What does it take for a brand to become a household name? Think of the brands you instantly recognize. What makes them stand out? For brands you’ve purchased from, what is it that inspired you to buy?
Now reflect on your own brand. What makes it recognizable? What makes your audience want to buy? These questions are at the root of brand awareness, the concept of fostering customer familiarity with your product or service.
Why does brand awareness matter for fintechs?
Brand awareness is critical for any company, but it’s especially important for fintechs. The trust people place in you and your brand is what keeps the proverbial lights on and doors open. If you’re a fintech looking to establish yourself, it’s important to win over the trust of your clients and customers before you expect them to trust you enough to give you a place in their finance stack.
When you foster brand awareness, three things happen:
- It establishes you as a trusted brand in your space
- It positions you as an expert
- It encourages word-of-mouth marketing
Let’s look a little closer at each of these.
Brand awareness establishes you as a trusted brand in your space
When you promote brand awareness, you’re saying to the world “I’m here, I’m real, and I’m trustworthy.” The more you promote your brand, the more familiarity people gain with it. And the more familiar people are with you, the more likely they’ll turn to you when they need the services you provide.
Brand awareness positions you as an expert
People turn to trusted brands because they’re seen as experts in their respective fields. For example, if you’re selling AML software, you want people to see you as an expert in the AML sphere. If you don’t position yourself as an expert in your space by providing resources that show you know your stuff, then your potential clients will turn toward your better-positioned competition, leaving you in the dust.
Brand awareness encourages word-of-mouth marketing
The importance of word-of-mouth marketing cannot be overstated. Brand awareness facilitates word-of-mouth marketing by putting your brand name on the tip of people’s tongues. The more familiar people are with your brand and your position as an expert, the more likely they’ll be to recommend you to others who need the services your brand provides.
How fintechs can foster brand awareness
So we’ve established brand awareness is important, but how can you foster it with your own brand? If you’re lucky enough to have a fully-staffed marketing team, chances are you’re probably doing the things you need to get your brand name out there. But if you’re like a lot of fintechs out there, especially startups, you’re an overworked executive or founder who’s wearing many hats—probably too many.
Not to worry. We’ve got you covered with five steps to effectively facilitate brand awareness. These include knowing your audience, getting the messaging piece right, positioning yourself on the right platforms with the right medium, and determining the appropriate frequency for communication.
Know your ideal audience
Sitting down to think long and hard about the audience you want to attract isn’t the most glamorous aspect of the job, but it’s definitely one of the most important. When you know who you’re trying to reach, you can more appropriately target your messaging, helping you reach the right people who need your product or services.
One of the first things you should work out is whether or not you’re marketing business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). Let’s take a moment to review these terms and what they actually mean.
Business-to-business marketing refers to any company that markets itself to other businesses. An example of B2B marketing is a fintech that advertises its payment platform toward retailers.
On the other side of the marketing coin is business-to-consumer marketing, commonly referred to as B2C. An example of B2C marketing is a fintech that targets individuals when selling an automated investing service.
The phrase “human-to-human marketing” has grown in popularity as of late. Regardless of whether you decide you’re providing a B2B or B2C service, all marketing should be done in a human-to-human fashion, in which you’re carefully considering the audience and engaging with them as though they’re, well, humans, instead of just consumers with a hive mind.
How to determine your ideal customers and audience
Now that you’ve decided whether your offering fits in the B2B or B2C category, it’s time to give thought to your ideal customers and audience.
The best way to do this is to create buyer personas. Developing buyer personas, or audience personas, gives you an avatar for your ideal client or customer and helps you better tailor your messaging to reach the right people. Your personas should reflect the type of client you’re looking to attract and include considerations such as their:
- Biggest challenges or pain points
- Beliefs — why do they believe they have these challenges?
- Anything else that could help you better understand their headspace
The buyer’s journey
For more clarity (and more effective marketing), you should know what stage your ideal customers are at in the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is a paradigm that illustrates the process and stages buyers go through before reaching the decision to make a purchase.
There are a lot of different takes on it, but there are generally three stages in the buyer’s journey—the awareness stage, in which the buyer becomes aware of their problem, the consideration stage, in which the buyer begins to consider solutions to their problem, and the decision stage, in which the buyer chooses the solution that best meets their needs.
The buyer’s journey could take 10 minutes or three years; there are no time parameters around it. According to research, you should aim for having seven touchpoints with the prospective buyer for them to make a significant purchase. This doesn’t mean you should try to jam in as many interactions as you can in a short period of time—it means being thoughtful about how you cultivate relationships with your prospective customers. Knowing where they are in the buyer’s journey is infinitely helpful in this regard.
Get your messaging right with a value proposition
Just as important as knowing your ideal audience is knowing what lies at the heart of your messaging. What does your messaging campaign say to buyers? That your brand is established, secure, and trustworthy, or that it’s inconsistent and unreliable? Knowing where you stand goes a long way toward figuring out where you should be. If your messaging campaign needs a little love, consider helping it out by using the three-step approach to creating a value proposition.
The three-step approach to crafting an effective value proposition
The first step toward crafting an effective value proposition is to define your audience’s needs. Whether you do this by developing a buyer persona or through targeted research is irrelevant—what matters is that it gets done. This step can’t be completed until you’ve identified your target audience, so make sure you do that first.
