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5 Tips for Creating Brand Awareness in Your Lead Funnels

Building brand awareness is a crucial step in creating a lead funnel that converts prospects into customers. It’s often forgotten as small businesses feel the urgency of generating revenue. And so, marketers are pressured to go straight for leads, but it hurts the business in terms of short-term expenses and long-term growth.

On the flip side, building awareness during the lead generation process is a sure-fire way for any startup or small business to increase conversion rates in a lead funnel and generate demand for sales when prospects are ready to buy.

In this post, we’ll go into all the details. If you’d like to skip around, here’s a convenient table of contents.

Why Building Brand Awareness is Necessary for Lead Generation

Brand recognition primes the pump. When potential customers encounter your brand throughout their buying journey (ads, social media, website), they become familiar with your offerings. This familiarity makes them more receptive to your messaging later in the funnel, increasing the chances of conversion.

Brand familiarity makes prospects more receptive to your messaging later in the funnel.

Hire Us to Create a Brand Awareness Campaign

Brand trust builds confidence. A strong brand presence creates an aura of trust and credibility. Positive online reviews, informative content, and consistent messaging all contribute to this trust, making prospects more likely to convert when they reach the “purchase” stage.

Brand awareness fosters consideration. In a crowded marketplace, brand awareness ensures your company isn’t an afterthought. By being visible throughout the buyer’s journey, you stay top-of-mind when they’re ready to make a decision.

How to Build Brand Awareness Without Ads

Brand awareness refers to how familiar your target audience is with your company, products, and values (see four stages of lead funnels). Here are some tips for building brand awareness in a lead funnel:

  1. Create valuable content that educates, entertains, or inspires your audience. Content can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, ebooks, webinars, etc. Content should showcase your expertise and personality, and address your audience’s pain points and goals.
  2. Distribute your content across multiple channels, such as social media, email, search engines, etc. Use analytics tools to measure the performance of your content and optimize it for each channel. Use hashtags, keywords (What is SEO Strategy), and calls to action to increase your reach and engagement.
  3. Encourage user-generated content (UGC) from your existing customers or fans. UGC can include testimonials, reviews, ratings, photos, videos, etc. UGC can boost your credibility and social proof, and create a sense of community around your brand.
  4. Collaborate with influencers or partners who share your target audience and values. Influencers or partners can help you expand your exposure and authority, and generate referrals and leads for your brand. You can offer them incentives such as free products, discounts, commissions, etc.
  5. Create a memorable brand identity that reflects your mission and vision. Your brand identity includes your name, logo, slogan, colors, fonts, tone of voice, etc. Your brand identity should be consistent across all your touchpoints and channels, and resonate with your audience.

The Role of Brand Awareness Before Lead Generation

For startups and small businesses, growing brand awareness before directing traffic to a lead funnel is crucial. It’s not one of the common trends in marketing strategy, but Let me explain why:

  1. Brand Awareness: When a startup enters the market, it often lacks existing brand recognition. Unlike established companies, startups don’t have the luxury of a well-known brand. Therefore, creating brand awareness becomes a top priority.
  2. Distinguishing from Competitors: Branding allows startups to stand out in a crowded market. By crafting a unique brand identity, they can overcome the challenge of low initial awareness. A strong brand identity builds trust and credibility with potential customers.
  3. Attracting Stakeholders: Effective branding attracts crucial stakeholders such as customers, investors, and partners. When these stakeholders encounter a consistent and compelling brand, they are more likely to engage with the startup.

An Often Missed First Step in Marketing Strategy

Branding hits the awareness part of the marketing funnel. If someone has never heard of your company, they won’t seek your products or services. Branding paves the way for future interactions and conversions.

It begins with your brand concept, message, and design – these are your brand assets. Building brand awareness is process of using those assets to increase visibility.

How Brand Awareness Leads to Long-Term Success

A well-established brand sets the foundation for long-term success. It ensures that the startup remains memorable and relevant even within a limited marketing budget.

Often, going straight for leads is the most costly way to invest a limited ad budget. Just look at the average costs of PPC in various industries. You could spend up to $35 per click just to generate traffic.

However, when people know your message and are aware of your brand, you’ll end up earning traffic through brand searches.

Branding is an investment that pays dividends as a startup grows and matures. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity for sustainable growth.

…and How Does It Benefit Your Lead Funnels?

In the context of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a brand search refers to a specific type of search query where users actively look for a particular brand or its products/services on search engines like Google or Bing.

A brand search is impossible without first building brand awareness. Let’s look at two examples.

Brand Search Examples

Let’s look at two examples of how brand awareness impacts brand searches. And how brand searches multiply lead generation in your lead funnels. First, we’ll take a look at Nike. Then, a fictional local landscaping business.

Example 1. Nike.

A user searching for “Nike tennis shoes” would likely encounter ads related to Nike’s products. Nike invests millions into brand awareness – one of the returns on that investment is that millions of views in search they gain simply from people searching for their brand.

Without the investment in brand awareness, a search for “athletic tennis shoes” might trigger ads from various athletic shoe brands. And prospects will look for the brand that fills the void.

Example 2. Local Small Businesses in the Same Town

Imagine two landscaping companies in the same town:

  1. Green Thumbs Landscaping (Branded): They have a well-designed website, active social media presence with local gardening tips, and sponsor a community clean-up day.
  2. Joe’s Mowing (No-Name Company): They rely solely on word-of-mouth referrals and have no online presence.

Here’s how brand awareness benefits Green Thumbs in a local search.

  • Brand Search: When a homeowner needs landscaping services, they’ll likely search online. But prior to searching, they viewed multiple ad videos on Facebook and Pinterest and are aware of Green Thumbs Landscaping.
  • Green Thumbs: If someone types “Green Thumbs Landscaping” (brand search), they’ll find the company’s website directly, showcasing their services, portfolio, and positive reviews.
  • Joe’s Mowing: Joe spent $2500 on a beautiful website, with all the bells and whistle. But Joe forgot to invest in brand awareness. Without a brand name search, Joe’s Mowing is invisible.
  • The Result: Green Thumbs captures more website traffic and qualified leads compared to Joe’s Mowing, simply because of brand awareness and a strong online presence.

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