May 14, 2019

What is Brand Awareness and How Can I Measure It?

Blog post

by

Joy Corkery

Brand awareness can change the performance of your company. Find out just what is brand awareness is and how you can measure it in this article.

Picture this: it is a beautiful summer’s day. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and there is a light breeze allowing for the perfect temperature. It is Friday afternoon and you are sitting at your desk daydreaming about the impending weekend. Suddenly, you are interrupted by a tap on the shoulder. It’s the big boss. She was recently asking what is brand awareness but now she wants to know more about the level of brand awareness the company is currently achieving. She also wants to know how to measure brand awareness and how to increase it - and she would like to know your thoughts on Monday.

Oh no. You are not a brand marketer. You’re not really sure what brand awareness is, let alone how to track it. Is it easier just to resign now rather than admit this to your boss? Hang in there! Latana is here to rescue you. This article will explain what is brand awareness exactly and provide some action points on how you can track it efficiently. Woo!

What is Brand Awareness?

What is brand awareness? Well, brand awareness is one of those “does what it says on the tin” terms. It is basically:

“The extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.”

To put it in simpler terms, you can define brand awareness as follows:

“Brand awareness is how familiar people are with a brand.”

Why is Brand Awareness Important?

Times are changing and you, as a brand, need to be able to adapt. With the mass use of social media these days, it is easy to target customers. And that doesn’t mean your brand simply creates a marketing campaign and pushes it onto your target audience. It also means competing with similar brands also after the same target audience, as well as customer reviews online, which can be positive but also very negative.

See, your once loyal customer base can now be very fickle. They are wide open to other product/service solutions and are easily impressionable. Also, they are more likely to listen to their peers about your brand, both positive and negative mentions. These points also stand when searching for new audiences.

Why is brand awareness important?
Find out what your audience thinks of you


How can you rise up against these modern-day challenges? By monitoring your brand awareness, of course! You need to know just how aware your target audience is of your brand. If they aren’t aware of you at all, or at least not to a level that will make you a strong competitor in your industry, you need to change your strategy. Similarly, you need to know how your marketing campaigns are affecting brand awareness. Data from both these aspects of brand awareness will help you develop and maintain a strategy that will build trust and a returning audience and ultimately will encourage repeat purchases.

How to Measure Brand Awareness

Search volume

This option is quite easy. Log into whatever keyword research tool you are using (in our case, Ahrefs). Checking which keywords people are using to find your website is always interesting but in this case, you want to see how many people are keying in your brand name in order to find your website. Monitor this number over time to see how your brand is performing in terms of brand awareness.

Search volume to measure brand awareness
Ahrefs keyword explorer

Mentions

We love Hootsuite for tracking our brand mentions! Another way of monitoring your brand’s level of brand awareness is to find out how many people are talking about you on social media. Tracking mentions is also a good way to see how many people are linking to your site without you asking and how many people are sharing your posts. Track competitor mentions as well to set a benchmark for your brand. If you are more interested in tracking press mentions, Google Alerts is a wonderful free tool.

Share of Voice

How many people out there are talking about your brand? Do you have an idea of whether there is more chatter about you than your competitors? Does this rise and fall on a regular basis? You need to answer those questions to know your share in the total market engagement. By generating enough buzz, you will be able to drum up more brand awareness.

Now, let’s take a look at how to figure out how much engagement and chatter your brand currently has.


On Social Media

Don’t worry if you aren’t too hot at math, these calculations couldn’t be easier.

Count up the number of mentions that you and your competitors get over a set period of time and divide each of these figures by 100. You’ll then have defined 1% of the market’s total voice. Keep this number in mind, you’ll need it in the next step.

Now you need to divide your brand’s number of mentions by the figure you calculated in the step above. The number you end up with represents your brand’s Share of Voice (SOV) for social media. Want to know your competitors’ SOV, too? Then, you just need to divide their number of mentions with the same figure you calculated in the first step.

And there you have it, these are all the figures needed to calculate your overall SOV ranking on social media.

For SEO

Take note of your brand’s rankings for various keywords in a spreadsheet. Once you’ve got your list of rankings, open a new incognito window. Now you can go undercover to search each of the keywords in your list.


Once the search results come up, note down the first 10 or 20 organic results. If your site is one of these, make a note of its position. You now need to add all of the entries that relate to click-through rate averages by converting each of the entries into its corresponding CTR. Add all of these CTR numbers together for each keyword; this will give you the SEO SOV number.

These formulas take all the difficulty out of figuring out your SOV rankings. Don’t thank us though; they come from this blog post on the Coschedule site.


Impressions

Impressions are also important to track brand awareness as the more your ads get noticed means the more buzz your brand creates online. Once you know how often an ad has been displayed and shown to people, you will be able to start analyzing this in comparison with engagements, click-through rate and website traffic. By doing this, you‘ll have a much more accurate insight into how many people are aware of your campaigns and or hopefully even willing to take it a step further and interact with them.

Traffic

You’ll need to look at direct traffic that shows the times when people directly typed your URL in the search bar to go to your website. This means that they remember your brand and know to go directly to your site when they are looking for the product/service that you offer.

Google Analytics Direct Traffic Brand Awareness Measuement
Google Analytics Direct Traffic

While you are checking the volume of direct traffic, also check the bounce rate for said traffic. The more visitors who like your brand, the longer they should stay on your website. Google Analytics can help you here.

