How to Increase Brand Awareness Without Paid Media

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Getting your brand out there is one of the most important things for any startup, and it’s also the hardest one. It’s so important to find a way to cut through all of the noise on the internet and attract the right people that eventually convert to customers, become loyal to your brand, and return again and again.

If you want to start organic online marketing but don’t know how to start or don’t really want to spend a lot of money on social media at the beginning, then we’ve got the guide for you! Keep reading to learn how to increase brand awareness for your biz without paid media.

What is Paid Media?

Before we jump in, let’s first define what paid media actually is and what the main channels are.

Paid Media is a marketing effort that includes paid promotion/placement, such as PPC advertising (pay-per-click), display ads, and branded content. Many companies use it to promote their brands and reach a large number of people that could potentially convert into customers.  

The main channels through which you can attract your customer using paid ads are Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and any other social media platform that is currently on trend.

The use of paid ads can seem very effortless at first, because each platform offers guides that walk you through how to put your money in and run your first ad. However, don’t fall into this trap–it’s not as easy as it seems.

Creating an ad and running a successful campaign that brings you the results that you want is a whole other skill that takes time and a lot of work to master (although certainly not impossible!).

Organic Reach Is Dead: Myth or Reality?

Surely, you’ve heard dozens of people saying that you have to start paying for ads, right? No doubt, the phrase “Organic reach is dead” has been around for a while. So is it really impossible to reach people without using paid media?

Let’s first look at the actual facts and then you can decide for yourself if you really need to start paying, or if you can grow organically and reach your potential customers without spending a dime!

Looking at the statistics, it’s obvious that the advantages of paid ads are undeniable and more and more companies are starting to realize that. For example, total US digital ad revenues rose to $72.5 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from $59.6 billion with Google and Facebook in top positions.

On the other hand, customers started to feel like companies are using paid ads and viewing people as numbers rather than actual human beings. That’s why we can see that 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago, 70% completely hate mobile ads and more than 51% think lower of the brand after watching an auto-playing video ad.

For these reasons, despite all of the amazing benefits, paid ads aren’t as great as they might seem at first glance. You have to actually know how to use them in order to achieve desired results! That’s why there are so many marketing courses and webinars out there that teach you all the essential steps you need to take to become an ads master.

3 Tips on How to Increase Brand Awareness

If you’re just starting out, the first thing you should think about is who your customers are and what you want to put out there to show them (your content strategy). After all of these initial steps are done, then you can start thinking about how to bring awareness to the project and  let people know that your company exists. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind!

Analyze Anything and Everything

Analysis is key in the social media world! Obviously, content always comes first and the message that you’re portraying to your audience is crucial, but what if you’ve chosen the wrong channel to spread your message?

This is where analysis will come in handy. It’ll not only help you realize the preferences of your audience, but will also give you an idea of what’s happening on the market and which trends you can include in your social media strategy to attract more followers.

Pro tip: It’s always a great idea to analyze your competitors and see what other brands are doing in your field and learn from them. It’s also a good starting point if you don’t know where to begin.

Video + Audio

Video and audio are 2 big mediums right now, and many social media platforms are rewarding their users with more organic reach if you post videos (especially live!).

Pro tip: If you’re in doubt about starting a podcast, then definitely read this blog with reasons of why you should use this platform and couple of tips on how to start and win!

Engage, Engage, Engage!

The importance of engagement can’t be stressed enough! Right now, algorithms are changing with such a quick speed that we have to make changes to our social media strategy on a daily basis. Engagement is the only thing that stays stable and always will, because that’s what people do on all social media platforms. 

Checklist of things that you can do to engage with your audience:

  1. 1

    Dedicate approximately 1-2 hours a day to engage with your audience on the social media platforms where they’re most active.

  2. 2

    Engage with people that have already mentioned your competitor’s blog posts, social media posts, etc. Interact with them by sending links to your posts with a couple of words about your brand (use ahrefs to see who’s linking to your competitors’ blog posts)

  3. 3

    Register on Quora. This is an amazing tool where you can ask and answer questions and put links to your blog/social media posts. Try to choose a question that you’ve already written about and elaborate a little bit in your answer, then provide a link to the whole blog post at the end. This will show your audience that you have profound knowledge on the topic, and it’s a great way to drive traffic to your site!

  4. 4

    Analyze top articles in your field and try to put your own spin on it by writing about the topic yourself. Add more tips, tricks or other things that you can think (but remember quality over quantity!) Buzzsumo is a great tool that’ll show you the most shared articles based on topic.

  5. 5

    Start sending DMs to influencers on Instagram. This will help you to build your community and promote biz about your business! A good recommendation from someone who has influence in your niche can go a long way.

Bonus Tip

Try to register under your brand name on every upcoming and promising social media platform to test it out and see if your audience is resonating with it. If they do, then you have a huge chance of becoming popular on that platform due to a small number of users.

Of course, at first everything can be quite overwhelming–but remember that you’re not alone! Start by incorporating a few of these tips and see where it takes you, and don’t be afraid to fail! You never know what can happen by giving it a try.  

Wanna learn even more about growing your brand’s presence? Sign up for our upcoming conference, The Workshop!

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