The importance of branding and awareness campaigns
We’d never discount the importance of generating leads. But when it comes to growing your business, they’re definitely not the whole story. Rather than just focusing on those who are ready to buy right now, it’s important to have a full-funnel approach to your marketing – and leads are only the tip of that funnel. If you use up those leads, who will you market to? That’s where branding and awareness come in. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of branding and awareness campaigns for your business.
Let’s start by looking at a model used often in sales:
Know, like, and trust
We would all like to think that our brands are so amazing, people will see our ads and immediately buy what we’re selling. But when was the last time you did that? The truth is that your audience needs to go through several steps before they feel comfortable purchasing. This is known as the know, like, and trust model.
How branding & awareness can help
Here’s the thing about this model: no one can get to the trust stage if they don’t go through the know and like stages. Those stages are where awareness campaigns come in. If you try to jump right to the hard sell – the trust stage – you’re going to get very minimal returns. Warm up your audience first by just getting your name out there. Think of this like dating: you wouldn’t jump right to marriage on a blind date. (Sure, those stories are out there – but they’re extremely rare and can’t be counted on!) Your audience almost certainly won’t jump right into paying you the first time they hear your name, either.
Moving through each step of this model, the groups get smaller. Not everyone who knows your brand will like your brand, and not everyone who likes your brand will necessarily purchase. But that’s okay! The only way to find those customers who will really like and trust you is to cast a wide net with branding and awareness, and then nurture the people you find through the sales funnel.
It’s not just for new brands
Once your brand is established and recognizable, you won’t need to worry about awareness campaigns, right? Not so fast. Even mega-corporations like McDonalds and Apple run branding and awareness advertising. As we noted in our article about advertising in a recession, McDonalds experienced a huge dip in sales when they cut back on advertising during economic hard times in the 90’s.
Sure, nobody forgot who McDonalds was during that time. But since they weren’t keeping their name front and center, customers thought about them less. So even once your brand is established, it’s a good idea to keep a steady branding campaign going, even if you’re also running other campaigns that are more lead-gen focused.
Awareness is important
It’s easy to write off branding and awareness as unimportant when your company lives and breathes leads. But once you use up your hot leads, it’s critical to have some cooler leads ready to take their place. Branding campaigns might not close sales right away, but without them, your sales funnel would quickly run dry.