How to Measure Brand Awareness
If you’re looking to grow a meaningful and memorable brand that stands above the rest, you’ll want to launch a brand awareness campaign that focuses on making people aware of your brand’s existence. But how do you measure brand awareness and how do you know if your strategies are working? Read on to learn how to measure brand awareness and find out more about the different metrics for awareness you can use.
First of all, what is brand awareness?
When it comes to drawing in customers, brand awareness is at the top of the marketing funnel. This is all about making sure people know you exist, planting the seed of trust by building a sense of familiarity. As this awareness grows stronger, the more likely it is that people will be able to recall your brand when they find themselves in need of your products or services.
Wondering about brand awareness vs brand recognition? Awareness is slightly different to recognition, which is where people come into contact with your brand and they instantly know it’s you. So whether they catch your logo, read your tone of voice or see your social grid, these individual elements are all recognisable on their own as part of your brand. On the other hand, awareness is when someone knows you exist. When this awareness is strong, yours will be the brand that jumps to mind in their hour of need.
With brand awareness being the first step in the customer journey, there’s no denying its importance. By building familiarity, you can build trust which brings with it a myriad of benefits. It can nurture customer loyalty, increase your market share and shape your brand perception, helping you cut through the noise and even boost your lead generation.
Why you should start measuring brand awareness
As with all marketing strategies, you’ll want to make sure your tactics are working to increase your bottom line. Share of search is a great way of monitoring your brand’s performance and can actually predict market share levels months in advance. By keeping an eye on metrics like this, you can keep track of how effective your marketing strategies are and find out what works for your business. You can then make any necessary adjustments to keep increasing your awareness and ROI.
But what makes brand awareness tricky to measure is that it can’t be completely isolated. When we look at how to build brand awareness, we can see that strategies like content creation, SEO and working with influencers are also used in lead generation campaigns. But these campaigns focus more on the short-term, while awareness measurement is all about looking towards those long-term goals.
This means that by having brand awareness as a KPI alongside other marketing metrics, you can take in the bigger picture and shape more effective marketing campaigns. This will ultimately lead to all the benefits of brand awareness, increasing quality leads and reducing customer acquisition costs.
How to measure brand awareness
While brand awareness itself may be an intangible concept, there are several metrics for awareness that can give you a clear idea of the health of your brand and the success of your marketing efforts. These can be organised into the following 3 categories:
- Marketing reach (How many people come into contact with your content or ad)
- Brand engagement (The way people take notice and respond to your marketing content)
- Audience size (How many people you can expect to reach or engage)
When tracking brand awareness, you can clearly identify which areas of your marketing strategies are successful and which need more attention by dividing metrics for awareness into the above 3 categories.
So if you’re ready to start tracking brand awareness, read on to learn more about our top metrics and tools for how to measure brand awareness.
Metrics for awareness: Marketing reach
Impressions tell you how many people have seen your marketing content and there are several types you can measure: search impressions, paid search impressions and social media impressions.
Google search impressions can only be found on Google Search Console and tell you how many times any URL from your website has appeared in Google’s search results. This doesn’t include paid search impressions, which can be measured separately in Google Ads. By tracking impressions for branded keywords before, during and after your campaigns, you can see how effective your strategies are and what needs improving.
Social media impressions let you know how many times a post from your social account is displayed to users, which can be found within your social account’s analytics data. As your content gains more impressions, you can assume that your visibility and therefore awareness is increasing.
2. Direct website sessions
By using a website analytics platform like Google Analytics, you can see what percentage of your website traffic comes from people clicking a bookmark or typing your URL directly into their browser’s search bar. Those people don’t need to search Google to find you — they’re already aware that you exist and that you have the solution to their problem.
This is a great way to start measuring brand awareness, especially brand recall. They need no prompts and your brand was the first that popped to mind, giving you strong brand awareness with that individual. As more and more people reach your website directly, this can be a good indication that your brand awareness is on the rise.
But there are two things to be aware of when tracking brand awareness with this metric. Firstly, you might want to filter out customer login forms to give you more accurate measurements, especially if your site automatically logs people out after a period of inactivity. If one customer logs in and out several times in one day, this is not a reflection of your brand awareness and so could paint an inaccurate picture.
Secondly, remember to set UTM parameters on URLs in your emails and other campaigns. These are text codes that you add to your links so that Google Analytics can categorise them, allowing you to see exactly how much traffic arrives at your website through that campaign. If you forget to set your UTM parameters, then they will be uncategorised and could end up being classed as direct traffic.
So when it comes to tracking brand awareness with direct website sessions, make sure your campaign URLs are clearly categorised and filter out customer login forms for more accurate data.
Metrics for awareness: Brand engagement
Backlinks are where another website provides its users with a hyperlink to a resource on your own website. They might send people to your homepage when they mention your brand or include a link to a great blog post you wrote. Link building is an important part of search engine optimisation (SEO), meaning it can help you rank higher in search results for greater exposure.
In terms of how to measure brand awareness, monitoring your backlinks can give you a good idea of where you stand. After all, the more people talk about your brand, the more aware people are that you exist. You can analyse your backlink profile using SEO tools like SEMrush or ahrefs.
But what about unlinked mentions? Sometimes people will reference your brand, products, slogan or content without providing a backlink. You can also identify all mentions of your brand using several different tools, including Google Alerts. Simply set up alerts for any brand-related terms and Google will let you know about any mentions. If you want more advanced features that separate your linked and unlinked mentions, there are other tools available like BuzzSumo.
