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4 Ways to Create “Top of Mind” Awareness

Brasov, Romania - February 12, 2020: Aerial view of the famous ski slope in Poiana Brasov  with greatest Coca Cola company imprinted on cable car reaching high altitude

You could be trekking on the foothills of Himalayas; or sauntering among the pyramids in Egypt. There is one thing you will definitely come across – a Coca Cola logo painted across someone’s shop or on a precariously hanging billboard. 

This is not by accident. The company spends an estimated $4 billion every year in global advertising. Not surprisingly then, Coca Cola is among the world’s most recognized brands.

As a small business owner, you may not have the spending power of Coca Cola. But there are plenty of tools at your disposal that help you build ‘top of mind’ awareness among your target audience. 

In this article, we will discuss the top strategies to be successful in brand awareness marketing.

What Is Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)

Top of mind awareness is a concept in consumer behavior research that measures how well a brand ranks in the minds of a buyer. Who’s the best barber in your town? Or, who makes the best burgers?

The idea here is that once a brand is able to secure this coveted top spot in the minds of the consumers, it is often quite inexpensive to market to them. 

Inbound Vs. Outbound 

There are two ways to go about building TOMA. There is the Coca Cola way – being present everywhere your customer goes.

When there is so much branding all around the consumer, they are most likely to be aware of your brand. Such outbound campaigns are expensive, even if you want to reach a very targeted group. 

The other way to do this is through inbound campaigns. Do things that bring the customer on to your platform again, and again – this way, you build branding that helps with top of mind awareness.

Create ‘toothbrush’ product or services

Toothbrush apps refer to software applications that a consumer will come back for every single day.

You may, for instance, create a newsletter that shares the latest stories from your industry that a buyer will be interested in.

If you are an online business, you could offer similar alerts through browser push notifications.

The point here is to create something very appealing that your audience craves. And by serving them several times a day or a month, you establish top of mind recall that achieves your branding goals.

Be where your audience is

The objective of any marketing strategy is to be present wherever your audience is. Establishing top of mind awareness is a happy by-product of a successful campaign.

A good example of this strategy is social media marketing; especially on channels like Instagram. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram does not offer an easy way to share your link or landing pages (except if you advertise, of course). 

Yet it offers one of the best branding opportunities given the visual nature of this platform. Find legitimate ways to grow your followers and then use the power of content to expand distribution further. 

Producing high quality content on a consistent basis is a great way to enhance engagement and visibility on social media – which, in turn, helps you with great top of mind awareness.

Read more on Instagram followers

Create unique identifiers

Speaking of Instagram content, a study from Hubspot claims that 71% of people are watching more video today than they did a year back. Video content is also more engaging and creates an impressionable impact on your audience. Invest in a video-first marketing strategy for better top of mind awareness. 

McDonald’s does not make the world’s best hamburgers. But they are easily the most recognizable fast food chain thanks in part to their mascot – Ronald McDonald.

Have you ever come across something that was so purple in color that you were instantly reminded of T-Mobile?

These are good examples of creating unique identifiers that let your audience be reminded of your brand.

As a small business, there are many ways to achieve TOMA with this strategy. Here are a few examples. 

Stray Curls, an independent illustrator adorns her blog with uniquely created illustrations. By not using stock photos and instead producing her own illustrations, the blogger has achieved TOMA among clients looking for an illustrator. 

Frooti, a beverage brand, has a very unique Instagram profile. By sticking to this unique identifier, they have established TOMA among their online audience

Have you invested in creating a top of mind awareness campaign? What other strategies can a small business invest in? Share your comments below. 

Published: July 15, 2020
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