Whether you’re launching a new business or trying to revive an old one, brand awareness metrics are vital in measuring the success of your marketing efforts.
These metrics track the performance of your brand across various platforms, from social media to search engines. When measured and tracked over a period of time, businesses can directly attribute the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, sales or sign-ups. Have no idea how well-recognized and remembered your brand is? Keep on reading to find out how to track brand awareness and how to improve it.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness describes how well-known your brand is amongst your target audience and how well they recognize it. It’s a key metric in tracking how well a company’s marketing campaigns are performing. Brand awareness is the first step in the marketing funnel, making it one of the most essential marketing metrics.
Brands across all markets are fighting for the consumer’s attention. Organizations rely on their digital marketing campaigns to stand out from the crowd. But only those who are actively remembered by consumers really win. It’s all about being recognizable and consistent.
Awareness is less abstract than you’d think. Although the mere subject of measuring brand awareness is still divisive, when done right, it’s a powerful tool that can help you get ahead of the competition.
Many buying decisions are made simply because the consumer or customer can recall the name of a brand that they know sells what they need. Those brands are ‘top of mind’ to these consumers, thanks to clever taglines, viral adverts, and celebrity endorsements. Brand awareness is often not generated by promoting a product, but by telling a compelling story about the brand.
Marketers know that effective marketing is a combination of science and art. Brand awareness is a classic example of this. You may have the most creative brand awareness strategy, but you will never be able to make a business case without being able to measure its effectiveness. That is why you need to be focused on the right brand awareness metrics with the right brand awareness tools in place to be able to measure them.
How do I improve brand awareness?
First stop: benchmarking. Before developing any brand awareness campaign, or even ‘regular’ marketing campaigns, make sure to take baseline measurements. This will let you track your progress, adapt your strategies when needed and celebrate your successes.
How do I measure brand awareness?
There are various different ways to measure brand awareness and see the impact that marketing campaigns have. There is no one-size-fits-all metric for every marketing team to track, but this is a collection of the most effective. Find the most relevant and data-rich ones for you and combine them to get the most complete picture you can.
Brand awareness surveys
With a handful of the right questions, asked to the right target audience, you can measure important brand awareness metrics that include:
- Unprompted brand awareness – this is when your target audience will name your brand when prompted to think about a product or service you offer.
- Prompted brand awareness – this is when the person being surveyed says they are aware of your brand when presented with a list of brands.
- Level of brand awareness – this is the number of people who can correctly identify your product or services and the correct brand attributes associated with that product or service.
Using a brand awareness survey gives you direct feedback from your target consumer with less interpretation required than other brand awareness metrics. When carried out at regular intervals, brand tracking allows you to monitor brand awareness growth over time and tie that growth to specific marketing activities. Self-service brand tracking software makes brand tracking more accessible for brands, meaning they don’t have to pay a research agency.
Branded search volume
How many people find your website by typing branded keywords into search engines? The Branded Search Traffic metric calculates this volume of visits to indicate how well your brand is doing organically. It basically shows you how many people remember your name and show interest in you.
Now, this is mostly volume: to get really valuable insights, you should combine it with other metrics to determine the value of this volume in the bigger picture. It is, though, a great metric to keep an eye on over time, simply by using tools like Google Adwords and Google Analytics.
Brand name mentions
Are people actually talking about you online? This is one of the best indications of brand awareness. But how do you stay on top of all possible mentions across all possible social media platforms, blogs, content from influencers, and other websites?
Luckily, there are some tools out there that automatically give you a heads-up when someone mentions you anywhere. You get real-time updates on new mentions, not only allowing you to always have up-to-date data, but also to reply to these mentions right away.
When using tools like this, it goes further than just knowing the number of times your brand is mentioned. You also get insights into the platforms your audience is using. Plus, you get to see the context of your mentions.
It pays off to pay attention to what is being said. Social listening is a great way for your brand to interact with your audience, getting insights into how the target audience sees your brand whilst allowing you to sculpt the conversation.
Share of voice and share of impressions
This is very much related to brand mentions but dives in a bit deeper. Moreover, it is the combination of these two metrics that makes it powerful. These two are all about visibility compared to your competitors.
- Share of Voice – is the percentage of coverage and conversations about your brand, relative to your competitors. In other words, how often your brand is mentioned on the internet compared to other brands.
- Share of Impressions – is the percentage of times your ads were shown out of the total impressions they could have received based on your targeting – a number you can find in Google Analytics.
Now, combining these two gives you valuable insights about not just the amount of coverage you have, but also the quality of it. For instance, having a high Share of Voice but a low Share of Impressions indicates that even though you might be underperforming in Search Engine Advertising, you are doing better than your competitors in generating organic traffic, for instance, through social media or publications.
Also known as third-party publicity, earned media usually refers to mentions or references in articles, blogs and social media that occurred organically.
By measuring the frequency, you can understand the accumulative effect of your marketing and PR. This is especially effective when analyzed in relation to other metrics such as sales, followers, or leads. Done effectively, you can get insight into how and when people become aware of your brand.
Are referral links part of your SEO strategy? You can easily spot how much traffic has come to your website through referral links in your Google Analytic tools. What does that have to do with brand awareness, you might wonder?
More than you think. First of all, it shows you that your website is linked somewhere else: awareness part one. Second of all, you see how many people follow those links. That might not indicate any awareness, but it certainly helps build it.
With this in mind, you can figure out what type of content works best for sharing your brand name and links and use this knowledge as a tool to boost your awareness.
Secondary metrics and KPIs
There are also other metrics that have value when measuring brand awareness. They often require a more nuanced analysis as they measure a variety of things, sometimes even only indirectly relevant. But when they are properly tracked, they can give marketers incredible insight into their brand awareness.
Let’s dive into your social media performance and how well your social media campaigns are working. If you’re creating great content, you would expect your fans and followers to share it. Social shares are a great metric – and goal – for your content marketing team. Keeping tabs on the usage of hashtags related to your brand is another good way to assess engagement.
Reach is the potential number of people who have received your content in their timeline. As a stand-alone metric, however, it is flawed and has its shortcomings. This is because many things influence your potential reach, but holistically, it does allow you to see trends.
If another website is willing to link to your website, that can be seen as a vote of trust. Essentially, that website is saying as a brand: “We are willing to be associated with your brand.”
With the right tools, you can track how often this takes place organically, which gives you an insight into your brand awareness. For example, a spike in organic backlink acquisition that coincided with a specific marketing campaign could definitely give you insights into the effectiveness of that marketing campaign in raising brand awareness.
For many businesses, their brand’s goal is to become synonymous with a product or service and its key identity. So, when people are interested in purchasing a specific product or service, they actively seek out your brand as part of their decision-making process. In this case, brand awareness is a critical metric to measure.
Turn mentions of your brand into valuable insights
All the brand awareness metrics discussed above have value if used right. The ones you choose to measure will depend on your objectives – are you looking for deep insight into the connection your target demographic has with your brand or just a general understanding of trends?
If you’re looking for more direct feedback, a brand awareness survey is a great tool to implement in your research. If you’re looking to track the overall impact of your marketing, using website traffic metrics or social listening tools can give you a good idea.