If you find any unlinked mentions, reach out to see if the author would be willing to add in a hyperlink. Just remember that not all links are good links, and there are lots of people using black-hat tactics like link farming, private blog networks and even the buying and selling of backlinks. This last one is actually banned as a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, so if the person you’re contacting asks for money, it’s best to abort the mission.
2. Social media activity
It has been shown that when people engage with a brand on social media, this positively impacts their brand awareness, word of mouth activities and even buyer intention. This means that whether you set up a Facebook fan page or run a social account on Instagram, getting social is great for brand awareness. Not only can you use hashtags and location shares to put your posts in the spotlight, but you can also encourage people to share your content and gain further exposure.
Along with impressions which we mentioned earlier, likes and comments are extremely easy ways of tracking brand awareness and are a good indicator of your brand’s strength. The more people that like and comment on your posts, the higher your brand awareness. But there are other tools available that can help you measure this metric for awareness in more detail, giving you the full picture of your brand engagement.
Social media listening tools like Sprout Social are designed to help you keep track of what people are saying about you by searching social media for mentions, hashtags, industry trends and even sentiment. This gives you a clear understanding of what people think about your brand, offering precious insights into your brand’s perception and marketing efforts. You can even track how your competitors are doing.
By looking at social media activity in terms of tracking brand awareness, you can take steps to increase your social engagement. You can find and respond to customers’ conversations, getting involved and developing that all-important personal connection. This will in turn help you develop a positive brand image while also increasing exposure.
3. Visitor behaviour
We mentioned above about tracking direct website visits as a metric for awareness in terms of reach, but what they do when they arrive can also be useful for measuring engagement. Using Google Analytics, you can measure a whole range of metrics including the time your visitors spend on each page, how many pages they visit and the average time spent on each page.
Essentially, the more someone explores your website, the more engaged they are. This is especially useful for monitoring any content marketing strategies like blogging, which is a great way to build brand awareness. If the bounce rate is high, then people aren’t engaging with your content and you need to refine your strategy. On the other hand, the longer people spend reading your content, the more interested they are in hearing what you have to say and the more they learn about your brand values.
Metrics for awareness: Audience size
1. Your social followers
This ‘vanity metric’ is actually a good indicator of your brand awareness. The number of followers you have on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media channels will give you a rough idea of how many people are familiar with your brand and will potentially see, share and engage with your content. When people follow your brand, your posts are more likely to pop up in their feed on a regular basis. This will then build familiarity and keep you at the forefront of your customers’ minds for stronger brand awareness.
If you suddenly notice a surge in your following, then this suggests that there has been a boost in brand awareness. You can then look at other campaigns and content you have running at the same time to pinpoint where this success came from. Whether you’ve been running a competition with another brand, released a great new piece of share-worthy content or simply timed your post perfectly for maximum exposure, you’ll know that this is something that has been successful in grabbing your audience’s attention.
Tracking brand awareness with surveys
As well as keeping an eye on the above metrics, it’s always a good idea to go directly to your audience. Before carrying out any campaigns, a brand awareness survey will give you a clear idea of whether or not your audience is aware of your brand, what you do and their feelings towards you. Then by carrying out another survey post-campaign, you can find out how effective your strategies were at increasing awareness and shaping brand perception.
Check on your competitors, too
If you’re just looking into how to measure brand awareness, then remember that tracking brand awareness is all about context. Whether your awareness rises, falls or hits a plateau, think about what you’re doing that might be the cause. Part of this wider context is your competitors, but how do you measure brand awareness for another company?
As long as they share their data, then Google Analytics lets you compare your website’s performance against the competition. Using this tool, you can compare your data against benchmarks for a whole variety of metrics, including the percentage of new sessions, session duration and bounce rate. It’s also possible to categorise data by devices, so you can see who has a responsive design and how this impacts user statistics.
By keeping an eye on the competition while tracking brand awareness, you’ll have a better idea of what works for your target audience and where you stand in the current market. You can then make the changes needed to stand out from the crowd, boost your brand awareness and create a powerful brand that customers love.
Building brand awareness
Thanks to technology and online marketing, there’s a whole range of tools available in terms of how to measure brand awareness. When choosing your metrics for awareness, remember that these can be divided into reach, engagement and audience. Then when you start tracking brand awareness, you’ll be able to see which area needs more work and set about creating a focused campaign.
Whichever tools and metrics for awareness you decide to use, remember that building brand awareness is a long-term strategy that works alongside your other campaigns. By tracking brand awareness, you can use these insights to fine-tune your other marketing strategies and make your brand truly memorable.
Want to learn more about how to measure brand awareness? Reach out to our branding team and find out how we can help grow your brand into your most powerful asset.
Views and opens
Every time someone opens your email or watches your video, it has an opportunity to make a real impact on your brand awareness. This will keep your brand at the forefront of your consumers’ minds, increasing your chances of being remembered when they later find themselves in need of your products or services.
The more views and opens you get, the stronger your brand awareness will become. But, if you’re struggling to get your number of views and opens up, then you’ll know that it’s time to reassess your brand building strategies. Many businesses use their emails as adverts without considering the needs of the reader. The way to stand out is to create campaigns that offer real value to your customers, making your email the one they get excited about.
The same goes for videos and even podcasts. Creating content that is purely informational not only offers value, but also helps show off your expertise and authority to inspire trust in your audience. This will increase your chances of people viewing or opening your content, bringing more people in contact with your brand. So by tracking your brand awareness in terms of views and opens, you can make sure that you’re creating content that people genuinely want.
Want more on this topic? Check out our article on why brand awareness is important here.