The Importance of Being Top of Mind
Being top-of-mind is a crucial component of consumer purchasing behavior. Top-of-mind, or top-of-mind awareness, refers to being the first brand or product a consumer thinks about in a specific industry, category, or product. If your brand or product is the first consumers think of, consumers are more likely to buy it. Top-of-mind awareness can be the most critical driver of consumer purchase behavior. In the auto industry, 90% of consumer sales stem from top-of-mind awareness of a particular vehicle or brand.
Building top-of-mind awareness isn’t easy given the number of competitors and advertising. However, it’s a critical component of your sales success. Once your products are the first consumers think about in your category or industry, you have to retain top-of-mind awareness to maintain and grow your sales and market share.
Brand awareness helps drive consumer decision-making when consumers are deciding between two or more alternatives. When your brand is top-of-mind, consumers will more readily choose your product — and not just once. Top-of-mind awareness encourages repeat purchases and consumer brand loyalty, helping to increase your sales and market share. Firms whose brands achieve top-of-mind awareness in their category will likely find it easier and less expensive to acquire new customers. Consumers will seek out a top-of-mind brand with the intent to purchase, saving time and money on conversion, whereas less well-known brands spend time and money sifting through prospects to find qualified leads and convert them into sales.
Nurturing Leads to Stay Top-of-Mind
Building enough brand awareness to be top-of-mind in your industry is a critical component of any successful marketing and sales strategy. When your brand is top-of-mind, consumers are more receptive to your sales and promotional efforts. It lowers the amount of time and attention spent explaining who you are on a cold call, in promotional videos, or emails before you even begin to sell your product. When consumers recognize you right off the bat, your outbound marketing strategy is likely to be far more effective.
However, building brand awareness and outbound marketing efforts also must be paired with an effective inbound marketing strategy to funnel consumers to you using multiple touchpoints when they are ready to buy. You’ll want to leverage multiple channels in your strategy, whether they’re social media marketing, broadcast advertising, or content marketing, from need recognition to purchase decision. A well-functioning customer relationship management (CRM) application will help you manage your leads, move them through your sales funnel, and address their wants, needs, and pain-points to ease their journey from prospective buyer to customer. As you nurture leads throughout the purchasing process, you’ll reinforce your brand’s prominence in their minds and improve your conversion rates.
Optimizing Your Website for Search and Mobile
Not only should you leverage the channels you’ve used to build awareness of your brand, but you must ensure that you’re ready to receive prospective customers with a well-designed website that’s optimized for search and mobile. Use content, keyword, and other SEO strategies to make it easy for consumers to find you. Ensure that no matter what device they are using when they find you, you present all the information they need to compel them to purchase.
Your website should be easy to navigate so visitors can find the information they need to make purchase decisions, like regularly updated product and pricing information, written blog content, and explainer videos that contextualize your products’ value and quality. It should include sharable content that connects consumers to your brand through compelling, entertaining, or humorous messaging, as well as interactive activities like contests, affinity programs, or user communities.
Don’t view your website, or even your sales landing page, as just a place for consumers to purchase. View it as part of an “Always On” approach that is continuously marketing to consumers. You can reinforce top-of-mind awareness and encourage repeat purchases quickly and effectively.
Utilize Content Marketing
Maintaining your position in consumer’s minds can’t just be achieved with sales-oriented direct marketing. Even the most loyal consumers will be turned off by continued calls-to-action because consumers don’t just want to buy. You need to provide them value regardless of if you’re making a sale to entertain and inform them while making them a part of your brand community.
Fortunately, content marketing provides you the mechanisms to connect continuously with existing customers and prospective consumers without selling all the time. You can regularly produce and distribute engaging content on your website, newsletters and brochures, and social media. You can:
- Use your blog or place guest posts on industry-leading blogs.
- Publish case studies and white papers.
- Produce an industry podcast or broadcast humorous videos about your industry.
Better yet, produce and distribute interactive content. Hosting webinars or Facebook Lives to either address or include leading industry experts positions you as a thought leader. Producing and distributing content in various forms about your industry or category allows you to reinforce your market position and with consumers. Creating space in your content marketing strategy for two-way engagement helps consumers feel more deeply connected to your brand and company.
Engage Consumers on Social Media
Social media helps reinforce brand awareness and complement your inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Marketing on platforms like Facebook and Instagram provides you with a cost-effective method of increasing your company and product awareness. These platforms offer a way to engage consumers and personalize your messaging to them.
While social media marketing may seem challenging and expensive, popular platforms like Facebook make advertising extremely user-friendly. The large platforms also allow a high degree of demographic targeting and the ability to start and stop advertising when you want, which can help you control costs effectively. Simply setting up a social media profile and sharing it with your networks will increase traffic from would-be customers, who you can engage with a few simple posts. As you engage consumers, you’ll find consumers and customers following you online. Growing followers on social media is an essential social media marketing goal and metric as nearly 90% of people purchase from brands they follow on social media. As you continue to engage consistently, you’ll reinforce the importance of your brand in their mind as well.
Use A Multi-Platform Approach
Use various formats to promote your brand and product to increase the chances you’ll reach your customers. Integrate your marketing seamlessly across the channels you choose. Channels like digital marketing and radio work incredibly well together. Radio advertising is more memorable than written advertising, especially when you have a radio influencer or celebrity sponsor your brand or reads your ads. A frequently aired radio ad helps your brand become top-of-mind for consumers and encourages them to search for you or connect with you online. Combining your efforts bolsters brand awareness and connects more effectively and deeply to consumers.
Building awareness of your brand takes time, effort, and resources. However, when your brand is the first consumers think about, your sales and promotional performance will improve radically. To build top-of-mind awareness, you should be prepared to market continuously at each touchpoint, with a balance between sales-oriented direct marketing and content marketing to engage consumers without directly selling. Utilize multiple channels, combine time-tested channel pairs like radio and digital, to maintain your top-of-mind awareness and strengthen consumer brand loyalty.