How to Turn Brand Awareness Into Retail Sales

How to Turn Brand Awareness Into Retail Sales

Turning brand awareness to sales | Shopify Retail blogHave you recently received exposure for your retail brand?

Maybe it was a guest article, podcast, video, press mention, or a successful marketing campaign. These types of content can really help drive traffic to your brand’s website, increasing brand awareness with your target customers. But website traffic actually isn’t enough to convert website visitors into customers. This is why learning how to turn your brand awareness into sales is vital — and it’s easy with the right tools and info.

The first step is to understand the conversion funnel and what each level of the funnel means for your brand. The conversion funnel can sometimes vary, but it generally has elements that include awareness, interest, desire, and conversion.

Conversion funnel | Shopify Retail blogImage: CrazyEgg

Here’s what each level means:

  • Awareness: When someone becomes aware of your brand and turns into a potential customer.
  • Interest: When a potential customer becomes interested in your brand’s offerings.
  • Desire: When a potential customer’s interest becomes a desire for your brand’s offerings.
  • Conversion: When a potential customer’s desire turns into purchasing, leading to a sale.

Based on the basic levels mentioned above, turning a potential customer’s brand awareness into a sale essentially means you’re helping them move their way down the conversion funnel.

So, if you’ve recently received some exposure that increased your brand awareness, you’re at the first level of the funnel. Next, you’ll need to know how to measure it — then, maximize those learnings to take potential customers down the funnel from awareness to conversion.

To do just that, here’s what you need to know about turning your new brand awareness into revenue.

Know What to Measure

The digital space makes tracking your brand’s impact easy, whether it’s on social media platforms or via a content management system (CMS). For example, Facebook provides an insights tab for page owners that includes page actions, mentions, likes, views, engagement, and reach —these are all examples of data that you should track when measuring your brand awareness.

Facebook Insights | Shopify Retail blog

You can even find some of this information on your page’s posts, which makes it even easier to find this information. Plus, popular CMS platforms like WordPress have analytic tools built in so you can see how your content is performing on your website.

Easy, right? We agree, but we also recommend taking it a step further by tracking this information yourself in a simple spreadsheet. All you need is to set aside some time and pay attention to the big three:

Mentions

Track how many times your brand is mentioned on social media, in the press, and online. Most social media platforms’ search functions make this pretty simple — all you need to do is type in your brand name and hit enter. You can even filter your search by most recent posts, locations, and dates. Also consider jotting down what the conversation is per mention so you can keep track of the buzz around your brand name.

You can track online chatter about your brand with a variety of social listening tools. To learn more, read our roundup of the social listening tools retailers can use to stay on top of brand mentions.

PRO TIP: If you have a little extra time to spare, take note of how many followers or friends the person has who mentioned your brand name so you can see how many people might have seen their post.

Reach

Track your reach per post on your social media platforms. As mentioned before, you can find this information on the Facebook insights tab or below each post on your page’s feed. Instagram provides this data, too.

To track and increase your reach on your branded social channels, check out this list of organic social media marketing tactics.

Engagement

Engagement comes in a few forms across social media — usually through likes, reactions, or comments. This will help you determine how many people stopped in their feed to view your content and actually engaged with it in some form or fashion. Be sure to take note of which way users engaged, too.

For more help monitoring and measuring your impact on social media, check out this list of tools for smarter marketing campaigns.

Ways to Measure Brand Awareness

Now that you know what to pay attention to and how to track it yourself, there are tons of other tools that take measuring brand awareness even further. Here are several simple methods to consider:

Surveys

Lots of conversations happen offline that you obviously can’t track through social media or website analytics. One way to determine what your brand awareness looks like offline is through surveys — this can take place through your website, or even email or by phone if you have contact information available to you.

Surveys will help give you an understanding of how people hear about your brand and how many people are already familiar with it. And there are tons of free tools online to try out, too:

Next, know what to ask. When measuring brand awareness, SurveyMonkey suggests taking two approaches: brand recall and brand recognition. Brand recall is when someone is able to recall your brand name without assistance. Brand recognition is when someone is familiar with your brand when listed with other alternatives.

Using these two measurements, use these question examples to get you started:

  • How familiar are you with us?
  • When you think of [product you sell], what brands come to mind?
  • Have you ever heard of us?
  • Which of these brands known for [product you sell] have you heard of?

Website Traffic

In addition to your content management system’s analytics, try out a free service like Google Analytics to dig deeper into how your website content is performing.

Google Analytics has changed frequently throughout the years, but it’s still rather simple to use. All you need to do is sign up and the platform will walk you through the rest to set up analytics for your website. Once it’s in place, you’ll be able to track brand awareness over time as it relates to website visits from search, social, organic, referral or direct.

