“If you build it, they will come.” Or so says some baseball movie that everyone seems to quote in times like these.

The problem is that it’s not exactly true. Audiences today are more inundated than ever with marketing messages, new businesses and brands, and more tools that promise privacy, security, productivity, ease of use, and efficiency.

Building “it” doesn’t mean anything if no one knows “it” exists in the first place.

Enter the brand awareness campaign. Your quest is to put your brand name in front of as many relevant users as possible. That means not spending millions on a billboard when you have no idea who’s going to read it. Untargeted campaigns are campaigns that waste money.

Brand awareness campaigns that are untargeted are a waste of money.

 

So how do you maximize the success of your brand awareness campaign? Here are the six steps you’ll need to take in order to make your campaign successful:

1. Know Who You’re Trying to Reach

Do yourself and your brand a favor: sit down and map out exactly who you’re trying to reach.

Campaigns with no targets are campaigns that fail. The problem with these campaigns? The marketers behind them don’t know who they should be talking to in the first place.

Only 44% of marketers actually develop buyer personas before they begin their brand campaigns, and 85% of those people aren’t using personas effectively. No wonder there are so many bad campaigns out there.

Do yourself and your brand a favor: sit down and map out exactly who you’re trying to reach. Go through your buyer personas with a fine-toothed comb: age, gender, location, salary, disposable income, industry, and job title.

If you’re looking to talk to CTOs who work in retail in the state of Kansas, for example, you need to create messaging that CTOs in retail in the state of Kansas will appreciate. You don’t want to end up spending precious campaign dollars seeing your message go to marketing directors if they’re not your target audience.

Related: How Personas Keep B2B Marketers from Playing Guess Who with Content

And don’t get crazy with buyer personas—no one needs to name these people or find out if they’re partial to Italian food…unless that’s part of your brand.

2. Figure Out Where They “Live” Online

After defining who you want to target, you have to figure out how to make sure they actually see your campaign.

Are they on LinkedIn regularly? Place ads there. Is there a forum or message board that they frequent? Get involved there. Are there blogs that this type of person reads regularly? Contact the website to see if you can guest-write or have someone write about your brand on that blog.

Don’t advertise everywhere—Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, et al.—if your audience isn’t there. You will waste money and messaging because you’re going to reach people who aren’t your audience.

3. Keep Your Budget in Mind

Only when you know your budget can you allocate dollars properly. Know how much money you have to spend before you start spending.

If you don’t have much money to spend, it’s time to start getting creative: what platform will put your brand in front of the most potential buyers within your target? Use the bulk of your ad dollars there.

Are there platforms you can get on for free by guest-writing? Use those platforms and get creative about getting that organic search done.

Maybe you sell data security software and you know your audience is on Twitter: set up your brand’s Twitter account (using third-party software) to follow anyone who tweets and uses the phrase “data security.” Then interact with them. There are lots of organic things that you can do to get your brand in front of your intended audience.

Related: The Multi-Channel Distribution Guide [Free Template]

Have a huge budget? Don’t make it rain just yet: figure out where the bulk of your money should be spent, which is the platform your audience will typically be on. Use organic, creative approaches where you can. Why? Because you never know what carrot they’re actually going to follow.

4. Know What Success Means

How will you know your brand awareness campaign is successful? What are you trying to accomplish through this brand awareness? Is it just awareness? Do you want lead captures and email addresses? Do you want website visits?

If you’re only tracking awareness, your metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) will likely be your content’s likes and follows, shares and retweets, or impressions and reach. If you want to push your audience through their buyer’s journey a bit more, establish that up front.

What numbers do you need to see in order to know that you’ve done a good job? Figure that out now. In other words, don’t look at the data and determine your takeaways; determine your takeaways and then seek out the data that will match it. And don’t be afraid of failing. Retargeting is a necessity in marketing—no one gets it right the first time.

5. Push the Red Button

You’ve figured out your audience and where they live, you know what you have to spend and have allocated it accordingly, and you know what data you need in order to call this campaign a success.

All that’s left to do now is craft your messaging, push the big red button, and wait.

Congratulations! You put together a brand awareness campaign…and you did it the right way.

6. Don’t Forget to Track Your Results

Remember when I said that you can’t measure success unless you know what your yardstick looks like? Don’t forget to watch those measurements carefully. Look at the data that shows you whether or not you did well according to the KPIs you set up.

Did the Facebook campaign flop while the blog you guest-wrote came out on top? Time to invest more in guest-writing.

Maybe you got more impressions from the Facebook campaign than views on the blog, but you spent more time on the Facebook campaign. Don’t forget to track the amount of time and effort each one took as a KPI as well. It’s how you’ll measure ROI in the future.

And remember: don’t be afraid to fail and then change things up. Retargeting is designed to let you learn from your data and make better ads the next time around.

Compile information, deploy, track. Compile better information from that campaign, deploy another one, track. That’s how excellent brand awareness happens.

Get the Playbook

Want even more tips on how to create a personalized brand and direct your resources to the personas you want to reach? Download the Marketing Playbook for in-depth discussion of the best strategies for reaching your targeted audiences. After all, brand awareness is just the start of a successful brand journey.

Read the B2B marketing playbook to learn how to build a better brand awareness campaign.

Danielle Bilbruck

About Danielle Bilbruck

Danielle is a former sales and recruiting leader turned freelance inbound marketer, using her background in sales management to drive the bottom line for marketing efforts. When she is not directing high-level strategy, blogging, or at networking events, you can find her watching way too much TV with a nice glass of red wine.