Brand Awareness, what it is and how to get it right!

We may already be halfway through the year, but it’s not too late to create brand awareness. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need a strong brand. If you want to make sales and drive equity, customers need to be aware of what your brand is and what you’re offering.

When it comes to brand awareness, the thing you should ask yourself is to what degree do your customers associate your brand with a specific product? Here at Vuelio, we have become synonymous with our work with influencers as we have over 11,000 bloggers on our media database, we run weekly top ten blog rankings and a yearly award show.

With ever increasing competition and oversaturation in the marketplace, you cannot assume that your customers will automatically find you, and this is why it’s important that you develop strategies to actively reach out to potential and existing customers.

For many PRs, social media is now the most powerful tool when it comes to brand management. The popularity of social media has gradually shifted the focus from the product, onto the customer. Through direct engagement with potential customers, you can enhance your brand awareness.

With unprecedented access to your audience, you can create a tailored brand experience. Through strong communications, you can become participants in your ‘brand narrative’, which will help you to create a level of trust and authenticity that traditional marketing often misses. By choosing content carefully and what channels you use to disseminate it, you can reach your audience more effectively.

Content is king! You need to think beyond marketing and PR. Invest time in creating original content as it will help to drive SEO and encourage social media engagement. If people are engaged with your content, if you are creating conversations relevant to your audience, and people are having positive conversations about you, you can establish your brand as a leader in your industry.

Here at Vuelio, we recently have started doing guest blog posts with reputable thought leaders like John Brown from Hotwire PR and prominent PR bloggers like Michael White, which is another great form of brand awareness. If you partner with industry recognised figures who have large followings and are respected within the industry this can give you exposure, authority and potentially attract new customers.

When it comes to bloggers, influencer marketing is big business. When it comes to marketing, influencers are now one of the most powerful tools of PR. Statistics now show that bloggers now have the power to influence people’s buying decisions more than traditional forms of media. Collaborating with the right influencer can substantially boost your trustworthiness and can lead to potential sales leads.

And lastly why not try sponsorship? Securing the right sponsorships can give you access to your key demographic, helping you to extend your reach and improve your brand reputation.

How to manage your online reputation

When it comes to brand reputation, you are only as good as your customers perceive you to be. Gone are the days of one-way marketing to prospective customers, now brand reputation is completely dependent on interactions with consumers. And while its hard enough to find your edge and distinguish yourself from your competitors, establishing a strong brand reputation is key to your success.

With research showing that 85% of potential customers use the internet to research your company before they decide to make a purchase, cultivating effective online management reputation is essential.

What kind of social media presence do you have? What kind of reviews are people giving you? What are people saying about you online? What news headlines come up when people type your business’s name into Google? These are important questions you constantly need to be asking.

This may come as a surprise to you, but your website might be the last place a person goes to find out more about you. And if they are not happy with your services, they’re unlikely to send you a letter. Most likely they are going to vent their anger on social media, and before you know it you’ll have a full-blown PR disaster on your hands.

But before it gets to this state there are preventative measures you can take and simple things you can do in the moment to minimise the chance of a PR disaster outbreak.

The best way to manage your brand’s online reputation is to monitor your social footprint. Serious damage can be done to your business by an inappropriate tweet or a video that goes viral. The things that cause damage to a brand are by no means new, but the rapid advancements made in technology amplify their negative impact, which in turn makes you more vulnerable. This is why it’s important to monitor social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can of course manually perform regular searches for your brand name or product on different platforms, but the best way to see what people are saying about you on social is through using tools like Vuelio’s social media monitoring as it lifts the burden of having to do it yourself.

It’s been estimated that the average online users spend 50% of their online time on social media alone. Therefore if you are neglecting your online reputation, you are sleepwalking into a marketing disaster.

If you have an unhappy customer make sure you respond promptly. By monitoring your social media mentions, you can be across all conversations online.
When your customers reach out to you online, they will expect you to respond quickly. Social media operates on a 24-hour basis, so not responding, even for a couple of hours could do irreparable damage. If you need time to reflect on what you want to say, particularly if what the customer is raising is of a serious nature, you can respond by first acknowledging them and then letting them know that you will give them a full response once you have collected all the information you need to give them an informed reply. Most customers want to feel heard and valued, so by acknowledging them you will decrease the chances of having a full-scale crisis.

There is nothing that beats being transparent. If your customers find that something is wrong with your product or the services you are offering, don’t try to cover it up or be dismissive. Admit your mistakes and shortcomings. Trust is built by being honest and transparent. If someone complains about you, as tempting as it might be, don’t delete it, address it. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to show your customers how much you value their feedback and how quickly you can take something negative and turn it into something positive.

Top 10 Top 10 Blog Rankings of 2015

Taking as our starting point the omnipresent (at this time of year) “blogposts of year” blogpost, and then getting really meta on it, here we are again with our annual “Top 10 Top 10s” – the most popular rankings from our social media index in 2015, as determined by unique visits to the page.

  1. Top 20 UK Fashion Blogs
  2. Top 50 UK Blogs
  3. Top 10 UK Beauty Blogs
  4. Top 10 UK Interior Design Blogs
  5. Top 10 UK Mummy Blogs
  6. Top 10 UK Men’s Fashion Blogs
  7. Top 10 UK Food Blogs
  8. Top 10 Music Blogs
  9. Top 10 Travel Blogs
  10. Top 10 London Lifestyle Blogs

Vuelio’s blog ranking methodology takes into consideration social sharing, topic-related content and post frequency. Profiles of the blogs on these Top 10 Blog rankings, their authors and thousands of others can be found in the Vuelio Media Database.

The fundamentals of working with bloggers are the same as with traditional journalists at traditional media outlets: respect their schedules; take time to read their material to learn their interests; and only contact them if/when they want to be contacted.