Years ago, I was working on advertising for a major automotive company. (Hint: Their stock ticker symbol is F. Just F. If that’s not a badass nod to their Fortune 10 status, I don’t know what is.) I was surrounded by clever, brilliant, generous people who really knew what they were doing when it came to marketing and selling cars.
That’s where I got my education on marketing funnels – advertising for this brand that’s so big, so historic and so influential that it arguably is the reason you have a driveway for your home. Which is to say, they know their shit.
And they had a really great way of breaking down the different stages in a marketing funnel that made things crystal clear. I want to share them with you today.
Marketing Funnel Stage #1: Brand Awareness
The first step in getting someone to buy your product or service is letting people know you even exist. When you first start a business, you might think, where do I find customers? How will people know I’m here? This is why it’s so important to drill down on your ideal customer. Because you need to know exactly who you’re targeting, so you know exactly where to find them. If your market is “everybody,” or “women” or “women between 25 and 80,” okay – where will you find these people? What’s the one site that “everybody” uses where you can advertise your business?
It doesn’t exist.
But if your ideal customer is “women from 25-35 with pierced ears who have an offbeat aesthetic,” it’s way easier to figure out where to target them. You could run ads on Instagram that target people who like Catbird, or Aurate, or Automic Gold.
If your ideal customer is “working moms ages 40-55 who make $100,000/year,” your targeting will look totally different from “first-time moms ages 20-30 looking for part-time work from home jobs.”
So the first step in Brand Awareness is knowing who your customer is and where they spend time online.
We can break Brand Awareness down into even easier terms.
Brand Awareness = “I’ve heard of this brand.” Or, “I’ve seen this brand around.”
In the 1930s, Hollywood movie executives came up with the Rule of Seven. They realized that to get people to come see a movie, those people needed to see the movie advertised or mentioned seven times before they registered and remembered it. It didn’t matter how good the movie was, if people didn’t hear about it seven times, it wasn’t making an impact.
Think about the last New Release movie or TV show you watched. How did you know it was coming out? How did you know you wanted to watch it? In my life, the seven times I might encounter new movie publicity could be:
- As an ad on Hulu while I’m watching something else
- In a write up of the best new movie releases on Vulture
- A movie preview video that’s served to me on YouTube (I love watching movie previews on YouTube…)
- My husband mentions wanting to watch it to me
- A friend shares a news article about an actor we both like who’s in the movie and mentions it in an interview
- Banner ads that pop up while I’m reading the news or looking at fashion sites
- A mention in the newsletter I get periodically from IMDb that promotes coming attractions
If you live in a big city, big-budget movies will also often run billboards off major freeways, so that when you’re rolling into Chicago or Los Angeles or New York, you see the title in big letters. (Actually, cities are chock full of ads, and you’ll probably see ads for the movie on buses, on top of taxis, inside taxis on TV screens, and so on.)
So those seven different exposures may happen without you even realizing it.
In fact, by the time the movie comes out, I might just think, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard good things,” and check it out, rather than think, “Oh, I’ve seen this advertised.”
Your Brand Awareness campaign doesn’t have to be nearly as broad or far-reaching as a Hollywood movie with million-dollars of promotional spending behind it. It’s enough to create an organic presence on social media and have people share your posts, or to run ads on Instagram or Pinterest that people see a few times. Word of mouth is by far the cheapest and most effective form of marketing, which is why brands try so hard to get people talking.
So for an online-based business, to improve Brand Awareness, you could reach people by:
- Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.
- Advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.
- Pinning pins that link back to your site on Pinterest
- Advertising pins that link back to your site on Pinterest
- Creating a Facebook group and actively recruiting people to join it
- Participating in Reddit groups where you share relevant knowledge and promote your business where appropriate
- Running ads against Google or Bing searches for applicable keywords
- Writing guests posts for relevant news publications or blogs that have a bigger reach, with a byline that links back to your site
- Paying influencers or micro-influencers to talk about your brand
- Asking satisfied customers to recommend your brand to a few friends
I bet you can think of a dozen more ways to just show up in front of people online. Just remember: People need to see or hear about you seven times before they’re even aware of you.
Copywriting Trick #1 – Brand Awareness:
When you’re writing for brand awareness, your focus should be on making your brand stand out. Making your brand memorable. This might mean using provocative language on your blog posts, writing audacious text-based social posts, creating advertising that leverages high-powered, niche keywords, etc. For brand awareness, think, “LOOK AT ME!” Anything you can create or write to get attention will help stack up against the seven times people need to see you to remember you.
Brand Awareness is showing up on your audience’s radar enough times to register.