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Brand Awareness KPIs: How to Measure Them

Tired of guessing how visible your brand is? Discover our key metrics for successful brand awareness, and how to measure them.

Ever had someone ask you for a charger and then look at you like you’re an alien when you hand over something that isn’t an Apple product? Or has someone been disappointed when they asked for a soda and you didn’t fetch them a Coca-Cola

Don’t panic. You and your friends haven’t undergone some sort of advertising hypnosis. You’re just dealing with brand awareness experts. 

To best your competitors, you need to be the default. When a customer is thinking of purchasing something, your brand name should pop into their head like magic. This, paired nicely with a solid recall, makes you their first thought. 

Compete in their heads with whoever is providing the same thing you are. Making sure you build solid brand recognition with user experience and ensuring it’s a positive association, of course, has massive benefits for following, revenue, and retention. 

These brands reap the rewards of having a relationship with customers. It sounds like hard work, but we promise it’s worth it. 46% of people surveyed in the US said they would pay more for a brand they trusted.

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As usual, the champions of digital marketing set a pretty great example. The brands have become synonymous with the product or services they provide. They are the first thing you think of, prompting them to be the company you buy from. 

However, for smaller brands, being the best of the best isn’t a realistic measure of brand awareness. Not every company is destined to be a household name. 

You don’t have to be number one to be successful. You just need to make genuine personal progress. 

If you aren’t being seen, you might as well not be there. Unfortunately, how familiar consumers are with you can be difficult to measure. There’s no point in building a brand awareness strategy if you can’t tell whether or not it’s making a difference. 

Fortunately for us, though, there are key performance indicators, also known as KPIs. 

If you’ve ever thought of doing a brand audit, you’ll have heard of KPIs. They are a way to set personal aims, devise a strategy, and grow. These performance measurements show you if your brand is on track in terms of a specific objective.

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Why do we need brand awareness KPIs anyway? We’re glad you asked. 

  1. To find out what’s working, and how well.
  2. To discover why it’s working well.
  3. To decide what isn’t working well, and how to change it.
  4. If your awareness is good, your brand has a personality, which is an indicator of  good customer experience. You want to sound human, not robotic.

Think of a goal. Then, you can decide where your starting point is and where your finish line should be. Finally? Be amazing. 

Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you. Let’s look at our most important brand awareness metrics, why they matter, and how to measure them. By the time we’ve got through it all, the rest will be a piece of cake. 

Traffic

To put it simply, website traffic is the number of times users have visited your website. What is the most obvious way to measure how many people are aware of your brand? Finding out how many people have seen it. 

There are many tools for analyzing and monitoring your website traffic, such as SemRush. It’ll tell you things like the number of unique visitors, total visits, and visit duration both for your website and your competitors. Pretty handy, right?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that to measure brand awareness, we need to uncover how users come to us. There are numerous types of traffic to consider, and each one gives us unique insights.

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Direct traffic

Direct traffic is crucial when it comes to evaluating your brand awareness performance. As the name suggests, it comes from users directly typing in your website URL or clicking on a bookmark they’ve saved. 

Let’s look into what you can learn from direct traffic, and how you can use it as a measurement: 

  1. You can see how many people are already interested in what you are offering. To build brand awareness you need solid customer retention. If you increase your direct traffic, your brand awareness will increase too. 
  2. It can show you how your website and URL are performing. If you don’t have as much traffic as you’d like, maybe you need to reimagine or change them. Changing your website or URL might make it more memorable for consumers and they might be more likely to remember you. 
  3. It can determine how many consumers are familiar enough with your brand to search for it without a referring link. These consumers know your URL by heart or have saved it to come back to. 

To uncover this traffic you’ll need to dive into Google Analytics, which is a tool that helps users to understand how consumers are interacting with web content. 

Referral traffic 

Alternatively, you have referral traffic. This kind refers to the traffic you get from users coming to your website from another one. Unlike if they’d come directly, they have not searched for you themselves. 

What can you learn from this metric?

  1. The higher your referral traffic gets, the more your brand is getting recognized. 
  2. If users are clicking from somewhere else, your brand is seen to have authority. Companies with a better reputation are more likely to be remembered and visited again.
  3. It can help you determine where your efforts are best put to use. For example, did someone share your link and boost your traffic? Maybe try and build a relationship with them. 

As with direct traffic, all the information you need can be found with Google Analytics. There are many sources to investigate, so we know it can get confusing, but it can be a great visual measure of brand awareness when used right. 

Organic search 

Another indicator you can use is organic search. This is when you are naturally found on the search engine results page (SERP) because your brand is relevant to the user’s needs. Organic searches don’t contain ads and you cannot pay for results. 

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What can studying organic searches do for you?

  • You can see if you’re outranking your competitors on search engines. This can be a good measure of how you’re performing competitively. 
  • Google will reward you if you create content that is useful to users. Your positioning on the SERP is directly linked to how aware consumers are of your brand. Being high on Google’s priorities will also bump up your search volume.
  • Organic searches are often a branded search. This means people are looking for you. That’s always a good sign.  

