a way of connecting with specific segments of potential customers and can be highly effective in building brand awareness. Every strategic brand management plan should incorporate different approaches to audience targeting because it keeps your brand in front of people who will likely be interested in what you can offer them. This can take on many forms, including running campaigns through an ad agency or you can manage things in-house through social media or a search engine. There is no one-size-fits all strategy, so finding the right approach to audience targeting for your brand is the best place to start.
Options for Audience Targeting
Which targeting option is best for building brand awareness? That all depends on what your goals are, who your target audience is, and where to find them. Here are some of the best options to consider when building your brand management strategy:
Affinity Targeting – Affinity targeting focuses on people who have expressed an interest in your brand offerings or similar products. This is effective for building brand awareness among those who are already interested in or looking for what you have to offer.
Demographic Targeting – this focuses on potential clients and customers based on things like their age, sex, geography, and just about any other information that has been made available online. This is perfect if your brand has a specific segment of the population that will likely find you appealing.
Contextual Targeting – contextual targeting focuses on specific subject matters people may be interested in. If your brand is all about housing décor, targeting contextual internet searches like interior design, or decorating can familiarize your brand with an interested audience.
Platform Targeting – this might include advertising through social and internet media, like Facebook or GoogleAds. You can utilize similar targeting strategies as listed above, but within a specific space.
Usage Targeting – this is often overlooked, but don’t forget about targeting current customers or one-time-buyers to maintain brand awareness.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Now that you have a good idea of what options are available, you want to start asking yourself some questions, to help determine which targeting option will fit your brand best. Consider the following to get the ball rolling:
Who is my ideal customer?
What system am I most comfortable creating using?
How does this fit into our overall brand management strategy?
What goals do I hope to accomplish? Try framing this as a SMART goal – start with a long-term goal (don’t be afraid to make it a BHAG!) and build short-term goals that will help you achieve the end result you want.
And always remember – what resources do you have available? How will these best be used to achieve our goals?
How will we measure success/know when to pivot?
Which targeting option is best for achieving my brand’s awareness? You might see value in every method out there, but there will be limitations. Making your audience targeting effective is all about finding the best possible fit(s) right now and building further out as your brand management strategy progresses.
After thinking through these, you should have a good understanding of what strategies and targeting options will be most effective for building your brand awareness.
How to Measure the Success of Your Targeting Efforts
Measuring success can be challenging due to all the data that is available to you. It is important to recognize when audience targeting is actually effective versus feeling effective. Likes, views, and other interactions typically fail to generate the desired result of strategic targeting efforts – to build brand awareness.
Targeting efforts should focus on meaningful metrics. Metrics like views are measured as 3 seconds and don’t necessitate brand awareness. Look at conversions from views and likes to meaningful (clicking a link to your website or specific content) or repeat interactions, not simply unique views. There is an incredible amount of data available, so homing in on the right sets should be part of the targeting strategy you develop.
When to Shift Strategies
In all of marketing, there might not be anything more important than strategic brand management. Tracking metrics can help you know which targeting options are effective and ineffective. Don’t be afraid to shift course – avoid the sunk cost fallacy and let the actual numbers drive your decision making. Pay attention to trending data as well – if a certain targeting option started strong but seems to be failing, maybe it’s time to shift strategies or resources towards a targeting option that is trending upwards.