Search Volume Data

Google AdWords Keyword Planner | Shopify Retail blogSimilar to how you can search for mentions of your brand on social media, you can do the same for search engines with the help of tools that give you the search volume of your brand name. Here are a few to try out that will help you measure your brand awareness in search:

  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner: Possibly the most well known out of the search tools, the Google Adwords Keyword Planner provides your monthly search volume, level of competition, suggested bid, and additional keyword phrases.
  • Google Trends: This platform allows you to easily type in your brand name to see its interest over time, interest by region, related topics and related queries. You can even compare your brand name to other competitors.
  • Moz: With multiple products available and a free trial, Moz will provide you with your brand name’s monthly volume, search result page analysis and percentages that relate to your click-through rates, difficulty to rank in a search, and more. You can find articles that mention your brand, too.

PRO TIP: If your brand name is a commonly used word, remember that the data in these search engine tools may not be as accurate.

Social Listening

Your social media insights may not be able to pick up every mention of your brand in the social space, which is why social listening tools are so important when measuring brand awareness. Not only can you find even more social mentions you may not have seen initially, you can find additional conversations across the web, too.

Brandwatch is an easy-to-use social listening tool that can help you pinpoint conversations happening about your brand across various platforms. It allows you to search for comments, conversations, and articles that mention your brand name, provides your monthly search volume, breaks down conversations by geographical region, and the list literally goes on.

While social listening tools are there to help you measure your brand awareness, it helps you build it, too, by being present online to engage your audience. Because in Brandwatch’s own words, “Listening to these unsolicited opinions allows you to hear consumer’s thoughts as they are naturally expressed.”

Here are a couple other tools to consider:

  • Mention: Available at a variety of price points, Mention is able to track your brand name across websites, blogs, social media, and forums—with live alerts through email or push notifications to your phone.
  • Google Alerts: Free and simple to use, Google Alerts is a good option if you have little-to-no budget for additional tools. All you have to do is type in what you want to track and hit the “Create Alert” button to receive notifications in your inbox. But, remember: If you have a brand name with more than one word, put your name in quotations.

PRO TIP: Through these tools, you can pinpoint conversations that could lead to content that answers consumer pain points or frequently asked questions.

Social Media

Social media is constantly undergoing changes that make tracking your brand awareness difficult or even completely accurate. But with the right tools, you can get concrete data that helps you measure your brand awareness so you can eventually learn how to turn it into product sales.

If you want to track how many times a link was shared, SharedCount is a free tool that will easily analyze any URL that you enter — bringing in numbers for Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.

GetSocial | Shopify Retail blog

GetSocial comes at a cost, but it tracks even what most popular analytics tools can’t — ”dark social,” or private posts. Cited to track “100 percent of your social activity,” GetSocial helps you really know how your brand is being talked about — even behind the scenes — so you can get the most accurate picture of what your brand awareness actually looks like.

How to Turn Awareness Into Sales

Now that you know the various ways to track your brand awareness, here’s how to pique potential customers’ interests and desires so you can make product sales.

Be Available in Multiple Formats

Research suggests that 84% of shoppers are using their smartphones to compare prices and find retailers, product info, and coupons — all before making a purchase.

So, what does this mean? Essentially, a brand needs to be marketing itself in wherever their customers hang out (online and offline) so there are more opportunities for a shopper to consider them prior to purchase.

Since shoppers can consider a brand from literally anywhere they are with the use of a smartphone and/or Internet connection, it’s important for a brand to be available in multiple formats. To do this, ensure that you either have a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website. And, always be available on multiple social media platforms while knowing how to use them correctly for each intended use and update them frequently to remain relevant and top-of-mind.

Put Search Results to Use

As stated before, search is an important aspect of building brand awareness. It’s an equally important part of taking that awareness and turning it into sales. That’s why it’s vital for your brand to have an SEO strategy. It’ll help you continue to create content on your digital website and social media platforms that answer your target consumers’ frequently asked questions.

FURTHER READING: Learn more about how to build an SEO plan for retailers.

So, utilize your learnings from social listening and search tools by applying keywords to your marketing efforts. Make a little of relevant keywords and use them in web articles, social posts, and even product pages. But ensure that you avoid keyword stuffing — where you simply add keywords in the content section of a site incoherently — so you can continue to provide content that’s organic and engaging.

Don’t forget search advertisements either: these are the sponsored links at the top of a search page, and they can be easily set up through Google AdWords. According to Google, “Search can impact brand awareness in the moments that matter to consumers when they are shopping and gathering product information; in other words, brands get access to an interested audience at the moment the consumers are interested.”

All it takes to set up a search advertisement is three easy steps: create your ad, choose your keywords, and set a budget.

FURTHER READING: Need more help with Google AdWords? Read more about setting up your first pay-per-click ad campaign.

Include Clear Call to Actions

“Call-to-action” is a familiar marketing term for a reason — because it’s what helps encourage consumers to take the next step (like buying your product, giving you their email address, or another action). But, a call to action (CTA) doesn’t always work if it’s not utilized properly.