More than 25% of users will click on the first Google result. Let’s face it, when was the last time you checked out the second results page? It’s probably covered in virtual cobwebs. 

Understanding traffic and monitoring it will help you to increase brand awareness. If you aren’t on the first page, you need to think about SEO and backlink building. Being first will make you memorable. 

Click-through rate (CTR)

You don’t want users to click on your link from wherever they are and immediately go somewhere else. That probably means you aren’t leaving any impression on them.

If consumers have a poor user experience, they won’t be able to recall your brand because you didn’t give them a reason to.

Your CTR is the number of users who receive your advertisement or email versus the number of impressions.

Once again, Google Analytics pulls through for us. You can find your CTR on the Acquisition tab. One way you can use this metric is to compare with industry benchmarks. 

Now let’s talk about everything else. CTR can tell you a lot about brand awareness. So, you’ve discovered you have a high CTR. What does that say?

  • You’re generating lots of traffic.
  • Users trust you enough to click your link. 
  • Nearly 70% of consumers look for a brand they’re familiar with. So, if a user clicks on your link, that means they recognize you.
  • Whichever user clicked your link chose it over anything else. That means you’ve got authority. 
  • A low CTR suggests you aren’t reaching the right audience. Targeting a different demographic might help you build a more genuine connection. 
  • You’ve probably got a lower bounce rate. Users find you engaging. 
  • This is a sign you’re on the right track with email marketing, too.

CTR should directly affect the evaluation of your brand awareness campaigns. It shows how much value users have assigned to you. A low CTR is a sure sign that there’s something you need to work on. 

Brand awareness surveys

Sometimes the most important KPI is the simplest. And surveys are definitely one of the key metrics to consider. By conducting a brand awareness survey, you can find out how aware your target audience is of your existence. 

Here’s an example of what one of these surveys could look like:

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Aim to reach out to consumers in general, not your existing customers. You could create another one targeted to customers in order to find out what it is about your brand they came back for. 

Resources like YouGov Survey Direct, Survey Monkey, and Qualtrics offer templates to make it a quick and easy process. We know not everyone has time to come up with 50 questions. 

If you do want to be specific to your brand, you might need to design your own survey instead. Here are our top tips if that’s the route you want to go down: 

  1. Identify who you need to target. Finding the right consumer is key. 70% of brand managers state that building your audience is more valuable for your company than direct sales. 
  2. Start with an unaided question. By not prompting the participant to answer a certain way, you can measure if you have a brand recall. 
  3. Run these surveys regularly. This will show you where problems and fluctuations are. 
  4. Distribute your surveys widely. Use forums, email, social media, and even people on the street. 
  5. Dig deep. This is your opportunity to find out how your consumers really feel. So, think carefully about what questions will give you the most advantage. 

Not only will these surveys show you valuable data, but they’ll also make your consumers know that you’re thinking about them.

Including some questions, such as how they think you could improve your brand, will spark a connection. It will show customers that you are focused on your value. Utilize humanized marketing and prove to consumers that you want to be better. That will get you remembered.

Social media engagement 

As always, social media has a lot to say. It’s about time we started listening. In 2022, there are 4.59 billion active social media users worldwide

The best promoter for your brand is going to be social media platforms. Consumers are scrolling 24/7, searching for influence and inspiration. We’d be naive not to consider the effect it has on brand awareness, too.

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The number of people who use social channels is astounding. In theory, as long as you have a decent content marketing strategy and utilize different types of content, you should be in the spotlight for tons of consumers. 

If you have an engaged social media presence and lots of followers, the likelihood is you’re bossing brand awareness. 

But as we all know, despite all of your best marketing efforts, this isn’t always the case. 

Using mentions of your brand, followers, and user engagement, you can see how much attention you are getting online. 

Here are some brand awareness indicators you can learn from through the use of social media:

  • An increase in your social media followers across platforms. 
  • More brand mentions and social shares. 
  • Positive feedback, comments, and reviews from customers. 
  • If a consumer likes or comments on your content, and then follows your page (conversion rate).
  • Knowing your share of voice. If, for example, your hashtags appear 30 times but the whole market appears 50 times, you have 60% of the share of voice. This would make you the top competitor. You can use Sprout Social to calculate further.

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If you feel as though you are not seeing an increase, you could try social listening. By investigating what works for other brands, you may identify the problems of yours. Then, start the cycle of measurement again. Have you seen any improvements?

Measuring success

Consider each of these metrics as a piece of a puzzle. You could implement just one, but it’s going to leave you with an incomplete picture of how your brand awareness is really performing. Instead, interweave them all for accurate results.

As you’ve read through these metrics, I’m sure you’re as excited as we are to see what you do with them. So, go on, get measuring. 

Remember, creating a brand is one thing, but helping it grow is another. As long as you keep on learning and listening, you’ll be rewarded with success and a business booming in real-time.