Want to increase brand awareness? Find out why influencer marketing might just be the technique for you, plus tips and tools for setting up your strategy.
Whether you’re launching a new product or breaking into a new market, influencer marketing is a great way to grow brand awareness.
Keep reading to learn all about brand awareness and how influencer marketing can help you achieve it.
Is brand awareness the right goal for your brand?
Before we dive in, let’s make sure brand awareness is in fact the right goal for your brand. Brand awareness is necessary for all brands at some point.
But brand awareness should be a primary goal for the following types of brands.
New brands, especially those entering crowded markets
Any new brand needs to build awareness. Without it, your potential customers can’t make their purchasing journey toward buying your products and services.
This is even more true when new brands are entering crowded markets. If you’re just starting out in the fashion, beauty, or food industries, for example, building brand awareness is extremely important so that you can stand out against your competitors.
Any brand entering a new market
Many brands that have already established themselves in one market go on to want to break into a new one. This could be a new geographical area or a new customer demographic.
For example, maybe your primary target audience has been older people, but now you want to attract younger customers. It’d be necessary to grow brand awareness among younger customers in order for them to consider buying your products.
Brands with seasonal, or fixed-term sales cycles
If your brand has a sales cycle that’s limited in some way, you should prioritize brand awareness for the long term to make sure you’re always bringing in new customers to replace the ones that don’t need you anymore.
For example, women will only need pregnancy products for a fixed amount of time. So when those customers have their babies and don’t need your products anymore, you want to make sure new pregnant women are aware of you to take their place.
Likewise, if you have a seasonal sales cycle—maybe you’re a sunscreen or flu medicine brand—you want to make sure you keep awareness at the top of your objectives. This way, consumers don’t lose sight of you from one year to the next.
Brands with long consideration stages for their products
Some products have longer sales cycles than others. While most of us have no problem strolling into a store and buying new clothes we see that we like, most of us wouldn’t do the same thing when it comes to an engagement ring, a sofa, or a car.
The more expensive and important a product is, the longer its consideration stage. People want to shop around, make sure they’re getting the best deal, and make sure they’re making the right decision before they take the plunge on that expensive item. Working on brand awareness goals helps you stay at the forefront of their mind and could swing their decision in your favor when they finally are ready to purchase.
Is influencer marketing right for growing brand awareness?
In short, yes—usually.
Influencer marketing is a great strategy for growing brand awareness because it allows you to connect with your target audience in a way that feels more organic than ads or branded content. 69% of consumers trust influencers more than they trust brands directly, so having them promote your brand can cause consumers to see it in a more trustworthy light.
That said, in order for influencer marketing to be effective, you need to make sure your target audience uses social media. For most brands, the answer here will be yes. Social media has grown to include diverse audiences and content from all niches.
But if your target audience is very old people, for example, you may want to rethink influencer marketing. As another example, industrial products might not have the best results running influencer campaigns.
nother tip: influencer marketing for B2B brands is very possible (primarily on LinkedIn and Twitter), but B2B influencers often charge higher rates. A lot of times, B2B influencers also have blogs or newsletters where they feature products, so they may offer you a package that includes social content plus a post/email blast, but charge much more on average for this than their counterparts in the B2C arena.
Influencer marketing strategies to grow brand awareness
So, if you know you want to use influencer marketing to grow brand awareness, how should you go about it? Here are some strategies you can use.
Product seeding, also called influencer gifting, is when you send influencers free products in order to jumpstart your relationship with them. With product seeding, you don’t agree to a specific type/amount of content before sending the free gifts.
Instead, you do the following:
- Handpick relevant influencers that align with your target
- Send them free products
- Hope they like the products and post content about them
If influencers like your products, and you’ve had a positive relationship with them, you can invite them to join a paid campaign.
Sponsored posts are posts that a brand has paid an influencer to create. Here, you agree on the type/amount of content beforehand, as well as how much you’ll pay the influencer.
With sponsored posts, the brand gets a bit more creative control. You brief influencers, outlining basic guidelines like talking points and deadlines. But give influencers creative freedom to create their content as they see fit. If you don’t, the audience will be able to easily tell that the content is not authentic.
Giveaways, contests, and challenges
Hosting giveaways, contests, and challenges in collaboration with influencers is another way to build buzz around your brand.
To really drive awareness, ask influencers to enforce contest rules to participate, like following your brand’s account, tagging a friend in the comments, or reposting to Stories.
Having influencers take over your account for the day can draw a new audience to your profile. The influencer hypes up the takeover on their own profile so that their followers know to tune in to your account when the takeover takes place.
Takeovers are a way for influencers to receive exposure, too. Your followers will see their content and potentially give them a follow or some engagement.
If things go well with influencers who run sponsored posts for your brand, you may consider bumping them up to brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors regularly promote your products, creating a longer and more resonant brand story among their followers.
Brand ambassadors also help to build a sense of community around your brand. When you have a group of people regularly posting about your products, it helps to increase brand trust and drive up engagement.
Influencer ads are sometimes called whitelisting or allowlisting. This is when an influencer gives a brand permission to access their account and advertise through it. So the brand advertises with the influencer’s handle, not the brand’s handle.
