Awareness Stage of User Journey

The first phase of the user journey is the Awareness Stage where customers are experiencing your brand for the first time. If you are a new business, or perhaps a business that has started to see a decline in traffic it is best to revisit your strategy on how to gain the awareness of a new audience.

It is important to keep in mind that you are trying ot build “awareness” with a NEW audience so it will be rare that these users will convert on their first exposure to your business. That is why this is just the first phase of the user journey, we will discuss how to convert these users in future blog posts.

The following marketing channels can be an effective way to target a new audience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is typically one of the best converting channels because if done correctly, you are driving very relevant traffic to your website, however this is a marketing channel that takes time to develop. SEO can be broken up into groups such as technical SEO and content which is needed to build rankings and gain user awareness.

Your technical SEO strategy is needed to ensure your website has an optimized framework to help search engines crawl through your website and content focused SEO helps drive your site to be ranked for certain keywords a user may type into a search engine like Google.

Search Engine Optimization is also consistently evolving due to search engines updating their algorithms and also due to users search behavior so it is important that a portion of your budget is continually focused on SEO.

Your site will typically rank for your business name first.  This means you will need to put in the effort to build effective content to drive awareness to your website with non branded content.  It all starts with a keyword strategy to define what phrases your potential audience would be searching for and then creating the necessary content to rank for those terms.  If you don’t have content relating to what your audience is searching for they will not find you organically. 

Search Engine Marketing

If you are looking to ramp up awareness for your brand quicker and have set aside a budget for paid Ads, search engine marketing (SEM) is a channel to take advantage of.  When SEM is paired with SEO, your sites visibility can take up more real estate within the search engine page building greater awareness for your brand and website. There are many strategies to take advantage of, but from a high level standpoint you will want to have campaigns that target keywords that are relevant to your business, a branded campaign, and potentially a competitor campaign as well. It is important to research the cost of the keywords related to these type of campaigns to properly plan and decide which strategies will make sense to give you the awareness you are seeking in the most cost effective manner.

Social Media Marketing

Running ads through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, tec.) can be a more cost effective solution for many businesses. Although the conversion rate tends to be lower, social media marketing is a powerful channel to drive awareness especially with the use of demographic and interest targeting and because let’s face it, your customers are on social media. Through social advertising your brand becomes more recognizable.

The goal once you have started to drive awareness through these or other marketing channels is to be able to build enough interested and trust with your content to drive that users journey towards the consideration phase which will be discussed in a future blog post.