Having a brand alone is not enough. To win over customers you need to make sure you shout about your brand and get your name in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
But it’s not always easy to gain fresh customers, or to get coverage from influential websites. However, that’s exactly what online glasses retailer SelectSpecs achieved when it worked with Fresh Egg on an inbound marketing competition designed to boost its brand awareness.
The competition offered one lucky person ‘Free glasses for life’. Five runners-up won a pair of prescription glasses and all those who entered received a 10% discount to use on the site – who could resist?
Well, it seemed not many. SelectSpecs achieved 3,687 unique referrals to its website – exceeding its original target of 2,500. The competition also received coverage on leading finance website Moneysavingexpert.com and Studentmoneysaver.co.uk, among many other blogs and forums.
The month-long campaign included social media, outreach and PPC. But is this all needed to increase brand awareness, and how does it fit together? We explain how to ensure your brand stays ahead of the competition with these seven tips.
1. Create an identifiable brand
First off, a strong, consistent brand identity is vital to help boost brand awareness and build trust both on and offline.
- Streamline your logo, colours and fonts – Consistency is key for brand recognition
- Tell your brand’s story – Your audience wants to get to know the people behind the brand. You can tell the story of the making of the company in an ‘about us’ page on your site, or you can engage with your customers by blogging about your area of expertise to show the human side of your brand. SelectSpecs already does this effectively with their fashion and lifestyle blog. Social media should also be used to keep this messaging consistent outside of your website too
- Emphasise your brand’s core values – These should help shape each of your business strategies
2. Optimise your website
First impressions count! A website optimised with your target audience and search engines in mind will help keep traffic flowing to and staying longer on your site, and ideally, converting to customers.
Fresh Egg helped SelectSpecs.com to create a special landing page for the Free Glasses for Life competition to ensure it was fully optimised for search engines and would achieve prominent visibility in search result pages.
Things to consider are:
- Design of your website – Layout, mobile/responsive, accessibility, social share buttons, streamlined logo, colours and fonts
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Optimising your site using keywords, title tags, image alt text and meta data to improve how your site appears in search engines
- Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) – Converting website visits to actual sales by methods such as utilising personalisation, providing a good clear customer journey, using appropriate calls to action, and persuasive messaging and testimonials
3. Create a social media presence
Social media can significantly raise your brand’s profile and enables you to speak directly to your audience. This allows you to build relationships and gain insights into what they want and what they are looking for.
SelectSpecs and Fresh Egg utilised the brand’s social media channels to promote the competition. This helped the brand reach almost 49,000 people on Facebook, and almost 39,000 on Twitter.
Social media is a must when it comes to making your brand appear approachable and more engaging. You should consider:
- Platforms – Understand which are best for your brand. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and more are all out there to choose from; which ones you decide to use will all depend on your brand’s target audience
- Strategy – It is important to work out how often you can post, your tone of voice and what you want to use the channels for. It should incorporate your brand’s core values and you should ensure that you respond to any questions or interactions from customers as soon as you can
- Measurement – The ability to measure marketing activity against KPIs, core objectives and goals is essential for gaining key insights that can form future campaigns. Social media activity is no exception
Personalisation helps to make your customer’s experience more enjoyable. By tailoring the experience of your website to their needs, it is helpful for them and shows you care about their transaction with you. It can be an invaluable way to nurture relationships and boost conversion rates.
Fresh Egg worked with SelectSpecs to carefully craft a targeted email campaign to their existing customer base.
Things to consider include:
- Personalised content – This can range from email personalisation to the type and format of onsite content displayed to each visitor. A database of details about your audience makes this much easier
- Segmentation – Breaking your audience down into groups based on a variety of factors, including demographics and user behaviour, will help inform content personalisation
- Audience insight – Engaging with and listening to your audience in surveys, feedback forms and on social media will let you know their needs and expectations
Word of mouth is a powerful influencer, which now has the potential to spread across the internet at great pace thanks to the popularity of online reviews and social media. Brands can tap into this valuable social behaviour in a variety of ways.
Fresh Egg put SelectSpecs’ competition in front of a number of authority bloggers, obtaining coverage across many relevant websites. This included Moneysavingexpert.com and Studentmoneysaver.co.uk.
Ways to gain referrals include:
- Customer service – Actively engage with your audience throughout their interaction with your brand and use any feedback to help shape your strategy. Social listening, the act of looking for mentions of your brand across social media channels, will also help you pick up on conversations about your brand and help you to improve your offer
- Incentivisation – You can bolster customer recommendations to friends and family by offering incentives. SelectSpecs’ 10% discount for all competition entries struck a chord with many and resulted in a whopping £15,000 revenue
- Testimonials – Showcasing reviews and testimonials taken from surveys and review sites, such as Trustpilot or Yelp, can increase trust and transparency
- Influencers – Outreaching to influential people such as bloggers or journalists can help give your brand a good boost among their followers
Competitions are a great way to trigger interest in your brand, which can then be the starting point to a relationship with a whole new audience.
The SelectSpecs competition exceeded all targets set. The landing page recorded 10,700 unique visits (way past the 300 planned), which converted to 7,300 unique competition entrants. This was due to the combination of paid advertising and promotional activity, targeted outreach and emails to the existing customer database as well as the fact we were able to work closely and combine resources with the team at SelectSpecs, aligning our efforts effectively.
There are various things to consider when launching a competition:
- Consider its purpose and build a plan – Do you want to increase social media followers or traffic to your website or both? Then decide on how to direct your customer to enter the competition and where they should enter
- Decide on a prize – This is vitally important to any competition and will incentivise entrants
- Secondary objectives – Increasing brand awareness may be your primary objective, but there may well be scope to achieve secondary objectives, such as increasing newsletter subscriptions and the number of competition entries
- Promote the competition in all the ways laid out in this post
- Measurement – Setting clear KPIs and objectives at the planning stage will help you measure and gather insights from your campaign. These KPIs may include referral traffic and social mentions
7. Biddable media
With ever-changing platform and search algorithms, and increasing marketplace competition, biddable mediacampaigns are an excellent way to drive brand awareness as well as return on investment (ROI). Fresh Egg used paid promotion across Facebook and Twitter to boost the competition’s visibility.
When using this medium, things to consider include:
- Budget – Calculating your budget from the start will help ensure you stay on track financially, as well as helping you deliver against set KPIs and objectives
- Keywords – What search terms do your audience use? Establishing the right keywords to use in your biddable campaigns will help elevate your brand’s visibility in the relevant search areas
- Integration – Your biddable media activity should align with your brand’s core objectives and complement your other marketing activities
We can help you stay ahead of the competition with our digital marketing expertise. If you’d like to explore any of these options in more detail, get in touch.