Brand awareness is an important way of promoting commodity-related products. This is because, for these products, there are very few factors that differentiate one product from its competitors. Brand awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular product.
Expressed usually as a percentage of the target market, brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the early months or years of a product’s introduction. Therefore, the product that maintains the highest brand awareness compared to its competitors will usually get the most sales.
The power of a brand and its influence will often override even the lure of a similar, lower-priced item available elsewhere.
To achieve brand awareness one must first build authority. Brand authority is everything. And the only way to become a brand of influence is through conversation; sharing knowledge, skills, and experience that is worthy of respect.
Branding builds name recognition and authority builds trust in that name.
Once you’ve created a brand for yourself, the next job is to start making that brand worth something by creating a reputation around it that will encourage people to seek you out and to order more of your products and services. The idea here is to build your brand to the point where people consider your logo and/or your name to be a ‘stamp of quality’ so that they know they can trust you.
People will then seek you out to get your opinion and at that point, selling will become considerably easier. This is essentially how you become an authority and a thought leader for your chosen subject matter.
One of the best ways to reach this point is through content marketing. This is what I meant when I stated earlier that the only way to become a brand of influence is through conversation. This means publishing content on your site and on other channels that will demonstrate your knowledge and gradually help you to build a name for yourself.
The mistake that a lot of bloggers and business owners make here is in thinking that they can build that name for them with just one or two posts.
Actually though, the ‘process’ of content marketing and of building trust is lengthy by its very nature.
This is the essential process that any blog must go through to become an authority in the eyes of any one customer…
1. A visitor finds a blog post by accident and reads it, finds it valuable and entertaining. They then leave your site and give you no further thought.
2. They then find another of your posts and find it entertaining again. They then make a note of your website name/brand.
3. They then find your blog a couple more times and eventually come to think of you as someone they can trust on a particular subject. They may actively look around the rest of your site at this point and possibly subscribe to your mailing list.
4. In the future, when trying to find out about a given topic, they will specifically search for your website or business name along with their question because they know they can trust your answer.
5. They are now at a point where they consider you an industry leader and if you suggest something for them to buy they will be more likely to make a purchase.
As you can see then, this is a long process and is predicated on you delivering consistent high quality content for a long time!
But, wouldn’t it be nice if you could become an authority in your niche overnight and ‘leapfrog’ the competition? Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the slow, gradual climb up the ranks? And wouldn’t it be absolutely fabulous to be the top thought leader in your niche?
Well, as it happens there is at least one way you can do this – and that’s to network properly with other thought leaders in your niche.
If you can network with other thought leaders in your niche and if you can align yourself with them/work with them, then you will be able to create more opportunities to associate yourself with them in the eyes of your fans.
What this means is that right away, you will gain some of the trust and authority they have, simply through your connection to them.
For instance, if you could get a top digital marketer to say that your e-book on making money is great, then you would not only get the exposure from them but also the seal of approval that would come with that.
The same goes for having a guest post published on a top blog – again you will benefit because people trust them and will thus be more likely to trust you by extension.
How to Work With Top Bloggers
So that’s great in theory but how do you actually get to the point where those big bloggers are going to be happy to promote you?
There are many popular methods for working with other bloggers in content marketing and these suggestions provide a ‘framework’ of sorts that you can use to structure your own interactions. The guest post is one example – it’s generally accepted that many blogs will accept contributors and provide them with a link back if the content is good.
Another option is to do an ‘ad swap’. Here you will promote another blogger to your mailing list in exchange for them doing the same for you. That way you both benefit by gaining exposure to the audience the other has built a relationship with.
LinkedIn and networking events provide good opportunities to meet these bloggers and to discuss working with them. An important tip, whatever your strategy, is to avoid the temptation to go straight for the biggest bloggers in your niche first. A smarter strategy is to start closer to the bottom and work your way up as you gain exposure for your own brand.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading.
To succeed in today’s fierce market (no matter what industry you’re in), you need to build a brand. A brand is your identity. It’s what you stand for. Without a clear sense of identity and a clear mission statement, why would people consider following you?
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