Step two involves defining the reasons your audience should believe in your offering. What makes you stand out among your competition? What do you offer that your prospective customer can’t get elsewhere? Is your selling point your pricing? Your support services? Whatever the key differentiator is, identify it and tailor your marketing to highlight it.
The final step to creating an impactful value proposition is to communicate the concrete outcome of using your product or service. It’s not enough to simply say that you have the lowest price or the best features. It’s important to actually illustrate what it is that your customers will get out of using your product. Is it that they’ll save time? Money? Both? Will it help them grow a bigger following, driving more conversions? The more tangible benefits you can communicate, the better.
Position yourself on the right platforms
Now that your audience is identified and your messaging is squared away, you can focus on finding the right platforms to share your message and value proposition on. There are a lot of platforms out there, so determining which one is right for your message is important, otherwise you’ll just be shouting into the void every time you post.
Some of the most commonly-used platforms out there for sharing a marketing message include:
- Facebook ads
Marketed as a social media platform for businesses and professionals, LinkedIn is useful for connecting with prospects, who can follow your brand’s page and like your posts. It’s exceptionally useful for B2B marketing. You can also purchase ads for your brand on LinkedIn
Facebook is a towering figure in social media, with over 2 billion accounts. It’s no wonder that brands have eagerly embraced purchasing ads on Facebook—with all of that traffic, there’s bound to be someone in your ideal audience that sees your marketing message and interacts with your brand.
Useful for visual advertising and marketing, Instagram is an image-focused platform that allows users to share graphics. Like Facebook (which owns Instagram) and LinkedIn, you can buy ads for the platform. But you’d be missing out if you didn’t create an account for your business and interact organically with your audience through it.
Snapchat is another visual platform, in which users send each other videos or images on a timer. When the timer runs out, the images become irretrievable. Once again, you can advertise on Snapchat, but you can also use it to create branded photos and even short videos for your audience to consume.
TikTok has experienced a recent surge in popularity, so if part of your marketing goals for your brand is to stay on top of the latest and greatest, you’ll want to create an account on TikTok. Using the platform, you can create short videos to engage with your audience.
Whether it’s your blog or someone else’s getting your value proposition and marketing message in a blog format is important. If you own your own blog, you can write articles around your product and services, providing valuable resources for your audience. If you don’t have a blog, consider guest-posting on other blogs that are relevant to your audience.
YouTube is the video hosting website. YouTube’s users span demographics, making it likely that, no matter who your target audience is, they’ll be on the platform in one way or another. Create a channel for your brand and create informative and helpful videos, and it’ll go a long way toward establishing your brand’s reputation.
Use the right medium for your message
Once your ideal audience is identified, your value proposition is created, and you’re on the right platform for your brand and customer base, you can move on to selecting the right medium for your message. The medium, or format, of your message depends a lot on the platform you use, so take the time to get that right.
There are quite a lot of mediums out there, just as there are platforms. The three most common types of formats you can use to communicate with your audience are written content, video content, and paid advertisements. You can use one or all of these formats to reach your ideal customers, though it’s best to diversify the content mediums you use for more impact and to reach a larger audience.
Written content is chock full of important information. It can be posted on social media, a blog, or your brand’s website. Written content should be engaging and informational, and it typically entails things like blog posts or articles, white papers, eBooks, case studies, or social media posts.
When developing written content, the temptation is high to turn it into an advertising piece for your brand. While it’s not always a bad thing, it can tip toward excess quickly, so make sure you don’t lay on the calls-to-action too thick. Of course, you want to communicate to your target audience what next steps you’d like them to take, but you don’t want to push them away with a tone of desperation.
Good for tutorials, demonstrations, and webinars, video content is a fun way to get your audience’s attention. Keep it on the shorter side and break longer videos up into a series for maximum impact. Short videos can be posted to your brand’s social media channels and longer videos can be uploaded on your website or to YouTube.
If you’re going to create video content, focus on the quality of the videos you produce. Invest in proper equipment and editing software to make your videos represent your brand in the best light.
You can also purchase advertisements to reach your audience, whether offline with print ads, like those in a magazine, or online with digital ads, such as those on the sidebars of websites or in your Twitter or Facebook news feed. It’s easier to target your audience with advertisements because you’re paying to be where they are. This is an important reason to know your audience—knowing where they hang out is key to reaching them.
Determine the right frequency for communicating with customers
You can just as easily underserve your audience as you can over serve them. Don’t drown them in content, because a brand that’s everywhere all the time becomes more of an annoyance than a solution. Always leave them hungry for more, but not starving—a steady campaign works best.
Try to target your content to the right stages of the buyer’s journey so that it lines up with where your audience members are at any given moment. This means developing content for each stage so that those just getting familiar with your brand aren’t left only with content that’s tailored for those in the last phase of their buyer’s journey.
Brand awareness is more than simply putting your website up and hoping your ideal customer stumbles upon it. It requires careful thought and consideration about your target audience, your message, your platforms, and your formats. If you take these steps and ask yourself the right questions, you’ll see the results in the form of a growing audience that’s loyal to your brand.
So talk to us. Let us know about your brand and product. Visit our website and schedule a call.
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