Think quick—sing or hum to yourself a commercial jingle. What was the first one that came to mind? Was it McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It?” How about KitKat’s “Break Me Off a Piece of That KitKat Bar?”
Whichever one you thought of immediately, congrats! You’re an accomplice to top-of-mind awareness whether you realized it or not.
Companies approach building top-of-mind awareness through various ways whether it’s through jingles, brand imaging, brand messaging, etc. While not every company probably needs to have a jingle, every business should have a way that they exhibit top-of-mind awareness.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover what top-of-mind awareness is, how it can be measured, and how companies can increase it to generate more revenue.
Top-of-mind awareness is the degree to which a person or group of people think about your brand or are familiar with your brand in a neutral setting. In other words, when they’re not bombarded with advertising or branded messaging, do people know that your brand exists? Do they know what your brand does? And how much time do they spend actively thinking about your brand?
As you can see, this concept is a bit more nebulous than other, more objectively measurable concepts. One specific definition of top-of-mind awareness is, “the percent of respondents who, without prompting, name a specific brand or product first when asked to list all the advertisements they recall seeing in a general product category over the past 30 days.”
This is important for your sales and marketing strategies for several reasons.
For starters, a person with higher top-of-mind awareness of your brand is going to be much more likely to purchase your products in the future. If you think about Wendy’s burgers on a regular basis, you’ll be much more likely to choose this restaurant when you’re hungry for a quick meal.
Higher top-of-mind awareness can also help you develop more qualified leads. If much of the general population is already familiar with your brand and its products, you can sometimes skip the introduction process of your cold calling or outreach strategy.
And while top-of-mind awareness can be either positive or negative, in most cases, top-of-mind awareness is correlated with more positive consumer sentiments. If customers and prospects are highly familiar with their brand, they’re more likely to trust it.
Your top-of-mind marketing strategy relies on your ability to objectively measure top-of-mind awareness. Without these metrics, you have no way to tell if your top-of-mind awareness marketing strategy is working or whether it’s worth what you’re investing.
The trouble is that top-of-mind awareness is more challenging to measure than more objective metrics like quarterly sales. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to help.
Conduct Market Research Surveys
Simple market research surveys can help you gauge how aware your target audience is of your brand, especially when it comes to awareness of recent marketing and advertising materials. For example, you can ask customers if they’ve recently seen a specific advertisement for your product and ask them what they think about your brand. Just make sure your sample size is big enough to extrapolate meaningful data.
Uncover Your Brand’s Search Volume
You can also look at branded search volume. In other words, how many people are searching for keywords and phrases associated with your brand? People aren’t able to search for your brand unless they have sufficiently high top-of-mind awareness of it.
Look at Your Social Media Mentions
Similarly, you can pay attention to social media mentions. How often do people tag your brand on social media, and how often do they mention it in posts and comments?
Measure Your Social Media Followers
To a lesser extent, you can use social media followers as an indirect gauge of how your top-of-mind awareness is improving among your target customers. Focus on how your follower count changes in relation to your other sales and marketing strategies.
View Website Traffic Metrics
Website traffic metrics can also tell you about top-of-mind awareness. Are you seeing an increase in direct visitors (people who visit your website directly, rather than through a channel like search engines or social media platforms)? Do you see a surge in traffic after a new advertising campaign?
Social listening is a set of strategies designed to help you “listen” to what your prospects and customers are saying on social media, assuming it’s somehow relevant to your business. How do people talk about topics related to your business, including your main products and services?
It’s a good idea to use multiple forms of measurement to “triangulate” a true level of brand awareness among your target demographics.
Top-of-mind awareness marketing is your opportunity to boost top-of-mind awareness with customers, prospects, and people who have never heard of your brand.
These important strategies are some of the best for generating more leads and enriching your prospects:
Focus on the Right Metrics
When planning your marketing and advertising strategies, optimize for the right variables and metrics. For example, if your main goal is to build top-of-mind awareness, you may want to optimize your advertisements for generating impressions rather than optimizing for clicks or leads. If you’re building a social media strategy, focus on earning new followers and engaging with new people rather than optimizing your posts for likes.