Let’s not forget about the importance of referral traffic either.

Some marketers try to get as many referrals as possible and don’t take much notice of the sites that send traffic their way. In this case, though, it’s often better to go for quality over quantity. Getting referrals from good quality sites is the goal here as any traffic from low-authority sources could damage your SEO ranking. Being connected to these sites could result in your overall website ranking taking a knock.

Keep on aiming for as many referrals as possible, but only aim for the ones that Google will approve of. That’ll make all the difference with your visibility in search engine results and getting some strong referrals can really enhance your brand awareness strategy.

Earned Media

It’s always good to receive a pat on the back. It shows that your work isn’t going by unnoticed. In business and the world of marketing, figurative pats on backs can come in many different forms.

Take earned media as an example. This covers media that you don’t pay for: a blogger might mention you in a post; a journalist might name drop your brand name in an article; a business or organization might highlight the work you are doing. The best part? You won’t have prompted any of them to do so. It will all be through merit. They like what you do and want to give you a shout-out to let others know about you.

As these unprompted shout outs will be in the press or on social media, they can be fairly easy to track. Tracking how many times the articles and blog posts are then shared in turn can also be useful too. You’ll be able to see just how far your brand can travel through earned media.

Want to know how much all of this earned media is earning you? Sure, you do, it’s the golden ticket! To work that out, you just need to use a tool like Smarp.

Using Smarp’s analytic tools, you can get a detailed overview of all your posts’ metrics and insights into their reach. Using the tool’s ability to track URLs, you can see which content is driving the most conversions. Smarp also acts as a complete hub for your internal and external content, meaning that it’s even easier for your employees to engage and share content that other companies and people write about you.


Review Sites

Google, Yelp, Yahoo - get on them all! Review sites are a great way to know exactly what your customers think of you. And, because the information is coming straight from the horse’s mouth, aka real people, you get CREDIBLE information. Review sites will give you insights into many important questions: what do people think of my brand? Do people feel connected with my brand? What kind of experiences have people had with my brand?


Surveys

If there aren’t enough reviews online to garner information, go straight to the source yourself. Surveys are a great way to discover if a certain demographic are aware of your brand. Plus, there is a lot of flexibility with surveys: you can send surveys to a specific target, you can ask the questions you want, and they can be online or offline, whatever suits your product/service best.

Latana

Latana takes measuring brand awareness to another level. It has access to more than 40,000 apps and websites. It then leverages these apps and websites to be able to distribute 5 million micro-surveys per month to people living in over 100 countries.

Latana may possibly be the most accurate form of brand tracking there is. It tracks both aided and unaided brand awareness to see real-world impact and the answers garnered come with an unbelievable ~2% margin of error. That means the insights into brand awareness that you get from Latana are trustworthy and actionable. You can use this information to make informed marketing decisions. Plus, you can also use Latana to track brand awareness for competitors!

Latana brand analytics platform comparison dashboard


The Brand Awareness Metrics You Need to Measure

So, now that you know how to measure brand awareness,  here is a quick recap of the most important metrics you should track for a better brand marketing strategy.


Brand Mentions

It’s really worth tracking how many people mention your brand online. Take a look at the discussions on social media to see how many times your name is dropped into the conversation. It’s also worth browsing blogs and online industry publications to check for brand mentions.

Target Audience Changes

Be sure to keep an eye on any changes to your target audience. Over time there can be some subtle shifts that might mean you will need to target different demographics

Reach

How many people are your campaigns currently reaching? If you aren’t too sure, it’s time you checked this figure. That will then give you a quick insight into your brand awareness as you’ll see just how many people are spotting your ads and content once it’s all out in the wild.

Impressions are all part of this point too. If someone sees an advert, whether they interact with it or not, it’s still reached them!

Media Shout Outs

Remember those shout outs we mentioned earlier that make up earned media? You need to track them closely too. Keep a tally of all the mentions you notice as this metric can also give you an idea into your wider brand awareness.

Web Traffic

Don’t forget web traffic either. Generally speaking, the more traffic that is sent to your site then the higher your brand awareness should be. It’s a sign that there are a lot of external sources where your ads or links are being seen, so plenty of web users are aware of your brand and curious enough to check your site out.

Share of Voice

The final metric that can provide you with plenty of insights is your share of voice. If you are dominating your industry’s market and web presence with your voice, then you can be happy knowing that your generation of brand awareness should be quite healthy.


Tracking all of these metrics will show you heaps about your own brand’s awareness. But that’s only one side of the coin. It’s also useful to take the flipside into consideration and try to track these metrics for your competitors’ brands. That way, you’ll see just how well you are performing compared to similar brands in your industry.

As well as tracking your competitors, it’s essential to follow these metrics with regards to your audience. You’ll then know about even the subtlest of changes so you can always react before it’s too late to capture loyal customers that might be about to switch sides!

There you have it - brand awareness. Now you have the answer to two major questions: what is brand awareness and how can I measure it? If not, then we really need to reconsider our life choices. You can meet your boss on Monday with your head held high and a notebook full of easy-to-implement brand awareness measurement strategies. And don’t forget to tell them that brand awareness is a long term KPI. Patience is a virtue here if she wants to optimize it to its full potential.

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