So, first thing’s first: Always remember to be clear and directional. If you put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, you know that you don’t want to have to guess about where to go to next if you’re interested in a product. You also probably don’t want to have to guess about what something means.

In order to encourage your consumer to make their way down the conversion funnel, ensure that a CTA is always a clear part of your marketing efforts and ensure that it includes concise copy that calls for a specific action to be taken.

Visual call to action | Shopify Retail blog

Image: Smashing Magazine

Remember that CTAs can be visual, too (as in the example above). You can lead potential consumers from brand awareness to conversion by having directional cues as your CTAs that direct visitors to their next step.

Tap Into Email Marketing

According to Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census in 2017, 73% of respondents rate email marketing as the top contender for its return-on-investment. However, companies’ budgets for email marketing is low — email marketing only receives around 15% of most marketing budgets. Econsultancy suggests that this might be due to the fact that “most marketers seem to be ignoring essential metrics when it comes to evaluating their success.”

Email marketing has shown to be one of the best digital channels for ROI since 2014, but it’s important to note that it must be utilized correctly. So, keep in mind that email content should always be clear and concise to prevent a user from losing attention.

FURTHER READING: To learn the ins and outs of email, read our retailer’s guide to email marketing.

Consider Seasons and Timely Events

If you recently received new exposure for your brand, consider trigger or event marketing to help encourage purchases. If there’s a holiday or event coming up that could be of importance to your audience, try offering a discount on a relevant item.

This tactic also goes hand-in-hand with email marketing. Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, so consider utilizing email in your efforts to make conversions by sending a timely discount straight to consumers’ mailboxes.

Personalization helps to make potential customers feel valued — because you showed up right in time to meet their needs.

To personalize your customers’ experience, here are some ideas to customize the experience for shoppers.

Retarget Your Marketing Efforts

If you’ve received brand awareness from a recent marketing campaign, retargeting your content is a good next step to take consumers down the conversion funnel and make a sale.

The first step of any successful marketing campaign is to pinpoint your target audience. Who’s your demographic? What are their interests and needs? Once you’ve used that information to target consumers for your first set of social posts and content, then you can use retargeting to determine who is really engaging with your brand.

The type of retargeting that applies the most to this instance is pixel-based retargeting. This is when an anonymous user visits your website, leaving it before making a purchase. Before they leave the site, a pixel (more commonly referred to as a cookie) is left on their browser which then notifies a retargeting platform to place advertisements on pages they’re visiting (even on social platforms) as it relates to what they engaged with on your website.

Here’s an example: A customer visits your site and lands on a page with a pair of shoes. They add the shoes to their cart, but don’t ultimately buy the shoes. They close the page for your site and check Facebook. Right there on Facebook, they’ll see an ad for the exact same shoes they were browsing on your site.

Here are a few easy-to-use tools to try that will help you make conversions:

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Perfect Audience
  • AdRoll
  •  

    PRO TIP: If a holiday or event is approaching, try retargeting your advertisements to make it more likely for a potential customer to consider purchasing from your brand.

    Create a Sense of Urgency

    This is a simple enough concept: A sense of urgency can help drive sales by 25%. So, if you’ve recently received a surge of brand awareness, try out this tactic if it applies to your company.

    Some tactics you might try to create a sense of urgency include:

    • A one-day sale
    • Creating a flash sale
    • Offer a timed-shipping offer (a customer will get free shipping if they buy a product with a certain period)
    • A timer on your website that counts down the time until a sale or event
    • Stock counters (showing that there’s only “one left” or stock quantities on product pages
    • Hosting a brief pop-up shop (temporary retail has urgency baked into the concept)

    PRO TIP: It might be a no-brainer, but don’t forget to promote through social to build hype.

    Continue to Invest in Your Content

    As with most things, quality sells — and the same rings true for content. And since 70 to 96% of visitors who abandon sites will never return, it makes the need for quality content even greater.

    So, when you want to turn your brand awareness into product sales, start with making your content engaging right at the beginning. And a great place to start is with your headlines.

    Whether it’s an article, product page, or even social copy, ensure that the first part of the page or post is as attention-grabbing as possible so the visitor will continue down the page and even consider visiting the website again and again.

    You can also optimize your product pages and descriptions to make the copy more compelling, and use content marketing to engage customers and build an audience online.

    Moving Forward With Converting Awareness to Sales

    Taking a customer down the conversion funnel can be tricky if you’re not equipped with the right knowledge and tools. But with this guide to turn brand awareness into retail sales, you can create smart marketing campaigns that will continue to build brand loyalty for your company and result in revenue.

    Happy converting!

    Photo of Jen Hasty

    About the Author

    Jen Hasty is a writer and editor living in Atlanta, GA. When she isn’t writing or editing in her home office, she’s binge-watching TV shows and admiring her dog’s handsomeness.

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