Provide a Great Customer Experience
Customer experience plays a major role in your overall top-of-mind awareness. If you have multiple touchpoints with your customers and prospects, and those touchpoints are both positive and memorable, your target audience will be far more likely to recall aspects of your brand. Even simple interactions, like calling a customer service agent or visiting a product page of your website, play a role in shaping top-of-mind awareness (and brand sentiment).
Attend Trade Shows, Conferences, and Networking Events
The more visible and accessible your brand is, the higher your top-of-mind awareness will climb. That’s why your company should get involved with events like tradeshows, conferences, and networking events. Set up a booth, provide a lecture, or just have some representatives floating around. As long as your brand is visible enough and “loud” enough, you’ll make a significant impact. Bring leave-behind items like promotional products and business cards to remain at the top of minds even after these events are over.
Engage With Users on Social Media
Use social media channels to engage with people (and other brands) more frequently. This isn’t just about making regular social media posts; while valuable, these organic posts are typically only visible to people already following you. Instead, you have to publicly comment on other people’s posts. This has become something of a trend on TikTok, with brands routinely commenting on posts made by other brands (including competitors). You can also comment on posts or engage in conversation with regular people—it’s a great way to make your brand more visible to a wider audience.
Reach Out to Your Prospects Regularly
Prospects will only become familiar with your brand if they see and communicate with your brand on a regular basis, so get in front of them! There are dozens of brand visibility and marketing strategies you can use to do this, such as displaying more ads, distributing newsletters, or even optimizing your product packaging as a CPG company.
Make Your Branding as Prominent as Possible
Top-of-mind awareness is easier to build with consistent and prominent branding. Brands with familiar, instantly recognizable logos and those with competitively differentiated elements have an advantage over their less noticeably branded rivals. When making social media posts, developing advertising, or attending in-person events, make sure there’s no ambiguity in what your brand is, what it represents, or why you’re reaching out to people.
How to stay top-of-mind with clients is a somewhat different story. Your customers obviously know that your brand exists, but how much do they really think about your brand?
Higher top-of-mind awareness among your customers can lead you to higher customer loyalty, more repeat sales, and more opportunities for upselling.
Here’s how you can accomplish it:
Have More One-on-One Meetings With Your Main Points of Contact
Your relationship with your customers doesn’t end when you initially close the sale. Even if things are going well, it’s important to reach out to your main point of contact at each business for occasional meetings. These don’t have to be formal, nor do they have to be long. In the span of 15 minutes or less, you can touch base, find out what’s new, and remind your contact why they chose to work with you in the first place. If you can’t find time for a meeting, capitalize on alternative strategies in this list.
Send Routine Newsletters
Sending out regular email newsletters to your customers does several things simultaneously. It reminds customers that your brand exists, it keeps them up-to-date on your latest offerings, and it provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise. Consider sending a newsletter at least once a week, but make sure you have something truly valuable to say with each edition.
Engage With Customers on Social Media
Are your best customers active on social media? Reach out to them! Comment on their posts, like what they share, and if appropriate, consider developing a public dialogue with them. It’s mutually beneficial!
Host (Or Attend) More Events
You can also raise top-of-mind awareness by hosting more events. Customer appreciation events, celebrations of major milestones, seminars, and workshops are all great opportunities for top-of-mind development. If executed correctly, they can also be an opportunity to reach totally new people.
Send Gifts, Cards, and Invitations
The more touch points you have, the better. Consider sending gifts, cards, and other messages to your customers for holidays and anniversaries—and send them regular invites to new events.
Top-of-mind awareness is correlated with better sales and marketing results, since customers who are aware of your brand on a regular basis are more likely to purchase your products and think positively about your brand.
You can objectively measure top-of-mind awareness by using market research, social listening, web traffic analytics, and other strategies. Then, incorporate a variety of marketing and outreach tactics to increase top-of-mind awareness. All these tasks are much easier if you have the help of a sales and marketing agency with experience in top-of-mind awareness marketing.
Whether you’re interested in building a lead generation strategy from scratch or just optimizing your top-of-mind awareness with prospects, Abstrakt Marketing Group has the experts, resources, and tools you need to be successful.
If you need help building top-of-mind awareness with prospects through appointment setting or digital marketing efforts, contact the business growth experts at Abstrakt.