10 Ways To Increase Awareness of Your Product/Service

Think Lady Gaga, she did it once (with a dress made of raw meat) and grabbed huge attention – that’s impact. Now she does it all the time [read: very frequently]. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know who we’re talking about!

We can’t all be pop stars, so how do you create awareness and, importantly, how do you sustain it – even for what may seem a ‘boring’ product or service?

There is no magic formula – it’s just simple maths. Impact x Frequency = Awareness. This is the basis of all great marketing communications.

The Meat Dress

Think about it for a moment. Think about stuff that you know… how did you come to know it? When you heard “it’s a boy”, or “you’ve got the job”, how many times did you need to be told to remember? Probably just the once. That’s impact.

Now think about something you know that is a bit dull. Say, your times tables or even the Cillit Bang adverts on TV. Both are quite uninspiring, and hardly creative or impactful, but because you’ve repeated them over and over again, or have been exposed to these ads repeatedly, you remember them. That’s frequency.

Now, bring these together to think about your marketing communications. Most products and services aren’t exactly mind blowing. So, you’ll need to up the impact to get noticed, and then, up the frequency to get remembered.

If you have something really impactful, but it’s only briefly glimpsed, it’s unlikely to be remembered for very long. And, if you have something dull – even if you go on about it ad nauseam, it will usually still go unnoticed.
So, how do you achieve both?

5 ways to increase the impact of your marketing

Emotion
If you’re able to trigger an emotion in someone, they cannot help but notice you. You can do this by pin-pointing a real issue they’re having, asking a searching questions, making them laugh, cry, etc. Marketing that does this almost always gets noticed more than stuff that highlights a deeply logical message.

Image
We are all human, and so, bright colours, beautiful people, and other visual techniques can grab your attention in seconds. Building this into your marketing materials is definitely worth the effort. It works for our clients all the time. A great image or photo grabs attention.

Talk about ‘them’, not ‘you’
You know when someone always talks about herself? It gets a bit tedious, doesn’t it? Take a moment to look at your marketing. If you use the word ‘we’ more than the word ‘you’ – you’re just that tedious, boring person. Instead, emulate that amazing person who always asks about you, and remembers the important stuff about you.

What’s that?
There’s amazing power in arousing curiosity. If you give everything away up front, there’s nothing left to find out. Look at headlines and one-liners that leave a little to the imagination and you’ll draw more people into conversation.

Do something unexpected
When you expect one thing, but get something else, you’re surprised. It stops you in your tracks for a moment. What could you do that’s a little unexpected? We’re always saying this to clients – do something different, add a personal touch, comment on something you’re passionate about – remember no one gets noticed for sitting on the fence.

5 ways to increase the frequency of your marketing

Timing
Research when your buyers go online, or read your emails, or review their supplier list, this can mean that you don’t need to actually be more frequent in your communications, you will just seem more frequent by showing up when they are actually looking.

Recycle
And I’m not talking about your general waste! Have you a news release, or a great blog. How about using that on LinkedIn, or make an online video, or use it as an advisory column in one of you core media. Perhaps offer it as a presentation topic at a local networking event? There are many ways to re-use great content. And, in doing so you show up more frequently, and reach people when and where they are most likely to enjoy it.

The Calendar
Did you send your clients a Valentines card? Or a Saint Patrick’s Day card (I’m Irish!)? Why not? Looking at diary dates, like this, or more business-focused ones like year-end, gives you a great reason to get in touch at a time you know they are looking. With a little imagination you can use these sorts of events as a great angle for some useful and impactful content.

Get others to do your marketing
Yep it’s the power of going viral. You know, your followers pass stuff on to their followers, and they pass it on to theirs, etc. But, how do you get shared? (1) Make it easy and have your ‘share buttons’ visible, (2) think up topics that people want to share such as tips, advice, questions, lists or controversy.

Stay on the Radar
Some services that we manage for clients are often ‘crisis’ purchases, such as a care-home or technical breakdown backup, or even a last minute gift for someone that you need now, this minute. Getting noticed is often about being there when someone happens to look, which is often when they have a need. This means that they become hyper aware of the topic at hand.

You know when you learn a new word and suddenly hear it everywhere? It was always there; you’ve just noticed it. What this means for your marketing is that you need to commit to a level of activity that keeps you on the radar of potential users, customers and clients so that when they have the need for your product or service, you or your business springs to mind.

So keep reminding yourself: Awareness = Impact x Frequency.
I’m not suggesting you cover yourself in raw meat, or keep banging on about some very boring aspect of your product/ service. Just think a bit more creatively, show some personality, know your timings and keep at it. This might just be your formula for success.

Kate McCoy is director at Cloud Nine PR and Marketing. For more information visit: www.cloudnineprandmarketing.co.uk

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