You’re a business owner or marketing manager. You’re working hard to get your company out there and noticed. Ideally, you’d like an ever-growing list of dedicated clients or customers who think of you first every time. This has several obvious benefits, including increasing your profit margins and word-of-mouth marketing – which is free, wahoo! The question remains, of course, how to get there.

One of the best methods of increasing your customer reach and market share, not to mention understanding your brand better, is measuring top of mind awareness.

What Is Top of Mind Awareness?

Simply put, a brand has top of mind awareness if it is the first one a person thinks about when asked to name brands in a general product category. You likely have experienced having several brands top of mind. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Copy machines: Xerox
  • Tissues: Kleenex
  • French fries: McDonald’s
  • Cola: Pepsi or Coca Cola
  • Vacuum: Hoover

Of course, this differs from consumer to consumer. Variables such as where they live, what brands they were raised with, what experiences they’ve had to date, and what kind of television they watch all play into which companies they’ll name off the “top” of their heads.

Hence, top of mind awareness for a brand is measured as a percentage. How many of the respondents surveyed will name a particular brand? The brand that wins the most significant percentage of respondents is the one with the greatest brand awareness. Ideally, that’s your company … but how exactly do you measure it?

How to Measure Top of Mind Awareness?

Many people mistakenly believe that brand awareness is nebulous and immeasurable. That’s not true, though. Measuring it isn’t that tricky. The best way to do it is through market research surveys for brand recall. You have to keep a few things in mind:

Don’t name specific brands upfront

If you ask respondents leading questions about brands, whether you list yourself or the Pepsis of the world, that thought will now exist in their heads where it might not have before. To get organic results, don’t name specific brand names. If your business is the first one they come up with, you can conclude you are highly top of mind compared to others.

Keep questions open-ended

Again, avoid questions that lead consumers’ minds toward a particular product, region, or attribute, which can muddy your data.

Ask for lists

Part of your survey should include lists of brands in your category. If you only ask for one brand, you might get the Kleenex response and nothing else, which isn’t useful. Instead, ask for lists. Your company might not come up before REI, but a list will tell you whether it’s coming up.

Treat rankings seriously (share of search)

The ranking of companies will give you several different metrics. The top company ranking is a straight percentage … who has the highest awareness? Afterward, you can gain more subtle data by weighting companies according to their position in the list.

Don’t forget qualitative data

It’s not all about the numbers. Once you get the unprompted responses, conducting interviews to get more specific information about your company to measure top of mind awareness is fine.

Pay attention to social media reach

To understand how your business is positioned in the mind of your target market, it’s essential first to assess social media presence and reach. By analyzing a variety of social platforms, you can gain a strong baseline for understanding which channels and content resonate with your audience.

For example, if you’re a pet store, you will want to evaluate the reach on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Or if you’re selling business-to-business products, then LinkedIn will be ideal for measuring reach. With this information, you can decide strategically which channels and content are most valuable for driving engagement with your target audience.

Look at your Brand mentions

Take into account how often your brand is being mentioned across the internet. Pay attention to social media comments, articles, blogs, user-generated content, and any other marketing communications channel where your target audience might be present. The more often your brand is mentioned, the better top of mind awareness you have. Additionally, this represents an opportunity to assess your business’s authority across the internet and how well your efforts of building brand awareness are doing.

Check Paid media reach

Online paid advertising is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. Adding paid media ensures your brand is being exposed to the right audience. You also drive traffic to your website that can easily be converted into sales. With paid media, you can avoid many of the pitfalls associated with organic advertising and gain valuable insights into what resonates with your target audience. Frequently measure awareness and how your brand is doing regarding paid media reach.

Evaluate Branded Search Results Volume

Lastly, an excellent way to measure top of mind awareness is by using an SEO tool and looking at how your branded search volume is performing. Ideally, businesses with high brand rank indicate they excel at being top of mind as more users perform organic searches to look for them.

Why is Top of Mind Awareness Important?

You may think that top of mind awareness is simply in neuroscience. On the other hand, it also matters when it comes to marketing. Some of the biggest reasons why include the following:

  • You can build trust with your customer because they associate your brand with a specific product or service.
  • This is an excellent way to increase brand awareness because it places you at the front of potential customers’ minds.
  • You can also foster brand loyalty since the customer will place your company above all else regarding that product or service.
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  • You get higher credibility and trust, which translates into more potential customers
  • The engagement in social media is higher, which drives more quality traffic
  • Your lead-generation efforts become more effective
  • Increases lifetime value of loyal customers

So, how can you put it to work for you?

How can you use top of mind awareness to your advantage?

To sell a product, you must know what people will think. Think about the last product you bought that its users highly rated. Did you buy it because that product was the most popular? Or did you buy it because it was considered to be the best? You can use top of mind awareness to sell any product because you know what people’s minds will be like.

How do You get Top of Mind Awareness?

Ultimately, there is no singular action that is going to keep your brand at the front of your customers’ minds. You have to do this with a well-rounded marketing campaign. Start with digital marketing to get your name in front of as many people as possible. Below are some tactics you can use to achieve top of mind awareness.

Email Marketing Strategy

To increase awareness with your email marketing strategy, there are a few key things you should be doing. The first is studying your audience’s habits and interests. The last thing you want to do is send someone an email they don’t need or care about. You can also use data from social media and other channels to understand what content will resonate with your audience.

Next, you want to ensure you use the right tool for the job. There are a lot of different email marketing platforms out there, but you must find one that fits well into your workflow and offers features that will enhance your overall campaign. You also want to make sure that your platform has robust analytics capabilities so that you can see how effective your campaigns are at reaching their audience and converting them into leads.

Build a Social Media Presence

One of the most effective ways to increase top of mind awareness with your marketing strategies is to build a social media presence. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Building a social media presence takes work; you will need significant time and effort to succeed. But if you put in the work, it will be worth it in the long term.
Building your social media following is also an excellent way to keep your brand current with trends and incorporate them into your marketing strategies. With an active social media presence, you can get quality content from passionate people about your brand and industry. This helps create buzz for your company through shares, likes, comments, and links.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase your top of mind awareness. Content marketing includes blogging and creating white papers, infographics, articles, etc. All of these articles will be written to appeal to your target audience’s interests. Additionally, you can use branded content to spread stories about your company to an audience with whom you connect. Branded content is any content created by or for a particular brand. It has been shown to increase consumer awareness by 87%.

Building Brand Awareness

Your brand is the most powerful tool for your business. This encompasses your identity, color scheme, and unified marketing presence. If all the pieces of your brand fit together, you will drive associations with your product or service, solidifying your place in the market. By exceeding customers’ expectations, you’ll create brand loyalty, which will help you retain your existing customers and expand the voice that your business is a reliable source. Your current customers are the best source to get referrals for your business. Build brand awareness so that when users think about a product or service you offer, the first brand they’ll think about it’s yours.

Perform a Market Research

By conducting marketing research, you’ll be able to understand your target audience thoroughly. Understand their needs, wants, desires, and the specific brand they think about when a need arises. That way, you can refine your marketing efforts, ensuring they resonate with your target market.

What to Do with Top of Mind Awareness Metrics?

Now that you know how to measure top of mind awareness, you have the ingredients for great marketing efforts. You can use these metrics to influence your SEO strategy, bid on keywords, know which brands to emulate, and more.

Ready to dominate your marketplace? Here at REALTOP Digital Marketing Agency, our goal is to help ambitious business owners as you create, launch, and optimize the marketing campaigns that will see your company successful long into the future. Contact us today and get a free consultation for your business!