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3 Steps to Build Brand Awareness Ahead of the Holiday Season

Shae Henrie

Content Strategist @ AdRoll

If you’ve been in the advertising game for a while, you know that history repeats itself when it comes to increasing CPMs.

Every year, CPMs rise to their peak in Q4, the holiday season. While some years’ Q4 costs are lower than others,the general year over year comparison largely shows a consistent trend.

So, should marketers looking to save some coin simply avoid advertising during the holiday season to evade rising CPMs?

We all know the answer is no.

The real answer is planning your marketing efforts far in advance, especially for o the holiday season. With every brand (and their office dogs) planning to target holiday shoppers, how can you get ahead of the game right now?

Here’s how to increase brand awareness right now so your holiday marketing doesn’t break the bank.

What is Brand Awareness & Why Now?

As you likely know, brand awareness is exactly what it sounds like; efforts to make more customers aware of your brand. This is the first step in your holiday ad strategy.

Investing in brand awareness ahead of peak season  can help you conserve budget when CPMs are higher. There are 56 touchpoints in the average customer journey; your brand needs to be available across multiple channels in order to make meaningful contact with your customers via those opportunities. By launching brand awareness now, you have more time (with less required spend) to bring customers into your journey.

When’s the last time you bought something from a company the first time you saw the brand? If the answer is “never,” you’re not alone. Your customers aren’t likely to make a purchase simply from seeing a single ad.

In addition to reaching more potential customers before the holiday shopping season, brand awareness can also be used to remind current customers of what you offer. These types of efforts can build loyalty and brand affinity with folks who have already converted. By investing in a strategy that keeps customers coming back, you can save even more money during the holiday season; by increasing customer retention by just 5%, profits may increase by 25-95% as a result! 

3 Steps to Launch Brand Awareness Efforts For the Holidays 

Now you’re ready to start making contact with current and future shoppers, here are some steps for getting your brand awareness strategy off the ground. .

1. Define your goals

No campaign should launch without metrics to work toward. While future retargeting ads will be focused on getting your customers to convert, purchase-oriented goals aren’t ideal for a brand awareness campaign.

When building a brand awareness strategy, here are the KPIs to consider tracking:  

  • New site visitors

  • Impressions

  • Reached users

  • Share of voice

  • Share of impressions

  • Branded search volume

  • Brand name mentions

  • Social media followers

While not all of these metrics are important to every brand, choosing a few key metrics to focus on will give your campaign an overall purpose and track its effectiveness

In practice, this might look like AdRoll customer, Leonisa. Leonisa is a Colombia-based retailer. They used AdRoll capabilities to increase brand awareness and reach new audiences. After implementing a brand awareness campaign in AdRoll, their efforts started to pay off in more than just awareness.

2. Define your target audience

Above we mentioned two types of customers who can benefit from brand awareness touches from your business: potential and current customers. These are two examples of customer segments you can create. By specifically targeting your customers based on segments like past customers, website visitors who didn’t purchase, or even customers’ geographic locations you can ensure your message reaches the right people.

Segmentation is an important part of working personalization into your marketing strategy.  Blasting the exact same messages to all customers could actually confuse or discourage them from making a purchase. 

If you’re not sure who your target audience is or how to craft a message that converts, check out our resources. 

3. Create and execute a cross-channel strategy

A cross-channel strategy does exactly what it sounds like: a plan to launch consistent messaging across multiple channels. While this approach may seem like a no-brainer, it can be difficult to set up, launch, report, and adjust across several channels.

To begin, set up accurate tracking so visitors to each channel get the right metrics and successes attributed to them. Utilize UTMs to see how users engage with your marketing efforts across each channel.

If you’re not sure how to do this, start here. 

Next, you’ll need to craft visuals and messaging that matter to your audience. Once you’ve got your tracking set up and ready to go, it’s time to match the creative to your goals. If you’re launching a new product this holiday season, your brand awareness ads for potential customers might be centered around how your brand solves major problems with your newest product.

If you’re looking to make past customers aware of new products, try promoting a tried and true brand story. Remind them why they purchased your products in the past and why your new offerings are just as helpful. 

How to Measure Brand Awareness

Once your campaign has launched, take a deep breath. However, it’s not all done—it’s time to wait, watch, and adjust. Any campaign is going to need tweaks and changes over time to continue to be effective. You determined your KPIs above, now’s the time to analyze if they are meeting expectations. 

Here are a few examples of what you might see:

  • New site visitors: If your brand is starting to leave an impression with prospective customers, you will likely start to see a lift in overall traffic. More specifically, you’ll start to see more visitors come from paid channels if you’ve invested in paid brand awareness campaigns.

  • Branded search volume: similar to your results with new site visitors, you may notice an increase in your branded search volume. Branded search terms are keywords searched on search engines that contain your brand name or branded terms. The more new folks that get to know your brand name, the more they will search for it. 

  • Brand name mentions: like the other metrics noted here, you may see an increase in the number of people on social media and in the news who mention your brand. You can use a listening tool to keep track of how many mentions you get. 

Tracking, analyzing, and reporting on a cross-channel strategy is more of an undertaking than it seems. Logging in and out of multiple platforms, consolidating spreadsheets of data, crafting a report or deck for your manager… you lose time and money when your channels and tools are all in separate places.

AdRoll is here to help you overcome bumps in the road to your holiday success. With AdRoll, you can reach customers new and current, adjust your strategy, edit campaigns, and report with one login. From social media ads, to display and native, and even email marketing, you can save time and money with AdRoll. 

Launch, Manage, Measure, and Succeed in Holiday Brand Awareness With AdRoll

Make this holiday season the best yet! By kicking off your holiday brand awareness now, you can start to engage with customers now and save your time and money on reaching them during the busiest time of year. Save even more of your budget and save your sanity by investing in AdRoll. Better data means better decisions and better ROI.

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