This has various benefits. First, you can reuse prior sponsored posts as ads. Second, the brand can have more input on the content posted, as you have inside access to the account. Third and most importantly, your ads appear more like UGC than ads, as they carry the influencer’s name instead of yours.
Whitelisting should be reserved for influencers who you already have a good track record with, and who you know perform well for your brand. Having access to someone’s account is a pretty intimate social media relationship, so you want to choose carefully (and they’ll also want to feel comfortable with you, too).
Benefits of using influencer marketing for brand awareness
Brands can reap various benefits when they use influencer marketing to grow brand awareness. These are just a few.
Access to niche audiences
Influencer marketing helps you get insider access to specific niche audiences. Content creators have built niche communities around granular topics on networks like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. So whatever problem your brand solves, there’s probably a community out there dedicated to it.
Of course, in order to do this effectively, you need to know your target audience very well. Then you need to do an influencer search to identify influencers who can connect you with that audience. But when you do that, you collaborate with someone who already knows the ins and outs of that community and how to communicate with its members.
A gateway to brand trust
As I mentioned before, consumers generally trust influencers more than brands. And when you choose the right influencers—ones who spend time and effort cultivating an engaged audience—you can capitalize on that trust.
The content you arrange with the influencer can also highlight certain aspects of your brand or products to build trust with respect to those specific aspects. For example, maybe you want the influencer to focus on your brand’s values. Or maybe you want them to do a product demo to prove that your product really solves the problem it promises to.
Content that you can repurpose
Influencer content is intrinsically valuable. On top of the brand awareness it brings you when posted on the influencer’s channel, you can repurpose it for other channels, too.
Ask for the right to reuse influencer content when negotiating your collaboration. Then, consider using influencer content in your paid ads, on your own feeds, or even as social proof on your website.
How to measure brand awareness in influencer campaigns
Remember that no one can buy from your brand if they don’t know you exist. That said, you might still be wondering how you can justify awareness campaigns to management, showing that you’re on the right track to generating revenue.
It’s all about the data. If you can show that your awareness is increasing, you can show that you’re taking the first step toward sales in the future.
So, if you’re going to run an influencer campaign for brand awareness, it’s important to know how to track results as they roll in and how to measure brand awareness. We recommend measuring metrics like:
- Branded search volume
- Mentions on social media
- Web traffic coming from social media
- Overall growth in web traffic
These metrics help you measure the number of new potential customers who’ve recently become aware—or reminded—of your brand. As these customers get more and more familiar with you, hopefully you’ll see these numbers start to turn into sales.
To measure these metrics, you can use whatever analytics tool you’re using to measure your website traffic, plus the metrics that come included in your social media account. On social media, these are often called “Analytics” or “Insights”.
Tip: Make sure your social media accounts are business accounts. Instagram for example only gives you access to Insights if you have a business or creator account. TikTok on the other hand gives all users access to Creator Analytics, but you need a business account to get access to their Business Suite.
Brand awareness features on Heepsy
Heepsy helps you run your brand awareness campaign from start to finish, with features like:
Find Instagram, Youtube and TikTok influencers from all over the world with Heepsy’s influencer search tool. Filter by engagement, followers, audience demographics, and more to hone in on the type of influencer you want to find.
Even better, upload customer data and connect your social media accounts to detect influencers among your customers and the people who interact with your brand on social media.
Heepsy’s social radar shows you who interacts with your brand on social media in real time.
Teaming up with people who have shown an organic interest in your brand will lead to better results. They’re much less likely to ghost you during outreach, and they’re more likely to create content that aligns with your brand.
Let influencers find you
At the same time as you search for influencers, you can let them come to you. Post your campaign to our Creator Marketplace and let the applications flow in. You’ll receive applications from influencers interested in working with you, which takes the guesswork out of outreach.
The Heepsy Creator Marketplace, where brands can find your campaign and send you their application.
Heepsy gives you the tools you need to manage your campaign and all the collaborations that come out of it. Keep track of your collaborations and tasks with the CRM, and chat with influencers through the Messages feature.
Heepsy's Collaborations tab acts as a CRM for your proposals, accepted collabs, finished collabs, and rejected proposals.
Paying through Heepsy guarantees secured payments for both sides, leading to peace of mind and a more trusting collaboration. We also handle invoicing for you, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Brands deposit the influencer’s fee when they close the collaboration, and Heepsy only releases that fee to the influencer once we’ve confirmed that they published the agreed-upon content.
Get a sense of how your collaboration stacks up by checking the CPM, clicks of auto-generated tracked links, and the CPC. Identify which influencers perform best for your brand and favorite them for future collaborations.
The takeaway on brand awareness
Influencer marketing is a proven way to increase brand awareness, thanks to the organic-feeling content created by influencers and the trust their audiences have in them. Brand awareness is also a critical part of your sales funnel, and investing in influencers to spread the word about your brand will increase familiarity and eventually drive conversions.
To learn more about how to use Heepsy to drive brand awareness through influencer marketing, book a demo with our team. Or, if you want to explore if the platform is a good solution for you on your own, sign up for free today. Heepsy’s Free Plan includes all the core features for running campaigns, and we’ll never charge you unless you choose to upgrade.